It was good to be back at the senior center for lunch on Jan. 8 after our long holiday break.

Bob Sorenson, who we missed for months, has recuperated and is back with us. Another nice surprise was having John Fifer join us for lunch as he and son John Jr. came and visited. It had been over a year since John last joined us.

Another surprise was our lunch only cost us one dollar as the Knights of Columbus paid the rest. Thank you to the Knights for their donation.

Diane Walters was busy after the board meeting collecting dues and renewing memberships. She will be there every Wednesday. Dues are $10 and you will get your new bright green 2020 membership card. She also reported that we collected $186 dollars for the Stephen Center in December ($110 of that was from Ron Wilson’s raffle) which made our total for 2019 $911.40 which bought 600 bus tickets.

After lunch we were entertained by Billy Troy from the Merrymakers. Billy is from Nashville, Tenn. and had lots of stories to tell along with his songs.

Growing up in the Grand Ole Opry, he knew many of the famous singers so he gave us background along with the songs. He started with Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” did Tennessee Ernie Ford, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Marty Robbins, Jimmy Dean, Merle Haggard and Johnny and June Carter Cash. He said the songs of the late 40s and early 50s were sassy songs, cheating songs and Gospel. We actually knew them all and had a great time singing along. We did so well with “You Are My Sunshine” that he had us sing it twice.

It was good to be back at the Ralston American Legion that evening for food and bingo. The chicken Philly was especially good maybe because I had not had it for two weeks. They had a fresh supply of candy bars and there were winners all around the room. Our regular bartender Maddie was missing as she had a baby boy and took some time off.

The next day we were back at the senior center for the bingo party. The prizes were lovely towels or quarters. There were winners all around the room — Charlotte Hazuka had a lucky streak and won four times.

We had some new people join us. Max Nachtigall said she had been volunteering to help seniors play bingo and decided she’s a senior and she’s going to come play herself. She even learned some new plays. Dorothy Schultz was our bingo caller and Donna Task and Jan Cline helped with refreshments and prizes. The bingo parties are at 1 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday, come join us.

On Jan. 14 the group went to Sloan, Iowa and the Winna Vegas Casino. It was a cold day but the group of 30 was so excited to make the trip, it was a noisy bus. Dorothy said “it was a winning day” and she came home with some money. Their female bus driver was a semi driver and very good. The travelers had sunshine and dry roads all the way and enjoyed the breakfast on their arrival. Since they were the only bus, they had their choice of machines. The next trip will be Feb. 11. Call Dorothy 402-553-4874 to reserve your seat.

Last Wednesday was birthday-cake day. We had a delicious variety of cakes provided by Donna Trask, Donna Vaughn, Darla Majewski, June Nemecek and Lee Onken. Viola Allen provided the ice cream. Donna Vaughn and Lee Onken were the only two for the birthday picture which will be on the hall bulletin board. Also celebrating a January birthday, but not with us that day, are Bev Sorenson, Teresa Denson, Robert Prodywus, Genevieve Branigan, Jerry Methe, Verda Parr, Jerry Fouts, Molly Bartlett and Sharon Cooney.

That same evening at the Ralston American Legion, due to cold symptoms and the weather, we had a few of our regulars missing but had a great time. The food was great. Anne Mecseji was our bingo caller and we tried some of those different plays, the large diamond and the butterfly. Those different plays require concentration. Larry Dyer and I decided to mark our sheets as to which spots we had to cover which helped. Donna Pallet won the first three in a row and later a fourth. Both Donna and Richard Krambeck were winners. We had winners all around the room and Richard won the blackout and bag of candy. It was the first time he ever did that.

The snowstorm on Friday closed the schools which meant the senior center was closed, too. There was no exercise class and we had decided no outing for catfish night if the weather was bad. The group at Ralston House quickly organized a card game so they were not bored. I enjoy looking out the window and appreciating the beauty of the snow when I don’t have to go out in it.

The menu for the first Wednesday of February will be fried chicken breast, roasted potatoes and vegetable. Call Diane 402-885-8895 to make your reservation.

Thank you for all your comments and input.

— Janet Rentko is a member of the

Ralston Senior Center

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