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Takin’ a spin on the Magic Bus

“Every day I get in the queue (Too much, Magic Bus), To get on the bus that takes me to you (Too much, Magic Bus), I’m so nervous, I just sit and smile (Too much, Magic Bus) Your house is only another mile (Too much, Magic Bus)” — The Who.

What do the Archuleta County Senior Center and The Who have in common?

First, we both have a magic bus (theirs a song, and ours a reality). Second, band members Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend qualify by years to ride ours. Third, The Who played at the halftime Super Bowl Party, and every day on our bus is a semi-raucous party. Last Monday and Tuesday, I invited myself to ride along to observe the soiree.

I boarded at the airport, where the 16-seat bus with a wheelchair lift is parked. The door opened sideways and I stepped up into the bus and looked out of the windows. I was instantly little-kid excited. The windows are oversized and I could see the paradise that we call home from all sides. I sat in the front row to talk to Tom Ferrell, the bus driver.

Tom has been driving the bus for the last 4.5 years. His favorite part of driving the bus is the banter he shares with the riders, talking about the wildlife and the day-to-day changes in the scenery. From the airport, we drove to the Senior Center where we picked up Lena, a Senior Center volunteer for the past 35 years. She is 85 years young and has a clipboard to track the paper work we need to submit to the state. With her aboard, we headed back up Put Hill and dropped her off at the Giant, where she purchased her Lotto tickets and cigarettes.

The next stop was Dot’s condo, where Tom honked and Dot boarded. Dot is always a vision of happiness and coordinated clothing. Next, we were after Gladys, who Tom called to warn of our impending arrival. Then, we pulled up to the back of Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, where my dad, Chuck, Tom and Norma head towards the bus. Dot noted, “Look, they all wear red and white. The red and white team.” Jovial greetings ensued and everyone settled in. Fetching Lena from the Giant was the next order of business.

We traveled past Pinon Lake, where the riders’ favorite swans, Ricky, Lucy and little Ricky (or little Lucy, they are not sure) swim. I asked the passengers what their favorite part is about riding the bus. There was no discussion — they all agreed that being with their friends and the conversation was their favorite part.

With Lena back in tow, we headed down the hill to pick up Dave. “Wild Dave” did not show up, leaving the riders pondering what mischief he was up to that he was going to miss lunch. From Wild Dave’s, it was a straight shot to 451 Hot Springs Blvd., where our lunch awaited.

The next day, following a satisfying repast of Mediterranean chicken and mushroom barley, we boarded the bus for “Shopping Day.” Shopping Day stops include, but are not limited to, the post office, two different banks, Jackisch Drug Store and City Market. I learned that most parking is not designed for buses, our turning radius is the worst, when we pick up Jerry we are supposed to yell “OK!,” there is a seasonal waterfall on 6th street, on Fridays there is free popcorn at Citizens Bank and someone brings it back to the bus for everyone, that the effect of potholes is particularly impressive when experienced from a wheelchair in the back of the bus. The afternoon was companionable and quiet, a result of the post lunch food coma combined with the motion of the bus. It was almost 3 p.m. when the last passenger was safely deposited at his door and my journey completed.

“Thank you driver, for getting me here. (Too much the Magic Bus)” The Who again.

I am grateful that Tom is an excellent driver, that Archuleta County has a big windowed, safe bus for our people to ride about paradise in, and that my dad has a posse of fun people with whom to travel. Our magic bus operates Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For a suggested donation of $2 per day, you can get a ride to and from our Silver Foxes Den, the post office, the banks and Jackisch Drug. On Tuesdays and Fridays the bus will also run to City Market. The bus is also available for transportation to and from doctor appointments within our geographical limits and time constraints.

Call Jodi at 264-2167 for a ride.

Start a windowsill garden

By Lake McCullough.

In the Starting a Windowsill Herb Garden workshop, April 6 at 10 a.m., we will learn about how to grow three common culinary herbs, chives, parsley and sage, from seed.

