A holiday gathering in Williamstown for Rainbow Seniors

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The rainbow is a perfect symbol for the month of December with its many holidays, and whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwaanza, Hanukkah or the birth of Apollo and Artemis, we are going to have a festive party on Tuesday, December 20 from Noon to 2pm at the First Congregational Church meeting room in Williamstown. It’s a potluck event, so cook up something special to bring and share at our family buffet.

If you haven’t joined us before, the First Congregational Church of Williamstown is the large white church on Route 2, with free parking in the rear. Use Chapin Hall Drive which runs alongside the church to access. Be sure to remember your parking permit for the dashboard, or if you need one, pick one up at the church office so you are not ticketed.

Ideas: past, present and future

We will also be looking for some ideas on things to do and speakers to invite to our meetings in 2017, so be sure to bring your ideas and suggestions as well. We need them to be sure our gatherings represent the diversity of our members.

In the past we have done things like a day in the deep woods, a June Pride Dance, trips to performances at Jacob’s Pillow, Barrington Stage Company and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well welcoming special guests from the worlds of politics, entertainment and the social services to speak at our meetings.

To keep up to date we have an e-mail list that keeps us in contact with each other. To have your name added, or for more information, send a note to ed@rainbowseniors.org. You can also call Ed at 413-441-6006.

Rachel Maddow talks about her partner, their two labs and herself

Rachel Maddow and her partner Susan Mikula at home.
Rachel Maddow and her partner Susan Mikula at home.
Rachel Maddow and her partner Susan Mikula at home.

We came across an interview with Rachel Maddow in a recent WebMD magazine while at our doctor’s office. Here are a few highights of what she had to say, with a link to the complete article. Some day we hope to do a real in-depth interview with the truth-telling newshound, or even better have her speak at one of our Rainbow Seniors events. She has to be the best role model that the LGBT community has at the moment.

What makes you happy?

I have a really good personal relationship with my partner. It’s the spine on which the rest of my skeleton hangs. We’re together 17 years now.

You’ve had recurring depression since you were a teenager. What’s it like for you?

The way I experience depression is a real closing-off from the world. It can make you really shut down physically. It can be very lonely and isolating. It turns on and turns off.

What helps you manage it?

My partner. She can remind me that I’m having an episode and it is temporary. And not allowing it to stop my life. I have to stick to a routine and keep working. I have to exercise.

Have any puppy advice?

There is no such thing as too much puppy class. We had a dog who was a super handful. We just kept doing puppy class over and over. Now we’ve got two giant black Labs who are giant marshmallows.

Do you have any new projects you’re excited about?

I go fishing a lot and I’m terrible at it. I need to get serious. 2017 is going to be my year where I finally stop being a complete 6-year-old when it comes to fishing.

To read the full article, go to http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/rachel-maddow

An “out” doctor shares some “insider” information for the patient

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Do visits to the doctor make you tense? Adam Irick is one of our own and he tells us how to work with your doctor and other professionals to get the best results. Don’t miss Saturday’s gathering on Saturday December 3, 2016 from 2-4pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield. It’s held in the conference room on the second floor. For more information, call Ed at 413-441-6006 or by email at ed@rainbowseniors.org. Check us out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/berkshirerainbowseniors.

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Rainbow Seniors meet twice a month in Pittsfield and North Adams

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If you enjoy getting together with other LGBTQ seniors, there are plenty of opportunities to do so here in Berkshire County. We meet twice a month as follows:

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Pittsfield: Me gather on the first Saturday of the month from 2-4pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum around the big table in the conference room on the second floor.

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Williamstown: It’s a potluck lunch that brings us together in one of the many meetings rooms at at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown on the Third Tuesday of each month. Come a bit early to help arrange the buffet, and to chat with members of this friendly group. And be sure to bring a dish to share.

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We also get together for walks, theatre trips, a bit of activism and other events throughout the year.

To keep up to date we have an e-mail list that keeps us in contact with each other. To have your name added, or for more information, send a note to ed@rainbowseniors.org. You can also call Ed at 413-441-6006.

We are always looking for interesting guest speakers for our gatherings, and welcome your ideas.

And of course we are on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/berkshirerainbowseniors.

Rainbow Seniors Thanksgiving lunch is Thursday, Nov. 17

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Turkey day comes early as the Berkshire Rainbow Seniors meet from 12-2pm on Thursday, November 17, 2016 for a potluck Thanksgiving lunch with the turkey and main course provided by Elder Services of Berkshire County. Regulars and newcomers alike are invited to add some appetizers and desserts of their own creation. To help cover costs, you can make a voluntary $2 contribution if you want.

Our adventurous leader, Ed Sedarbaum will have returned from his peregrinations in the wilds of Barcelona and surrounding areas of the Iberian peninsula, no doubt with tales of his contacts with the native peoples and cuisine.

As with all our Williamstown gatherings, it takes place at the First Congregational Church on Route 2, with free parking in the rear. Use Chapin Hall Drive which runs alongside the church to access. Be sure to remember your parking permit for the dashboard, or if you need one, pick one up at the church office so you are not ticketed.

For more information, call Ed at 413-441-6006 or by email at ed@rainbowseniors.org. Check us out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/berkshirerainbowseniors.

We’re great at making the most of winter

Even the bears take time to cuddle.

It’s a given that the LGBT community is full of ideas, and with winter just weeks away, we turn our attention to ways we have learned to not only survive the short days but to have fun doing it.

Our Pittsfield meeting on Saturday, November 5, 2016 will take place as usual from 2-4pm at the Berkshire Atheneum in Pittsfield, in the conference room on the second floor. If you haven’t sat around the big table and shared your thoughts with us, this may be the perfect chance to get to know your LGBT neighbors in the Berkshires.

Some of us are lucky to have a fireplace to gather around, enjoying the indoors and good companionship. Others still get out and go cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and even ice fishing. Some busy themselves with homemade holiday gifts and decorations, and others ready ideas for February’s 10×10 Winter Arts Festival in Pittsfield when everyone leaves their shelters to meet on the streets of the Cultural District.

So what do you do? Looking for ideas, or have some to share? Join us for a brainstorming session to make the next few months as much fun as possible.

“If I knew then what I know now…” October 18 in Williamstown

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There’s something about our potluck lunches that fuels great conversations at our Williamstown gatherings. The next one is Tuesday, October 18 from noon until two at the First Congregational Church on Main Street, with a parking lot in the rear, just off of Chapin Hall Drive.

So after sharing lunch (be sure to bring a tasty contribution!) and catching up, the conversation will turn to our early days and the theme “If I only knew then, what I know now…” Our earlier years were fraught with both challenges and great possibilities, often both at the same time. We hope our LGBTQ friends and allies will understand that this conversation will work best if it is “just us”.

For more information, call Ed Sedarbaum at 413-441-6006. Other meeting dates to jot down on your calendar:

Saturday, November 5 at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, 2-4pm. “What do you do to beat the winter blues?”

Thursday, November 17 at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown Noon-2pm – Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Saturday, December 3 at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield 2-4pm. “How to talk to your doctor…”

If you are driving, please remember that if you park in the Williamstown church lot you will need a Temporary Parking sign that can be put on the dashboard of your car. These are available in the office for free. Be sure to use caution during the construction on Chapin Hill Drive.

In Pittsfield, the Berkshire Athenaeum has free parking.