Personal Best: Spring prompts Sunday drive

Seniors columnist Pat Black discusses the joys of spring; the Seniors Action Network; and sings praises of volunteers who help seniors.

Last Sunday the first burst of spring sprung and the mandatory Sunday drive in the country ensued, and what a drive it was. Heading toward Lavington past Kal Lake we saw two eagles patrolling the ground among a herd of cattle in a Coldstream Ranch field as the mother cows cared for their new offspring. Apparently eagles attend the birth of the newborn calves and eat the afterbirth according to my companion, animal-expert Joey, and later confirmed by my son, Terry, another nature knower, as a common occurrence.  Although a birdwatcher of long standing, I had never seen this phenomenon before and was truly amazed as the eagles strutted about in and around the cattle.

The fluttering willows displayed their wild orange boughs and were a colourful background for the dark red dogwood leaning over the wet snow-melting lanes, although there was still a lot of white stuff around Lavington and surrounding fields. The walkers were out in full force with dogs and kids and other strollers enjoying the sun and warm air. We watched as a father held up his toddler to talk to the ostriches in the fenced-in field, all enjoying the conversation. Once again as the sun shone we remembered why we had emigrated to the Okanagan.

A lot going on for seniors this week as City Council agrees to look at the feasibility of an Accessibility Committee for residents with mobility issues which include many seniors. Vernon Independent Living and the Seniors Action Network have been lobbying for this committee for some time and are gratified that it is close to being a reality. It makes sense that people with disabilities be involved in future planning for any commercial developments and city projects rather than taxpayers bearing the financial burden of fixing problems that emerge later.

A Seniors Frauds, Cons and Scams workshop will be held at the Schubert Centre on March 22 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. March is National Fraud Prevention Month and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Better Business Bureau and there are many new forms of fraud attempted on seniors by scammers and from those even within their own families that will be addressed.

Everyone is welcome but if you wish to pre-register, call the RCMP Community Policing Office at 250-550-7840. There will be a draw at the end and admission is free, with refreshments supplied.

The Seniors Action Network meeting takes place on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the People Place and all seniors are urged to attend to discuss issues and solutions. Recently the province announced the “Improving the Care of BC Seniors: An Action Plan” that would include the appointment of an advocate for seniors among other initiatives and are asking for consultation with seniors and other stakeholders. Plan to attend this meeting if you have any suggestions to put forward.

You know we have truly remarkable people in Vernon. Where else would you find double the number of volunteers needed to give up their time with family and friends on Christmas Day to provide dinner and entertainment for 180 complete strangers who are members of our community and in need or have no family or friends in town. In a recent letter to the editor the organizers praised all the businesses and the volunteers for their participation and mentioned that twice as many people volunteered than were needed. Kudos to those organizers and to all who contributed to this very real Christmas miracle!

If you have any comments or questions please call 250-542-7928 or e-mail blackmail1@telus.net