A Resident’s Perspective – What Not To Do at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. March 2017

Well, it is March and we are coming out of the cold. I can’t wait for the bloom that is around the corner but I am finding I have two new “weather” predictors. Further, now that we have been residents at Panorama for four years, I finally learned of something not to do here.

Way back in November, two weeks before Thanksgiving, moving quickly from the living room, perhaps to get the phone, my bare foot connected with the leg of the sofa and the crunch was heard across the house along with my verbal response. Having not had a prior (twenty-five years earlier) fractured toe looked at by anyone in the know, I now have a healed toe (same foot) that has a knuckle bump that gets rubbed by shoes/boots. The ice bag was applied and foot elevated as it throbbed and throbbed.

Picture 1

A call to our local clinic advised me to just go to the West Olympia urgent care on Black Lake Blvd. I did. Three X-rays later, it was confirmed I had fractured two toes (little and ring toe) on my right foot. Non-displaced fractures, the orthopedic sports doctor said, phew, I didn’t need to have them pinned. However, a flat orthopedic sandal was ordered and fitted and four week re-check appointment made. Elevation, ice when miserable, Ibuprofen, “don’t do anything that hurts or torques the toes”, and “don’t injure it again, which might displace the bones” she said.

Good grief…..we are never quite aware of how much non-essential digits do for us. These toes are not balance toes, like the great toe. However, walking and changing direction all torque the toes outboard of the great toe. I decided that the doc had never had a broken toe. She further advised me that it would take 4-6 weeks to heal properly with care….and then glancing at my chart, changed that to “but in your case, at 74, plan on eight weeks!”

Well, eight weeks have come and gone. I am four months into this new way of moving, walking, etc. I found early on that lap swimming was do-able if I just dragged the leg with the broken toes. At two months, I could use it to kick in the water. At four months, I can’t use the ladder to get out of the pool, though, without pain. The second set of three X-rays showed knitting of those last joints at the one month appointment.

So, now what? I have continued to climb the Quinault Building’s 5 flights of stairs daily using a different foot movement. I walk wherever we go on campus. I wear a Teva sandal and am out of the orthopedic flat sandal. Through the rain and cold, there I am marching in the sandal. I joined my first “lunch and stroll” to find that my boots don’t fit, the toes still too fat. I found a 30-year old pair of Gortex brand hiking boots used years and years ago on the Milford Track and they are roomy enough. I can wear sneakers or shoes for about three hours before those toes swell and yell at me. I am determined to not miss the hiking season approaching. New boots maybe are in my future.

I am aware of many more serious consequences to some of us during our wintry frozen months and the bones others have fractured. I can’t even imagine their re-hab and changed activities. I do know that we now have two other options for injury closer to us than the Black Lake facility. There is a walk-in clinic with X-ray capability on College and also one on Galaxy out in Hawks Prairie, should you need them. I have heard that care there is excellent. I am NOT suggesting that you try these clinics out, just to sample them.

Be careful. Wear shoes/footwear. Stay out of flip-flops, which the doctor said causes more foot and leg injuries than she can recount. Know that often we are our worse enemies. I didn’t want to offend you with a picture of these awful-looking toes, but have enclosed the offending furniture leg. You can imagine how carefully I walk past them now. My home support group was wonderful through this awful episode.

Picture 2

About those weather predictors…..along with my un-treated broken little finger (from our un-packing at move-in time), my un-treated middle toe and now my little toe plus the ring toe, I know when weather is changing. They all ache…temporarily, of course, but I also now understand my beloved Grandma’s railing against her old injuries from very long ago. As a child, I had no idea. I should have listened to my elders. And now that we are elders, be careful out there and continue to enjoy what a lovely community we have here at Panorama.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Owner Manuals

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. January 2017

You remember when you actually got an “Owners Manual” with vehicles or appliances or whatever? A place to go to with questions on “how to” or explanations of things just out of your understanding??? Many times now you are directed to go “online” at a help site and you muddle along. I often find I haven’t the vocabulary to even know how to search some of the sites for information I need, or the explanation is tech to tech and leaves you wondering what it is they are talking about.

I recently had the fun experience of changing out our own year old Panorama “Owners Manual” with a great bunch of volunteers. I think of it as “The Manual” but it is really the Resident Handbook and Directory. Your Resident Council enlisted volunteers at three sites to incorporate all the information that changed in administration of our Panorama. The total of residents who made the effort to get their latest edition with changes was 672! The weather was cold, the walkways sometimes crystals of snow/ice. But what a turnout!

