Meals on Wheels Community Cafe Hosts Senior NetworkApril 28, 2009 - TRC Hot and delicious sandwiches with light fish filets topped with cheese, lettuce and tomato and tartar sauce were the centerpiece of the luncheon served to the Senior Network by the staff of the Meals on Wheels Community Cafe on Monday, April 26th. Chef Susie rounded out the nutritious meal with potato wedges, carrot and raisin salad, and apply crisp for dessert - complete with whipped cream! More than 30 seniors from Dover-Foxcroft, Sangerville, Sebec, Abbot, Atkinson and Guilford enjoyed this wonderful luncheon and learned more about the senior meal program which will return to Dover-Foxcroft in September 2009 at least one day a week. Like every other session, participants started out their gathering with some no-impact exercises led by Judy Merck - always good for warming up those appetites! Robin Lyford, the Program Coordinator for the Meals on Wheels program, Piscataquis Eastern Area Agency on Aging, spoke with the group about the meal offerings and displayed a book of pictures of other area groups, and talked about the variety of activities that are offered through her program. The Senior Network, a partnership between Community First, Community Extension Services, the United Way, the YMCA, Mayo Regional Hospital and PENQUIS, has been meeting twice a week since the beginning of January - providing area seniors with the chance to get out of the house, meet and visit with friends and neighbors, enjoy a nutritious luncheon and an educational or entertaining program. Participants have heard from a variety of community programs and services, read and listened to poetry, participated in planting for the Community Garden and Forest, registered with the Iris Biometric Recognition System conducted by Chief Dyer and Officer Pearce. They even had a spa day when they were treated to massages, manicures and hand treatments (guys included!). The last luncheon for this current session was held on Thursday, 4/30 and was hosted by the Square and Compass Club of the local Masonic Lodge and featured a slide show of the pictures taken through the session. One of the most enjoyable programs was conducted by the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society who brought a dozen or 20 albums filled with pictures that weren't identified. Our seniors went to work busily identifying more than half of the pictures and enjoying the opportunity to see these old pictures and share stories. Earlier in the session, Senior Network participants were interviewed by 8th grade students from SeDoMoCha, who are working on oral stories. The student's stories will be revealed in early May at the next luncheon with a display that the students are now assembling. It was a grand time for all - with many smiles and lots of laughter as students asked questions about a lot of topics including what kind of "technology" seniors had when they were in 8th grade, how they got to school, and what they studied in 8th grade! There were many memories shared about the Crystal Ballroom, the Air Force Base at Charleston Hill, and what downtown Dover-Foxcroft looked like many years ago. The students were generally amazed at the information shared - including the proverbial stories about miles walked to school, chores at home, and the variety of careers that seniors have had in their lifetime. Over the summertime, Senior Network will meet once a month for a potluck meal. The luncheons will be at the YMCA, starting at 11:00 a.m. and are scheduled for Mondays - May 11, June 22nd, July 13th, and August 10th. There is no advanced sign-up or cost for these meals; programs will be announced in local papers in advance. For more information, please call the Jane Conroy at the Cooperative Extension Office at 564-3301 or Sue Mackey Andrews from Community First at 564-8245. Transportation can be arranged if needed. The partners will be planning for a September "start-up" in partnership with the Meals on Wheels team - watch your local newspaper for future announcements !Submitted by Sue Mackey AndrewsNOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.