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Two Old Ladies for July 9, 2009

­Mining for

valuable jewels in Huerfano County

    Jewel mining is ongoing at the Senior Lunch Time at Walsenburg Community Center on Russell and 10th Streets.  A good-sized group of older adults meets at 12 noon Monday through Friday to talk and eat.

    Yvette, a chef of magical qualities, creates tasty basic nutritious meals for a suggested donation of $2  ($4 for youngsters under 60).  We enjoy the meals; Greta waits in the car for her specially gathered tidbit.  One of our friends recently dove into the trash can to make sure Greta had a high protein snack.  Yvette has leftover bits of doggie delight if the need arises.  Yvette needs to know by 9 am the morning you wish to try lunch – before if possible.  Call 738-2205 for a reservation so that all are served amply.

    Each diner brings abundant stories – the jewels of a lifetime.  Just like any mining, pulling these tales from the diners may take effort.  Many are reserved and modest.  Others are bursting to remember and share.  Experiences can be homespun or breathtaking – or both!  You could hear stories about life in a mining town, milking cows before school, travels through the world, Walsenburg history, military experiences, Southwestern history, Spanish history, home-making in the past, history of our schools and methods of teaching, local church history, herbal healing, herbs for cooking, the development of Huerfano County, calf roping, mining conditions – the subjects are endless.

    Ranchers, miners, teachers, nurses, movers, businessmen and women, workers and homemakers – all can give you a story of merit.  Many have military experiences.  Some boast of four or five generations of family having lived in this area.  The main ethnic groups in Huerfano County are Hispanic, Caucasian and Italian, and senior diners have first-hand access to differences and similarities among the cultures.

    Bragging?  Oh, yes.  Adult children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, bestow stories to share with wide smiles and pictures –first their birth and then the years of growth, family activities, and achievements as well as simple play times.  Diners talk about adventures in their lives and in their ancestors’ lives.  Diners can share and admire peer art and crafts.  They can say in unison, “We are good, and we are valuable!”

    Gripes?  You betcha!  Older people are experiencing death of peers, multiple physical handicaps, pain, disillusionment, memory loss, fear, financial hardships . . . .  This is a time for sharing solutions and hardships as well as offering group compassion and understanding.  Life can be overwhelming; sharing helps.  Existing as an elder is a precarious occupation.

    The Council of Governments, which organizes and finances the lunch, also sponsors events for the older set – dances, picnics, trips, computer classes, entertainment, Blackhawk accessibility, trips to the theater – jewels of another sort for stories of the present.  Last year our Storytelling Event went over big. Any current diner or story-miner may create a small-group storytelling gathering for maximum story-mining opportunities.  Just set a time and date.  How about storytelling with tape recorder or video camera?

    People perks are plentiful at the lunch site.  Mining for stories produces gems for family, friends, and storytellers alike.  Come hungry and prepared to mine valuable verbal jewels.