head might answer, I think you’d admit that you REALLY aren’t sure you’ve grown up yet, and you REALLY imagine there’s still time to become the person you always wanted to be!  That’s where Oasis comes in!

Oasis adventures await

You, and a great many of your friends and neighbors have a fantastic adventure awaiting you here in town. You’ve got a road map to the rest of your life, with exciting learning opportunities to discover just what you might be when you grow up!

You might become an artist, or a singer, or a dancer, or a tutor, or a computer whiz, or a speaker of foreign languages, or a volunteer or a leader, an organizer, or a historian or musician or explorer. The possibilities are endless! These outcomes and more are at Oasis, and even better – there are lots of folks just like you who want to share the adventure with you! What a great feeling! Even Peter Pan didn’t have it this good!

All of this awaits us at Upstate Oasis, right here in Syracuse, where I found my way back to a life full of purpose.

My Oasis story

Let me tell you a little about how I came to join the Oasis center in Syracuse. My name is Barbara Bell, and I’ve been widowed twice. That’s not the sort of “honor” one brags about. But when my darling second husband passed away after a long illness in 2009, I realized within a few weeks that I had made no friends or taken up any social interests for several years. How I would spend the empty days ahead was a mystery.

I’m not sure where I heard about Oasis; probably a catalog appeared in my mail. There were a number of interesting options available, so I chose a beginning French class and a chorus that didn’t require auditions to join. Although I didn’t fare so well in the French class (I’m hopeless with foreign languages), the chorus immediately became my lifeline back to a social life which helped me cope with my grief.

In the years since 2009, I took several types of exercise classes, an art class or two, several lecture series, and every year I signed up for chorus again. The wonderful chance to sing with passionate men and women and to perform in our community as a traveling troupe, filled me with tremendous joy. Many years we put together costumed performances of medleys from Broadway shows or well-known composers. You have no idea how much fun it was to dance to ABBA or Irving Berlin or re-enact “Laugh-In” while singing songs from the 1960s! Remember, we’re all over 60! Some are over 80! Group singing has been proven to have all kinds of health benefits, both physical and emotional. It certainly proved so in our group of voices!

Although that particular chorus program is not currently being offered, another one has opened up to take its place. We also have a Men’s Chorus, called “Men of Note”, which performs in the community throughout the year.

Low Cost = Invaluable Resource

Oasis is affordable (free to join, you do pay for each course but it’s reasonable), it’s centrally located, and the volunteers who staff the front desks and keep the place running are very warm and welcoming. The local Oasis branch in Syracuse is sponsored by Upstate Medical Center.

If you are reading this, you probably already are a member of Oasis. I might be “preaching to the choir”! But if you’re on the fence, grab a catalog and use it as a road map to who you will grow up to be!

Barbara Bell