Panorama Rescues My Twin Sister

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. May 2018

Emergency! My twin sister, mentioned in my April 2018 blog, ended up staying eight days at our Panorama apartment. Jerri had planned to stay with our daughter Melody and her hubby John, but their daughter, Hope, took ill. I prayed a queen size air mattress would fit into my tiny craft room. I removed my folding tray tables and my two small black benches.

All four walls had craft stackable drawers and cabinets. My laptop was on a board on top of one set of the many drawers.

“Well, the mattress fits,” Chris called to the kitchen. “But it’s bumper to bumper with all that stuff lining the walls.”

“Oh, Jerri won’t mind. We’ll have fun.” My jaw dropped and eyeballs bulged—only eight inches of “walkway” between the mattress and the sewing machine and tall plastic drawer bin.

Yes…Jerri was a sport. We laughed at the situation, and began with first things first: what were we going to wear to dress as twins for fun? She loves to shop. I detest it. I’d rather be playing piano somewhere on campus, practicing new compositions, writing books, blogging and marketing opportunities, or doing my tons of crafts. But I looked forward to going to the small shopping center a mile away to purchase matching tops to go with the black pants and tights we already owned.

We rode the scheduled, beautiful Panorama bus and stepped off right in front of the store. We tore through the departments for 1.5 solid hours, more out of high adrenaline rush than of time crunch. She only wears black and white, sometimes tans/browns, but NEVER pastels. I mainly wear black and white year round, but don anything that fits, or that is handed up or down to me.

I hadn’t been shopping in over a year, so I was like a kid at the candy counter readying for a double feature. Our challenge was to find items that fit each of us, but matched…and only in black and white. We found mounds of clothing and shared the dressing room, as we did as kids years ago. Eliminations went fast, mainly because what fit one of us didn’t fit the other, and it HAD to be on a good sale!

She insisted we take items home on hangers. As most stores in Washington, no plastic bags are available. Our fingers gripped long receipts with our seven coat-hangered items. Other residents on the bus teased us about the matching clothing we’d purchased. Visiting on the Panorama bus is the fun part of the trip to and from our destinations.

After laughing and reminiscing until 2:30 a.m., we arose in 8 hours, dressed identically in our thinly-striped, black and white tops, black tights, and gold loop earrings. We took the elevator from our apartment on the 5th floor down to the 2nd to Panorama’s Seveenteen51 Restaurant. As we stood deciding where to sit, residents turned to smile. I waved as I always do.

“Wow, people really are friendly here at Panorama,” Jerri commented. We sashayed back to the Bistro for a table for two by a window. She kept remarking, “The view here is beautiful.” She awed at spring’s huge red rhododendrons and numerous other blooms, and well-manicured lawns.

“Jerri, most Panorama people are very friendly, but remember: today their eyes are following us because we are dressed alike.” We laughed like kids. I added, “We’re getting the attention we dressed to get, right? Lots of residents know me, and most have just read my Panorama blog and quarterly VOICE OF PANORAMA. Both publications have been out three days and contain the story of our being twins each year, dressing alike, getting Mom to take us shopping so people would say, ‘Oh, look at the twins! How old are you? and…’”

Jerri broke in to finish my story, “Yeah! And we’d say we were both seven or whatever. We never said we were twins…they did!”

I jogged her memory, “Remember when we dressed alike as adults when we both lived in Las Vegas and we treated each other to lunch?”

During our lunch, I learned Jerri had not brought her swim suit, but swims daily at her home to aid her bad back. She jumped at the idea to go shopping tomorrow for a swim suit.

We did ride the city bus, since Panorama’s bus was not scheduled to go where we wanted to shop. She said, “I haven’t been on a city bus since I was in high school. This is wonderful. The bus is so clean.”

Our five minute ride dropped us off about a half-block from the store. We found even more bargains and a great swim outfit for her. Again, people stared and grinned. We were wearing our new broad-stripped black and white tops and black tights. This time we called out, “We’re twins!” We were surprised at how many teased back, “Oh, we thought you were escapees still in uniforms!” What constant fun!

As we checked out to pay, I asked a resident couple, Ann and Rocky, behind us, “My sister and I came on the city bus. May we hop a ride home to Panorama with you?”

