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Way More Than I Bargained For

By Karen Bagnard
Posted: 10/17/2020
Tags: karen bagnard

-    Karen Bagnard -

 It was nearly six years ago that I visited the Pasadena Village at their monthly Meet Me At The Village coffee event designed for newcomers, vintage members and those who are just curious.

In all honesty, I didn’t think the Village was for me.  I didn’t see myself as a “senior.”  I still felt young and energetic and I had a full life with friends, family and a small business to run.  My daughters were encouraging me to explore new avenues for my life and to get a “plan B” in place for the day my deteriorating eyesight would prevent me from driving.

Sue Kujawa, the Executive Director at that time, would send me emails about these monthly events.  I finally gave in and went to one.  I almost didn’t go because I was running late and then I had trouble finding the Pasadena Village office.  That made me even later.  When I finally found it, I was really late but decided to just go on in.

There was the aroma of fresh coffee, coffee cake and the chatter of about a dozen people.  I was one of three or four visitors that morning.  I felt welcomed and was asked to introduce myself and tell everyone how I learned of this event.  Everyone shared their interests and members shared how much the Village meant to them and how it enhanced their lives.  Two people in that room have since become my very good friends, Peter LeSourd and Dave Folz.

By the time I left that first coffee gathering, I knew I wanted to be a part of this vibrant community of seniors!  I called my daughter in Florida and told her I was going to join and how much fun I had at the coffee.  She and my son-in-law gave me my first year’s membership as a Christmas gift that year.  Since then, it has been the Christmas gift I give myself each year!

What I found at the Village is so much more than what I bargained for!  I have made rich friendships with people I might not otherwise ever have met… people who have lived lives and done things very different than me.  I’ve been enriched by their presence in my life.  I’ve benefited from the educational programs, social events and focused discussion groups covering foreign affairs, critical issues and social challenges facing our country.  I have read books and articles I might not otherwise have paid any attention to.  I’ve been inspired to write my memoirs.

We learn together; we laugh together; we cry together; but, most of all, we thrive together.  I had no idea, six years ago, how much I needed this!

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