Have you seen the flowers and trees blooming? Daffodils, Bradford Pears and the rest? And all the trees are starting to pop out in that really beautiful “spring green” color? It’s reported that spring is finally here! So, as you can imagine, my staff and I are hard at work on new things like our Avedis Health Week events:

• The Senior Stroll, which will be on Tuesday, May 28, starting from in front of the Shawnee Municipal Auditorium at about 5:15.

• Tai Chi in the Park will be May 29 in the northeast corner of Woodland Veterans Park (by the tennis courts), with registration 8:30 a.m. then a demo and participation event.

And the events are not just for seniors – they’re for everyone! Bring the family, your neighbor, and the kids. There will be T’s while they last and other treats, along with water and fruit. It’s a really fun way to kick off summer activities.

We also have a lot going on at the senior center – our flowers are starting to pop up – the perennial ones, anyway. Trees, too. And we’ve begun working on our greenhouse so that we can grow veggies, herbs, and, yes, more flowers — because they make our people happy! Fresh dirt in the beds, repairs to wind-damaged fiberglass, the whole shebang! Everyone seems to be ready for spring!

Square Eights Square Dancers held a St. Patty’s Day party on March 9 and left decorations up so the seniors could enjoy them – and they did!

On Friday, April 5 (1 p.m. to whenever we’re done), Shawnee Senior Center will be to hosting a pool tournament to welcome spring – it’s as good an excuse as any! Tournament rules are no cussing and no gambling. There will be trophies, prizes, snacks and beverages. All you have to do is sign up, then show up! Sherrie Dykes from Heartland Home Health and Hospice is the leader of the pack, so I know from last year that it’ll be great fun.

Well, today was Thursday and we have our country and western dance with the Storytime Band. There were more people than normal with lots of dancing, chatting, and listening. The Doggie Spot dropped in with several of their clients and we had a chance to do some puppy petting. Usually we continue working while listening to the band. This week Mary Johnston, Zoretta Mauldin and I had a chance to visit at our front desk and (I’ve been told) you could hear the laughter from one end of the building to the other! Must have been the full moon, or maybe it’s that “Spring was in the air” but the three of us just talked and laughed for a good 30 minutes. It was that rare, vigorous, belly laugh that just kicks up your endorphins, makes others wonder what you’re laughing about – and you sure sleep soundly that night! Now if you know me, you already know I love to laugh and it’s kind-of an enthusiastic laugh. But Mary has volunteered at Shawnee Senior Center for going on seven years and I’ve never heard her laugh that heartily, ever.

There are many times that our seniors in need of assistance and we are able to help them or point them in the direction of the service, so it’s not all fun and games. We help our participants when they are in need of housing, protective orders, medical care, and processing social security applications online. We provide scholarship meals for some of our seniors. Did you know that one in four Oklahoma senior citizens has to choose between medication and meals or rent? I am very proud of my staff. They work hard to provide a home-like and friendly atmosphere for our people but still keep some semblance of order.

Speaking of friendly, we recently made a new friend in CPL Greg VanBrunt. He drops by the center and checks in with us to make sure all is going well. It’s so strange how manners come out when an officer drops in. We sure appreciate you stopping in, Greg.

So you just never know what will happen at Shawnee Senior Center – but whatever it is you can bet you’ll be able to appreciate your day – and maybe even your place in this big ol’ world!

Shawnee Senior Center (where you only have to 50 or “better” to play!) is located at 401 N. Bell Street, attached to the east end of the municipal auditorium.

I hope you join Mike Askins and I when we will be chatting on KGFF, FM100.9. Wednesday morning at 8:35.

So until then, see you at the center!