By Barry Abel
Welcome back! The last year was difficult for so many we all know —relatives, friends— all over the country.  Activities curtailed, restaurants closed, isolation the reality of each day. Now we celebrate another beginning. Corrales and the rest of the country are open for business. Restaurants are busy and social and recreational activities resume. How will our reawakening look and feel? For those of us in Village in the Village, we are slowly getting back to in-person social activities. We had our first happy hour outside at Casa Vieja. The setting was lovely. Coffee hours on Friday mornings at the Bistro are ongoing, and by now we’ve held our first monthly lunch for members. Our board had its first in-person meeting in over a year.

ViV is planning a “Discovery” lecture series in the early fall —we don’t have the venue yet but hope to find a place in the village. We already have terrific speakers lined up to discuss resiliency, the new law in New Mexico that allows Medical Aid in Dying, caregiving and caretaking, and more. Stay tuned. As I’ve noted in my last two columns, we joined ViV to give back, to make our neighbors’ lives easier, to enable seniors to continue living independently in their own homes as long as they wish and are still physically able to do so.  We get the rewards of participating in that mission all the time. But the best and most unexpected reward is finding a whole new group of good friends and companions through ViV. All the social functions (some noted above) enable us to find the community that makes life easier and so much more rewarding.  Those who grew up in the area still have that network of family and friends from childhood to call on in good times and bad. But many of us found Corrales, and even New Mexico, later in life. We have family and childhood friends scattered all over —they’re just not here.  For us, ViV has been key to building our own support and friendship network right here where we choose to live.

I’m convinced that the peacefulness and lack of stress to living in Corrales are significant factors in enabling so many we know to extend their lives significantly beyond the lifespans enjoyed by the last generation, back where we grew up. Having a group of good friends and a support network is an important part of that reality. We hope you will join us as members of ViV.  You don’t have to provide services to be a member —just being a member, you help support our mission. Plus, you should know that all members have the opportunity to request services when needed.

Need help hanging that new large screen on-the-wall TV?  Need a ride to the airport or to the eye doctor for that appointment where they dilate your eyes?  ViV members can call or email and our friendly call manager will find a fellow ViV member to provide the service that you need.  And all the friendships and group support, the learnings from the “Discovery” series, exploring new places for lunch or coffee, all that is just a wonderful bonus. We’re looking forward to getting to know you.

Barry Abel is an active member and volunteer in Village in the Village. For more information, visit our website at VillageintheVillage.org

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