What a delight. The lovely couple treated us to a 20 minute tour of Panorama grounds. We have had no car for 6 years and don’t miss it. Jerri didn’t know about our beautiful Chambers Lake with ducks. Rocky and Ann pointed out the various blossoms, trees, bushes and stopped for our picture-taking from the back seat, since it had started to drizzle.

Jerri questioned, “Who takes care of all these manicured lawns and bushes? It must take hours…who has the energy to do it when they get older? I hire a gardener at home and it’s not cheap.”

“Oh, the Grounds maintenance does it for us, Jerri. We don’t have to do any of it.”

“But how much do you pay to have it done?”

The three of us said in unison, “That’s included, as well as utilities, water…” She was experiencing the too good to be true amenities I’d shared with her since we arrived in 2011. We don’t take the paradise-looking grounds for granted, but I was renewed once again of God’s amazing work of art on our campus.

After a few days, our granddaughter was well. We had a great brunch and a full day of fun at their home. Later we invited them to Panorama’s Seventeen51 Restaurant. How convenient. I didn’t have to cook!

Jerri is highly allergic to dairy and tolerates only a little gluten. Well-trained waiters and cooks made her dining experience comfortable, relaxed and healthy. Jerri never owned a recipe book, and is blessed with gourmet-cooking talent. “My large, beautiful platter of pear salad topped with grilled chicken was tasty and filling,” she remarked. That was a real compliment.

As I’d introduce Jerri to my friends, many asked if she was the one of the main characters in my memoir. What fun when they learned they had met her “in person”. Several asked if she wanted to hit me over the head for being extremely late for the big fashion show in Mexico City when Jerri was coordinator. “I wanted to do lots more than just ‘hit her over the head’…I wanted to kill her,” she teased with her hand soaring up high.

By the way, the book I wrote in class at Panorama in 2017, Convent to Catwalk, involves Jerri too. After I had been a religious nun for 13 years, I started training to model for many of the world’s renowned fashion designers. Jerri and one of my other sisters, Patti, were responsible for that part of my life. I don’t take them for granted either.

We are encouraged to have family and friends stay with us up to two weeks at a time. I enjoyed my “twin” sister in a special way and thank my Panorama family who welcomed her with me. We are blessed again here at Panorama.

A Work of Art Brought Back to Life

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. May 2018

My father’s career as a biblical scholar and archaeologist often took him to Israel and Jerusalem. While he was on digs, teaching and researching, my mother, an inveterate shopper and extrovert, studied, visited and came to appreciate Arabic and Palestinian crafts and the Palestinian people. In 1970, she approached John Tabash, a renowned craftsman both in mother-of-pearl and olive wood. She wanted him to create an olive wood Advent Calendar modeled on the Gothic cathedral in Limbourg, Germany. Reluctant at first, he eventually embraced the idea and the two of them worked together for many months. The result was a stunning creation, over two feet high. Each of the 24 doors contains a nativity figure, and there is a large “rose window” in the center made of intricately carved mother-of-pearl. 

When I inherited the Advent Calendar a few years ago, it needed TLC. Several doors had fallen off, it had lost some of the original olive wood luster, and the wiring for the interior lights was not safe. I took it to several wood workers and none were able or willing to take on the project of restoring it. Then, after we moved to Panorama, I took it down to the wood shop. One of the regulars had assured me that someone would certainly be willing to take on this project. And sure enough, Maurie Laufer agreed, provided I wasn’t in a hurry. No, Christmas was almost a year away.     

Over the next few weeks and months, Maurie updated me on his progress. A missing door had to be replaced with a new piece of wood, stained to match the original exactly and complete with a tiny doorknob. Doors had to be glued back on. Lights had to be found and placed in exactly the right place. A major dusting and oiling was needed. 

Finally, in May, the great day arrived when Maurie called to say it was ready! We stopped by the wood shop, buzzing with activity, which stopped when we approached the work bench. What a thrill when he took off the protective covering! The olive wood almost glows in rich, deep, variegated hues. The LED lights (donated by the metal shop and originally acquired in Iceland) emit a soft glow. And the Nativity figures, all 27 of them, hidden behind their doors for now, serenely await their turn on the stage during the month of December. Thank you so much Maurie for taking on this project and bringing a family treasure back to life. 

