You don’t have to be old to learn more about the world around you, though. You don’t even have to be a writer to explore areas and subjects that are new to you. You simply have to want to learn, and opportunities will open to you. Here’s to lifelong learning!
Once I became a senior, I discovered endless opportunities to travel, take seminars, attend lectures, and join in mini-adventures. Woodstock has two senior centers that offer programs, and the Cherokee County Recreation and Parks Department has a group called Silver Roamers that offers day trips as well as three- and four-day trips, all of which include guides that inform participants of the history and culture of each location we visit. The community apparently wants to keep us “oldsters” entertained and educated, but I am sure that many things are also available for “spring chickens” under the age of fifty-five.
Most recently my sister and I traveled to Tallahassee, Florida, where the senior center there puts on a five-day Lifelong Learning Extravaganza each year. In partnership with a retirement community in Tallahassee, the event offered more than fifty events, lectures, tours, trips, and activities, from kayak fishing to the history of hand bells, and from a songwriting seminar to an improvised concert by a fabulous jazz musician inspired by artwork created by members of the senior center. Many events take place at the same time, which helped my sister and me whittle the list down to twelve events that did not conflict and that sounded interesting. With a dozen things to attend in four and a half days, we stayed busy from morning to night. To name a few of our adventures, we took a tour down the St. Marks River, all the way to the lighthouse in the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way we spotted a bald eagle, a manatee, a heron, and more, and on our way back, a dolphin cavorted beside our boat for a long time, as if escorting us.
Later we climbed aboard a comfortable bus and rode to Thomasville, Georgia, where we strolled for about a mile while a guide told us of the history of the area, pointed out significant buildings, and took us to some of the finest restaurants, where we had samplings of grits and shrimp, sourdough pizza, crab cakes and fried green tomatoes, fresh-roasted coffee, handmade cheeses, and more.
In other events, we took a seminar that covered harmonies from the days of Plato through the music of Elvis. We watched a terrific slide show and learned about the sight and sacredness of India while dining at an Indian restaurant. We listened to the intense adventures and watched videos and slide shows from a man who seeks and often finds the world’s rarest mammals. We also attended a concert of contemporary Jewish music on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. We did much more, too. If you are my friend on Facebook, you saw some of the postings and pictures from this past week.