Autumnal Equinox Signals Cooler Nights

SENIOR MOMENTS

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Tomorrow marks the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox. On this date, day and night at the equator are of equal time. The sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west.

The ancients believed the gods guided the sun across the sky, and the equinox held a rich place in their traditions. The Mayans constructed their great pyramid of Chichen Itza so that on the equinox, a ribbon of sunlight falls on the steep stairs, resembling a giant snake moving on the staircase. The Anasazi in Chaco Canyon made a hole between boulders so that the equinox sun could send a shaft of light in the shape of a dagger to the wall opposite.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the equinox ushers in the fall and winter seasons when our daylight grows shorter and nights require a cozy comforter.

September is Baby Safety, National Chicken, Jazz, Little League, Mushroom, Children's Good Manners, Ethnic Food and Healthy Aging Month. Oh, yes, it is also Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month, so be sure to send lots of good thoughts our way.

Payson Senior Circle

AARP, in conjunction with the Senior Circle, offers a Driver Safety Program to improve seniors' driving skills. This is a two-day, eight-hour class which may qualify attendees for an insurance discount. Classes are held periodically throughout the year. For information about the next scheduled session, call (928) 468-1012.

A number of one- to three-day trips are being offered by Senior Circle and Arko Free Spirit Tours. These include Kartchner Caverns, Oct. 22; Laughlin and More, Oct. 14-15; Sonoran Desert Hot Air Balloon Expedition, Oct. 16; Rocky Point, Mexico, Oct. 28-29, and Fountain Hills Little Ole Wine Maker, You, Nov. 4. For information about any of the above excursions, call (888) 278-5547.

P/S SCAF

Volunteers are always welcome at the Pine Thrift Store. Various shifts and days are available. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For information, call (928) 476-4633 during store hours.

Payson Senior Center

Betty Pontious, R.N., will pamper your feet. A 20- to 30-minute session includes soaking, toenails cut and filed, foot massage, and polish, if desired. She will be at the Senior Center on Wednesdays by appointment, and also at the Powell House Assisted Living on selected dates. Fee for a single session is $20. You may also make an appointment with her to come to your home for $25. To schedule an appointment, call (928) 595-0183.

The Senior Center offers transportation for seniors in Payson between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. weekdays, except for Thursdays, when the service is available only until noon. Cost for a round trip from your home to any point in Payson is $4. Advance reservations are requested and may be made by calling (928) 474-4876. The vans are wheelchair accessible.

Check out the fall merchandise being displayed at the Senior Thrift Store, 512 W. Main Street. Hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Best wishes to Elizabeth Kolostow, who has been in charge of the Thrift Store's book department for the past two years. Elizabeth has retired because of health problems.A warm welcome to Zelda McWiggins, who is the new Book Lady. Zelda has ambitious plans to make the book section more attractive and easier to shop while offering a wide variety of books at very reasonable prices.

If you never have tasted fresh mozzarella cheese, you've missed a special treat -- but not to worry. Just be at Bashas' at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. Chef Gerardo Moceri of Cucina Paradiso will demonstrate the art of making and serving fresh mozzarella. There will be samples for all. There is no charge for the program.

Thought for the day: Those who say it can't be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it.

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