Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), January 27, 2020
Options at the end of life: a discussion of patient autonomy and your choices under VT Act 39
Do you have a plan for your last days? We are pleased to invite the public–especially the “Grange Members & Friends” who get these email Grange Notes–to join us next Saturday, Feb. 1st, from 5:00-6:00 PM for a discussion with Betsy Walkerman, President of Patient Choices Vermont, about the options that Vermont residents have to control their final exits–or not!
In 2013, the VT Legislature passed, and the Governor signed Act 39, “Patient Choices at End of Life”, which provides a legal process by which Vermonters can request medical aid in dying, if they have been diagnosed as having a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less. The law was the result of over 10 years of lobbying, organized by Dick & Ginny Waters, along with their daughters–one of whom will be our speaker. You can read in more detail about their reasons for pursuing this law at the Patient Choices VT Website; suffice it to say that their dedication was based on the experiences of their relatives, friends and acquaintances. The law was also based on the Oregon “Death With Dignity” law, which was put in place by referendum in 1997. Vermont was the first state in which this type of law was passed by the Legislature.
In addition to educating Vermont residents about Act 39, Patient Choices VT also provides resources to doctors about how to talk with patients about end-of-life choices–and for patients who want to talk to their doctors. They provide a “Guide to Advance Care Planning for Dementia” and a “Guide to Medical Decision-Making” to aid in making choices in case of serious illness.
At our meeting, Betsy Walkerman will share stories about people’s end of life choices, the details of Act 39, including its safeguards for patients, and will take part in a discussion of questions raised by members of the audience. She is very interested in having the open discussion needed to deal with this sensitive issue. We invite you to join us–and spread the word to your friends and families. While the question of making these decisions is not easy, there is no doubt that we will all face them eventually.
Community Potluck dinner after the program!
Join us from 6 to 7:00, after the program. As usual, we welcome everyone–bring whatever you want: casseroles, side-dishes, salads, desserts, vegetables, meats, cheese, bread, beverages, chips, candy…
This is an opportunity to hang out with people you may know as audience members for the program, or people you dance with at the contra dance, or just interesting folks from the community. And an opportunity to have a good dinner without having to make a whole meal! Hope we’ll see you there! Like all Grange events, this is free and open to everyone.
Feb. 8th: Dried Flower wreath class
Here’s an opportunity to do something with flowers, even if there is snow–or sleet–outside. We have arranged with Carol Noyes, owner of Lightfoot Farm in Northfield Falls to do a class on Saturday, Feb. 8th, from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the Grange Hall. You can see more photos of Carol’s work on her Lightfoot Farm website. She also makes and sells teas, jellies, and other items.
Carol will provide materials–wreath rings, wire and ribbons, plus flowers (like larkspur, celosia and others), dried grasses and more. She’ll also bring forty years of experience making these sorts of wreaths and other arrangements. We’re limiting this workshop to 10 participants, so everyone can get personal attention–and at least 5 people have already registered, so don’t hesitate if you want to take part! Please sign up at the Grange Facebook page event to reserve your spot, or email email@example.com. Please plan to bring $10 to cover the material costs We also ask for a $10 to $20 donation to cover Grange expenses.
Carol has been involved with the Grange for years, part of the contra dance community, as the first Treasurer of the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall, and as a main designer for the flower beds around our ADA entrance. She also donated a lot of the plants, and helped us plant them!
Progress continues on the lower level!
Sheetrock & FRPs!
When I wrote the last Grange Notes on Jan. 18th, the sheetrock was going up; since that time Stan Carlson has put up all the sheetrock, taped the seams and screw-holes, and put up most of the Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, FRPs for short. As you can see in the photos above, the panels are covered with a protective film–and as you can see, Stan has written “please don’t remove!” on the film. This is because one of the next steps is to caulk the seams between the panels.
Trim for the windows & stairwells!
