Betty

Hi, come on in. Let’s get comfy and talk about feel good stuff.

I’m going to steal a word from the wonderful meditation master teacher, Dr. James Keolker. At his most recent meditation class at Rianda House in St. Helena, he suggested we think about the word, “gratitude,” and what it means to us.

It’s such a beautiful word, and it’s been on my mind ever since my class with Dr. Keolker.

So, let’s think about the word, what it means, and who or what we feel gratitude toward.

Thinking of the word, gratitude, I think of my husband, Tom, who died more than 20 years ago, but we still ‘hang out’ occasionally. We chat about the children; he nudges me occasionally, if on a rare day, I happen to get the blues.

Tom taught the children and me much about gratitude: to be grateful for the kindness in people, to never knowingly hurt someone with a word or deed. To always do your share of the work when there is a task to be done. To work together. “No one has a free ride in life, always do, at least, your share. Be a giver; never a taker.”

He was truly a lovely man and of course his wonderful personality, giving nature and sense of fun live on in our children.

In addition to Tom and our children and their children, I feel gratitude for all members of my family, my brother, Norm, his wife, Sue, and their family, and for my very dear friends, all with the traits I so love: generosity, kindness, compassion and a great sense of humor.

I have gratitude for the various organizations that I belong to. I must say that I’ve enjoyed and gotten the most pleasure from getting out into the community and becoming a part of the action. The side benefits are that you meet some amazing people, who might possibly become your best friends. Without friends, this would be a dreary life indeed.

I notice that there are openings in several Napa County advisory committees, commissions and boards. It’s tons of fun to be in on the action of our wonderful cities and county.

The openings are with the following committees: Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano Counties; Napa County Commission on Aging; Napa County Mental Health Board and Napa County Housing Commission. Just contact the County Clerk of the Board webpage.

If this isn’t your thing, how about volunteering as a driver for Molly’s Angels or other worthy organizations helping seniors, or helping teach children to read?

The feed-back from helping others is hard to describe. Maybe you’ve gotten out of the habit. Please try again. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the joy you will feel.

I must share one more huge gratitude that I feel, and that is the privilege of writing our Senior Corner. My gratitude goes to my boss, Features Editor Sasha Paulsen and to Editor Sean Scully. Thank you both. You allow us to feel good about being the senior generation and that you believe that our discussions are useful and helpful for seniors.

I’d like to give one shout out to Dr. Keolker, whom we borrowed the word, gratitude from today. If you think that learning about or returning to meditation might be something that you would be interested in, we have a flyer of two meditation classes coming up soon, both in St. Helena at Rianda House, 1475 Main St., next door to the post office.

Winter Solstice Meditation for seniors is on Friday, Dec. 15, at 9:30 a.m. There will be a seasonal singing bowl concert in addition to meditation. It’s not too soon to think about New Years. On Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m. come to: New Year! New Ways to Meditate! Begin 2018 with fresh, new meditation techniques. To make reservations, call 707-963-8555.

As always, I’ve enjoyed your good company, and I hope that you will jot down a few things that make your lives great fun and send it in. It’s all about sharing.

Please join me in giving to the many folks who have lost everything from the fires and need our help. No matter the amount. We are giving what we can. One good contact would be Napa Valley Community Foundation, napavalleycf.org. They represent several different groups and you can just tell them where you want your contributions to go. ‘Tis the season, and there are so many folks who need our help this year. Give what you can. It all helps.

Until next week, smile and make someone’s day.

Remember, this is our column, so I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and ideas. bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net

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