In 2004 my husband Bob and I started our grand adventure and it was called retirement.
Our daughter told us about a small friendly town in northern Wyoming that promised to be just what we were looking for. With the beautiful mountains and plenty of cool clean air it sounded like heaven to two people who wanted to escape from the smog and heat of our present home in Phoenix, Ariz.
So, we sold our home, said our goodbyes to all our friends and moved to Sheridan. What we didn’t know was all the other things that were going to make our new life truly the quality time we wanted. We now had time to read, take long walks and get to know each other again.
As Bob is a veteran, we were happy to find the Veterans Affairs Medical Center facility available and so close at hand. What a beautiful and historic setting and much more efficiently run than the other VA facilities he had dealt with in the past.
On one of our long walks we discovered the Sheridan Senior Center. Coming from Phoenix, a hot spot for retirees, we thought we knew what a senior center was all about and I for one thought I was not old enough to be interested. However, we found that they had a regular morning pool game and Bob’s face lit up at the prospect of getting back into playing pool. So, in we went to find out a little more about pool. As we walked in, looking lost; we were greeted and shown the pool room as well as a tour of the rest of the building. We were surprised at all the well-organized community services offered in addition to the many activities.
It’s now nine years that Bob and I have lived in Sheridan and we have the Senior Center to thank for introducing us to many new friends of all ages. I’m proud to say that I am now a part of the SheridanAires choir, play ping pong three times a week and have taken up pool myself. I would not want to leave out one of the most important assets of the Senior Center and that is the staff; always cheerful, ready to help and knowledgeable as to how to administer that help. Sometimes it’s fun to just sit back and watch them recognize someone who might need a smile to brighten their day, or to be put in touch with the right services to make their life easier. We are a very lucky community to have them.
I am surprised that more people don’t utilize all that is offered at the center to help them stay active and healthy.
There is Tai Chi, cards, dancing, singing, ping pong, pool, crafts, painting and on and on. Or, how about just coming in to have a good lunch and visit with old and new friends? There are also opportunities to help our community by volunteering.
I know Bob and I made a wise choice choosing Sheridan for our new home. We try to stay involved and we play a lot. What more could you ask for?
Guest columnist Jacky Jones will be competing in the pool and ping pong events at the upcoming 2013 Senior Olympics in Casper. Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.