Another big part of the carpentry work is putting up extension jambs and new trim on all the window openings, and on the stairwells. Last Friday, I used my “Grange Truck” to pick up a lot of primed, fingerjointed pine and deliver it to the Hall. Stan and I set it up on tables covered with plastic, and on Saturday Jill Murphy & Lisa Wilson painted all the edges with the finish coat of paint. This will keep us from needing to “cut-in” the paint on the edges after the trim is up. The faces of all the trim will be painted after they are nailed in place and the nail-holes are filled.
Still lots of ways to help!
We are very appreciative of volunteers like Lisa & Jill! We have been offered a pickup truck for use in carting off the old ceiling panels and other construction debris. But we will still need others to pitch in to get this project done! Remember, as well as feeling part of the project, your volunteer hours count toward our “match” with the grant from the VT Arts Council, which will fund 50% of the project cost. Here are some of the needs that are still coming up:
- Painting above the Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, which will cover the bottom 60″ of the walls.
- Painting new trim–around the windows and on the stairways. As noted above, the faces of all the trim will still need to be painted after it’s installed.
- Brushing on varnish on the new hand-rails for the basement stairway–soon!
- Installing new ceiling tiles in the existing grid. We’ll provide dust-masks!
- Taking the old tiles to the transfer station.
- Moving the furniture for carpet-tile installation–we’ll need to move the tables into the “alcove” space, and the chairs and other smaller items into the kitchen, so that Country Floors will be able to put tiles down in the cafeteria–and then move the tables back into the cafeteria so that they can carpet-tile the alcove.
- Cleaning up after this work–we will be scheduling a work-day to make sure that the newly refurbished space is clean and as dust-free as we can make it.
Can you pitch in on some of this work? What skills do you have that will help? Please contact me (Tim) via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how we can fit you in!
We look forward to showing off the renovated basement once it’s done, watch for the celebration to be scheduled!
Join us in the work of the Grange!
It’s the time of year when we reach out to people who are interested in what goes on at the Grange–because you are needed! Joining the Grange means supporting what we do–and becoming part of it.
When I talk to people about joining, I frequently get questions like What is our Mission? Many people don’t know much about this 150 year-old institution. Here’s what I wrote for the Grange website “About Us” page:
Capital City Grange shares the mission of the National and Vermont State Granges to provide opportunities for all to be part of a community organization, striving to improve the life of rural communities. At CCG, our special focus is on providing a convenient, affordable and comfortable community hall, that can serve as a meeting place for organizations, families and individuals. Grange Hall users are those who make our small-town communities companionable, stimulating and interesting, with classes, meetings, church services, dances and much more. Completely run by volunteers who care about the community in which they live, Capital City Grange welcomes everyone who wants to improve the quality of life in Central Vermont.
To take part in this mission, a small group of dedicated folks are already members of our Grange. Everyone who joins the Grange brings their own interests, ideas and opinions, and adds to the activities we take on. Members come to Grange meetings most of the time, and they are the only ones who can vote–the people who make decisions about things like setting rental rates, spending Grange funds for donations, scheduling Grange special events, voting on Grange resolutions, supporting events like Kids Trade & Play and Dance Sing & Jump Around, and much more. They are also the people who help us figure out what it means to be a Grange in–now–the decade of the 2020s. We need you!
We also need to have Grange members, to keep our Grange alive! In the worst case, if we ever stop having enough members, we would have to close the CCG–and the VT State Grange would get title to our Grange Hall. The VSG doesn’t want that to happen–and neither do we! The Grange has a mission to build bonds among rural communities, for the benefit of all of us. We’re proud to be part of that, and hope that you will join us to do even more.
So the bottom line is that we need people to be paid-up and active Grange members. If you’ve been a member, now is the time to send in your $30.00 annual dues! If you want to join, we’ll make it easy! Come to a meeting, bring your check (or cash, even), and we’ll vote you into the membership, unless you’ve really offended us somehow!
Checks for dues payments, made out to “Capital City Grange”, go to our Secretary: Charles Martin
639 Minister Brook Rd.
Worcester, VT 05682