Thanksgiving comes a little bit early at senior center
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Mansfield - posted Wed., Nov. 21, 2012
At the traditional Thanksgiving meal at the Mansfield Senior Center on Nov. 14, there was a table reserved especially for members of the Red Hat Society. Smartly-dressed women, most with the obligatory hat, sat around the table after lunch, chatting and waiting for the afternoon activity. Asked what members of the Society do, Mansfield resident Margaret Easton replied with tongue in cheek. “Just exactly what we want to do,” she said with a smile.
The Society’s mission, according to its website (www.redhatsociety.com), consists of the five “F’s” – fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment and fitness. “The Red Hat Society is an international society made up of women of all ages… originally designed as a way for women over 50 to escape the pressures and demands placed on their everyday lives,” according to the site. The Society has grown over the years to include women of all ages, and has “become the international society dedicated to reshaping the way women approaching 50 and beyond are viewed in today’s culture,” according to the site.
“We just have fun,” said Easton. The Mansfield-area group, consisting of 18 regular members, holds monthly meetings and participates in activities together.
The senior center dinner, provided by the TVCCA, was followed by an appearance by Mansfield storyteller Carolyn Stearns. Stearns shares stories with people of all ages, and was headed to the Windham after-school program later in the day. She planned to concentrate on a Thanksgiving theme at the center, and tell stories about birds for the children. “I think they’re studying birds in the program curriculum,” she explained. Stearns estimates that she carries approximately 350 stories in her head at any one time, and boasts a repertoire of more than 40 different themes. “Historical is my favorite,” she said, adding that she’d planned a Civil War selection for a previous Veterans Day event.
With that, Stearns launched into her first tale of the afternoon, involving a small town, an old man, the smell of bread, and a lesson taught by a king.