Greetings, friends.

Let’s take a look at the new City of Napa Parks & Recreation Services, Recreation Guild for Winter/Spring 2018. It’s chock full of wonderful programs for seniors as well as children and adults.

The Napa Senior Center is run by the City of Napa Parks and Recreation Services Department, and they do an amazing job. There is an Instructor Spotlight article in this Guild on Julie Webster, who teaches “Essentrics with Julie” and “Essentrics Aging Backwards.”

I strongly recommend that you stop by the Napa Senior Center and pick up a copy of the Recreation Guild. Not only to learn more about Julie, which would be worth the trip alone, but to check out the outstanding classes available. We’ll talk about those in just a moment, but first a few words on Julie. I’m one of several students taking her Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes, at 8:30 am. I feel years younger when I leave her class, with more energy and flexibility.

Julie invites us local folks to take the first class free to see how we like it. In the catalog on pages 30 and 42 you will find more information, plus you can visit Julie’s website, at julie-webster.com. I strongly urge you to take advantage of these wonderful classes.

There is another article I believe you would enjoy on page 44 titled, “Loneliness and Isolation. How the Senior Center Can Help.” Maybe you know someone who would benefit from reading this article. The Senior Center is there to help adults 50 and over.

There are many free programs to members of the Senior Center. If you are not currently a member of Napa Senior Center, the volunteers will be happy to help show you how to become a member.

These free programs all sound like great fun: Brain Games; Pinochle; Mexican Train Dominoes; Bocce Ball Lessons; Cribbage, Mah Jongg for both beginners and intermediates and Tai-Chi-Moving for Better Balance.

There is a charge on other activities, but well worth the cost. I was pleased to read that a friend of mine, Hank Zwetsloot who paints beautifully, will be teaching Beginning Painting again this year.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the many wonderful classes available at the Center. One that I’m especially interested in attending is TAAP Cell Phone, Tablet, Laptop Seminar, and guess what? It is also free.

Other exciting Seminars coming up are:

Friday, Feb. 2, is Coffee with Mayor Jill Techel at the City Hall Council Chambers at 9 a.m.;

Napa’s History, with City Councilmember Scott Sedgley on March 2, also at 9 a.m. at the Native Sons of the Golden West Hall. Scott Sedgley is also Napa County Historical Society board president.

On Friday, April 6, Napa Valley Genealogy Society volunteers will speak about how to go about exploring our own family tree.

Some information on the Napa Valley Dining Club: Lunch is served Monday through Friday in the dining room of the Senior Center from 11:30 to 12:30, courtesy of CANV congregate meal program. It is suggested that you make reservations 24 hours in advance at 707-253-6111. Suggested donation is $3.

Again, you must have a Senior Center membership card in order to attend the free classes. It’s very simple, just ask the front desk staff for an application.

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Registration is required for all classes, including the free ones.

The City of Napa also offers local and out of town day trips as part of the Cultural and Enrichment Program. A few of the trips in store this year are: Red Hawk Casino in Placerville; Bouquets to Art at De Young Museum in San Francisco; the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and Torch Songs of WWII at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.

Trips depart from the Napa Senior Center, 1500 Jefferson St. Stop by the Napa Senior Center and pick up a copy of the new Recreation Guild, as well as the AGE OUT LOUD monthly Senior Center programs.

So, today has been about checking out our Napa Senior Center. You will be amazed at the changes that are taking place. Plus, in a few months, a very exciting remodeling will begin for our 30-plus-year-old building. There is a wonderful energy when you enter the center now. There’s a volunteer at the front desk, welcoming you and helping direct you. There is fresh coffee, popcorn, etc. It’s becoming a very inviting ‘second home’ for seniors. Drop by and check it out.

You won’t want to miss the Board of Supervisors celebration, honoring Napa County’s centenarians. This will mark the seventh annual celebration, and will be held at the Napa Senior Activity Center. If you happen to know someone who is or will be a centenarian by Jan. 30, please contact Board of Supervisor Aide Michael Karath at 707-299-1477 or MichaelKarath@countyofnapa.org

Names are requested even if the centenarian cannot attend the recognition ceremony. I understand that there are a few folks older than 100, and one is still driving. There is hope for us older seniors! I hope to see you all at the ceremony.

Remember that we want to keep learning and growing. Sometimes, we need to push ourselves a bit, but life is much too exciting to just let it drift by. Hop on that moving vehicle, keep learning and keep living the good life.

You are exciting doers, I know that you are. Keep on growing and learning and taking care of yourselves by eating healthy, thinking good thoughts and being grateful for the wonderful lives that we enjoy. See you soon.

Betty Rhodes is a senor advocate who lives in Napa. Reach her at: bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net

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