When we moved to Panorama in 2013 and received the “Handbook,” I considered it a boon as we entered a different phase of our lives. As the boxes got unpacked, and we had wider aisles to walk through, I spent about 3 days reading the “Owners Manual” cover to cover. Now calibrate me, as a previous neighbor used to say. There is a wealth of information on most situations you encounter as you join a large retirement community. And I am the one who would rather suss out some problem or question without necessarily “bothering” someone for an answer. I have since offered to help new arrivals who may be overwhelmed by their move, though I never consider it being bothered. However, what a wealth of information this Handbook has.

Resident Directory Pages 1

“Who would sit and read through all that stuff?” I even heard some folks who came to get updates say, “I haven’t ever used it but for the directory of residents and pictures of folks I have run into but didn’t get the names of.”

A great deal of time and effort goes into the updating of the sections as staff changes happen, or new procedures become common place. It is a living document. I am very thankful to an administration that sees this as value to residents. Portions of this Handbook change every year and administration does a great job keeping up with current status and contact information of residents. It is, of course, also sad to see some residents missing which is always happening in our continuing care retirement community.

Resident Directory Pages 2 FINAL

Many friends and neighbors arrived at the distribution sites with additional Handbooks for residents who where traveling or indisposed at the times of distribution. A very thoughtful and kind thing to do. The Resident Council will be in their office in the Quinault building weekdays for those who were traveling or didn’t get the updated inserts. I am hoping everyone finds this document as valuable as I do.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – December is Here

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. December 2016

Sometimes we forget the beauty of seasons other than the blooming loveliness of our spring, summer, and winding down into colorful fall here at Panorama. October and November saw more rain, perhaps, than we liked. But boy did December deliver a wonderland. The tall trees were frosted and stately.

Sandy-Snow1Our yards sported a special look as the 4-5 inches continued to fall.

Sandy-Snow2And the ambient night light made things magical.

Sandy-Snow3We walked around in this just to enjoy the quiet you get with this type of event. The best place to view this, if you couldn’t walk and crunch around on the new wet snow, was like our little buddy Mirka….

Sandy-Snow4There were also whimsical animals out and frosted with fresh snow. Perhaps a resting rabbit????

Sandy-Snow5We’ve not gotten into the real 20 degrees freezing nights yet, but they are due. The Panorama crew was out with snow shovels, making paths to our mailboxes. The back hoe from grounds was out snow-plowing small loops and courts with a grinning operator. The bigger plow was out for our main roads/streets, commandeered by our wonderful trash collecting man. 

How lucky we are at Panorama. Our environs are kept navigable even when they aren’t blazing with blooms. We all are grateful.  

Enjoy our campus during this season as we enjoy friends and family. Be mindful of the puddles that may well freeze in days to come. We’ve all landed in the best place in the northwest!!!!!

Sandy Bio



A Resident’s Perspective – What Are We Missing Here?

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. Photos by George Bush. November 2016

Over the years (3) that we have been here, we always get the strange question: “What are you missing here?”  It follows closely on the heels of “what do you NOT like about living at Panorama?”

We’ve not found anything we do NOT like about living here at Panorama, so that is easy to answer. What is harder is what might be missing?

Administration has worked and is working hard to provide us with a pleasant and safe community to live in. There are so many opportunities for learning in retirement, exploring the great South Puget Sound area, meeting fellow residents, enjoying free movies and classics, ease in accessing restaurant/meal service, pharmacy, library and multitude of crafts,  workshops and affinity groups. A big amenity is the exercise and pool complex. Fitness equipment lives in most of the buildings and many of us have our own.

But, what is it with those stairs………. We’ve realized what I call “elder code,” for lack of a better descriptor, has eliminated stairs. Only a few living arrangements have stairs internal to them. The tall apartment building and both Chalet and Chinook have stairwells, but also sport elevators to accommodate residents with mobility issues.

What has been fun for us is climbing the 5 flights of stairs in the south or north stairwells that empty out on the 5th floor of Quinault building. On a clear day, Mt. Rainier is in all its glory from the north set of stairs. Some days the cloud cover, rain or fog engulfs our mighty neighbor to the east. But sometimes at sunset on a clear or partially cloudy day, the alpenglow of the west side of Rainier is just spectacular. Sometimes lenticular clouds seem to tease the peak and sometimes the peak is poking out above the land fog. We have so many photographs, that we have quit taking them. Last week, after a nasty day of rain, a peculiar yellow light appeared at dusk and Mt. Rainier sported a giant and bright double rainbow between us and it. So very special.

