By Lisa Whaley

In this week’s edition of The Erwin Record, you will find the Senior Connection, published at the end of each month to provide a list of events and activities for the 50 and older crowd.

As part of my regular duties, I am tasked with reading over each Senior Connection carefully to make sure we present it to you, our readers, in as clean and an accurate condition as we can.

This past weekend as I picked up the pages – red pen in hand to check for errors – I was once again struck by something that has nothing to do with typos and sentence structure.

This community offers a whole lot of opportunities for baby boomers and beyond.

That may not seem like such a big deal, but in a society where youth is seen as the be-all and end-all, I found myself looking with anticipation to my senior, retirement years, in much the same way as I used to dream of graduating from college, buying my own home or having my own family.

A quick look at the Senior Connection calendar quickly illustrates what I mean. Not only are there a seemingly endless list of things to do, most break a lot of “I’m-too-old-to-do-that” stereotypes.

Want to go line dancing? It’s offered through the Clinchfield Senior Center on Feb. 4 at the YMCA. Love to go bowling? Then mark your calendar for Feb. 6 and 20. Feel the need for a little pampering? Sign up for manicures provided by Unicoi County High School’s cosmetology class on Feb. 27.

It’s as if anything that you have ever dreamed of doing has merged with your current favorites to create a list that’s hard to resist.

There are books to read, tips to keep you healthy, games to play and opportunities to give back.

It’s almost like a well-deserved thank-you card – written to the county’s generations of men and women who have already spent much of their lives working, helping and serving. They finally have stepped off the merry-go-round and earned a well-deserved break.

The Senior Center, Family Ministries and other organizations throughout the county are trying to make sure that break is a good one.

When my oldest daughter was about 10 years old, she once shared this observation about the stages of life with me as we were driving to school.

“Mom, I’ve been thinking,” she said. “You know, when you’re a baby, your mom and dad feed you and dress you and do everything you need, and that’s good.

“When you get older, you get to go to school and make friends. You have to listen to your parents, but they still take care of you. And that’s good.

“Then when you become an adult, you get the freedom to decide where you want to live and what you want to do, even though you’ve got to work, and that’s good.

“When you retire, like grandma, you don’t have to work anymore and can do whatever you want. So that’s good.

“And when you die, you go to heaven, and that’s good.”

I think my daughter was on to something.

Thank you, Erwin, Unicoi and Unicoi County, for recognizing that each stage of our lives is filled with promise. I am actually looking forward to the day I have a Senior Connection on the table next to my personal calendar as I make plans for the upcoming week.