By Roz Rogoff
Voluntary KindnessUploaded: Nov 26, 2009
I turned 67 in October, so that makes me a Senior. I'm on the mailing list for the Senior Center Newsletter. When I saw there was a Thanksgiving Lunch scheduled for November 23rd, I thought it might be nice to go to that since I don't have any family living here. My sister lives in San Francisco, but she and her husband are in Europe now. The rest of my family lives in Maine and Massachusetts.
When my mother visited me about four years ago, I took her to the Senior Center for a day so I could work on the online classes I teach. She joined a group playing bridge and spent most of the day at the Senior Center. She raved about what a wonderful place it is, but complained (as usual) about the bridge playing of her partner in the game.
I phoned my mother last week and I told her that I was going to lunch there. I thought she'd be pleased that I'm getting out and mixing with other people, but she said I'm too young for the Senior Center. She's going to be 94 in January and thinks I'm too young for everything.
Well I went to lunch on Monday, and everyone at the lunch, except the volunteers who made it and the High School students from Dougherty Valley High who helped with the serving and provided musical entertainment, were all at least ten years older than I am. The food was very bland, made without salt, fat, or much sugar the three staples of my diet.
Most of the people at my table arrived late because the van that was supposed to pick them up missed their stops. They were all very nice, but I still felt out of place. Mother was right (I hate that!). I am too young at 67 for senior lunches.
I had to leave early to meet with a City Inspector who was coming to do the rough inspection of some electrical work I'm having done at my house. I drove home, because I had driven myself. I don't like driving on the freeways anymore, and especially after dark, but I can get around town fine on my own. Still it's nice that volunteers drive these vans to pick up seniors for lunch and to take them on nearby day trips.
I was listening to a program on KQED this morning about the pleasures of kindness. The pleasure is not only being the recipient of kindness but being the giver. I thought about all of the volunteers at the Senior Center and how nice it is to have so many kind people in San Ramon. I remembered that Mayor Wilson is always calling San Ramon "a family," and except for a few dysfunctional whiners, it is a happy family.
The Senior Center is a wonderful facility. I had not seen all of the new parts of it since it reopened last year, and I was impressed with the additions. The City maintains and supports this facility, and even though the vans and the kitchen are manned by volunteers, the vehicles, gas, food, and staffing of the Center, are paid for by the City.
My mother lives in a wonderful facility in Scarborough, Maine, but even she was impressed with how nice our Senior Center is. We take these services for granted in San Ramon, but we are lucky to live in a city that not only provides events for seniors, children, teens, and adults, but doesn't cut back on them in hard times. This is what it means to live in San Ramon, and we should all be thankful for that.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!