A Resident’s Perspective – Neighborhoods

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. January 2018

In this cold part of winter, all around us there seems to be feverish activity going on.  And there has been activity for what seems like months. We live on a loop within the main campus and don’t usually get this amount of road traffic. The insulation trucks, the cement removers of patios and walkways, the cabinet trucks, and the Panorama crews attending to remodeling homes in our neighborhood. We sometimes look forward to the weekends when things get really quiet.

What this means is our neighborhood is in transition. The stalwarts we relied on for help in assimilating us into a new way of life have passed their batons. Some have moved within Panorama, some have left us, sadly.  Even some have chosen to move away and closer to family as partners have deceased. Many of these neighbors have been in their homes for years and years.

We moved into a remodeled home in 2013 and have found it wonderfully useful to our time in life. Those moving into these remodels around us will find cheery places to call home. We all know how long the waitlist is for new folks waiting to join us. The remodeling going on, of course, is noisy.

But, have you noticed how polite all the “worker bees” from various companies, or departments have been to us? They know they are a nuisance but are doing wonderful, if noisy work. And I know they appreciate a nod or smile as we walk by, trying to stay exercised and upright on our feet.

Soon spring will be upon us, and the blooms and color will somewhat distract us from those working around us. And I hope you will join me in welcoming these new neighbors who have counted months and perhaps years waiting for what will suit them.

Time marches on, things change and Panorama is moving ahead and we are all grateful for that.

Do We Like Our Move to the Quinault?

Do We Like Our Move to the Quinault?
Written by Mary Jo Shaw, author of Convent to Catwalk

We loved our neighbors, our garden home on Woodland Court, and figured we’d be there a longer time. But, after six years, the time was now. Do we like our new apartment in the Quinault Building?

Although we miss our neighbors, we still are able to see them often. After all, we live only a few blocks away on our Panorama campus. We attend the same events in the large auditorium and Aquatic & Fitness Center, and we walk the Circle Loop on Tuesday evenings during the warm season with other residents for exercise and visiting.

Now, there’s no need to walk to the large Quinault building where I have always played weekly in Assisted Living and where Chris and I attend many events in the smaller auditorium. I take art, weekly Bible, and other classes there. I’m one floor up from Monday Catholic services…reading often and playing piano.  Exercise rooms/classes are on lower level, close to where Chris enjoys the coffee room, movies, and newspaper. I use the Resident Council office and business area where all residents are welcome to run off copies. That same office has a laminating machine, latest computers and other office advantages, always with an expert to help us! I itch as I pass the Weaving Room, Wood & Metal Shop, and the closed-circuit TV studio, also available in the lower level. I can’t wait to participate in those opportunities.

Metal Shop

Woodshop

In the adjoining Panorama Hall building, we have banks and the gift shop where I consign my crafts and books almost daily (and pick up my check once a month)! We also have the convenience of the beauty salons, and the pharmacy with its last minute stop-n-go type foods and necessities. The community living room with a large fireplace offers the activity desk where we can sign up for events; it also features sofas, tables, and the friendly Executive and Lifestyle Enrichment offices. Chris reads and visits there faithfully.

Panorama Hall

Then the best part! Every time we walk out of our fifth floor apartment, we are greeting friends. If time, we visit or search for puzzle pieces together in the many areas with large windows. We are closer to the Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro where we can relish the unusually cordial atmosphere of residents for many organized brunches, luncheons, and dinners. We love impromptu meals, or as an arranged date! What fun to invite other residents to join us and chat as long as we please.

To do all of this indoors, we simply walk the steps or elevator ourselves from our small apartment with the latest flooring, kitchen and bath upgrades, granite counters, light fixtures, and cabinets-and-pantry pull-outs. We have plenty of storage and a nice-sized family room with huge wall-to-wall windows that display our small balcony with patio furniture.

We are able to attend the over 100 published monthly activities on our campus, but now we have the additional Quinault Activity calendar of events planned by our #1 manager, Dodie. Her energy and planned get-togethers and parties include her homemade cookies, huge bowls of homemade foods, including, potato or bean salads, meatballs and spaghetti, pigs in the blankets, apple streusel, campus Bistro brunches, games, planned off-campus trips to restaurants…etc.

Our Resident Council on-campus transit is still available for our use. Panorama provides the late model vans with volunteer dispatchers, drivers, and maintenance.

Then there is the adjoining Convalescent and Rehabilitation building where I play piano in three areas regularly, including a Christian service monthly on Saturdays. I play in the building’s entrance on a beautiful grand Yamaha piano often. Must I continue?

