Spring Surprises for Seniors Pop Up All Over

Sorting through closets or drawers often produces an “ah ha” moment when you come across a forgotten item and realize that it’s just what you need. The perfect scarf to accent a plain dress, a little brush for cleaning the tile grout, the long shoehorn you thought you’d never need, but do.
Communities also have overlooked or forgotten treasures. Recently, a Reston resident expressed surprise at mention of the postal substation at Lake Anne. She’s lived here for several years, visits Lake Anne regularly, but had never discovered this gem at the back of Lakeside Drugstore.
Not just a postage meter and stamps, it offers priority services, padded mailers and boxes always accompanied by a cheery greeting and smile. The drugstore sells some attractive gift items and an array of cards perfect for taking care of a forgotten anniversary or birthday all at one stop.
And, when a more specifically Reston-oriented gift is appropriate, next door the Reston Museum shop offers a wide selection of T-shirts and sweatshirts with Reston logos, sports towels and lap comforters, and, of course, mugs, posters and scenic postcards.
There is also a consignment area with artistic pieces of pottery, unusual wooden boxes, photographs and prints. It’s an interesting place to visit even if you aren’t in the market for a gift. The shop is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Proceeds help support the work of the museum, officially Reston Historic Trust, which conducts a series of walks and programs, including the Reston House Tour in October, and sponsors oral histories and memoir writing classes. Visit www.restonmuseum.org.
A group “ah ha” moment occurred recently when Dee Cotton, one of the founding members and president of Reston’s Useful Service Exchange spoke at an AARP meeting.
Several audience members suddenly remembered that they had been, or in some cases still were, members, but had overlooked this resource when it came to needing a pet sitter, help with a party, computer assistance, gardening advice or one of the numerous other services that neighbors can provide. That even includes members willing to loan various appliances, tools and other equipment.
No payments are involved because services are traded for credits, which members earn by providing services of their own to other members. Membership is a mere $5 a year. An application form is available by calling 703-742-8164 or visiting www.use.restonweb.com.
An Older America’s Month observation sounds more “ho hum” than “ah ha,” but not when it’s a Spanish Fiesta with live band music by Latin Soul, dancing with Salsa Fuega, and a buffet of Latin foods, plus various health screenings and exhibits Thursday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Reston Community Center.
The event is co-sponsored by the Reston Hospital Center and the Reston Association Senior Advisory Committee and is free. Registration is required. Call RCC 703-476-4500 or visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com.
Ever since it opened last summer, the Herndon Harbor Senior Center has been coming up with surprises­especially ones designed to help seniors be more active. Now it’s collaborating with the Active for Life Center of the National Capital Region to offer a 14-session program to help less physically active adults incorporate 5, 10 and 15 minute doses of moderately intensive physical activity into their regular daily routine.
This behaviorally-focused program is free but participants must be at least 50 years old. There is no age maximum but some other qualifications apply. For more information and pre-screening call the Active for Life Center at 703-807-5855.
Gardens are wonderful this time of year, but private ones are often hidden. The Reston Garden Tour is a great way to get ideas for your own garden, or just to enjoy the flowers without the work.
A dozen beautiful gardens in the Reston area will be featured, including a wonderful selection of townhouse and single-family shade gardens, as well as several lovely ones for sunny locations. It will be held Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. co-sponsored by the Reston Association and the Reston Garden Club. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the Friends of Reston for the Nature House.
Tickets are $20 and go on sale in May at Reston Association, The Bird Feeder Store, and The Reston Museum. Visit www.restongardenclub.org or reston.org.
My intent in writing this column was to help readers find community surprises and unexpected pleasures. In doing so, I cleared off enough papers to have an “ah ha” moment of my own. That’s where the cat’s comb has been hiding!

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