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Richard’s Almanac: Shelter Island is alive, if remotely

For a while last week I thought we were getting closer to summer when we experienced great warm weather. I walked along the beach. Felt great. Didn’t think about viruses. Just breathed Island fresh air — through my mask of course.

Then this past weekend felt like late October with its low temperatures and cold winds. I was outside on Saturday morning trying to complete a deck-repair project and my fingers started to freeze. I’ll get back to the deck when it warms up.

But I have noticed loads of traffic during my rides around the Island. People are everywhere walking, jogging, bicycle riding, hiking and driving. I’ve seen plenty of cars in the Mashomack parking lot and cars parked near the starts of the Island’s hiking trails, as well as in the beach parking areas. When I walked the dog the other afternoon, it was almost unpleasant because of all the vehicle traffic.

Senior Citizens Foundation Director Don D’Amato was outside the Senior Center last week giving lessons in computers to caregivers. He was set up with laptops and a screen for instruction.

For those who don’t want to go outside, there are plenty of virtual activities available. Assistant Director of the Senior Center Sara Mundy sent me information on a number of activities that I thought worth sharing.

If you’re interested in increasing your endurance and strength, and improving your balance and flexability, then maybe “Seated Functional Fitness” is for you. It’s available via Zoom and is taught by Susan Binder. The class is free and meets every Friday afternoon from 2 to 2:30. Sign up with Sara at the Senior Center by calling 631-749-1059.

Another exercise session offered by Susan via Zoom is “Seated Zumba Gold.” It’s offered every Wednesday afternoon between 2 and 2:45. I’m told that it’s great for those with limited mobility and balance issues. Participants move at their own pace with this core, arm and brain workout. Once again to register, just call Sara.

For caregivers out there the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center has live programs and teleconference support. Caregiver support groups meet every afternoon from 1 to 2. Call 425-436-6397 to participate. There’s a fitness class on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon and bingo on Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information on these programs call Sara at the Senior Center.

Next Tuesday, May 19 from 7 to 8 p.m. there will be the “Shelter Island Community Connection.” To participate contact the Town Social Worker at “[email protected]” for information.

I’ve also learned that Sara will be playing music for children this Saturday at 11 through Zoom and is planning a “Senior Sing-along” for June 4 at 5:30 p.m. through Zoom.