Open doors, open arms


By Rachel Hale



Autumn is here! I love this time of year when it’s not too hot and not too cold. Everywhere you look there are beautiful colors! The leaves on the trees as I drive through the countryside add some warmth to the green grass and blue sky. This is the time of year that people bust out their pumpkins, mums and other fun decorations to welcome their guests as they walk up to their front door.

When I was a little kid we would rake the leaves into huge piles, then we would run and jump into them. It was great fun! My friend and I would worm our way into the pile, covering ourselves so that it just looked like a regular pile of leaves. Then as we heard more friends coming by we would jump out of the pile to scare them! It backfired on us once when it was my friend’s mother that we scared, she was less than happy about it!

As a teenager and 20-something I loved to go trail riding at Dew Downs just outside of Port Jefferson. My dad and I had a campsite there and it was one of my favorite places. Jumping up on my horse, riding trails with friends and just being outside enjoying the season is one of my most cherished memories. The smell of autumn leaves and crops being harvested along with the beauty of it all was so calm and peaceful. Just me and my horse. I haven’t the words to really explain it properly.

Now as a member of the 50 and better club, I look back on those days with a smile on my face. I do this as I sit comfortably in my warm sleepers, in my recliner, sipping my hot tea or cocoa. I still love autumn, but now I enjoy it differently. Bring on the pumpkin spice, warm sweaters and comfy boots! I still love the smell of the great outdoors, but now it comes from a candle lit next to my chair instead of riding through the woods.

This year Autumn has bought with it the re-opening of the Senior Center and this give me reason to smile! It was a long six months, but we are back! Our “new normal” does look a little different but what matters most is that we are open and able to get back to serving our members with programming focused on Health, Education, Recreation and Socialization. I invite you, if your age 50 or better, to stop down and see all that we have to offer.

As a non-profit organization we depend on membership dues, fundraisers and grants for our funding. The Shelby County United Way is one of our grant sources and their campaign is in full swing. I encourage you to go to their website, www.shelbycountyunitedway.org, and learn more about the programs that the United Way supports locally. Their campaign theme this year is “Find your Why”. Why do I support the United Way? It’s because they support us here at the Senior Center.

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.