It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of two of our members:

— Marty Grosssman, a giant man of kindness and wit. His passing was due to complications from surgery. He will be missed and our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, Karen, and family; and

— Linda Hodges, who was not only a member, but the coordinator of the senior meal site. Her services to the community will be hard to fill. (See related obituary.) A celebration of Linda’s life will be held at the Rock Road Chapel on Friday, Sept. 8,  at 2 p.m. All are welcome.

Fair news

On a happier note, the articles that were entered to the craft building at the Altamont Fair were well received.

We all won ribbons. Our quilt was an eye-catcher and someone wanted to buy it. But, we decided that we wanted to keep it as some of the handkerchiefs were donated by local people. We are going to display it in the senior center.

I have talked with the interested party and she is going to give us some handkerchiefs that belonged to their family and we are going to make her one. Mmmm, could this turn into an on going project?

Clambake

Don’t forget to call Shirley Slingerland about the clambake. Reservations are due and money needs to be sent. I can taste those clams now. The date is Sept. 11, at Briar Creek, with chowder and raw clams served at noon.

Fickle weather

I am sorry to say, I had to turn my heat on. But, I know it will be 90 the week the kids go back to school.

Would someone tell me where the summer went.

Please remember the people in Texas. We were without power for a week during Irene. I can't imagine what they are going to go back to.

Words of wisdom

We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. 

This was a very interesting meeting. First, our tables were filled with food from Hannaford in thanks to Leo Bartell and Zenie Gladieux.

This is the second month we were fortunate to have our tables filled. Thank you also to Jim Hamilton, Dave Clark, and Randy Bashwinger with help on delivering it to the center.

The second surprise was the members that showed up. I thought they would stay home and rest after just getting back from their trip to Canada.

Birthdays for the month of August were Marie and Bill Dibble, Karen Stark, John Wood, and Ed White who was celebrating his 90th. Anniversaries were Bob and Rose Porter, Frank and Charlotte Fuss, and Bob and Karen Conklin. Well wishes to all.

Well wishes are sent to Marty Grossman. Hope to see you soon, Marty.

We had "5" new members join us today. The town has been put on notice to get the extension to the building ready.

Next was the travel report. Enough good things could not be said about the trip to Canada. Everyone was very happy except they didn't have enough time to visit each city.

I thought they might have a problem getting back across the border, but the security got on the bus, looked at the exhausted seniors and gave the okay to leave. Apparently security didn't think we could serve his country in anyway and decided to let them go home and collect their social security. Smart move, Canada. Shirley Slingerland was thanked for a wonderful time.

Upcoming

On Monday, Sept. 11 we are having a clambake at the Briar Creek Golf Course. At noon there will be hot dogs, hamburgers. clam chowder, soda, and a cash bar.

At 3 p.m. a buffet will be served that includes chicken, potato, sausage and peppers, tossed salad,  and steamed clams. The golf course will be opened and bingo will be played.

Please bring folding chairs. The cost is $25 for members and $36 for non-members. reservations must be made by Sept. 1 along with payment. Call Shirley Slingerland at 797-3467 for reservations.

Also on Oct. 18. we are going to "The Beaches" to see the "Witches Brew". This is a journey to a far off place to meet the bitter and evil witch. A buffet will be served first and we always like to get dessert first. The cost for members is $55 and non-members $70. Make your reservations by Oct. 11 with Shirley.

It was reported that the free pass for seniors to the national parks is going to cost $80 after Aug. 28. Call 1-888-275-8747, and go to option 3.. The cost has been $10, so call before the rate goes up.

Remember that Albany County has a representative at the senior center Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. She will help you with all your questions. This is not just for seniors, but anyone that lives in Albany County.

Reminders for the month include

— the book club Aug. 25 at the Maple on the Lake;

— church breakfast Aug. 26 at the white church on the hill . They are  having a huge garage sale with a bake sale and lunch;

— Middleburgh town wide garage is this Saturday, Aug. 19;

— Schoharie town wide sale is Sep. 9;

— Sept. 16 the Gallupville Fire Company will be celebrating their 75th anniversary;

Remember when you could refer to your legs as right and left? Instead of good and bad.

Location:

A tribute was held Saturday, July 22, at the Berne town park for Phyllis Johnson. Many heroic and humorous stories were shared about Phyllis and her feline family.

