What a crazy winter we have had! Blizzards, polar vortexes and subzero wind chills that caused frozen pipes, stalled cars, and frozen locks, followed by fog and wild swings in temperatures that melted the snow, only to have it refreeze and turn into black ice. I am sure glad that Jimmy the Groundhog and Punxsutawney Phil did not see their shadows. I am counting on the groundhogs being right in their predictions that spring is on the way!
Every year about this time, I do a review of the previous year and a preview of the coming year. This year, that is scheduled for Monday, March 11, at 10:30 A.M. Please come and bring your questions and suggestions for the coming year.
You will probably be glad to hear that there are no interior projects planned for 2019, just our ongoing maintenance and maybe a little touch- up painting. The only big project for 2019 is the replacement of the roof, which should not be too disruptive. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful building. We may be a little short of space at times, but thankfully, most of you have been very adaptable about juggling space to accommodate all our different user groups.
Thanks to all who come forward to share a ready smile, a friendly greeting, and a kind word for new visitors to the Senior Center. You make Verona Senior Center such a warm and welcoming place to be!
Verona Senior Center Director
Noah Alexander Hanson arrived safely on January 5 at 6:05 AM, weighing 5 lbs. 12 oz. and 19.5” long. Many of you have been asking about Noah and his mom Jenni who spent several weeks on bedrest before Noah’s arrival a month early. Fortunately both Mom and baby are doing well, and his daddy, my son Paul, is a proud papa. Thank you all for your prayers and well-wishes.
If you receive home-delivered meals, you will be pleased to learn that there is now a direct line to our nutrition department, 608-848-0438. All calls regarding home-delivered meals, changes, cancellations, etc., should go to that number. The Nutrition Department is staffed from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM, Monday-Friday, so if you call outside of these times, or while they are serving the noon meal here, please leave a message with your phone number so they can call you back. We hope that this will help to streamline the process for you.
We are blessed with wonderful volunteers, a great Friends Board, terrific staff, and many folks who step in to help “on the spot” as a need arises. This spirit of helpfulness is such a joy to see in a world that has grown far too contentious. Thank you all for your part in making the Verona Senior Center a great place to visit, work, and enjoy.
2018 started out with mold remediation, followed by remodeling of the health & wellness area, painting and carpeting the offices, and the replacement of our bathroom floors. Just when we thought we might catch our breath, the parking lot tear-out and repaving started. It is great to have these projects behind us, but what a busy year it was! I have no doubt that you are as happy as I am that these big projects are done!! You will be pleased to hear that we have no plans to do any interior projects in 2019. We are fortunate to have a wonderful facility. I am very appreciative of the City of Verona’s commitment to making the senior center a safe, attractive, and functional environment for the enjoyment of all our participants. The city will be replacing our roof this year, but that will have far less impact on our programming and ease of access for all of us.
Since the Chronicle is now available online and free copies are available for pick up at Miller’s, City Hall, the Library, Verona Vision, and the Senior Center, we will no longer be mailing the Chronicle as of January 1st.
I hope that you had a happy and joyful holiday season. My husband and I are looking forward to the arrival of our fourth grandchild, a boy, who is due on January 31. I hope that 2019 brings good news to your lives as well.
December in Wisconsin marks the reappearance of a familiar sight, the “winter waddle” – people swathed in heavy coats and boots, cautiously making their way along ice-coated sidewalks. If you haven’t already laid in a supply of sand and salt for your sidewalks, best do it now before the rush that follows the first snow leaves store shelves empty. On snowy mornings, we are grateful that the City’s Street Department makes it a priority to have the Senior Center’s parking lot and sidewalks cleared before we open our doors. Keep in mind that whenever Verona schools are closed due to inclement weather, the Senior Center also closes. When that happens, home delivered and congregate meals will be cancelled, so be sure to keep a few non-perishable staples on hand just in case. We will do our best to communicate closings to you, whether by email messages, phone calls, website postings, or by adding our closing to those listed on local television stations.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who did such a great job of decorating the Senior Center for the holidays. It looks beautiful! We hope you will join us for the special holiday events planned for December, and that you will also have the opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family during the holidays.
Please note the Senior Center will be closed Monday, Dec. 24 and Tuesday, Dec. 25 for Christmas. We are open on New Year’s Eve but will be closed Tuesday, January 1 for New Year’s Day.
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to pause and reflect on all that is good in our lives. It’s a time to put our gratitude into words. Loving family, close friends, good health, and a safe place to live are reasons enough for anyone to feel extremely grateful. Here at the Senior Center, I would like to add my thanks for our amazing and devoted staff, and thanks to our Friends board for their hard work and generous support. I also appreciate the support of our City Administrator, Police Department, Firefighters, EMT’s, Public Works, Streets, Facilities Manager, and other city staff who provide ongoing assistance. There is a great spirit of camaraderie amongst the city departments that makes working in Verona a joy. I am especially grateful to all of you, our seniors, for your many kind words, your volunteerism, your wisdom, and the way you look out for each other. You are the reason the Senior Center exists, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you every day. In a world that grows increasingly harsh and hostile with each passing year, I truly appreciate all of you who are a part of making the Verona Senior Center a place where people can count on finding a warm welcome, a good friend, and a helping hand. Thank you all and I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We are hearing that this will be a very bad year for influenza. If you haven’t already had your flu shot, keep in mind that our bus does stop at Walgreens, where you can easily get a flu shot. Call us at 845-7471 to sign up for a ride.
