During the 12 years we lived in the Philippines, weathering the storms that hit during typhoon season became almost routine.
With advance warning we were able to fill water barrels and stock up on lamp kerosene in anticipation of days without running water or electricity.
Families in flood zones moved furnishings (including pianos) to the top floors of their houses, and students and teachers at the international school where I taught started packaging emergency bags of food rations, toiletries and medical supplies for distribution to nearby squatters whose makeshift shacks would be blown away.
The last Category 5 typhoon we experienced before returning to the States filled many of our neighbors’ homes with 21 feet of water.
In tribal areas, whole nipa hut villages were washed away. Some of our church friends with relatives in the provinces lost family members whose bodies were never found, most likely washed out to sea.
Our school faculty and student body spent weeks helping shovel three feet of mud from streets in the surrounding community and collecting debris to load onto the government dump trucks grinding through city neighborhoods.
Through the years we have witnessed incredible damage and loss of life from typhoons.
But the one that hit the Visayas, and particularly Tacloban, during the past week is the worst I’ve ever seen.
It is hard for most of us to even imagine the destructive force that has virtually destroyed that area. My thoughts and prayers are with the thousands of people who have experienced such devastating loss.
In contrast, our Texas weather has been pleasantly refreshing lately.
Nothing seems to interrupt the continual buzz of activity at the Senior Center.
On any given day you may find our participants exercising, practicing Spanish conversation or computer skills, line dancing, playing games, or enjoying any of dozens of offerings in our weekly schedule.
Our monthly movie next Monday evening, Nov. 18, will be “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” starring Jacqueline Bisset. Beginning at 6 p.m. we’ll serve a free soup and salad supper to eat while you watch.
Everyone is welcome to join us.
The Senior Center will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29, for the Thanksgiving holiday. But on Wednesday the 27th we will serve a Thanksgiving meal at lunchtime, complete with turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce. Dessert and salad that day will be potluck. If you plan to join us, make your reservation early before we reach our attendance capacity.
At 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, the Senior Center will host its first in-house Variety Show, just for the fun of it.
This is not a contest, but merely a showcase for those who would like to share their talents.
If you enjoy entertaining others by dancing, singing, reciting poetry, performing magic, comedy routines, or any other kinds of wholesome fun, call us at (940) 325-6470 or stop by the reception desk to sign up.
On Tuesday, Dec. 10, our noon meal will feature Holiday Foods from Around the World.
We invite those who are familiar with customs and foods from other countries to participate in this international food feast by decorating a table with a national theme and/or preparing a dish to share from another country.
Anyone who brings food will eat free that day.
Again, call or stop by to sign up for the Holidays Around the World Food Fair.
We would like to see a variety of countries represented.
Here’s another heads-up for a coming event. Santa will be in the building for our annual Breakfast with Santa pancake fundraiser on Saturday morning, Dec. 14, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
A photographer will be on hand for anyone who’d like to pose for photos with Santa Claus. Children will receive a treat from Santa’s bag. Some of our seniors will also display their handcrafts for sale that morning.
If you have handmade goods to sell, call or stop by the center to sign up for a vending table, free to anyone age 50 or over.
We’d like to shout out our thanks to the Wash House car wash for hosting a fundraiser for us last Saturday, and to the many people who came out to support it.
We are continually grateful to the folks in our community who pitch in to keep our center running.
During this time of year when we count our blessings and share compassion with those less fortunate, we hope the Senior Center will be a place to find joy and friendship as we seek to identify and meet the needs of older adults in our community.
Let us know how we can become a blessing in your life.