This and That for seniors highlights seniors and their interests

In this column, Scoullar remembers a popular couple and laments her inability to purge successfully

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometimes in your life you will have been all of these.”

I borrowed this quote from Brenda Gardiner, Project Coordinator for Better at Home.

How quickly the past year has gone. It’s time for flu clinics again. From what I’ve heard this is a nasty strain this time. It is a must for those with compromised health issues, the elderly, and those who are frequent visitors to the hospital and nursing homes. Flu Clinics will be held Nov. 16 from 8:30 to noon at the Quesnel Seniors’ Centre at 461 Carson Ave or anytime at all community pharmacies or your family doctor. Call the hospital for by-appointment clinics for children and adults.

Do you remember Grace and Art Brown?

Their daughter Judy and husband Reed Challis of Peachland paid a quick visit to their old property on Yargeau Rd, now owned by Edgar Thumm. It was Edgar who got in touch with me to see if I could meet them, for which I have been most grateful.

Judy and Reed were on their way home after a two-month holiday to Alaska and Yukon. Judy had just had her 71st birthday. During the 40 years she lived in Quesnel, one of her recollections were attending Cariboo School and working at the Observer.

After Art’s death a number of years ago in Kelowna, Grace moved into Pine Acres Care Home in West Kelowna. She has since passed away.

Coming back brought a lot of memories. Through the kitchen window they would watch the squirrels come to the coconut feeder and numerous birds. In the years since she lived here, Judy has seen Quesnel change from a sleepy little town to a vibrant little city.

Elders’ luncheon

Every Wednesday from 12 to 3 p.m., elders meet at Longname facilities on Hoy St for lunch and a craft. Those attending find the social aspect, as well as working and learning a new craft, to be a real inspiration. Joline Alexander, culture co-ordinator at Longname, can be contacted at 250-992-9160.

Declutter your life

A recent visit to my son’s and his wife’s new apartment in Prince George really got me thinking. Now that their son and daughter are on their own, they really didn’t need the three-bedroom house plus boxes of stuff and gym equipment, pool table in the basement. Some of it belonged to the kids and they took ownership of the problem.

It had been a major hurdle deciding what to keep and what to get rid of but little by little they sorted, dispersed and dispensed with some of their belongings, keeping only what was necessary for their lifestyle.

Maurice is now retired and is leading a much healthier lifestyle. Taking their daughter’s energetic dog out while she is at work gives him motivation to walk every day. He is finding this so beneficial. After his sawmill burned down he’d been driving a cab six nights a week. Eating and sleeping at normal times have made a difference as well.

But the thing that impressed me most was how refreshing it was to be able to live in an uncluttered environment – adequate for their needs but not superfluous.

As my lifestyle is changing, I, too, want to declutter my home as much as possible.

But where do I start? There are so many treasures given to us over the years or acquired on one of our trips. It’s a daunting task to be sure. I think I’ll start cleaning out my handbag. It is getting much too heavy and there must be things in there that I don’t need to carry every day. That’s it. That where I’ll start and declutter gradually.

Prepared

Why Grandma, what a big purse. Indeed!

It’s got to be for the things I need;

A bulging walled with card and I.D.

Some cash in case there’s something I see;

Cheques, address and small note book,

Pencil, pens, including one I took,

Pen knife, bandaids, cell phone, clippers,

Car keys, sun glasses, knitted slippers,

Postage stamps, tissue, long nail file,

Scissors, needle and thread added to the pile,

Screwdriver, scotch tape, Girl Guide whistle;

In winter lock-de-icer, brush with bristles

To remove dog hair from car seat

An endeavour to keep interior neat;

Bottle of water, cough drops just in case,

Digital camera if there’s space.

It’s easy to see I’m prepared for the worst.

But how do you find things

In such a big purse?

Ruth Scoullar is a seniors’ advocate and regular Observer contributor.

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