Sandy Bush - Mt. RainierMt. Rainier in Alpenglow and clear day view from 5th floor Quinault

Sandy Bush - Mt. Rainier 2

Most of us can’t see Rainier due to tree growth in surrounding communities, so we use the stairs to treat ourselves and give us a destination. Why? Well, about 6 months ago, we decided we need the stair climb to help invigorate heart muscle and lungs.  It is a cardio workout of sorts, not unlike what our gym-users strive for on the equipment here in profusion at Panorama.

Being a scientific type and lover of graphs and spreadsheets, my guy fashioned a grid to sign up if you DO climb the stairwell. There is a place for name and blanks to put in dates and numbers of flights climbed. We thought it would be fun to log what we do. Then we found that many other folks were actually signing in to the clipboard that holds the months tally on the top-most railing in both stairwells.

We also thought as part of general fitness that is promoted here, it might be interesting to J. Leyva, our fitness coordinator. So, at months end, we take the sheets to her and she has been keeping a tally. It is like walking to Indiana or New York by counting your steps or some such in a recent fun exercise program.

Sandy Bush - South Stairwell

 Logging in at south stairwell

The biggest caveat to this is wearing our SARA buttons and knowing what our heart and lung status is. Another important thing to consider is it might be best if you have a buddy with you. None of us should over-do exercise. But working up to more flights over time will help heart health. Some residents we have talked with find climbing the flights best but then take the elevator back down. Balance issues and leg strength are both important to consider. Others we have “run into” on the stairs take the elevator up and the stairs down by their doctor’s suggestion. Railings are available and should be used.

Sandy Bush - Stairs

Wishing you some happy views of our magnificent campus and to the east, the mighty Mt. Rainier!!!

Sandy Bio


A Resident’s Perspective – Thoughts on Learning Limits….

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2016

We found when we moved to Panorama three years ago that there was an active program for hikers and walkers and general doers. Historically we have hiked in England, Wales, N. Scotland, and parts of New Zealand. We find that with aging has come some lessening of endurance and perhaps a physical glitch or two.

Here at Panorama, the many activity and growth in retirement offerings have been a wonderful experience. We have found places to hike and/or walk that we never would have found without the leader of these outings. The ease/difficulty of various outings is explained in the monthly activities descriptions in our “Panorama News” edition.

Recently, we find that my husband has become altitude sensitive, though healthy. He had some difficulty completing a falls hike in Mt. Rainier environs. I have been pretty able to march along, usually. So we’ve found we need some of our hiking questions clarified. The leader has been available and helpful in sorting out what the offerings entail.

Sandy & George Bush

Now I find that I have reached some limits in what I can manage comfortably. We started using hiking poles about a year ago and they have been wonderful in the downhill legs of various outings. These provide stability and also some braking to ease the stress on knees. The poles didn’t help me recently at altitude on a hike on a quite warm day. Experiencing some dizziness, I was way too warm and elected to return to the trail head…..there are always lesser options offered on these outings.

Sandy Bush - Hiking

As we age, we find that there are things that are just not comfortable or safe to do. It takes awhile to understand that this isn’t a failing, but a learning of what our bodies are capable of and prepared to do in our 70’s and soon-to-be 80’s. The term “we aren’t 30 anymore” is a fun saying, but oh so true. You never want to be the one collapsing on the trail and causing a big effort from others.

Sooooo…..we are striving to find a balance while we keep moving. This has been an activity we enjoyed all our lives. What is ever so important to us is that Panorama offers so many different levels of activities. This will be increasingly important for the “boomers” we keep hearing about, who are chomping at our heels. As we move into less strenuous outings, we make way for the more active folks who have heard about these offerings.

Recently active walkers completed the third summer of “Walk the Loop” on campus and we can get miles under our feet all summer on Tuesday evenings. This was capped off with a celebration with root beer floats!! We have also added climbing the five flights of stairs in the Quinault apartment building daily to manage lung and heart health. Many use the amazing collection of gym machines to keep fit, but we never were “gym rats” …preferring fresh outdoor air. There may come a time……

Retirement is always a learning experience and learning limits is just part of that continuum. Now that we “aren’t 30” anymore, life is good in our adaptive community.

