Senior Column: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the Blessings of Life | Butterfly


Last month, the Friends on Q seniors group in St. Gerald held their first event of the year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a meal of corned beef and cabbage. Seventy-two members enjoyed the food and reunited with friends. There were seven door prizes. The room was festively decorated, most would have liked Lil Willy to be our caterer, but he is having surgery.

Bev Hazuka was in charge of the event with the help of other Core members. The core team, now led by Cathy Burkhardt, has planned monthly activities for the year. While dues will remain at $5 per person per year, the cost of future events will vary from $8 to $15 due to rising food costs. Membership runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Next month’s event will be a pot luck at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20. There will be a speaker from the Douglas County Extension Office to show us how to stuff outdoor containers. If you have any questions, call Rita at 402-980-5787.

Due to the Easter holidays, this month’s Ralston Archives Open House will take place from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. The museum is located at 5615 Woodlawn Ave., across from the Orval Smith ball diamond. Jan Gorman has decided not to run for president, Lana Tribbie is now president. You can learn more about the history of Ralston by visiting the museum. An example, the population of Ralston in 1941 was approximately 900. The 2020 census population for Ralston is 6,494. In 1941 the Otto Denker Auto Company was in Papillion, the owner, Otto Denker, sold Fords .

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Last Wednesday at the Ralston Senior Center, 21 had lunch, 28 came for bingo and 37 enjoyed Merrymaker Louis Watkins. Louis provided a very enjoyable eclectic songbook, meaning a variety of musical influences, unable to define your own music.

Ron Wilson and Darla Majewski reorganized the library in alphabetical order by author while supervising their first room rentals. It took five hours over two weekend days. The election of officers will take place on April 6. Barbara Henry added her name to the ballot for vice president.

The lunch menu at Ralston will be ham and Swiss cheese on a croissant, fries and banana or peach on April 13, Swiss steak with tomato sauce, buttered rice and vegetables on April 20, and pulled pork on a bun, mac and cheese and applesauce on April 27. There will be entertainment on April 27 by Merrymaker Tim Javorsky. Lunch is $4.50, reservations are required. Call Diane West at 402-885-8895 to make your reservation.

At the La Vista Senior Center, their movie outing was to see “Dog.” On March 24, the lunch outing was at Pizza West, a La Vista business they like to support. Several older people tried a different type of pizza than they would normally order and they were all a big hit. The craft class made an Easter bunny from a washcloth, such a creative craft. They also did a bunny painting craft on canvas, which Kaily said was super cute.

They once again took on the challenge of the March Madness basketball bracket among seniors. Several participated in the selection and it was fun to see the person in the lead change over the matches.

Their outing to the Durham Museum on March 30 was great fun, the Nelson Mandela exhibit was wonderful. During the craft class this month, they will be working on making bunnies and little chicks for Easter. New for April will be a wellness and nail clinic on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. RSVP for 30 minutes, cost is $5. On April 11, there will be a computer/smartphone class at 1 p.m., reservations required.

There are two lunch outings on the schedule – Thursday, April 7, Pan Asian Terrace Lunch Out and Thursday, April 21, Beacon Hills Lunch Out. 402-331-3455 is the number to call for all reservations as well as to request your own La Vista Senior Center newsletter, which lists all activities. Exercise classes, Tai Chi 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and chair volleyball 10:15 a.m. Wednesday and Friday continue, all are welcome.

As for my activities on this cancer journey, Carolyn Wojcik took me to Dragon Gate for lunch, it was fantastic. I did well, I even ate my whole meal with chopsticks, I didn’t lose that skill.

Then I had this great idea to go shopping at Family Fare across the street. Carolyn dropped me off at the door. A lady helped me take a cart, I put my four-pronged cane in it and left. Produce aisle was fine, next I had crackers, third aisle was ice cream. All of a sudden the store seemed really big and I was running out of energy. Carolyn helped me get the ice cream, got a chair from the desk, and I sat at the front of the store as she walked to the dairy aisle. We left, came home and upstairs and I learned a lesson. I can walk up and down the aisles at Walgreen’s, it’s a lot smaller, but when it comes to groceries, I’ll make my list for my friends, let them shop, and just be grateful for the chance to having so many good friends who are not tired of helping me all these months.

My next outing was the following week at the cancer clinic for chemo #8, which I tolerated well. The next day back to the clinic for my injection for my white blood cell count then a stop at Walgreen which I managed well. Rita Guenette took me for chemo, Mary Jo Rosales took me for the shot and Walgreen’s. I’m lucky to have patient friends/drivers as I’m slow these days. Thursday March 31 I had a great visit with a friend I first met at the Omaha VA medical center in 1979. Barb brought lunch, I had these onion rings from Shirley and a Philly steak. I had had these onion rings at lunch with the La Vista band and have been thinking about it ever since. Jan Bailey gave me my liver and onions this week, which I eat weekly to help with my red blood cell count. We have a plan, if Jan can’t get it, Carolyn Sullivan will, if she can’t, Rita Guenette will. I won’t miss my weekly liver.

As you can see loss of appetite is not one of my side effects, I like to eat. My side effects continue to be extreme fatigue and hair loss, it’s not serious. I lie down and rest when I’m tired. No more need to put my hair in curlers, there is nothing to roll. I decided to like the bald look, the eye makeup and the big earrings. I asked Barb to take a photo, sent it to good friends who of course supported me. I’m fine, life is different but as I always said at the senior center, if we walk, talk and feed, it’s a good day. If you have a challenge in life, take advantage of it, I’m sure it’s an interesting journey.

Janet Rentko is a member of La Vista and Ralston Senior Centers. You can reach her at [email protected]


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