By Sally Gracie
As warm temperatures have lingered until this week, the lavender has re-bloomed and a shrub has scattered pink blossoms. The black-eyed Susans haven’t given up the ghost, and a geranium has a new bud. I could have brought it indoors. I feel we gave up summer here in the valley, so I’m finding it especially difficult to give in to winter this year.
Chicken pot pie was on the menu Monday (Nov. 10) at the Methow Valley Senior Center. I was the 30th and final person to be served by Donna Cotner, the popular cook who has been preparing meals at the center for three years. Meals are always “colorful” and “really tasty,” according to one diner.
I enjoyed the lunch, which included a tossed salad and sliced peaches. The meal was $3.25, and I also paid my annual dues of $1.25. The Monday, Thursday and Friday lunches, served at noon, are provided by the Okanogan County Transportation and Nutrition Program.
The Wilkinsons — David and Marjory — had finished their meal and were standing to leave, as I joined John Breslin, his mother Catherine Breslin, Rudy Peterson and Ray Anderson at their table. Catherine, whom I have met on other occasions when she has visited the valley, says she enjoys the company in the seniors’ dining room.
Veterans both, Rudy and Ray were looking forward to the Veterans Day program and luncheon on Tuesday. Later, I saw Senior Center officers Judy Tonseth and Margaret Rosenstine arranging tables for the event in the Community Center gym. So many vets attended last year’s luncheon that the seniors, who prepare the luncheon, had to move from the Senior Center to the larger venue this year.
After lunch, I visited the conference room where Rosalie Hutson was putting final touches on the Christmas Sale display. When the sale began more than a dozen years ago, most of the items were Christmas decorations. This year’s sale, which opens on Nov. 22, offers decorations, Christmas books and movies, and also jewelry, glassware, clothing and toys, all in like-new condition. Rosalie has fine-tuned her display so it compares well with commercial Christmas shops. Someone told me that to get the best bargains, get to the Christmas Sale early on the 22nd, before going over to the bazaar.
The Rummage Room, the valley’s shopping Mecca, was crowded with shoppers in both rooms. Tootie Shaw and Jan Liu sorted bags of donations at a table as five people sifted through boxes and examined household items on shelves.
For the best finds, one woman told me, you have to visit the Rummage Room regularly. She mentioned a complete bed set, brand new, that she found in one of the boxes in the sorting room. She goes to the center often to shop, using the time she has between clients at her workplace. Another woman was pleased with her find: a sheep’s wool feather duster.
In the clothing room, half a dozen women, serious shoppers all, scanned the racks for the best bargains. A full brown bag was $3 on Monday; when the Rummage Room volunteers have too much merchandise, they reduce the price to $1. One woman was pleased with a blouse she found; another had lost weight, and was replacing some of her wardrobe. “You never know,” said one shopper. “Whatever it is [you’re looking for], it usually shows up.”
The Rummage Room is the financial engine that has made improvements to the Senior Center possible. Over the years since I’ve been in the valley, new windows, carpeting, restrooms and lots of paint have made the center a nice place to spend some time.