February can be cold and stormy with the occasional sunny day, hinting at the coming of spring. With thoughts of what to do next, indoor activities may be best.

The winter months are the perfect time to reactivate our creative potential. Our annual Legacies contest begins this month. The contest is a writing competition open to all seniors. Writing can help us to heal, remember a time that has inspired us or make us laugh.

Write a short story from one or more of the categories — Veterans Memories, Describe a Challenge in Your Life, Tell a Story for Your Grandchildren, Describe a Spiritual Experience, or Tell a Funny or Sentimental Story. Submissions are due by March 26. Stories will be judged with a winning entry in each category. Excerpts from the winning entries will be published in The Valley Dispatch and the DCOA newsletter. All entries will be published in an anthology produced by the COA.

All authors are welcome to attend the Legacies contest awards ceremony and luncheon on Friday, April 9, at noon.

* The U.S. Census is hosting a road tour that will visit cities across New England. The tour will be encouraging everyone to complete and return the Census form when it arrives in March. On Monday, March 8, the tour will be at Lowell City Hall, 50 Arcand Drive. The tour features interactive kiosks where people can learn about how the Census affects our communities.For more information, visit

* AARP income tax preparation for seniors 60 years and over began Friday Feb. 5, and will continue through April 9. Please call the COA office (978-957-2611) to make your appointment and find out what documents you need to bring.

* Reiki is back starting on Wednesday, Feb. 17. This is a free service; please call to reserve your appointment.

* Movie of the month is The Invention of Lying, which was partly filmed in our own Lowell, starring Rob Lowe, Rick Gervais and Jennifer Garner.

* February is traditional known as the Romance Month, and here at the COA we feel that a celebration is in order. Please join us on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m. for a Valentine’s Day Party. A special meal includes French dip roast beef sandwich, chips, pickles, tomato soup and a delicious éclair for dessert. Singer Paul Iannazzo will serenade us with love songs, and bingo will be held at at 1 p.m.

* Coffee with the director is on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m, at the Dracut Council On Aging, “The Best Place In Town.”

Joyce H. Shadan is the executive director of the Dracut Council on Aging.