Ripley Senior News: Column

Janet F. Smart
Ripley Senior News
Patriotic wreath

Hi, everyone.

My riddle for you this week is: What would you say if everyone in the country sneezed at the same time?

The senior centers have reopened. As a reminder, the following are guidelines that they will go by:

  • Hours will be from 11 a.m.-noon for lunch only on Tuesday-Thursday.
  • Starting Tuesday, July 6, the center will be open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon for lunch only.
  • Curbside meals will still be offered from 10-10:30 a.m. on the days the center is open.
  • You must enter through the front door. Before gaining entrance, a screening will be conducted. Wearing a mask is not required, but optional.
  • A reservation is required for indoor dining and for curbside meals. You may call the center a day ahead at 304-372-5151 to make your reservation.
  • If you are sick or have been exposed to COVID, please do not come to the center.
  • We will be observing CDC guidelines for social distancing. If you have any concerns or questions, you may call the center at 304-372-5151.

There will be no other activities until further notice, only lunch. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, other activities will resume; until then, I’m sure you will enjoy being able to have lunch again inside the center.

Keep your eyes and ears open for further updates.

On the first day, there were 27 in attendance. Teresa asked the seniors what their favorite thing was about being back at the center. It was a unanimous, “Seeing everyone again!”

Barbara Godfrey enthusiastically jumped up and said, “Everything!”

Some said, “Food, being together and just getting out again.”

They were so excited and had a great time talking and having lunch together.

June is almost a memory and July is upon us.

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month and National Blueberry Month? Those are two of my favorite things — and blueberries go great on ice cream. I love eating blueberries plain or adding blueberries to muffins and pancakes. Before COVID, I sometimes baked muffins and took them to the center on Wednesdays. We have three bushes, and the berries are slowly beginning to ripen. When the bushes have a good year and produce lots of berries, I freeze them to use all year round. Below is a pancake recipe I use for our Saturday morning breakfasts.

Saturday morning pancakes

2 cups biscuit mix (I use Jiffy all-purpose baking mix)

1/2 cup quick oats

2 eggs

1 cup milk

2/3 cup blueberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans

Stir together first four ingredients until blended. Gently stir in blueberries and pecans.

Pour 1/4 cup of mixture onto greased hot skillet or griddle.

Cook until bubbles break on surface. Turn; cook until golden brown.

Serve with syrup of your choice.

Optional: Top with fresh blueberries.

Makes 12-14 pancakes.

There’s a little table down at the library where you first walk in where local authors have their books for sale. My cookbook, "Cooking with Family, Recipes and Remembrances," is there. It has a lot of the recipes I post in this column in it, plus a lot more. There are also copies of my book about hummingbirds and my book that takes place in 1908, "Where the Stars Grant Wishes."

Soon we will be celebrating our nation’s birthday. Are you going to watch the parade? Ripley is a very patriotic town, and I love celebrating the Fourth here. Look for me in the carriage carrying President Lincoln and his wife. I will be dressed as Betsy Ross. Have a wonderful Fourth!

I leave you with the following verses:

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Psalm 27:3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Answer to riddle: God bless America!