We will begin the workshop by addressing topics such as the germination time, and light, water and fertilizer needs of the different herbs, and will also talk about caring for the windowsill gardens in the long-term. We will then move on to preparing the soil and planting the seeds. As time permits, we will also learn about the nutritional benefits of the herbs, and how to use them in everyday recipes. Handouts will be provided with plant care guidelines, and some easy recipes highlighting our fresh herbs.

The workshop will be presented by me, Lake McCullough, a Pagosa native who has been growing (and using!) herbs for over seven years. I completed the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program in 2006, and completed a diploma in herbal studies from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in early 2010.

Space is limited. Call Jodi Starr at 264-2167 to sign up.

Fraud alert

Two old scams have reappeared in Colorado.?

Once again, we have callers posing as Medicare employees.? A caller tells a beneficiary that he/she is from Medicare and needs their bank routing information to charge Medicare premiums.? The caller is insistent that if the beneficiary doesn’t provide the information, their Medicare will be in jeopardy.? This is an on-going scam nationwide.? The most recent call reported to the Colorado SMP had a return number of (866) 234-2255.

The second scam involves Durable Medical Equipment (DME).? DME suppliers are not allowed to “cold call” consumers to get orders for DME supplies.? A Fort Collins Medicare counselor reported a Medicare beneficiary receiving a call from someone who said they were a DME supplier and wanted to take an order over the phone.? This could have been someone wanting to defraud Medicare with a DME order or someone just wanting to get the beneficiaries’ Medicare number or banking information.?

The Office of Inspector General reminds people that they should not provide any information to someone who calls them.? If the caller is asking for bank account, financial and/or identity information, these situations should be reported immediately to the Consumer Fraud Division of the appropriate state Attorney General’s Office and to the Colorado SMP at (800) 503-5190, so that the call can be reported to the Office of Inspector General.

ASI rummage sale

By Lynnzie Sutton.

Archuleta Senior Inc. will have a booth at the community center Spring Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 10, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. We are asking you to help us raise money for seniors by donating gently-used items. We need items that would sell well at the sale; no clothing, please.

You can never start too early when it comes to collecting items for the sale. If you keep a large box in a corner at home before the sale, you will be ready. During the next few weeks when you come across a nice item you no longer need or want, put it in the box, don’t wait until the day before the sale. This will make your accumulation of items easy.

If you have large furniture items we ask that you bring a photo of your items to display at the booth the day of the sale and leave the large items in your truck that can be easily viewed and picked up by the buyer.

Bring items before the sale to the community center on Friday, April 9, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. We will be happy to help you unload your car.

All proceeds go to Archuleta Seniors Inc. medical assistance program.

Thank you

Thank you, Ed Whitcomb, for volunteering to be a Medical Shuttle driver.

Thank you, Peggy Bergon, for your riveting presentation of Arborglyphs. We loved it.

Thank you, Bob and Nelda Monjure, for your dedicated service to our program. We will miss you.

Weekly activities

Friday, April 2 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Parkinson’s Support Group 1 p.m.

Monday, April 5 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 6 — Kitchen Herbs with Lake McCullogh 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.; Healthy Living Class 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 7 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Poker 1 p.m.; Writing for Generations with special guest, local writer Russ Freeman, author of? “Life and Times of A Ragamuffin Growing Up Wild.”

Thursday, April 8 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, April 9 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, April 2 — Breaded fish, company potatoes, stewed tomatoes, tropical fruit, whole grain bread.

Monday, April 5 — Sloppy Joe on a bun, scalloped potatoes, peas and carrots, apple.

Tuesday, April 6 — Turkey pot pie, broccoli, corn, apricot pineapple medley, biscuit.

Wednesday, April 7 — Baked ham with raisin sauce, sweet potatoes, green bean amandine, cranberry mold, roll.

Thursday, April 8 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, April 9 — Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bread, strawberry and whipped topping.