No, we don’t like our move to the Quinault…we love it! Aware of new reasons daily, we thank and praise God for the many blessings for our new home, its friends and advantages.

The Christmas Day Outing

Written by Panorama resident, Sandra Bush | December 2017

Each year, Steve Pogge organizes a lunch walk on Christmas Day. The first few were somewhat sparsely attended, but this year, we were with about 15 walker/hikers.  We did a fairly easy walk through a lovely trail at Priest Point Park, only a short bus ride away – which was newly dusted with the snow we had on Christmas Eve. The trail was good and at 36 degrees, it wasn’t slippery. The parking lot with slush was a place to be cautious.

Fresh air and all bundled up, we did a circle loop trail walk. Ferns and firs were festooned with the now melting snow that was plopping on our heads! We got a bit of everything. Lovely to have no wind which would have made the walk a bit uncomfortable.


The bridges were lovely and the railings were good. Many used poles that Steve usually has for those without. This was not a strenuous outing, though a bit cold. Poles give you another point for balance.

Led by two of Steve’s helpers, we walked for about 30 minutes and then gathered in one of the sheltered communal buildings, open to the fresh air. While we were out, Steve and a helper made a batch of potato/broccoli soup and had a fire going in a kettle that he had brought for outdoor fires. It was warming and lovely. Dark crusty bread made by his friend and hot cocoa, spiced tea or coffee were so very welcome as we trudged in. This was topped off by one of our walkers who brought just lovely tins of homemade cookies and bars!

A warm round of Christmas carols, sung by most of us, to a boombox and words given to us by a helper was a lovely way to share Christmas. There is always room for one more cookie!!!

I hope your Christmas was spent with those you love and you all had a good time. We certainly did!!!

The Deciduous Season

Panorama campus October 2017

We all know people who travel east to enjoy the fall colors. The previous blog included Neil Harris’ photos of our outstanding range of color displayed all around campus. We are wending our way through November with Thanksgiving around the corner and even the windy rainstorm a few days ago didn’t totally divest the trees of their astonishing array of vibrant colors. Big Leaf Maples are wonderful yellow and there is one on Cardinal Lane. Having walked through forests in Olympia with the organized walking group, I am always amazed at the size of those maple leaves!!!

There is something bracing about a cool wind with the smell of leaves down and plants tucking themselves in for approaching winter. Some of us will bake turkeys, some will enjoy Seventeen51 Restaurant and Bistro’s Thanksgiving dinner, and others will band together and sample food aplenty in our surrounding area.

Our campus is now presenting a challenge to our grounds crew. They have just taken down the whimsical outdoor drive-in theater display featuring “Pumpkin-zilla” playing there. That crew is wonderfully imaginative in doing these displays. They always bring smiles and much comment as we discover hidden additions to the theme.

2017 Pumpkin Display created by Panorama’s Grounds Crew

There is another thing that must drive the Grounds crew crazy in this season. All of the deciduous trees do not drop leaves within a given time frame, of a week, two weeks, whatever. They simply shed leaves in their own rhythm. The firs are always dropping needles, we know. But this season of wind and rain produce such a raining down of needles that it is hard for the Grounds crew to keep up.

At the recent Resident Council-sponsored meetings of all residential units on campus, we heard from our Chief of Operations about the strain put on the Grounds crew in all the neighborhoods. The goal is to keep roadways and walkways free of perhaps slippery, dying leaves and to keep our homes looking pleasing.  Maintaining our grassy areas relies on downed leaves not killing the sod. There is another reason to manage the dying bits of biomass. The needles will clog downspouts and result in backed up water, leaks, and higher maintenance. Those of us living under Douglas firs know how many needles are flying about us at all times of the year, but especially now in the fall season. We love those trees and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

However, they do all add to ambient noise in our neighborhoods. In my mind, this comes with the territory. Not in the minds of our two furry tabby cats. They have become inured to the blowers on our front walk way, driveway, and patio. What they have trouble with is the sound walking on the roofs make and blowing off those accumulated needles. Each has found a dark place to hide until the workers have moved on to the next roof.

