I was giving serious thought as to what I wanted to pass along to you this week when I had a perfectly brilliant idea. This perfectly brilliant idea came to be through a conversation with our director Kate while she was suggesting I take a glance at the calendar for March and note some of the different things that were on it. So my perfectly brilliant idea was formed – I'm gonna clue you all and me in on what are the happenings at the center from today until the end of the month.

I was giving serious thought as to what I wanted to pass along to you this week when I had a perfectly brilliant idea. This perfectly brilliant idea came to be through a conversation with our director Kate while she was suggesting I take a glance at the calendar for March and note some of the different things that were on it. So my perfectly brilliant idea was formed – I’m gonna clue you all and me in on what are the happenings at the center from today until the end of the month.

I picked up one of the calendars but then I had to call Val, who sets up the calendar, to fill me in on some of the details for the events that I was looking at.

On Wednesday, March 14 starting at 11 a.m., we are hosting a senior center first … a petting zoo. There will be Nigerian Dwarf Kids (very tiny goats) who are just babies and the picture on the center’s website (www.ShawneeSeniors.org) is just darling. Their owner and “momma” is Miriam Bell (apparently these “babies” look at Ms. Miriam as their mom). As long as they can see her you can talk to them, pet them and generally make you and them happy. At the same time is Ellen Reeves and some of the most cuddly fluffy bunnies you can imagine. They are called “Lion’s Head Rabbits” probably because, in the picture on the website, their heads look kind of like a full grown lion’s head. They would also love to have you come and pay them attention because I understand they love to be held. Ms. Reeves has just come back from a show and, hopefully, she will bring some the ribbons they won. All this will be in the center’s community room.

The next thing I saw was “The Pool Tournament.” It’s March 15 in, of course, the pool room. It starts at 1 p.m. and you can register anytime between now and then on the signup sheet that can be found on the table in the pool/recreation room. Grace Living Center/Rose Manor is sponsoring the tournament and Sherrie Dykes is once again setting it all up. She’s done the last several pool tournaments and everybody really enjoys them whether they win or not. She has prizes and (since St Patrick’s Day is so close) all kinds of “green” food. You can call in to the front desk and give your name and they will add it to the list if you cannot come down to sign. Any questions, you can ask when you come in and someone will have an answer.

One of my favorite legends in Shawnee, Tom Smith, will once again be welcoming all veterans and/or their spouses to the senior center on Thursday, March 22, for the return of the DAV (Disabled American Vets) Van from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you are a veteran of any branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and, of course, Marines) you are eligible to receive benefits from the U.S. government for any injury or illness you may have received while you were an active member of service. Bring your DD214 and they will help you start the claim process or check on the progress of any ongoing claims. Tom Smith is the CSO (Chapter Service Officer) and he and his crew will be there to answer any questions you might have on how to go about setting up a claim, or checking on an existing claim. They can help you to get any information you need to get your claim moving. This is not “charity”; you were in the service, you deserve all the help our government can provide. You don’t need to make an appointment. Tom also wanted me to remind everyone that he has an ongoing sale from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at 412 E. Main in Shawnee to benefit service activities. Tom will also be visiting with “Mike in the Morning” several times over the next few weeks so listen for him!

On March 29, the center is hosting two groups that will be providing free services for seniors.

Tara Martin, attorney, and Terry Martin, paralegal, will be available to answer any questions requiring legal information you may need. Any and all questions and information will be handled privately. Have your questions ready and bring them on down to the center between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma receives funds from COEDD-Area Agency on Aging to assist seniors by preparing a will, implementing a living will and by preparing and a transfer on death deed if needed and powers of attorney. Take advantage and see one of them; if you have a problem they may be able to help you. This is a federal program provided with taxpayer dollars.

Tammy Huston from Dignity Memorial, “Your Legacy” and Resthaven Funeral Home, will also be present March 29 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. She will be providing assistance for anyone who has questions concerning funeral planning their legacy and options for preplanning services.

I’m sure that this has been a lot of information to process and remember for the rest of this month. But I hope you will do what I do, put the time and subject on your calendar, which is on my refrigerator, where it can remind you every day of things you don’t want to miss.

Director Kate Joyce will once again be visiting with “Mike in the Morning” on Wednesday, March 14, at 8:35 a.m. with more information on the “Happenings” at the Shawnee Senior Center. And remember, at the Shawnee Senior Center, “age is just a number,” our website is www.ShawneeSeniors.org, and our Facebook page is “Shawnee Senior Center.”

And, as always, see you at the center!