Senior couple holding balloons 2020 on New Year day

Good morning, fellow seniors. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I believe, and I’m sure that you do as well, that it’s very important for us to stop every now and then and take stock of our lives. What brings us joy and happiness, what are we, truly, thankful for.

For instance, I am so very thankful for my sweet family, and my dear friends, and the life that I enjoyed as a wife and that I enjoy as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother. In addition, I’m very thankful to be writing our Senior Corner for you. In addition, I’m very lucky in having a great boss, Sasha Paulsen, who I learn much from. These are the things that I’m thankful for. How about you? Why don’t you let me know so we can write about what you are thankful for in 2019 and do it again in 2020.

I know that you all, probably, feel the same. Life is pretty much what we chose to make it, isn’t it? If you have an occasionally ‘blue day’ do what I do. My grandson Brian Dodd has, miraculously, arranged for there to be music throughout my condo. I love jazz and the blues and play it all day long when I’m home.

Looking forward to our new year, 2020 and planning what goals we’ll be setting, learning from our mistakes, and starting with a clean slate always thrills me. I rarely reach all my goals, but, if you have a plan, you have a good chance of reaching at least a few of them. I happen to have lost a few very good friends this year. Would love for that not to have happened, but it did bring home the fact that if we want to accomplish something in 2020, we’d better not dilly dally.

One of my major goals on my “New Adventure list for 2020” is to have more fun, experiment with new ideas, to take advantage of the great programs and activities we have at our Napa Senior Center, for instance. It’s thrilling for me to just walk through the doors of the newly remodeled center.

My “New Adventures List” for 2020 is going to include some of the amazing activities at our Napa Senior Center.

It was a real “turn on” to read the new City of Napa Parks & Recreation’s Winter/Spring Recreation Guild. In addition to the amazing classes offered and the delicious meals served five days a week, is a huge new, exciting world of art. On Page 23, we learn that the City, the Parks and Recreation Department are the new curators of the public art program for Napa.

(I’m such a fan of our Parks & Rec Department Director John Coates. He hit the ground running when he was hired just a few years ago. Every little piece of land in the City of Napa, seems to have new greenery, our parks are lovelier than I’ve ever seen them. While getting to work, immediately on our parks, he also began hiring amazing people for each of his departments. So, the following good news about the arts, is all coming together because of our super good luck in having John at the helm, along with the terrific people he has hired.)

So now, Parks & Rec. is “Shining a Light on Art!”

Quoted from the new Guild, “The Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to share with you these exciting upcoming projects. We are in the final stages of planning the third annual Napa Lighted Art Festival, which will take place on January 11–19, 2020.” It will be on Monday through Thursday 6 to 9 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 6 to 10 p.m. Location: Downtown Napa & Oxbow District)

“Due to the success of last year the City of Napa recently received the prestigious Helen Putman Award for Excellence by the League of California Cities for Economic Development through the arts. This upcoming year will be filled with more exciting international artists and dynamic artwork. New Tech High School Digital Lab will be returning this year to create another installation. The teacher, Lisa Gottfried, and a few of the students, traveled to Finland in November to receive 100 Global Innovations in Education award for their installation in last year’s festival.” Very exciting!

In addition, there is the Roundabout Public Art Project. More from the new Guild: “The Public Art Steering Committee is reviewing the scope of work and defining the art project for when the roundabouts at California and 1st Street have been completed. The project is funded with the Public Art Fund in conjunction with the City’s Public Art Ordinance. In addition, the city of Napa created a Public Art Master Plan in 2014 to help identify goals and priorities for the public Art Fund. Gateways and roundabouts were identified in the plan as a top priority to enhance the character of Napa and further develop our community’s identity.”

Also, there is the Senior Center Public Art. The new Public Art Coordinator, Meredith Nevard, is working on three projects at the newly renovated Senior Center. The first will be a permanent outdoor sculpture in the courtyard between the two main building. From Meredith we learn, “In addition, there will be two opportunities for 2-D temporary art. The first will be the community hallway gallery. Nonprofits and community programs will have the opportunity to highlight artwork from Napa Valley for a 6-month period. Lastly, the Maple Room will have a call for artists who are 50+ years old and reside in Napa County to showcase 3-5 high quality 2-D artwork also for 6 months. We are thrilled to expand the number of opportunities for creative adults to celebrate the arts in this beautiful facility.”

More Fun Activities

How about discovering our beautiful parks and open spaces? For instance, hike to the summit of 1) Westwood Hills and enjoy the panoramic views of Napa and the Bay. 10) Visit heritage Park in downtown Napa to see if you can spot a beaver. Look at the base of the trees along the creek bank to check for recent beaver activity. Page 57, of the new Recreation Guild, lists 10 “Hidden Gems” of our Parks and Open Spaces. We’ve only written about 1 and 10)

I’ll probably wait until spring but want to check them all out. The Recreation Guild also has a parks map on page 55.

You might want to stop by the Napa Senior Center, 1500 Jefferson St. and pick up a copy of this Winter/Spring Recreation Guide.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited about our New Year of 2020. It even looks good in print.

Folks, please drop me a line on a few of items on your New Adventures List for 2020.

Have a wonderful week. Always a pleasure meeting with you.

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Betty Rhodes is active on the Napa County Commission on Aging, as well as the Senior Advisory Commission. Reach her at bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net