‘Hold on, Ethel!’ for a bumpy ride


By Rachel Hale



A year ago I shared in this column all the events and activities that were on the calendar for the Senior Center. I also shared that I had official joined the 50 and better club myself. This year things look a lot different, but I am still encouraged and looking forward to September.

This year so far has been a bit of a roller coaster! When I was younger I loved roller coasters! I would ride anything! Even into my 20s and 30s I was still that thrill seeker, ready to jump on and be twisted, turned and if it didn’t make me scream in excitement it was a boring ride. The best roller coaster I have ever ridden was many years ago at Magic Mountain in California. It was the late 70s and at that time, The Colossus at Magic Mountain was claiming to be the biggest, fastest, tallest and scariest coaster in the country. I was so excited to ride it! I screamed so loud at each drop, twist and turn that when it was over I was could barely talk! Every time the car was pulled up a hill, the excitement in me grew. When we would reach the top and then race down the hill, I felt like that was the closest thing to flying like a bird I would every get. The moment you crested the hill and started the decent, it was so fast that for a split second you came up off the seat and felt like you were flying! That split second where you felt weightless and free was amazing. Wow! What a ride that was! I will never forget it as long as I live. Nothing since has been able to compare, even though I have ridden many that claimed to top it, the Colossus will forever by etched into my memory as a once in a lifetime experience.

As I look back over the last five months of 2020 I can honestly say that this has been one roller coaster I can’t wait to get off of! The twists and turns have left many of us confused and frustrated. The ups and downs have left us almost breathless with how quickly things can change. But just like any good roller coaster, it finally starts to slow down and come to an end. Whether you are smiling with satisfaction, voiceless from screaming in excitement or green in the face and ready to be sick; the ride finally ends.

The Center has had the signs “Closed until further notice” posted since March 17, however, if you drive by the Center now you will see an additional sign that I was jumping for joy about when I posted it. “OPENING SOON, DETAILS TO FOLLOW”! As I hung those signs earlier this week I felt that split second rush at the top of the roller coaster hill, that anticipation, excitement and thrill of what was to come next.

Gov. DeWine recently announced that Senior Centers would be able to reopen on Sept. 21, 2020 provided they can comply with the requirements of the health order that would be posted soon. As I write this column, that order has not been posted yet and we are unsure as to what the “new normal” will look like for the Center’s day to day operations. Once we know more, we will share those details.

I haven’t ridden a roller coaster in over a decade and probably never will again, but I will never forget the thrill of the ride! This year’s coaster, if I had to name it, would be called “Hold on Ethel, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride”!

Until I see you at the Center, Have a Blessed Day!

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By Rachel Hale

The writer is the executive director of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County.

The writer is the executive director of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County.