The partygoers line up to watch the glass ball lower to the floor during Monday afternoon’s countdown to New Years…in Russia. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

The partygoers line up to watch the glass ball lower to the floor during Monday afternoon’s countdown to New Years…in Russia. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

In the new year, older adults make meaningful resolutions

New Year’s Eve party at the Everett senior center was a gift, a bequest from a man who died in 2018.

Ten, nine, eight, seven … the New Year’s Eve party countdown at Everett’s Carl Gipson Senior Center happened not at almost midnight, but Monday afternoon.

Marian Johnson, for a decade the center’s office specialist, celebrated her retirement by singing “Midnight in Moscow” as the center’s glittery ball dropped above the dance floor. Dancers paused to toast the start of 2019 with sips of sparkling cider and Diet 7-Up.

Resolutions? Those often-broken pledges to lose weight or stick to a budget didn’t seem to be on the minds of seniors celebrating 2019. For some older adults, January brings more meaningful aims.

“My resolution is to start my new journey and create a new life,” said Johnson, 65, whose retirement day coincided with the New Year’s Eve party.

Marian Johnson, 65, retired on New year’s Eve after a decade as an office specialist at the Carl Gipson Senior center in Everett. She took a spin on the dance floor during Monday’s party. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Marian Johnson, 65, retired on New year’s Eve after a decade as an office specialist at the Carl Gipson Senior center in Everett. She took a spin on the dance floor during Monday’s party. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

At 94, Everett’s Grace Hutt has an adventuresome goal.

“Going to Portugal,” Hutt said about a resolution for 2019. The trip will take “some cooperation from my family,” she said. If she can’t talk a family member into going, Hutt said she’ll turn to a godson.

“I just want to go there. There are things I want to see there,”said Hutt, a longtime traveler who has been many times to Australia and Great Britain.

Everett’s Grace Hutt, 94, resolves to go to Portugal in 2019. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Everett’s Grace Hutt, 94, resolves to go to Portugal in 2019. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Hutt was playing cards, contract bridge, at the center Friday. Her table’s foursome included Judy Lang, of Woodinville. “I decided to set goals, rather than make resolutions,” said Lang, 79.

To learn something new is Lang’s first goal. The other is to ride her bike 1,000 miles in 2019.

A thousand miles, that sounds ambitious. For an entire year, Lang said “it’s not much.” She belongs to BIKES Club of Snohomish County, and joins the group for once-a-week rides.

At 76, Mukilteo’s Carol Morris isn’t looking to change the life she shares with her husband, Jesse. Their goal is “to try to stay happy — happy with what you have,” she said.

“You’re never going to see any happier people,” said Jesse Morris, 78, who gladly retired from his job as a newspaper printer 16 years ago. No longer able to drive due to eyesight and other health issues, the Morrises use paratransit services for weekly trips to the senior center. “It’s a wonderful place,” he said.

Eddie Baines, 79, doesn’t worry about resolutions when January rolls around. “What I’ve found, I make them but I don’t keep them,” the Mukilteo man said.

“I did keep one, to quit smoking,” Baines said. He gave up smoking a pipe, switched to snuff for a few months, but quit that tobacco product — with its spitting and health risks — within a couple months. That was 16 years ago.

Baines said he enjoyed his pipe, but seeing lung cancer patients when he worked as an operating room technician in the military convinced him to quit. “I gained 15 pounds and still have it,” he admitted. Had he not quit smoking though, Baines isn’t sure he’d be around to celebrate “the big 80” this summer.

Eddie Baines, 79, doesn’t make New Years resolutions, but kept one he made 16 years ago. He quit smoking. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Eddie Baines, 79, doesn’t make New Years resolutions, but kept one he made 16 years ago. He quit smoking. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

The New Year’s Eve party was a wonderful gift, said Bob Dvorak, director of Everett’s senior center.

Food for the buffet, beverages for the toast, and live music by one-man-band Lauren Petrie were paid for with a generous bequest from senior center member John Burkel, who died in 2018.

Burkel, who died March 30 at 85, loved music, Johnson said. His donation made the party free for seniors who normally pay $5 to attend dances at the center, she said.

Dvorak, 62, said he and Eric Wollan, the senior center’s program coordinator, made a bet last new year’s over losing weight.

“He lost more,” said Dvorak, whose 2019 resolution is to spend more time with his 10-month-old granddaughter, Claire.

With a lifetime of experiences, Hutt offered words to live by — this or any year.

“Don’t hold grudges,” she said. “Forgive everybody, no matter what.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Watch Gov. Jay Inslee’s Wednesday news conference here

He is expected to talk about the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

25 years later, they still hope to find their daughter’s body

For her parents, detectives and prosecutors, it’s less a whodunit than a question: Where’s Tracey Brazzel?

Boeing cutting more than 12,000 jobs with layoffs, buyouts

The company said it will lay off 6,770 workers this week, and another 5,520 are taking buyouts.

Everett man identified as victim of deadly gunfire at party

William Thomas Harper III, 28, was shot to death Sunday. His alleged assailant is jailed.

2 more sentenced in killing of Everett homeless man

Three people were involved in a robbery during which Michael Boone was tied to a tree and left to freeze.

Registration open for drive-thru virus testing in Snohomish

Tests will be administered Thursday at the Sno-Isle Libraries branch on Maple Avenue.

Texan comes to defend Snohomish outlaw barber cutting hair

Bob Martin is defying orders to close. The man he calls his attorney didn’t go to law school.

Inslee wants nursing home residents, staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Parade is a city-wide celebration for Marysville grads

A group of parents has planned a parade Friday night. It will pass each of the district’s high schools.

Most Read