Rumor has it, she is writing a novelette on her train rides to and from treatment.

Our leader, Linda Hodges, is home from the hospital and rehabilitation, but is continuing outpatient treatment.

Cards of encouragement may be sent to both women care of Helderberg Senior Services, Post Office Box 12.

Every Tuesday a representative from the Department of Aging is at the meal site from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Anyone from the Hilltowns can come for assistance with HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), food stamps, health and home care etc. No appointment is necessary.

Meals are served Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at noon. Doors open at 11 a.m. The food is good. Games are played and good old conversations are had.

For the week of Aug. 6 through 11, please call (518) 595-4582 for meal reservations 24 hours in advance. Alter Aug. 12 you may resume calling (518)937-5963.

 

Location:

What are you good at? No, I don’t necessarily mean showy or big money-making things. Those are essential, but they’re not what really keeps the world spinning.

Can you answer a telephone and get the message right? The Red Cross could certainly use you. Answering a phone can save someone’s life.  Can you carry a trash bag or swing a hammer? What do you think the inside of a house looks like after a flood? Can you drive? Can you drive a truck? If I’m elderly and have no car, or need a meal during an emergency, who will take me to the doctor, or transport donated food to a pantry or meal site?

You get my point.

When I worked for the Red Cross, someone described disaster response as building a city. When a town has been flattened by a tornado, or trashed by a hurricane, you need nurses and neighbors; bookkeepers and electricians; counselors and cooks; and drivers and damage assessment.  You need people who can prioritize and make lists, and keep track of who needs what and where. You need people to keep careful and accurate tallies of money spent, because most of it is donated. You need folks who can sit and listen while another person talks about how they’re feeling, or what they’ve lost.

All this applies even when there isn’t a disaster. Imagine you’re 85 or 90, and you can’t drive any more because your eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Your husband or wife died 11 years ago, and you’ve missed them ever since. The kids have moved away. You have a television and an elderly dog. The house needs repairs, but you can’t afford to hire a contractor, and climbing up a ladder wouldn’t be a very good idea even if you could. What is life like if nobody comes to visit? You don’t want to bother anyone, or ask for help; you’ll get by. Like it or not, any of us could end up in a situation like that.

So, could you go over to a neighbor’s house once in a while and see how they’re doing? Maybe take some extra cookies, or your toolbox because you noticed that some of the shingles are loose?  Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something, and everything you do makes a difference, whether you know it or not.

Getting off our rumps is good exercise. There is a national organization called Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster that includes churches, other faith-based groups, the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, and numerous others who respond to disasters. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to   . Tell them your name, phone number, E-mail and skills, and put "Volunteer" in the subject line. Most local congregations know about VOAD.  Locally, you can call the Red Cross at (518) 458-8111; they have blood drives, respond to local fires, teach classes, and lots more.  Community Caregivers provides rides, meals, visits, and other services to individuals and their caregivers; call 456-2898, or email:   .

To honor our veterans, don’t forget the Memorial Day parades. Voorheesville is on Saturday, May 27. Berne and Knox parades will be Monday, May 29.

The Wednesday shopping bus (to Walmart, Whole Foods at Colonie Center, and who knows where else) will be May 31 and June 14. Call CDTA at 437-5161 two days in advance to schedule your ride.

The free Tuesday exercise class will be on May 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Berne Senior Center. The class lasts about 20 minutes, and is conducted by Mary Jo McKeon. The exercises are  easy and low-impact, and help to improve balance and reduce stress.

A number of  post-lunch activities are upcoming at the Senior Center. Tuesday, May 30th is a class on decorating vases and making flowers. June 5th we will be making a woven box, and on June 6th there will be a nutritional presentation by Cooperative Extension of Albany County.

The Hilltown Seniors Anniversary Dinner will be held on June 4 at the Briar Creek Golf Course in Duanesburg. Choices are sirloin steak $12, chicken parmigiana $9, or baked haddock $8. Salad, sides, and dessert are included. Call Shirley Slingerland at  797-3467 to make a reservation.