We all know of or heard the grousing about leaf blowers, day in and day out…but the cost of time and work with rakes instead of blowers would increase the budget for maintenance tremendously. We have come to just turn up the radio or TV volume as we go about our in-house tasks…and are thankful that it isn’t us having to do this awful and repetitive job!!! We walk everywhere on campus and appreciate that walk-ways are kept safe and clear. We, along with everyone else I am sure, enjoy the weekends when the Grounds crew have time off unless there is a weather event that undermines that. Let’s all enjoy the quiet on the weekends and revel in the wonderful color that we enjoy here!

We want to present ourselves the very best we can, looking to our future population choosing us as a retirement community. Panorama is doing a fine job of keeping us trimmed up under trying conditions. So, let’s all give the guys and gals a nod of thanks and just know that soon the blowers will abate.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and these wonderful colors so very close to home.

Sandra Bush
November, 2017

Welcoming Change with Open Arms

It’s time to write something for the blog again.  I haven’t written for months.  The reason is that I have been trying to handle the changes in my life.  Most of us have experienced a bunch of change in our lives if we have lived for any time at all.  Bryan Willis, the guru of our writing group, Panwriters, recently gave us an assignment to list all the homes in which we have lived from birth to the present time.  Then we were to write about the smallest one of those homes.

I began listing homes.  I went into quite a reverie about where I had lived. I compiled a list of 45 different homes in the 82 and one-half years of my life.  In the past two months I moved into home 45—the 5th home I have occupied in Panorama’s complex.  For each one of those 45 homes a change has occurred in my life—some of them major changes.  Change is one of the facts of life that every one of us who live in Panorama must face.  We are seasoned changers.  We expect to change.  We know that coming to Panorama or any other retirement community isn’t going to suddenly stop change.  In fact, we call this a Continuing Care Retirement Community, and that means that if we change, the community still has a place for us and will continue to guide and support us.

So, I have been dealing with change in my life and writing for the blog was set aside for a time.  In December, my companion with whom I was living began to have some health problems.  Our agreement was that we would live together in her home, but, since both of us had cared for a period of time for a spouse who subsequently died, we would not take on the task of caregiving for each other.  I didn’t want to burden her with my care nor did she want me to be burdened with her care.  For several years we had a very meaningful relationship with each other that filled our lives with caring and love.  We did some traveling, attended lots of concerts, visited each other’s family members, and supported each other in our own little life interests and projects.

Her health began to worsen and she moved into the Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center to receive the care she needed.  I remained at our home.  But, I was cared for, as well.  I realized that she would not be coming back to live with me.  Her health was too fragile and deteriorating.  I visited with Panorama’s leadership team of social workers and those in charge of housing and we came up with a solution to meeting my own need.  I agreed to take an apartment in the Quinault building.

Then, I faced the task of packing my possessions and moving them to my new apartment.  Again, Panorama and I worked together to accomplish the move by July 1st.  I am now comfortable in my new apartment.  Unfortunately, my companion died the day after July 4th.  Her family was provided guidance and help to accomplish vacating her home.  The other day, I happened to walk through the area and saw the evidence and heard the sound of working that indicated the home was being prepared for the next occupant(s).

And, here I am writing for the blog again.  Declining health of a companion, changing relationships, moving to a new apartment, and making plans to live alone again aren’t easy things to accomplish.  Each one of them has its own degree of pain.  But change is a fact of life and beyond the change is more life.  We don’t necessarily welcome change with open arms, but, with help and compassion, change brings new life and we go on.

A Successful Farewell to the Heart Bank Party

On Tuesday, September 12th we celebrated the legacy of PC Care and its Heart Bank coin boxes during the Heart Bank Farewell Party.  Seventy-five people collectively contributed $3,260.29 which will be used exclusively to enrich the lives of residents living in the Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center (C&R).

As volunteers were busy counting coins, guests took some time to touch and feel some of the items that have been purchased through past Heart Bank contributions and enjoy a treat.

Carol Lambert, Joe Zabransky, Bob Bowers, Boh Bohman and Kathy Houston busy counting coins. 

 Mary Jo Shaw entertains guests  

Heart Bank contributors enjoy discussing how their contributions will enrich lives.

Residents in the C&R benefit every day from your contributions. Because of your generous charitable gifts nearly $30,000 will be spent this year to support activities meant to enrich the lives of your neighbors in the C&R. A few of these activities include: massage therapy, music and memory therapy, chair yoga, live entertainment, movies, “The General Store”, a holiday gift for every resident, and so much more!

You have a heart of gold! A thank you gift for everyone who attended the Heart Bank Farewell Party.

