Senior Focus


As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

Changes . . .
I’ve been asked a number of times what I think has changed the most ‘round here in the past twenty years.
My first thought is “me.” But on the chance nobody else has noticed I choose not to bring up the subject.
A lot of the changes have made a great difference in my life.
One thing I’m faced with is not knowin’ everybody anymore.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But it bothers me considerably, and I do my best to remedy the situation.
I like meetin’ new folks. I find out all I can about ‘em. Or at least what they’ll tell me, such as how did they happen to come to this area, where they came from and so forth.
I’ve been blessed by gettin’ to know some of the finest folks in the world, even distant kinfolks I didn’t know I have.
So far nobody has told me to tend to my own business.
Oh, it’s been said I’m nosey, and I’ll be the first to admit it. But how else can I learn if I don’t ask?
At times I think back to when we moved from downtown Mabank to out on Gun Barrel Lane.
Sometime, on a pretty day, I would take a notion to walk to town.
On my way I might see three or four cars. Other days I didn’t see a soul. Can you believe that?
Another thing hard to believe is I knew ‘em all.
Some would stop to see if I’d had car trouble, others waved, tooted their horns, or stuck their head out the window and yelled!
It was during that time that a well meanin’ great uncle gifted our son with a pair of ducks that had been raised in a coop all their lives.
What a sight it was to watch when they were introduced to more than a cup of water.
It wasn’t long till there were little ducklings all over the place.
We would sit on the front porch and watch the mama parade ‘cross the road, with a line of little ones marchin’ behind her.
What traffic there might be would come to a stop till they all made it to the other side.
Soon folks were stoppin’ by, wantin’ to buy some ducks.
We were happy to share the surplus that kept multiplyin’.
The only problem was we had to run ‘em down to catch ‘em.
The would-be-duck-owners often joined the chase.
I see many ducks on Cedar Creek Lake these days. I wonder how many could trace their lineage back to the two, who didn’t know about water sports till they were half-grown.
As I was saying, I don’t know everybody anymore, and it bothers me.


AARP to sponsor Independent Living Day
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–In celebration of Independent Living Day, AARP volunteers in Athens will be sponsoring a free senior event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Cain Center, 915 S. Palestine in Athens
There will be a free barbecue lunch, first come first served. A talent show and door prizes will be featured.
Local businesses and vendors will provide carotid screenings, cholesterol testing, vision screening, blood pressure checks, glucose testing, oxygen readings and flu shots.
Also, Medicare part D information and free hand and foot massages.
ETMC EMS ambulances and Athens Fire Department vehicles, along with new recreational vehicles, will be on hand.
Information, education and fun are planned for all.
In signing a proclamation declaring May 13 AARP Independent Living Day in Athens, Mayor Randy Daniel is urging all residents, businesses, schools and religious and civic organizations to learn how simple home improvement projects can help family members, friends and neighbors remain independent as they age.
“If each of us in Athens agrees to do one simple project to help an aging family member or neighbor, think of the impact we can have on their lives and our city,” Daniel said.
“I’d like to see churches get congregations involved in this effort with AARP and businesses get their employees aware of what they can do,” he added.
“AARP Independent Living Day gives local AARP volunteers like me an opportunity to raise public awareness about how easy it can be to help an aging parent or neighbor stay in their homes,” program coordinator Sandra Morse said.
“We hope Athens and surrounding communities will follow the mayor’s suggestion and learn about how easy and inexpensive it can be to make a home fit someone’s changing vision or mobility needs.”
A recent AARP Housing survey showed 83 percent of all older Americans want to remain in their homes as they age.
“In Texas, 28 percent of people age 65 and older live alone, and 80 percent own their own homes,” Morse said. “As people like your parents, grandparents and friends age, simple home improvements can help prevent accidents and injuries,” she added.
Additional information about AARP Independent Living is also available on the AARP website at, or call Sandra Morse at (903) 677-8506.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over.
We provide information and resources; advocate on legislative, consumer and legal issues; assist members to serve their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products and services for our members.
These benefits include AARP Webplace at, Modern Maturity and My Generation magazines, and the monthly AARP Bulletin.
Active in every U.S. state and territory, AARP celebrates the attitude that age isn’t just a number, it’s about how you live your life.





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