Hilltown Seniors and others are invited to join a Schoharie trip to the Cornell Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, June 7. The bus will leave the Schoharie Park & Ride at 7 a.m. A stop for lunch on your own will be made at the Moosewood Restaurant. Cost is $50; call Betty Karlau at 295-7781 for reservations.

The Hilltowners next excursion will be a Lake George Lunch Cruise on July 11. Cost is $50 for members, and $60 for non-members. Shirley Slingerland is handling reservations; call her at 797-3467.

The South Westerlo Congregational Christian Church makes lunch on the first and third Thursdays every month. The church is located at 282 County Route 405. First Thursday is most likely pizza; third Thursday is usually a hot meal. Call Pastor Will Balta at 966-5094 for more information.

Need some legal advice? Appointments with attorneys from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York can be scheduled at the Knox town hall by calling Pat Lightbody at 872-9400.

Next week’s menu for Helderberg Senior Services will be:

Monday, May 29, Memorial Day no lunch;

Tuesday, May 30, macaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, California blend veggies, wheat bread, mandarin oranges, and milk; and

Friday, June 2, meatloaf with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, wheat bread, applesauce, and milk

Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch is served promptly at Noon.  We also have transportation to and from lunch! Just ask Linda Hodges when you call with your reservation.

Does your trail trekkers group, military memorabilia collectors club, or ‘Nam Vets organization need an easy place to meet? Why not meet at the Senior Center? Come have lunch, and then get together with your friends! There’s plenty of space, and the center is open for all of us. We already have games, dominoes, and cards after lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays, so join us.  

Please call Linda Hodges 24 hours in advance to 872-0940 to reserve lunch, or email her at: , or sign up when you come in. Tell us how many are coming, your name, and your telephone number. If you’d just like to come and help out, call Linda or send an email to , and put “volunteer” in the subject line. Lunches are provided by Helderberg Senior Services, the Albany County Department of Aging, and Senior Services of Albany. The Town of Berne Community and Senior Services Center is located at 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne.

 

How far will we go to avoid work? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the (patented) Egg Stractor.

This little beauty stands about eight inches tall, and consists of a sort of concertina on top of a genuine plastic platform with a hole in the middle. You take a cold hard-boiled egg, then tap the small end several times on the “piercer” attached to the base.

Check to be sure that you have pierced through the interior “skin” of the egg. (If all I’ve done is pierce a tiny hole in the small end, how on earth will I be able to tell whether an interior membrane has been punctured?)

Next, you crack the large end of the egg (not the small end) on the table a couple of times (the instructions say, “Don’t be timid!”). Now place the egg, small end upward, in the Egg Stractor.

Put the concertina on top of the platform. Cross both hands over the top of the device. Push down quickly and firmly, and voila! the egg pops out the bottom of the device. If it doesn’t, repeat the action, being sure to re-align the egg in the upright position.

I’m all in favor of innovation and time-saving, but wouldn’t it be easier to just roll the egg on a counter top and peel it?

This is not the only shortcut on the market. How about the automatic dog-washer? This is a coin-op compartment into which you insert your dog, and a process resembling a car wash begins. Wait just a little while, and Bowser is all fresh and sparkly.

They don’t say whether you can get wax or blow-drying as extras. Honest, this was invented in France, and costs about $20 to $45 per wash, depending on the size of your dog. There is a window in the front so you can watch the process, although I’m not sure I could stand to.

The Chill-O-Matic ad says it will cool your can of soda in 60 seconds. It probably will, but you have to add ice, use two AA batteries, and a special chiller box. So, to cool my drink I’ll still need ice, and I guess I’m just not in that much of a hurry.

The (new!) “Salad-O-Matic” consists of a bowl and a half-moon cutter like your grandmother used for pie crust. The “Samurai Knife” has a circular-saw type blade with a hand guard, but they never tell you how to get the tomato skins out of the handle part after you use it.

The extremely popular “Swiffer” series of mops may really be great, but I still don’t see how they beat my old dust and sponge mop, other than needing to buy and replace all those little pads.

In the transportation department, you can now get an electric skateboard with posture control to keep you from falling off, and nightlights for safety. One of the four models has brakes. (Maybe I am getting older...)

The ultimate, however, is in the O’Reilly Auto Parts online catalog. They have a Flux Capacitor that will take you back in time. This is evidently the same device used in the movie “Back to the Future.”