The Heart Bank Farewell Party was the perfect way to bid “farewell” to the tradition of gathering coins to support life enriching activities in the C&R.  If you missed the party, it is never too late to make a contribution! Any contribution to Panorama’s Office of Philanthropy can be directed to enrich lives in the C&R any time of the year.

 

The Office of Philanthropy’s mission is to enrich the lives of Panorama residents through the acquisition and use of charitable gifts. It is committed to provide enriching experiences, programs, and other amenities throughout the continuum of care.

 

A Resident’s Perspective – Walking the Loop

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2017

“Walk the Loop” group has been functioning since June 6th for this 2017 summer season. It began some years ago and then Panorama celebrated its 50th Year and bright yellow t-shirts were printed carrying the message, not only of the walking group, but for the anniversary. After attending two Tuesdays of walking, you can get a T-shirt to join the brightly colored gang. There are also yellow bandanas for all the furry walkers.

CaptureEvery Tuesday through August, starting at 6:30 PM officially, a wonderful array of walkers shows up to walk a loop or five of the circle around McGandy Park. For the second year in a row, the local high school marching band came to lead off the group for one circuit on the first Tuesday of the walks. It is fun to walk/march to a band and we made a colorful group. Three-wheeled bicycles, push walkers, canes, walking sticks and wheel chairs are all very welcome.

Many walkers have found the start time somewhat problematic for dinner times and have either started way early or come to the walk later after dinner. The start time doesn’t matter, really, if you are logging your laps on the four-paneled roster sheet kept and updated by the Bartruffs. Getting there before 7:30 PM closing will let you check off the number of circuits you have done that evening. No, it isn’t a contest and if you get there before the lists are up, just add your checks when it is posted and before you go home. If you are new to walking with the group, do sign in on the new walker sheet at the table.

The added fun is a group of six stations on the light bollards with trivia questions and their answers. These have been diligently researched and posted by the Bartruffs. We learn something every Tuesday that we go. Walkers also get to see, talk with and smile at folks they don’t see day to day in their particular interest groups.

When the weather is toasty and legs in shorts are seen around the loop, there is often a water dispenser and cups at the table at the Aquatic Center where all this is happening. One Tuesday, there was a wonderful plate of fruit to help with energy. And now that it is Pea Patch season, lemon zucchini cookies are a treat. The furry walkers can enjoy water from bowls placed at two homes around the loop.

Walkers should wear their SARA buttons and your name tag will help new and other folks learn your names. It is after all a “talk the loop” group as some have named it.

The campus is abloom now and walking gets you all the colors of the hydrangeas. We enjoy how something is always blooming around campus.

So, bring your new neighbors to introduce them to a fun activity in the summer. The last walk always has a treat scheduled and don’t miss that! Catch up on the news of other neighborhoods. Just enjoy the end of the day with a leg stretcher. Happy walking!!!!

Sandy Bio

 

Boys & Girls Clubs Fundraiser

Written by Panorama resident, Bill Cornette. June 2017

On the 25th of May 2017, a breakfast was held on Saint Martin’s University campus to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County (BGCTC). Panorama sponsored a table at the breakfast, which was attended by eight residents who also contributed to the fundraiser: Mary Jo Shaw, Sue Ballard, Jan Prokop, April Works, Rosa Barton, Suzanne Hanson, Bill Cornette, and Sylvia Cornette. The day of the breakfast was also National Red Nose Day, a global campaign to raise awareness and money for impoverished children across the world, so each participant at the breakfast was given a foam red nose to wear.

Boys-Girls club

The day started early, with everyone arriving before 7:00 a.m. Each person was greeted by a large group of cheering kids who gave us all big “high fives” to welcome us to the event. A buffet breakfast was provided with scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, bacon, muffins, and pastries, along with coffee, tea, and orange juice. During the breakfast, the Tumwater High School Jazz Band entertained us.

The program began at 7:30 a.m. with the Boys and Girls Club Members leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jerry Farmer was the Master of Ceremonies with Opening Remarks, followed by Recognition of Sponsors, a video showing “A Day in the Clubs,” and a Welcome and Acknowledgements from Katya Miltimore, the BGCTC Executive Director. Then Dick Cvitanich, the retiring Superintendent of Olympia Public Schools, was presented with the Governor’s Leadership for Youth Award.

