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Villagers Creating Community

By Karen Bagnard
Posted: 01/24/2024
Tags: karen bagnard

Individual Villagers are often the ones who create some of the most meaningful gatherings. These are people who simply have an idea and want to include others. Here are some examples:


Just before Christmas, Peter Lamendola, one of our newer members, who is an avid hiker and a volunteer driver, put out a message in the weekly Bulletin. He shared that he enjoys driving around and looking at all the amazing Christmas lights and decorations in our local communities. He offered to pick up any other Villagers who might like to join him.


I was one of those Villagers who responded with a most definite “YES!” As someone who does not drive, this was a rare and lovely treat. Peter knew all the great places to see spectacular decorations. In the comfort of his cozy car with his permission to bring along a hot drink, I had the pleasure of getting to know two Villagers I did not know before, and it was special, indeed. I suggested he do this again next year.


During the Thanksgiving holiday, Wayne April and Jeff Gutstadt decided to stay home for Thanksgiving rather than deal with traffic to get to a family gathering. They decided to invite other Villagers to enjoy dinner in their home, and called it the “Ain’t Got Nowhere to Go” Thanksgiving dinner. 


Wayne, a fabulous cook, roasted a turkey and others brought side dishes. The guest list consisted of 13 Villagers, many who had not met each other before. We can only hope that Wayne and Jeff will do this again next year!


I’m an early bird and have always enjoyed the quiet beauty of early mornings with a good cup of coffee.  Several months ago I started “Early Bird Coffee” at my home so that I could enjoy this time with Village friends.  While not everyone is clamoring to get up early and join me, it’s a lovely small group of those who do enjoy getting up early. I also enjoy making something good to eat to go with the coffee and others often bring something to share, as well. We gather in my patio on warm days and in my living room or dining room on cold mornings. This has become a monthly gathering for anyone interested.


Recently, a newer member, Jane Hufnagel, decided she wanted to participate in the ArroyoFest walk on the Pasadena Freeway.e She thought it would be a fun activity to do with other Villagers and offered it up. A few joined her and enjoyed it immensely. 


The Village offers all of us opportunities to bring good company into our lives to share pastimes we enjoy. We are always grateful for that engagement and the initiative taken by our friends.

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