The art of aging gracefully is a big endeavor.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Now It Is August…

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2016

Like many of us, we are wondering where spring went. It was full of Rhodies and Azaleas with a hot week of weather somewhere in there. Now we are into full summer and ahead is another hot week, but it has been lovely and cool between those sessions of heat.

Here come the Hydrangeas, in so many forms, and the lilies are show-stopping! My husband has enjoyed documenting the blooms on our walks around campus.

Hydrangea at Panorama

Sandy_2 Sandy_3 Sandy_4 Sandy_5

The surprising thing is the Magnolia tree in our rear yard, after an amazing spring bloom, has sported some more flowers on outer branches. What a show. I didn’t remember it doing so last year.

It is also the time of year when hikes/walks and strolls are back on the activity schedule. With the Patio Sale behind us, there is time to sign up for these outings. The recent hike out on trails near Lake Quinault sported wild flowers that were subtle and hidden along the paths. The Self Heal below just lit up the trail!


The activities and outings arranged for us at Panorama are such a gift, really. I just read in the paper that the Sunrise and Paradise areas of Mt. Rainier are now abloom with wildflowers. The northwest has so much to offer and we are given the opportunity to enjoy it in whatever way we are able.

Our daily climb of the north five flights of stairs in the Quinault building often gives us good views of Mt. Rainier. We are thinking of putting a tally sheet up on the top landing for those who want to log in their trips up the stairs for exercise and we will get it to Jenny Leyva at the Fitness Center monthly.

Soon we will be into fall season. I can’t believe that we are in our fourth year at Panorama!!! The time is just warping and we love every minute of it!!!

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – The Bench Surprise

Earth Day was celebrated at Panorama recently with the dedication of three new Sequoias, planted in McGandy Park.  Following that was a French film, “The Fox and The Child,” sponsored by the Green Team and shown in the auditorium.

The dedication was heralded with words from our soon-to-be-retired CEO, Joe DiSanto. Further words and thoughts were provided by the Green Team’s Don M. Following both, were poems read by one of our thespians, Mike T. finishing with a wise Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”

The first loamSome expected the trees to be mere 5 gallon starters, but no, Panorama in its true caring fashion, planted 15-18 foot Sequoia starts. Shovelfuls of rich loam were available to shovel around the tree closest to the gathering marquee. Our CEO initially got to add loam and then all who wished could add a spade full.

The gathering was wonderfully accompanied by ethereal harps being played under the tall, tall trees in McGandy Park. Harps, trees and forests seem to be linked back through the ages.

The film at our auditorium was visually lovely regarding a 10 year old’s venture into watching and then befriending a fox in her wild environs. It came with many messages on this year’s Earth Day. While the film worked as an allegory, I know many of us in our youth and even in our later years have loved the thought of a “friendly” wild being.  The outcomes of such activities often lead to disaster for the animal/bird, or whatever. It really was a nice treatise on what makes wild things so intriguing to us. We all must remember that human interventions, even if caring ones, do have repercussions.

But, for me, the special part of the proceedings came when I arrived early and found the bench, in all its glory, positioned near the harp array. Expecting a bench, what I found was a lovely work of art, really. The wavy width of the seat and the knotholes showed the wood grain. The very special part for me was the upper back of the bench which had been scalloped out, almost like the historic wood carvers using adzes. It reminded me of fish scaling and our water environment here in the northwest.

Sequoia Bench

When I find where it will finally reside, you will find me sitting there.

Earth Day, on many fronts, was celebrated by the Green Team and Panorama in lovely fashion. We can be proud of the philosophy of our Continuing Care Retirement Community, being good stewards of what our earth has to share.

Sandy Bio



A Resident’s Perspective – Additional Views of Spring

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. April 2016

Spring has sprung and while the Pea “Patchers” are busy getting things into worked ground, many of us non-gardeners are enjoying the riot of color that happens around campus. The quiet and dark times of winter are now morphing into schedules of outings and things to do that keep our calendars full as our days lengthen.

Longer walks, even between rain squalls, bring us unbelievable color. Recently we had occasion to show prospective residents around on foot and they were blown away by the colors, even in small landscaped areas. The grounds crews are busy with upgrading tired “tree-lets” and some flowering plants that haven’t done well over winter. So the contrast of the color with the rich loam that is nestling around the new plantings is quite dramatic.

