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Greetings. I’m mentally on a warm beach, my feet loving the feeling of the warm sand and the feeling the sun on my back, oh so delicious.

I met with a friend yesterday, who is leaving today, for a week’s vacation, with hubby for Cancun. Lucky people.

Having grown up in Southern California, it’s so easy to relate to the beach — feeling I will always miss those wonderful huge beaches, the smell of the ocean, the terrific feeling of well-being, and yes, I must say, I am a little green with envy.

Weren’t you blown away, by the news in the Register recently about the many folks, of all ages, who volunteered and dug in to clean up the trash and graphite that careless people had left behind? I’m sure these lovely people were exhausted when the day was over, but feeling pretty terrific for the differences they were able to make. To once again have a fresh, clean city. Thanks to Hilary Zunin, co-founder of Napa Valley Can-Do for spearheading this great event.

Actually, my neighbor Karen Garcia, not too long ago, did the same thing with a group of her friends. Great job, Karen. I think you’ve started a trend.

Many thanks to all of you volunteers, who help to tidy up our beautiful valley.

Good lesson for all of us, actually. I think I’ll start carrying my own bag, wearing gloves, of course, and picking up the wads of paper, etc. that careless folks, thoughtlessly toss for others to clean up.

OK, let’s get into what’s happening in regard to seniors:

Harriet Dietz, Area Agency on Aging (AAoA) planner, sent me this information because she knows how you like to stay up on what’s happening in the Senior Sector.

I’d especially like for you to understand what AAoA is. It’s a local nonprofit agency that plans and provides services to seniors and their families in both Napa and Solano counties. This is accomplished by their receiving state and federal funding meant for senior service. Then the funds are filtered through AAoAs to various nonprofit services for seniors.

AAoA will soon be holding a forum to update their Area Plan on Aging, which will identify priority needs among seniors and family caregivers. You are all invited to attend and to share your comments, make your recommendations, and in general to speak out as to what your wishes are pertaining to senior services.

To educate yourselves, please pick up a copy of the current four-year area plan on Aging online at aaans.org/area-plan or copies are available at Senior Centers in Napa and St Helena. Or contact Harriett Dietz at hdietz@aaans.org or call her at 707-664-6612, ext, 217.

One forum will be held in Napa, Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Napa Valley Hospice and Adult Day Services, 4145 Jefferson St., or, if it’s more convenient for you, there will also be a forum held on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the AAoA’s Vallejo office, 400 Contra Costa St., Vallejo, from 4 to 6.

In addition to the forums, AAoA will also be holding an informational workshop on Shared Housing.

Please attend and be educated on the problems of housing available to seniors

Mark your calendar for this Wednesday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Queen of the Valley Hospital, Main Conference Rooms 1, 2, & 3.

Shared housing will be discussed as a potential option to help address the need for housing and supportive services for seniors in Napa and Solano counties.

There will be four panelists: 1. Leslie Klor, director, Shared Housing program (Marin County, Episcopal Senior Communities,

2. Amy Appleton, executive director, SHARE of Sonoma County.

3. Pablo Zatarain, interim executive director, Fair Housing Napa Valley.

4. Bob Stalker, managing attorney, Legal Services of Northern California

They will discuss their Shared Housing programs, potential related legal and regulatory issues, and the current state of affordable housing in Napa and Solano counties.

This workshop is primarily for agencies and interested persons in both Napa and Solano Counties

Please RSVP to Tori Campi at 707-643-1797, ext. 316, or by email at tori@aaans.org.

So, thanks to Harriett for sending all this good information, and I hope I’ll get to see you all at one of these functions.

Remember, knowledge is strength, so you owe it to yourselves to learn all you can about the services that are available to you, how your city and your county government addresses the issues of seniors, and if we’re nowhere on the horizon, get out there to their meetings and tell them about it. If that doesn’t work, remember this when election time rolls around.

Yes, I like a good fight when I believe something is unfair and out of balance, and I will put on hose boxing gloves, but only when absolutely necessary.

So, don’t stay home and grumble; get out there and do something about it.

Let’s change what we can, and we can do quite a bit, and when you must, settle, make your adjustments and move on.

We’ll live a lot longer, and enjoy the living, if we can let things go that we have no chance of changing, but fight like heck for the things we have a good chance of changing.

So, after a good fight, I like getting back to smelling the roses, and enjoying this fantastic life.

I hope you feel as I do, and believe, as I do, that we have one whale of a good life, and if we don’t it’s our own fault. None of us knows how much of this amazing life we have so let’s not miss a second of it. Let the good times roll!

Bye for now. Be very kind to one another.

Contact me if you have anything you’d like to share with us. Your thoughts are important. Tell me how you feel.

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Please contact me at bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net

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