Celebrating Christmas in July
By Daniel Arens
One thing united the dozen women who gathered together at Salem United Methodist Church on Monday. And it wasn’t a natural affinity for playing the handbells.
These women are all retired teachers from school districts around the area. Even though they are retired, however, they continue to find ways to get together and continue to learn.
These 12 ladies, together with another eight former teachers, form the Missouri River Basin Retired Teachers Association. The group includes retired teachers from Hazen, Beulah, Center, Golden Valley, Pick City, Cole Harbor, and Halliday.
“We meet about six times a year,” Vicki Larson-Schmidt said. “We usually plan a little program first.”
Meetings are held mostly in spring, summer, and fall, when it is easier for people to get out to different places.
“We want to keep on learning and growing,” Larson-Schmidt said. “Just because we’re retired doesn’t mean we want to quit.”
This month, the retired teachers gathered at Salem, where Tammy Vernon, a current Hazen Elementary School teacher, showed them how to perform using handbells. Despite the recent 100 degree heat, the handbell music consisted primarily of Christmas carols.
Larson-Schmidt explained that the theme for this month’s retired teacher gathering was “Christmas in July”. Besides the vestive handbell performance, the members also exchanged gifts and played a game matching images with various carols.