Sandy_1The camellias of red and white have given way to dogwood which is showering us with “rains” of pink. It felt like being in a wedding procession in the parking lot of Fred Meyer’s yesterday. The wind was moving the downed petals in swirls and more petals were coming off the trees, with littering that is just delightful.Sandy_2

Sandy_3Sandy_4Some yards are planted with an array of tulips in colors that amaze. Our Saucer Magnolia is done with its outrageous blossoms. The branches serve four of our neighbors with colorful arrays of soft color.

Sandy_5Panorama affords us delights for the eyes as we walk about campus and our out-laying neighborhoods any time of year. There is always something of color popping up. But spring continues to be very special. And for us non-gardeners, we so appreciate all the effort that our grounds people put in to make our environment almost artistic.

With the occurrence of Earth Day, April 22, Panorama dedicated the three new Sequoias that have been planted in McGandy Park. The new ones are spaced such that as the older tall trees in the park reach old age, the newer ones will continue the job of keeping our campus green.

Sandy_6This is one of three sequoias that have been planted in McGandy Park to replace the 60 year old one that was taken down due to internal rot. Sampson, guarding the dog park, was sculpted out of the salvageable part of the Sequoia. A bench of the wood is in the making.

While enjoying McGandy Park, be sure to see the Tulip Tree next to our totem woman.


Of course, my favorites are the Rhododendron varieties that are all over campus.

Sandy_7Hopefully we can all get out and about to view this splash that is spring heralding summer.

Sandy Bio





A Resident’s Perspective – Thoughts in February

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. February 2016

As we prepare to exit winter and head into spring, I had a few thoughts about moving forward. We have had the State of the Union address on the National level; Governor Inslee has delivered the State of the State message. The State of our Panorama community was recently presented at my District One meeting. What was special was how many from District One attended. It was wonderful to see so many new faces to put with the names read off by the District One, A, B and C, representatives.

These very useful meetings keep all of us apprised of how our administration is handling the changing demographics and economic environment we all find ourselves in.

There was information shared which helped to put rumors, that often run wild, in perspective. The CEO, CFO, Operations and Security speakers bringing information to us imparted it clearly and well thought out. Questions were answered, some that were sent prior to the gathering, and many from the floor.

The numbers of new builds, re-builds, remodels and upgrades were amazing and certainly show us all that we haven’t just imagined our roads full of big equipment. The air is full of activity with many awaiting homes and living units. It really is good to see, if not always to hear.

Meanwhile, spring is happening!!!

Spring crocus

The big trees that have lived past their viable ages are being replaced at a wonderful ratio, not one for one. Many more are planted for the few lost. This is a contrast to the many felled trees that happened in neighboring Lacey itself with a new developer/owner in the Woodland Square Loop area. That issue is still being discussed for mitigation by city planners.

It is interesting to think of Panorama as being 50 years old. We all helped celebrate that milestone last year. How very fortunate we are to live in a non-profit situation where moneys go into the infrastructure to keep our “home” community vibrant.

Each district has its own meeting with specific information for those residents, but anyone can go to any of the meetings if you miss your own particular one. Since moving here three years ago, I am continually thankful for the availability of information affecting us, as well as administrative folks who are willing to take time to hear our concerns.

Besides getting our SARA buttons batteries changed, and hearing from our administrative staff, it is wonderful to make contact with neighbors we don’t always see because of our widely divergent interests.  We are in good hands and while moving forward can be noisy, we ARE moving forward. We will be ready for some younger “whippersnappers” who will be/are joining us here at Panorama.

…And how about those crocuses busting out all over??????

Spring Crocus

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Make Your Own Celebrations in Life

 Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. January 2016

It was with interest that I read the recent blog by Deb.  As the New Year gets a foothold on our lives and the days start to lengthen, we often think about resolutions and such.

What happens when you move to this new community and living arrangement, away from your previous one? If you’ve lived locally for years and years, the transition is quite easy. It is another story if you are moving from another state or clear across the country. The couple she spoke of resonated with me. We have no children to wonder if we were nuts moving to “an old folks home”. But we did have many neighbors that felt it was way too early and we were way too young (70 and 76 at the time).