Seattle Police Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin gave the Keynote speech, telling her life story of growing up in the Chicago projects and dreaming about becoming a police officer – and how the support she got at a Boys and Girls Club was instrumental in her achieving her goal.

Sebastian “Zebbie” Castilleja, who is the 2016 Washington State Boys and Girls Clubs Youth of the Year and received the 2016 Governor’s Community Service, told about growing up with a meth-addicted mother and an alcoholic father, but due to his participation in the Boys and Girls Clubs, he is currently attending Washington State University.

Jerry Farmer thanked everyone for their support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County, and closed the ceremony at 8:40 a.m.

Here are some of the thoughts from our Panorama attendees after the breakfast:

“Any day where the community focuses on kids is a GREAT day.” – Sue Ballard

“Was amazed at the number of agencies represented who truly help children. It showed Washington’s commitment to the youngest and most vulnerable citizens.” – Rosa Barton

“It was so exciting to be greeted by the very enthusiastic Boys and Girls Club members. Revs me up to work with them on the Minaert Gallery project this summer. ” – Suzanne Hansen

“Attending the Boys & Girls Fundraiser enthusiasm–from kids to speakers–woke up my 55 years of teaching. I’ve always loved working with children…encouraging, teaching, playing, listening. I don’t have lots of time, but want to make time to help and be with the children when I am able.” – Mary Jo Shaw

“Jan and I had no idea how influential and effective the Boys & Girls clubs are. What an inspiring way to start off our day.” – April Works & Jan Prokop

“Kudos to the boys and girls, the speakers, and the officials for educating attendees about the importance of BGCTC to the kids and to the community, we left with a feeling of awe and a smile on our faces. We’d be delighted to be back next year.” – Bill & Sylvia Cornette

Superbowl Sunday Snow – Thank you , Panorama!

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. February 2017

This blog is a little off my usual  topic of “newbies, boomers, and would-bes” but I wanted to express my gratitude for Panorama’s awesome response to yesterday and today’s Superbowl Sunday snow event (“storm” might be a little too strong a word). First off – we vaguely heard the phone ring during the last thrilling minutes of Super Bowl – or was it a ref whistle? Were we going to answer it? No way! But Panorama left a voicemail message letting us know that some events and facilities might be closed tomorrow (Monday) due to the snow event. Later on, after catching our breath following the game, we checked and confirmed that the Aquatic and Fitness Center would indeed be opening late. Thanks to Jenny, Security, and others for great communication! We know that some staff worked beyond their normal hours to ensure the safety and awareness of residents and staff.

In the morning, we also got an email from Grace Moore to let us know of Monday evening’s concert cancellation. Thank you so much, Grace, for being on top of communications! While email is not yet available to some residents, it’s a great way to communicate last-minute changes to the schedule.

At about 11 Monday morning I ventured out, equipped with my Yaktrax tread devices on my boots (thanks to fellow resident Susan W for the suggestion!), and, of course, my SARA pendant. During my walk, three snowplows came by, and there were Panorama staff out at each neighborhood shoveling walkways. Most sidewalks were shoveled by then, as were most roads. A shouted “thank you” to staff was invariably met with a smile. 

Inside the Quinault, by the door, were two armchairs that allowed me to take off (and then put back on) my Yaktrax before heading to the exercise room. 

So, KUDOS to Panorama and staff for their great efforts at communication and response! 

Deb Bio_Edit

 

A Resident’s Perspective – Friendship

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. January 2017

An article by Paula Span in the New York Times inspired me to write this blog entry. The title of the article is “Loneliness Can be Deadly for Elders: Friends are the Antidote.”

The article notes that the importance of maintaining social contacts is well known: having someone you can call in the event of an emergency, keeping mentally and physically fit, and less likely to succumb to depression, all contribute to health, safety, and longevity. The article goes on to say that this can be difficult for seniors, as our old friends move away or pass away. Interestingly, as we get older, our definitions of friendship evolve: we seek out more meaningful relationships and can overlook quirks and tics in our friends that would formerly have annoyed us.

My non-Panorama friends and relatives often ask me how I am fitting in here. Of course, I mention the many activities and amenities that our community has to offer. I always add, though, that I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of folks I genuinely like and consider friends, not just acquaintances. A surprise because, of course, we baby boomers believed that we shouldn’t “trust anyone over 30.”

