By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star
As one of our octogenarians was leaving last week, I began espousing the benefits of standing (rather than sitting) – which is my latest info-mercial on keeping fit. I told her that health clinicians have discovered that standing is better for us than sitting – so we should all at least take breaks in a standing position or take ten minute walks. One of my friends has moved his computer so he has to stand to use it, and he has lost several pounds! The lady who plays cards with this older friend quipped aside to me: “You should be asking her what SHE has done to survive all these years!” A touche moment.
Actually the lady is a nonagenarian; she is far into her nineties. I am a sexagenarian, which sounds like it could be a lot of fun! People who come to the Meridian Activity Center do have a lot of fun. Our local community center used to be called the Meridian Senior Citizen Center. Most people thought it was only for the retired and elderly but it has always been open to ages 21 and above.
This New Year, 2013, will be my tenth year as director of the Center. A few years after my coming here we changed the name to Activity Center…because that is what we are here: Active, learning, exercising, laughing, adults. Primarily seniors. Changing the name has not brought in a whole lot of young people. In fact, despite all that we offer, we are not busting at the seams yet. Yet.
Would you like to see an octogenarian drool? Come with me while I go online and visit the various other community centers listed there. While we do offer meeting rooms, full kitchen, pool & snooker rooms, ceramics, computer studies, art, cards, crafts, health and fitness classes – we do not have swimming, a gymnasium, a childcare room, or free public wireless internet.
However we are always ready to find new things to offer the people of Meridian and East Mississippi and West Alabama. This first eight week class session we hope to offer the following classes…that is determined by how many people we can get to join the class. The city of Meridian sponsors all the teachers we have; so far we are determined to keep our class fees as low as possible to make these classes available to ALL our citizens.
Cake Decorating on Tuesday morning beginning at 10:30 until 12:30. Mrs. Jean Houston and son, Keith, teach this hands-on class in which you will learn how to pipe beautiful shapes on your cake (which you bring to each class). You will make roses, leaves, work with fondant to make all kinds of flowers.
Basket Weaving on Thursday morning beginning at 9:00 until 12:00. Miletus McKee teaches traditional pine needle basket weaving in this class.
Decorative Painting is one of those wonderful, basic painting classes that prove to be useful in so many ways: painting designs on furniture, faux wall designs, greeting cards...etc. Just knowing how to hold the brush to make a perfectly elegant curved line simply takes practice. Consider taking a class with Joyce Luke on Monday afternoon or evening. Like Bob Ross said, "We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents."
Bridge lessons will be taught by Tommie Pritchard who is an avid duplicate bridge player. In this class you will learn all the basic rules of bridge which should help you in either party bridge or duplicate. Phone her at 679-8466 for further information.
Sharing Photos using the internet is a new class taught by Micheal Remy, who is involved in Information Technology. It will be taught Thursday evening from 5:00 until 7:00. It is a five week class for $15, which is the same fee for our other Beginning computer classes on Monday night, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
FREE Kripalu Yoga Classes. New days will be on Monday and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30. Our certified instructor is Pat Wilson, who was formerly our only yoga student who could put both feet behind her head!, and went on to study at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts.
Slimnastics Classes are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4:30-5:30. Brenda Golisch is our instructor who keeps us moving to hiphop, hits from the 50s and 60s and Michael Jackson. Love offerings.
Tom Milhorn, our computer instructor for the past eight? years, is also the author of several medical non-fiction books and one crime fiction called Caduceus Awry. He is currently writing his second novel. He would like to teach a “Writing Crime Genre” class at the Center. Please call if you are interested.
Steve Owen plans to teach another “Life Writing” class in February. His class has had quite a following; several are signed up for this class already. This is a four week class to prepare you with the intention of writing your family history as you know it.
Our Weight Loss class has been a success thus far; our last group lost something like 115 pounds between the fifteen members. We are ready to begin another group in 2013 – as early as Monday January 7 from 5:45 to 7:00. Call the Center or our leader, Penny McInnis at 934-3422, for information.
Katherine Horne continues her “Friends of the Written Word” discussion group on the last Friday of the month, January 25th at 1:30. Phone her at 601-483-7496.
The Activity Center has a very nice room for dancing or aerobic exercise in our second building. (This used to be Lamar Elementary School, so it is divided up into classrooms and meeting spaces.) If you have a special talent or are certified in Dance, Zumba for Seniors, Ballroom, Linedance, etc. we would love to meet you. This room is available Monday nights until 8:30 p.m., other evenings negotiable. Call me at 601-485-1812.
If you have never been to the Center before, try to come by on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January for a quick tour of our facility. Ask for Barbara. The Meridian Activity Center is located at 3300-32nd Avenue at the end of the block; 34th Street and 32nd Avenue meet each other at the Center. Phone 601-485-1812 for information. (Though, we will be on vacation December 30th and 31st.)
Go online at meridianms.org to see our list of classes and the days they are offered. Each year we will offer five 8-week sessions of classes. This first session begins on Monday January 7 and ends on Friday, March 1.