The move is less traumatic when you are able and of clear mind. We all know how awful the moving process is, no matter how organized you might be. Decisions on keeping/tossing must be made and figuring where to put what you’ve kept can be a tough one.

However, now being here three years, we are so very grateful for our forward thinking and “early” settling. You leave many friends but internet keeps you close. And the wealth of friends to be found here at Panorama, in many walks and stages of life, is staggering.

The activities and opportunities for learning and keeping healthy and active are too many to outline. It makes sense to be able to avail yourself of these activities before you become mobility impaired. But how comforting is it to know that when mobility issues rear their ugly heads, you will have many, many options for making life work for you for years longer.

This brings me to maintaining rituals, celebrations, and habits that you enjoyed in your previous community. Life doesn’t change when you move to Panorama, it somehow blossoms. It widens as you learn of the new environment, wild life, and weather.

Eagle Overseeing Long Lake

Eagle Overseeing Long Lake

It puts quit to the old adage that “it always is gray and rains in the Northwest.” This old saw ignores the wonderful sunny breaks that become like jewels. And having experienced a rather too warm summer (for me), I have to laugh. We sweated and labored with the hikers when it was way hot and we discovered wonderful new parks and trails!!!!! The winter time is a time to get the reading done that gets put on hold when there are too many other options and activities.

But, being New Years, I must confess, after 14 years of joining like-minded crazy people plunging into the Pacific Ocean during the January 1st  Polar Bear Plunge, I was delighted to find that plunging happens in Lacey, as well. For three years I have braved the COLD out at Long Lake, only 2 miles from our home in Panorama, and joined usually 600 other souls in ringing in the New Year by getting too cold and wet!!! Not jumping off the pier, mind you, I am not THAT crazy, but wading and splashing, getting cold enough!

Polar Plunge 2016

The lake edges were frozen and chips of ice were amazing…

Polar Plunge 2016

and I kept up with my tradition…

So, keep some of your old patterns, they are a comfort. Bake your scones or the favorite biscotti recipe from a beloved previous neighbor, cook your favorite comfort foods….but be ready for new things to fill your time. Enjoy your particular neighborhood; they are all so very different!!!


And best of all, have a delightful 2016!!!!!!!

Sandy Bio


A Resident’s Perspective – Night Sounds

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. December 2015

Now that we have turned into real winter (by the calendar, at least), I’m offering a few thoughts on night sounds. What strikes me so very specially is what we hear at night when all the helpful folks are done keeping our environs so very pristine and making room for new residents.

Spring and fall bring us geese overhead. With our windows open and no heating or air conditioning running, it is easier to hear them. They are always special. They move from the retention ponds to Chambers Lake and back again, eventually either arriving from the north or leaving for the south. Yes, many are here year round, but the sky filled with honking has always been special to me. I watched two days ago at dusk as 16 of them flew in formation.

We hear the busy trains, AMTRAK and cargo-laden cars, most of the year whether the windows are open or not. The whistle for the crossing out Nisqually way can be haunting.  When the nights get quiet or foggy, it is easier for hearing-impaired to pick it up. I think many of us residents go way back with train sounds.

There seems to be no real season for the hootie owl/s that I hear, easier with windows open a bit. They can be heard with windows closed if your hearing is good. The perch must be close between our home and Chambers Lake. It sounds like a great horned owl from what I can find out.

However, now we are into our winter pattern of rain often with wind. Rain sheeting down the roof, and gurgling in the gutters of the eave system is easy to fall asleep to. We have also had two largely high wind quick storms that produce their own sound. Our cats are not so happy with wind sound which they interpret as dangerous. They can often be found under the sofa with big eyes.

And it just became obvious to me that the clunks on our roof, at Christmas, aren’t reindeer hooves, but fir cones!!!!!!!

In between the night sounds, if you walk about McGandy Park or your neighborhood, the sounds of silence are also there. These are also precious in our urban milieu.

Enjoy this season as some of our neighbors look forward to longer days. And I’m hoping your holiday, however you celebrated, was special to you and yours.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Fall Is Here

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. November 2015

Well, the pumpkins are gone. Some of us missed them. But with the leaving of the Halloween season, the rains may well have started. 

The neon of the changing colors, especially in the dimmer light with some grayness interspersed and rain on leaves, gives a delightful eyeful as we walk about campus or out in the neighborhoods.