People often think of superheroes as dramatic caped figures who fly in during times of crisis to “save the day”, but I believe that superheroes can be found among us every day, quiet people who simply go about helping others, never seeking praise or recognition. They are the people you can depend upon time after time to be helpful, to do good, and to soldier on, no matter how tough the battle.
In my life, my husband, Kim, is the super hero. He is always quietly doing good, never seeking the limelight or praise. Just a couple of examples from his life tell the story. When Kim was 14, his beloved stepfather, a bread salesman, was diagnosed with cancer. For the next two and a half years, my husband tended his stepdad’s bread route, keeping the bread racks fully stocked and neatly arranged. Quietly and without fanfare, he found a way ease his stepfather’s burden. Later, he managed a grocery store, and when one desperate teenager, short on her college tuition, stole $200 from the till, instead of calling police, he told her that he would loan her the $200 she needed and let her work it off during summer break. What could have been an arrest he turned into a super hero moment. She is now a young working mom and active volunteer, doing good for others.
We see superheroes here at the Senior Center every day, giving gifts of time and service that make a huge difference to others. They are caregivers, veterans, volunteers, and family members. The world is a much better place with these quiet heroes. I would rather have them in my life than one flashy “Caped Crusader”.
Do you have a superhero in your life? They’re easier to find if you don’t look for a cape or a super power. They might even be sitting right next to you.
Alasa and I have been spending the last couple of months watching a lot of baseball games. Her sons, Hunter and Saxton, and my grandson, Gavin, play on opposing teams in Stoughton’s Little League, and Hunter and Gavin are teammates on Stoughton’s Traveling Team, playing in weekend tournaments in neighboring communities, including Verona. It all adds up to a lot of time outside in the summer sun. The spectators are a mix – moms and dads cheering and taking pictures, younger siblings laughing and running around, teens chatting with friends, cute puppies, and grandparents like me, settled comfortably into lawn chairs. It’s a snapshot of the best of small town USA, everyone turning out to support a group of young boys playing America’s game.
The players are learning a lot about teamwork, backing each other up, cheering each other on, and being responsible for their actions, good or bad. They make a great catch… or bobble the ball. They hit a home run… or strike out. They pitch well… they pitch wildly. Sometimes they make a great catch. Sometimes they make the last out. Once in a while, they get hit by the ball, and it smarts. There might be a few tears, but when their coach calls out kindly, “shake it off”, they get up and go on playing. As I sit there on the sidelines, I can’t help but think that spending the summer playing Little League is great preparation for life. Work together as a team, practice, and learn from your mistakes. Give it your all. Encourage each other. It’s fine to be proud when you make a great play, but on those days when the ball hits you, get up, shake it off, and go on. Tomorrow is new inning, a fresh chance to apply all that you’ve learned and try again. Play Ball!
The parking lot replacement is nearly done! Thank you for your patience and perseverance as you dodged cranes and steamrollers on your way in to the Senior Center.
The Fall/Winter Prairie Kitchen Cooking Club classes co-sponsored by Badger Prairie, UW Verona Family Medical Clinic, Hy-Vee, and Verona Senior Center start in August. It’s a great way to find some exciting new recipes for healthy and flavorful meals. If interested, sign up soon! See p. 21 for details.
Verona Senior Center welcomes donations of clean, gently used walkers, wheelchairs, bath seats and other assistive devices. We make them available to individuals who may need them due to illness, surgery, or injury, or for a visiting friend or family member.
We’ve had a few people ask for clarification about the birthday/anniversary meals. City of Verona residents over age 55 and active volunteers at the Verona Senior Center are welcome to enjoy a free meal the month of their birthday/anniversary at our Birthday/Anniversary party. Guests from other communities are always welcome to join us, but they must cover the cost of their meals, even if it is their birthday or anniversary. All are welcome to enjoy the musical program after the luncheon at no cost.
Hopefully by the time you read this, the parking lot and sewer work will be done. The new parking lot will have more disabled parking spots, roomier stalls, paint stripes that are actually visible, safer footing, and better drainage, resulting in improved accessibility for all our visitors. Yes, it has been a long, loud, and dusty process. Thank you for your patience.
Have you tried out our Virtual Reality equipment yet? You can take a tour of the White House, see the view from the Eiffel Tower, go on safari or check out the neighborhood where you grew up. Virtual Reality is amazing and fun. Check the calendar for our Virtual Reality tours or call to set up a time.