It's spring finally. I hope it's true this time and I'm glad we're not in the north! Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, within and without. Our flowering trees have been magnificent, and redbud season seems to be so short.

It’s spring finally. I hope it’s true this time and I’m glad we’re not in the north! Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, within and without. Our flowering trees have been magnificent, and redbud season seems to be so short. Blooming can be a slow, graceful occurrence with the anticipated blossom taking forever (or so it seems) or “BOOM” you’re a flower!

For us at Shawnee Senior Center, it was a process of slow growth, planning and getting to know and trust each other so we could grow together, planning the road ahead. In placemaking, the goal is to live in a place that you love and make it the best place for as many people as possible. Shawnee is becoming that place — walkable sidewalks and spaces, a downtown experiencing a rebirth, businesses opening up all over town, new housing popping up everywhere.

We are still in a growth position at the Shawnee Senior Center. Our building rentals are increasing, I think due in part to you who are reading this column. We are a public service facility providing all kinds of activities for persons 50 years of age and better. Fitness classes, specific to fall and injury prevention, have saved the lives of some of the people who come here. Our veterans’ wall is growing as our new patrons come into the center. It is now approximately 100 feet long and filled with photos of loved ones and persons who have been participants here. We even have a couple of family sections!

Loneliness is the greatest cause of death among humans. It knows no boundaries, crossing all demographic lines. It is our goal to reduce loneliness by offering opportunities for social interaction in a friendly, homelike, environment where people can relax and get to know each other — though some seem to know everyone already! There are so many social activities at the center: billiards (or pool), card games, the fitness classes, of course, lunch, country and western music and dancing, gospel singing, crocheting, quilting, mini-health checks and so much more. There is the occasional call to 911, but better with us than home alone. And we have a defibrillator and know how to use it, and almost our entire staff is CPR and First Aid trained.

Come break bread with us. Our schedule of events and menu are posted on our website at shawneeseniors.org. Or check us out on Facebook, Shawnee Senior Center.

Our goal is to live better together longer! Shawnee Senior Center is like a little piece of home and we’d love to share it with you. Shawnee Senior Center (where you only have to 50 or “better” to play!), 401 N. Bell Street, is 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!