When you think about Halloween, there's always the thought of raising the spirits - ghost, goblins and the likes. And, often, the raising of those spirits turns to the youngest among us.
I heard about a different activity that raised my spirits and the spirits of the residents at Nevada Cares.
During the month of October, the staff members decorated the houses of this assisted living center, and in the days before Halloween the entire staff dressed up and paraded around the center.
"We did it just to give the residents a sense of the festivities and a feeling that we care for them," said Roberta Edgemon, who won best costume for coming dressed as Aunt Jemima.
Aside from the costume parade, during the month the staff members decorated the three homes that make up Nevada Cares.
"They all knew it was a contest and each resident thought that their house was the best decorated," she said. Decorations were placed on the houses by: House 1 - Sheri Oliver and staff; House 2 -Roberta Edgemon and Tiffany LaJeunesse and staff; House 3 - Cindy Velazquez and staff. House 2 was selected by Carson Mayor Ray Masayko as best decorated.
"The residents really got into the spirit of things and their spirits were raised," she said. "Each of us kind of picked our own theme."
Nevada Cares owners Lester and Kaye FitzHenry collected prizes from outside merchants - The Flower Bucket, Carson City Florist, JJ's Ear Candy, B'sghetti's; Cattleman's restaurant; and High Country Hair Designers.
"Everyone was behind the whole concept of the dressing up," Roberta said. She received two days paid leave for her costume. LaJeunesse, second place winner as Tinkerbell, got $50 cash.
"It made you feel good that everyone was working together, it made you feel like you really accomplished something," Edgemon said.
Putting some power into someone's life may be what it's all about for Tom Thurlow, program director for Senior Wheels Program.
An advertisement came across the fax machine, and the bottom portion of the transmission emphasized "do not use the word 'FREE' in the headline.
When I saw that, I got a little skeptical.
Senior Wheels Program makes power wheelchairs available to seniors at no out-of-pocket expense if they qualify. ("If they qualify" raised another red flag.)
So, I called the toll-free number that was offered and tried to find out exactly what was meant by "makes available."
A voice message comes on and says something like this:
"If you are unable to walk or self-propel a manual wheelchair around the house, maybe I can help. Please leave your name and number, and area code, and I'll get back to you."
No clue as to what type of help or anything.
I don't know if it was legitimate or not, but I would want nonetheless to tell people to be careful. This may be legitimate, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Steve Sliger, a Carson City resident, recently returned from a trip to China where he has worked since August as an engineer making graphite golf club shafts and bicycle frames.
He stopped by to tell me about his adventure, and there'll be another story coming out of that sometime down the road.
What interested me most was that an engineer from a small place like Carson City could go all the way around the world and work in one of the largest metropolis areas of China - Humen, near Canton - not understanding a word of Chinese and manage to get along.
"It was a wonderful experience," Steve told me. "And, the money was not too bad either."
He said it was a phenomenal experience and he enjoyed the opportunity to travel in China and see that part of the world. He said isolation was a real problem.
"Even the television had subtitles - when it came in," he said.
Canton was the largest city other than Hong Kong, which is on the coast, where he was working. He did do some traveling through the country and took in some sights - the Great Wall was one of them.
"Western-style was nowhere to be seen," he said. "I did locate some Snickers bars."
But all in all, Steve said the two-month stay that he made in their country opened his eyes to the wonders of Nevada and what the U.S. has to offer.
"I was told that I was a true pioneer in the consultant area of Taiwan and China," he said.
Steve said he wouldn't mind going back.