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Senior Luncheon brings community together

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GATHER: Each month, a tight-knit group of seniors gather to learn about nature, art and other topics at the Salamonie Interpretive Center.
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MELT: Eva Webbdemonstrates how she heats up her tool and wax traditionally by holding it over a flame so the wax can flow out of the pointed end. Photo by Andrew Maciejewski/Herald-Press

by ANDREW MACIEJEWSK - news@wabashplaindealer.com

Each month, a group of close friends from around the region gather to share dishes and continue their education, learning about nature, history and the culture all around them.

The Salamonie Senior Luncheon is held on the first Monday of every month at the Salamonie Interpretive Center, 3691 New Holland Rd, Andrews, Ind. Each meeting, participants have the chance to learn about a different topic, which they can often use in their daily lives.

Eva Webb, an interpretive naturalist and assistant program coordinator, said each month it gives everyone something to look forward to.

“I don’t think anyone feels like they’re through with learning, so it’s an opportunity to learn something you’re not familiar with necessarily,” Webb said. “Learning is fun, the food is really good and the people are sweet, so they’re a really good group of people.”

The cost of lunch is $1 along with bringing a dish to share, and participants said they’ve grown close over the years but welcome anyone who’s interested in joining their close-knit group.

“I just like visiting with all the different people,” LaFontaine resident Linda Jervis said. “Over the years we’ve just become a big family, and we really enjoy it. You just learn a lot of stuff you don’t really learn on your own, you know, coming to a place like this and learning from people who deal in those things that get to teach you.

“It’s too bad more people don’t take advantage of it. It only costs a dollar to eat your lunch and you get to bring a dish of your own to share.”

This month’s presentation taught the group about a traditional art that is growing across the state and nation as more people learn about the art of psyanky making.

Pysanky are eggs decorated in a traditional Ukrainian style that have intricate designs created by covering portions of the egg with beeswax before dying them, creating colorful, symbolic creations which are often given as gifts for special occasions.

Presenter Heather Webb fielded questions and presented on her hobby of making pysanky. She said she wanted something she could do while doing missionary work in Tanzania, which she began in 2015, and she said since the supplies to create pysanky travel easy, are inexpensive and are readily available in Tanzania, she began learning about the traditional art form.

“For me it’s been a very relaxing, meditative kind of form of art,” Heather Webb said. “I’ve taught lots of people how to do it, and most often people really enjoy it.”

She said people in Huntington have access to just about everything they need to make the decorated eggs, since the main supplies you need are beeswax and egg shells.

Next month, the group will learn about the monarch butterfly migration. Eva Webb said participants could use the information to create an inviting habitat to attract the butterflies.

“They will probably learn about some different types of milkweed that they could grow or look for,” Eva Webb said. “They could find some eggs and be able to keep those until they become butterflies and release them which is a very special experience.”