Fall at Panorama

Some wind has brought many fir needles down on our patios, driveways and streets. Walking on the way to a Scrabble afternoon, I watched grounds folks trying to keep up with the leaves down and the needles all over. I asked a fellow who was blowing and shoveling leaves into the pick-up truck if they ever felt they would get ahead of the chores. He laughed and just shook his head. 

The magnolia tree that covers our backyard with pink and white loveliness come April or May surely is a thorn in their side. It affords us lovely shade on the patio for the days that are too warm in summer. And it allows wonderful sun into our living room and dining room when the leaves are off as they will be in a short time. The two cats lounge in the sun spots now that the sun is lowering in our sky. But I can see now that the leaves are coming down and it is a full time job for our neighborhood workers. Sandy's Cat

We are so grateful for all the effort. It also keeps the street gutters from clogging the drains when the rain really comes down like it did a day ago. Fall and winter weather are no longer scary times with all the attention to our roof and yard.

 If you can, do make a point of just walking through the neighborhoods to see the array of lovely color. It won’t be long before the deciduous trees are bare and we can see their stem structures. The changing seasons are a gift.

Fall at PanoramaSandy Bio






A Resident’s Perspective – A Celebration

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. August 2015

The City of Lacey has completed work on the Storm Water Retention Ponds that lie immediately next to Panorama property on our southeast. This is the culmination of a lot of work by the Planning Commission who took into account local neighbors concerns as this was shaping up. Many residents from Panorama and neighbors to our south and East were very concerned with the original idea of a regular two lane road that would join the two quiet neighborhoods. Planners had hoped to alleviate some of the College Street traffic bottlenecks and open a second way into the neighborhoods until a roundabout was constructed to help.  

The whole idea of more traffic moving through quiet communities with children using the streets and Panorama with slower-moving residents walking across streets was identified as a less-than-perfect use of the service road through the retention pond area. To this end, many of our residents were joined by many of the neighbors outside of our boundaries attending four of the Planning Commission public meetings held at Lacey City Hall. Panorama’s President/CEO Mr. DiSanto spoke at most of these meetings to point out the dangers of a higher speed connector to Golf Club Road. He also provided buses to take Panorama residents to the meetings to add their concerns and suggestions to the planners. 

The City of Lacey is to be commended on listening to these many voices and showing that government CAN benefit residents. I know we all were impressed that our input was taken to heart. What has been completed now is a surface road with traffic blocks at both ends that are removable for emergencies without being a conduit for huge amounts of traffic through quiet neighborhoods.Bush_StormWater(1) The Grand Opening recently provided displays of how runoff works and doesn’t work in terms of helping Puget Sound recover from many years of untreated runoff. A model with animals/ waste/dust/ oils on roads, etc. was set up that showed how runoff takes all this material right into storm drains and thus into the Sound. The Storm Water Treatment Facility will hold runoff to settle and avoid carrying it all into Chambers Lake which is our community’s lovely wild area that eventually drains into Puget Sound. Maps of the area for the trails were provided by another display. The use of the paths in a figure eight will provide ½ mile of good footing for a lovely walk.

Ponds to the left and the right are woefully depleted of water.

Ponds to the left and the right are woefully depleted of water.

Some city council folks, LOTT folks, and our administrators were all there to view what has been done and what will be growing there to help our Chambers Lake. 

The plantings around the severely dry ponds will grow and provide cover for wild animals and birds. Dog walkers will use litter bags to keep the green areas and paths pristine. Not much can be done with the Canada geese that are leaving waste along walkways, but ponds do attract wildlife. A caution here for use of the area is not to feed wildlife or the fowl that uses it. Canada geese are now finding this group of retention ponds. A stroll out there is very rewarding for many reasons and when the plantings grow, it will be lovely like the LOTT retention ponds out beyond the Target Warehouse north of Lacey. They are havens for wild life and should be maintained that way. I was a bit disconcerted to find a woman throwing out some sort of bagged feed to them when I recently walked the path at our near retention ponds. This will increase their habituation to humans and that isn’t a good thing. The ducklings and goslings were very cute a month ago. However WA Fish and Wildlife remind us that it is not a good thing to feed wild things. 

Take the time to sit out at the viewing platform at the ponds. There is a bat house that has been installed over one of the ponds. A nicely placed set of viewing holes/pipes has been installed and makes it easy to spot the bat house. Short for the little people to look thru, mid-height for the larger kids, and then one at adult level. The bats will help keep mosquitoes and gnats handled. This is a thoughtful addition by our water officials.  

