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By Kirsten Laskey

Nothing stays new forever. Cracks, creases and threadbare patches eventually appear, replacing shiny perfection.

Aging does not mean gloomy, depressing times enter as happiness exits. It is just a different stage, a completely unique experience.

Maintenance, however, may be a necessity in this stage. Sometimes a little more attention is required.

For instance, the sculpture, “Grandmother’s Joy,” by Fritz White, was purchased in 1998 for the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Now, a decade later, it needs some TLC.

Glenda Belyeu, senior office specialist at the community services administration, said the patina, or finish on the sculpture, was peeling away. Consequently, the finish has been stripped and work is being conducted to resurface the sculpture.

Even though “Grandmother’s Joy” is bare of its finish, its beauty is still present. The entire sculpture, now a deep metallic brown without its turquoise coat, is “C” shaped, and features a grandmother, smiling broadly as she swoops up a newborn baby.

The sculpture seems to remind viewers that joyful times do not come with an age limit; they are timeless. It is also a reminder that everything new and young will eventually become old.

This is a message that the sculpture is artistically and physically transmitting.

While the peeling patina may reveal its age, the response from Los Alamos County to fix the sculpture proves that everything, even the old, is worth care and respect.

It is very fitting that the sculpture resides in front of the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

The grandmother represents not just elderly grandmothers, but all senior citizens and reminds those who walk through the senior center’s doors that joy is ageless.

Perhaps more importantly, the artwork’s recent maintenance symbolizes local seniors’ value in the community and that we will be there to help with whatever maintenance they may need.

Editor’s note: Pen&Ink Possibilities will return to the Kaleidoscope next week.