Here in Rim Country, we are feeling the effects of Katrina and Rita, mainly in higher gasoline and grocery prices. However, I had a more visible reminder while grocery shopping. Looking for our favorite brand of coffee, I was astounded to find the coffee shelves almost empty. Thinking the store might have moved the display, I asked a clerk, who explained that most of the coffee in this country comes through the port of New Orleans, which, of course, was completely ravaged by the Terrible Two. Puts things in a whole different perspective, and certainly makes one more empathetic toward those who lost everything and are unable to obtain even the basics of life.
October's bright blue weather is upon us. I've often said that Arizona has the most beautiful blue skies anywhere, and on these fall days, it seems to be outdoing itself.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, also National Car Care, Clock, Dessert, Vegetarian Awareness and Pizza Month. Oct. 5 is Do Something Nice Day, and the month also celebrates Bologna Day on the 24th and my favorite, Chocolate Day, on the 28th. Full moon is the 17th.
Payson Senior Center
The Senior Center, 514 W. Main Street, will be open for regular activities and lunch on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 10.
Blood sugar and blood pressure testing will be done from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the Center. This is done on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no charge. If you are having a blood sugar check, you must fast from the previous evening.
Penn Life Insurance Company will be at the Center at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 13 to discuss Medicare changes to include the drug prescription program.
Legal help for seniors is available Oct. 18 beginning at 10 a.m. People needing assistance are asked to preregister at the greeting desk in the Center lobby. This service is offered on a donation basis.
Paul Andrews is beginning a new computer class, to be held Monday mornings, upstairs at the center. Registration is available at the dispatch desk.
The birthday celebration for those with birthdays this month will be held at noon Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Registered Nurse Betty Pontious will do pedicures on Wednesday throughout the month. Please preregister at the greeting desk.
Senior Center activities offer a number of card games during the week, including bridge, canasta, pinochle and hand and foot; the Old Time Music Makers meet at 9 a.m. Mondays; aerobics are held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays, wood carving on Thursday afternoons and other activities also are scheduled throughout the week. For information about any of the above, call (928) 474-4876 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Senior Thrift Store, at 512 W. Main St., has an extensive collection of Christmas cards, cookie tins, decorations, trees and other items for sale at very reasonable prices. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Volunteers are needed to work a minimum of four hours a week, in a number of positions. For information, call Marian Barber at (928) 474-3205.
Payson Regional Senior Circle
The Senior Circle will be closed Monday, Oct. 10, for Columbus Day. There will be no "Doc Talk" program this month.
Senior Circle members may be eligible for a 15 percent discount on long-term health insurance during October. Local agent Tom Russell will provide information and consultation regarding new or existing long-term coverage. Call 1-888-522-6484 and leave your name and phone number on the toll-free message line.
The October volunteers' luncheon will be held Oct. 14 at the Mazatzal Casino. For information, call (928) 472-9290 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Pine/Strawberry SCAF and Thrift Store
The next blood sugar/blood pressure screening will be done from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Pine Community Center on Highway 87. The free service is offered by the Gila County Health Department on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is needed. Beginning in November, the tests will be offered the fourth Thursday of each month. For information, call (928) 476-2151. Those who wish to be tested do not need to be seniors or members of SCAF.
The monthly potluck dinners will not be held during the winter months, but will resume in May.
Check the thrift store for weekly sales of selected merchandise. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Thought for the day: Wrinkles should merely show where smiles have been.