Celebrating the opening, officially, of this new green area, root beer floats were served at one end of the walkway. Both Panorama and close neighbors enjoyed this late afternoon treat.  A cautionary tale for us here at Panorama is enjoying what wildlife we have but certainly don’t encourage them by feeding them. We enjoy what walks by and even the occasional late night raccoon “foofaraw” on our roof. This old golf course we live on certainly was a haven for wild things. Now it is a haven for us. Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Arts and Appreciation

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. June 2015

Panorama is home to many artists working in many media. Recently Panorama and the Arts Guild sponsored a “first annual” Arts Walk here on campus. By all manner of measuring, this was a huge success. 

I must admit to being on the appreciation end of the art spectrum. My talents at crafts, art, musical ability and such are not up to what we were treated to in late May. So many venues displayed artistic talents of residents in the Panorama community. Active work by some involved was being displayed as we “appreciators” moved from building to building. The new clay workroom is quite a generous space and creations coming out of it are great! 


Resident Artist in action at the Clay Arts Studio

Stage works and visual photographic art were displayed at the Auditorium, running and alternating for the event. Piano music was enjoyed in both the Convalescent and Rehab lobby and in the restaurant which served a nicely put together array of luncheon choices. 


Resident Artist, Lillian K. – Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck

Many of our artists are busy in work shops (wood, fabric, metal, lapidary) not always seen by folks who live in this amazing community. It was an extra treat to have it all out on display for the walk around. The artistic energy is amazing! 

The day was sunny and bright and Panorama offered shuttles from venue to venue for those who were less steady on their feet. This made the entire outing accessible to so many. I think it was of interest to many who came from the greater Lacey/Olympia area as well. 

A display of this kind is never very successful without the time and effort put in by volunteers. Panorama is awash with caring folks who give of time, besides their talents, to keep activities rolling. Hats off to the entire band of volunteers, artists and staff that made this a wonderful day!!!! 


Resident Artist, Julia T.  – Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

Many of us will look forward to next year and perhaps the Second Annual Arts Walk at Panorama.


Sandy Bio


A Resident’s Perspective – A Time for Reflection…

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. May 2015

Well, it is time to discuss growing things. We at Panorama are really so very spoiled by our grounds crews and landscaping. We are not gardeners, nor planters of blooming things. Most of what we have ever tried died a sad death.

The spring season at Panorama just exploded with color, so many hues. The magic is often the timing, so that it seems that any time of the year there are blooms to be seen, even in the winter dark times!!  What a gift we have in that.

Mentioning our N. California emigration is getting old, we are two years into being Washingtonians. Many of us have historically fought the good fight over clear-cutting and wasted land/commons space for rampant growth. Moving to a very greenly growing state has been as much a treat as moving to Panorama. This once golf course has managed to keep the charm of large and tall trees. All of our neighborhoods have at least one or some.

We’ve experienced a limb from our large Douglas fir coming onto and into our roof during a blowy storm a year ago. That hasn’t changed our love of the big ones. These older trees do come with a risk and price.

Sandy_SequoiaWe recently found that we are losing a lovely old Sequoia at the entry to our neighborhood. It may be 60+ years old, but looks to me older due to the massive circumference of its base. This has been a much-studied tree by arborists over the years and administration has been sensitive to our concerns about losing an “old soul” that many of us identify with. The writing is on the wall due to internal rot issues and it will be history as they raze the house adjacent to it. This is a natural changing of the guard in our CCRC. It isn’t so much progress as judicious maintenance of our community.

A silly thought had occurred to me from my old “roots” and that was forming a human chain around the base with folks bringing food and spelling us for necessary breaks. That is always a community bonding activity. But now, at 72 years of age, many of my “fights” are behind me and I shall just be thankful that we had this major greeter to our neighborhood for our two years in residence.

When you go by, on your walks and such, you will notice my little attempt to pay homage to it. I will be putting colored ribbons and such where I can reach them on the base. Color me silly, but it is something I can do as this process marches forward.

Let’s enjoy the old ones that are left. I have heard owls at dawn and midnight hooting from some of them. They rain down a lot of needles that grounds have to deal with, but they are such majestic sentinels and add to our climate and landscape. They are good for our air quality as well. We are hoping that something worthy replaces this old Sequoia.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”   Dr. Seuss

Sandy Bio