I must admit that I am finding 2014 very much like 2013! As always, I didn’t make any resolutions for the new year because I either never keep them or I forget what I resolved. So, the new year is just an opportunity for me to continue on with my life and hope that all will be well. I don’t quite understand what is actually happening in Washington with our elected representatives in the Senate and the House but I just hope that some of them will remember why they are there – it’s not just to feather their own nests and figure out how to get re-elected year after year.
Rather than dwell on the behaviors of others and have it ruin my daily life, I am going to think about the good things and how I can make life better for those that I am in contact with. Which brings to mind something that I told you about several months ago. In the Mad River Valley, we have a group of people who decided to offer a new and wonderful opportunity for anyone and everyone to get together for a free community dinner. Well, let me tell you that Vince and Diane were the ones who spearheaded this idea and saw it through. And what happened was the idea of a community dinner took wings, and with the help of the United Church of Christ (the big white church in Waitsfield village) who donated their big basement room and kitchen, the dinner actually happened! What transpired was that it was such a good idea and so well received, the dinner will be held on the last Friday of every single month.
Now, I have lived in Waitsfield for over 52 years and lately, as I grew older, I really missed the camaraderie that I loved about the Valley. I know that part of what I missed was because I no longer have children in school and because I am now older and no longer involved in many of the activities in the Valley. When I was younger I was very involved in almost everything, and this involvement gave me the opportunity to know everyone and feel very engaged in the community. But as I grew older, my involvement became less and less. And I really missed it! Right now, if I go into the local grocery store, I know no one. And no one knows me either. What a tremendous change that is!
So, Malcolm and I decided to go the first Community Dinner and see who would be there and how it would go. To my surprise, it was an opportunity for me to greet and see almost everyone I ever knew! We enjoyed ourselves so much that when we got home, we marked it on our calendar so when the last Friday of the next month came around, we wouldn’t forget to go. Not only was the food delicious and plentiful, it was a chance to reconnect with all the people that I haven’t seen in a long, long time.
Now, the reason that I am telling you about this dinner is because I think that there are elders like me all over the State of Vermont who would love to have the opportunity to have a good dinner at no cost to them (unless you want to make a donation at the door) and to get together with old acquaintances and friends. Actually, I do think that it is an opportunity for us to meet many of the new people who have moved to the Valley. For them it is an opportunity to meet those who they might not meet on a daily basis. And for many of them this type of get together is a new and interesting way to participate in an old-fashioned Vermont evening.
Think about it, all it takes is someone like Vince and Diane. Who can get a group of friends together and plan a dinner and evening of community to any and all citizens of their town. And it doesn’t have to be just an opportunity for seniors. Oh, no, it should be a time for any and all members of the town to enjoy each other for no reason at all, except fun. So, think about it and figure out how you and your friends can make it happen. And you can actually make a difference in 2014.