Tweet, Tweet. What is Twitter and Why Use It?

Diane White

Tweets are everywhere. Originally a small chirping sound that a bird makes to get attention or communicate with other birds of a feather, human tweets are now seemingly everywhere. Like them or not – you may want to understand more about them. What compels people to tweet – to make those small chirp-like comments and send them to anyone in the world? Want to join in? I’ll tell you how to get started and give you some fun Twitter trivia facts to amaze your friends, family and trivial pursuit team!  (More…)

Gallery Updated

North Carolina Arboretum

We’ve added some stunning new photographs to our Gallery page, and we invite you to come in and enjoy them.

Like the articles you read here in OLLI Connects, the photographs come from OLLI members, just like you, and we urge you to submit your images for publication.  (More…)

Angkor Wat via Viet Nam

Catherine Mitchell

I hadn’t planned to go to Vietnam.  What I really wanted to see was Angkor Wat in Cambodia. And I wanted to get there before I was too old to climb all those steps.

However, the company I usually travel with, both because it features groups of from 14 to 16 maximum and doesn’t charge single supplements, didn’t have such a trip. Most of their trips included Thailand, but I had visited Thailand twice already, once very recently.  But, there was a trip to Vietnam with an add-on to Cambodia.  So off I went.  (More…)

Arrival

Raymond Paltoo

The sky was an unbelievable blue with only a lonely, white, drifting cloud to disrupt its absolute rule in the heavens. The sea was a reflection of the blue sky, except near the shore, where the water became a translucent emerald-green.

From the rough planking of the dock Sham watched the ship, which had brought him and more than a few hundred others over the depths of the dark ocean, gently rocking as the small waves washed her hull on their way to the shore. His senses told him that he had never seen anything so lovely and yet so alien as the waters of the Caribbean. Simultaneously, he was conscious only of misery and loss.  (More…)

Therapy Dog

Penny Noriega

Have you ever felt better after petting a cat or a dog?  There is scientific evidence that petting a friendly animal can make you feel better.  Scientists believe that the major source of people’s positive reactions to pets comes from oxytocin, a hormone whose many functions include stimulating social bonding, relaxation, trust, and easing stress.  The conclusion is that pets, especially dogs, seem to be good for our health.

I know that after a long tiring day, there is nothing better than   (More…)

Yes, Diane! There is a Santa Claus!

Diane Russell

The happiest season of the year was Christmas for the Chicago-based Henrikson family.   I was the only kid among my friends who could say that I actually saw Santa Claus deliver presents.

Santa made regular appearances decades earlier to another generation of Henrikson and Dixon kids.  My dad, Art Henrikson, wrote about these Christmas Eve visits to his Scandinavian grandparents’ home in the 1920’s as follows:  “Each year someone would have to go to the store and leave through the front door…minutes later, conversation would lower.  I’d hear a tinkle of bells and then a knock on the back door…there was Santa!” In the 1930’s, his younger cousin, Vince Bates, saw Santa at Big Grandma and Big Grandpa’s house a couple of days after Christmas and was amazed: “Of course, he had gifts for all of us, and of course he knew all of us by name, including me!”   (More…)

Opa! Greek Festival

Shelly Belzer

When my wife, Jane, and I went on a cruise to the Greek Isles in 2016, a folkloric troupe from Crete came aboard ship and performed the elegant, vigorous dances of their island in traditional costume. We were right back there — similar dances, similar costumes — on Saturday night, November 10, when the OLLI Shutterbugs visited the Opa! Tampa Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Hyde Park Village. (More…)

Victorian Christmas Stroll

OLLI Connects is about OLLI members sharing their experiences.  But it’s hard to share an experience that hasn’t happened to you yet.  So, we’re inviting you to a Christmas adventure with a smidgen of time travel thrown in:  The Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum.

From now through December 23 you can, well, “stroll” through a Christmas world much like the one Cindy Knox depicted in our last blog post.  We can’t promise that you’ll run into the Ghost of Christmas Past, but you will see:  (More…)

Reading for Pleasure – The Pickwick Papers

Cindy Knox

Charles Dickens

I have read several sobering articles about the decline in reading for pleasure, not only in America, but also across the world. There are numerous reasons given for this decline, including the rise of electronics and more hours spent in front of the TV. However, I’m not an academic, a statistician or any type of reading specialist. I’m just a person who loves reading for pleasure – and for our purposes here, we will define pleasure as “enjoyment.” The choice of reading that gives you pleasure or enjoyment may be poetry or cookbooks or mysteries or romance novels, or even, as in the case of Mr. Pickwick’s fellow Pickwick Club members, the report titled “Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with some Observations on the Theory of Tittlebats.”    (More…)

Calling All Board Gamers!

Ann Murphy

Games!  Glorious Games!  Is this the sentiment of an earnest nine-year-old or a precocious four-year-old?  Probably, but many adults also fondly recall those days gone by when the family eagerly gathered around the dining room table on a stormy summer night or a blustery winter one and enjoyed a riveting game of Monopoly, Parcheesi or, in a nod to the younger set, Chutes and Ladders or Candyland.  (More…)