Changes All Around Rim Country

SENIOR MOMENTS

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Who is it that said "Change is Inevitable"? So it seems around Payson lately -- a new Home Depot, new gardening center at Wal-Mart, new Senior Apartments going up on Tyler Parkway. Not to be left behind, the Senior Circle at 215 N. Beeline Highway, and the Senior Citizens' Center thrift store at 512 W. Main St., are undergoing changes as well.

Remodeling which began in January at the Senior Circle has created a warm atmosphere, with a separate classroom divided from the main meeting space. A side area has an inviting table and chairs for cards, coffee klatches, or just visiting. A snack bar will soon be open serving beverages and light refreshments. Likewise, there will be a computer room with five computers for members' use at no charge. The reception area has been rearranged and decorated in pleasant colors.

But one of the biggest changes is the opening of "The Cottage" a delightful little gift shop in the northeast corner of the building, just inside the east entrance off the parking lot.

This is the "baby" of Sherri Gray, who was employed in quality assurance at the hospital, and now also serves as Senior Circle Volunteer and Gift Shop Coordinator. No novice to the business, Sherri is well known in Rim country, having owned "The Cottage" in Pine, and managed space in Abigail's Antiques on Main Street in Payson. She brings many years of experience to the new "Cottage" at the Senior Circle.

Her expertise is obvious in the quality and diversity of merchandise available at The Cottage.

"We offer merchandise that is made in America," she emphasizes.

The Cottage is the only gift store in town to offer Salt City Candles, a high-quality, unique product. She also carries made-in-USA soaps, walking sticks, jewelry and wreaths. The floral arrangements she does herself, and will design custom-made ones as well. She raves about her line of Republic of Teas, which includes such tempting blends as rose tea, ginger-peach, blackberry sage, Alpine flowers, and a blueberry blend that Sherri claims makes the best iced tea ever.

"Occasionally, we will have tea-tasting parties, with different blends and flavors featured," she says.

One of her favorite parts of the job is talking to customers about the products she carries.

"I like to educate them on things like the proper burning of candles, or that they can use our dill mix with melted butter over salmon on the grill," she explains. "Educated customers are happy customers."

While the Senior Circle offers an extensive line of health and wellness books for sale, The Cottage features an attractive selection of cookbooks, either plain, or with a set of decorative and useful measuring spoons attached.

The Senior Circle had a Sixth Anniversary Open House last week to show off the newly renovated facility and introduce The Cottage to the community, but a larger grand opening is planned for June when the final touches are in place.

Hours of The Cottage are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Volunteers are needed for four-hour shifts and persons who regularly volunteer will receive free membership in Senior Circle. For information, call Sherri during business hours at (928) 472-9290.

Payson Senior Center

There will be a Pancake Breakfast in the Senior Center Dining Room, 514 W. Main St., from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 23. A full breakfast of bacon, scrambled eggs, pancakes, orange juice and coffee will be served for $3.50 per person. No reservations are needed and all ages are welcome.

The Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, for the 12th Annual Cruisin' on Main Street Classic Car Show. Marsha Cauley, Director, reminds everyone that the parking lot will be closed, and there is no traffic allowed on Main Street that day. Free shuttles will run from Green Valley Park throughout the day. Complimentary light refreshments will be served in the Center Dining Room.

Lots of changes also at the Senior Thrift Store, now re-named Changing Hands Thrift Store. The shop is undergoing extensive renovation and refurbishing, and will be closed May 4 through May 6 to complete the work. New hours already are in effect: the store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Manager Marian Barber reminds patrons that proceeds from the thrift store continue to benefit the Senior Center and its programs for the elderly of the community.

There will be a table of free books outside the store to coincide with the Pancake Breakfast on April 23. Come and help yourself to the free books, and then peek inside to see what is being done to update and upgrade the shop.

The store will be open April 30 also, during the Classic Car Show.

Volunteers are needed to work various shifts in the Thrift Store. A minimum of four hours a week is required. For information, call Marian at (928) 474-3205.

Words to live by: Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have.

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