There is only one model, and it’s for a stainless-steel DeLorean car (there’s a nice one in Hemmings Motor News for $78,900). You know, looking back over my past, that might actually be worth it.

Coming up

May is Clean Car Month, Food Allergy Action Month, National Egg Month, and National Salad Month. Next week is National New Friends, Old Friends Week. Memorial Day weekend is also National Polka Weekend, Mudbug Madness Days, and Old-Time Player Piano Weekend. May 21st is American Red Cross Founder's Day. Canadian Immigrants Day and Harvey Milk Day are the 22nd

National Taffy Day and World Turtle Day are the 23rd.  The 24th is EMSC (Emergency Medical Services) Day, and International Tiara Day. The Cookie Monster's Birthday is the 25th.  The 26th is National Paper Airplane Day, and World Lindy Hop Day. Saturday the 27th is Cellophane Tape Day, International Heritage Breeds Day, and the beginning of Ramadan.

The Wednesday shopping bus (to Walmart, Whole Foods at Colonie Center, and who knows where else) will be May 31 and June 14. Call CDTA at 437-5161 two days in advance to schedule your ride.

The Hilltown Seniors had a great meeting last Saturday. Katherine Loetterle was our chosen Tulip Queen, and Madeline Bradt our Mothers’ Day honoree.

The free exercise class is every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Berne Senior Center. Each class lasts about 20 minutes, and is conducted by Mary Jo McKeon. The exercises are  easy and low-impact, and help to improve balance and reduce stress. The next classes are scheduled for May 23 and May 30.

A number of  post-lunch activities are scheduled at the senior center for May. On Tuesday, May 16, we will be painting ladybug rocks. Tuesday, May 30 is a class on decorating vases and making flowers.

The Hilltown Seniors Anniversary Dinner will be held on June 4 at the Briar Creek Golf Course in Duanesburg. Choices are sirloin steak $12, chicken parmigiana $9, or baked haddock $8. salad, sides, and dessert are included. Call Shirley Slingerland at 797-3467 to make a reservation.

Hilltown Seniors and others are invited to join a Schoharie trip to the Cornell Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, June 7. The bus will leave the Schoharie Park & Ride at 7a.m. A stop for lunch on your own will be made at the Moosewood Restaurant. Cost is $50; call Betty Karlau at 295-7781 for reservations.

The next excursion will be a Lake George Lunch Cruise on July 11. Cost is $50 for members, and $60 for non-members. Shirley Slingerland is handling reservations; call her at 797-3467.

The South Westerlo Congregational Christian Church makes lunch on the first and third Thursdays every month. The church is located at 282 County Route 405. First Thursday is most likely pizza; third Thursday is usually a hot meal. Call Pastor Will Balta at 966-5094 for more information.

Need some legal advice? Appointments with attorneys from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York can be scheduled at the Knox Town Hall by calling Pat Lightbody at 872-9400.

Menu

Next week’s menu for Helderberg Senior Services will be:

— Monday, May 22, American goulash, romaine salad with tomato, cucumber, carrots, and dressing, wheat bread, applesauce cake and milk;

— Tuesday, May 23, chicken cacciatore (tomatoes and peppers), broccoli, rice, wheat bread, pears, and milk; and

— Friday, May 26, potato crunch fish, peas, mashed sweet potatoes, rye bread, ambrosia, and milk.

Remember, there will be no lunch on Monday, Memorial Day, May 29.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch is served promptly at noon. We also have transportation to and from lunch! Just ask Linda Hodges when you call with your reservation.

Does your Inventors group, Jane Austen fan club, or Zebu breeders consortium need an easy place to meet? Why not meet at the Senior Center? Come have lunch, and then get together with your friends! There’s plenty of space, and the center is open for all of us. We already have games, dominoes, and cards after lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays, so join us.

Please call Linda Hodges 24 hours in advance to 872-0940 to reserve lunch, or email her at: , or sign up when you come in. Tell us how many are coming, your name, and your telephone number.  If you’d just like to come and help out, call Linda or send an email to , and put “volunteer” in the subject line. Lunches are provided by Helderberg Senior Services, the Albany County Department of Aging, and Senior Services of Albany. The town of Berne Community and Senior Services Center is located at 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne.

Pages