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The Times article notes, “I couldn’t help noticing how many of the elders I spoke with had benefited from living in retirement communities and nursing homes – the very destinations so many people dread. They can provide proximity, shared activities, and a larger pool of prospective friends.”

One of the things that Panorama encourages is the development of social interest groups – whether it be genealogy, book groups, politics, foreign language, neighborhood get-togethers, or just having fun. Panorama can provide meeting spaces, transportation, copying and communication services, and other assistance for these activities. There are also numerous places around campus just to “hang out” and share a cup of coffee, work on a jigsaw puzzle or launch an impromptu card game. In time, we may even have a Resident Portal on the Internet to make it even easier and seamless for us to share ideas and friendship.

Deb Bio_Edit

A Resident’s Perspective – Love & Community in the Aftermath of the Orlando Shooting

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. June 2016

Flag Flies at Half Staff for Orlando_June  2016Like everyone else around the world I was shocked, angry and numbed by the violent events at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is hard at times like this to know what to do, what to say…

Though everyone is touched by such events it hits a little harder and closer to home when the group that is being targeted is one you belong to.

Once again I have to congratulate and thank the residents and executives of Panorama for again doing the right things. My husband Jay and I received numerous emails and personal comments of comfort from friends and neighbors who wanted to express their concern and sorrow.  They were much appreciated.

President Obama ordered that all federal buildings and embassies around the world  lower the American flag in honor and respect for those who died or were injured in Orlando. I was so glad to see that the American flags here at Panorama were also lowered.  They didn’t have to be, the order was for government buildings only.  Mr. Di Santo made the decision to lower the Panorama flags as well.  I went to his office and thanked him for the heartfelt and deeply appreciated gesture.  His response was a simple “of course we did”.  A simple, noble and appreciated response.

I have said it and written it over and over again about how special and caring everyone here at Panorama is. This was another on my list of why we enjoy our life here.  People care and are not afraid to show it.

Though terrible situations like this happen and are difficult to stop, it is always nice to know that when/if they do, you have an entire community that comes to your aid in words and deeds. And sometimes that is all you need to get through your sorrow and pain.

Thank you Panorama!

Mike_Edited copy

 

The Panorama “Tribe”

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. June 2016

In a previous blog, I learned about dealing with transitions: the decision to move to Panorama, then on to the Quinault or Assisted Living when that’s appropriate. Recently I’ve been pondering another kind of transition: how do we respond to the loss of our neighbors and friends through death or dementia? As a baby boomer living in an “advanced” society, I’ve been sheltered from regularly experiencing the death of friends and neighbors. And I have found few on-line resources that address the question.

I started thinking about this topic a while ago, when my close friend moved out of her retirement community because she could not handle becoming friends with someone, only to have them “die on her.” Another person was reported to have said, “Why bother making friends here? We’re only going to lose them.” I decided to interview some folks who see loss on a regular basis. Two are hospice volunteers and the third is a pastor. They all agreed that each person deals with the loss of a friend in a different way: there’s no “right” way or magic wand. Suggestions included attending the person’s memorial service, writing a letter to them (perhaps when they are facing the end) telling them what they mean to you and how they will be remembered. My pastor emphasized that it’s OK to grieve for the loss of a friend: only by allowing yourself to grieve can you move on and be able to continue to love.

Today, I heard a radio interview with Sebastian Junger, who has written a book called Tribe. Junger notes that in the past, we all belonged to small groups, or tribes, who relied on each other for food, warmth, shelter, and protection. As our society became more isolated, we lost that sense of tribe. But remnants exist, including military service, summer camp, and communal response to disasters. In these situations, our need to support one another makes us feel more fully human and alive (Junger noted that after 9/11, suicide rates went down in New York City).

It occurred to me that we here at Panorama are, or can choose to be, a kind of tribe as well. Through the Benevolent Fund and the Foundation, we support each other financially and physically. The intimate size of our districts allow us to get to know each other and make sure we are looked after – a notable example is the Map Your Neighborhood program.

As voluntary members of the Panorama tribe, we can grieve the loss of one of us, knowing that we fully embraced and appreciated their contributions while they were alive. Thus grief, which can be experienced as isolating, instead becomes a shared experience. We often refer to this as “community.” I think the term tribe, though, adds that sense of inter-reliance that allows us to support each other while recognizing the gifts we all bring and will continue to contribute as our legacy survives.

Deb Bio_Edit