A Resident’s Perspective – Things That Go Bump in the Night

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. November 2014

October is behind us as we march into the storm time. We were rudely awakened at 2 AM in mid-October by a horrendous bang. The first thought, as always, was “what are those two cats up to now?”  Nothing inside the house was out of place, like a book shelf unit on the floor or something else tipped over. The two cats were sitting in the hall looking at us as we turned on all the lights, disturbing their sleep.

While drifting to sleep I kept hearing pine cones off the Doug fir between us and the neighbors landing on our roof and rolling off. The house is so well insulated and sealed at windows and doors that it wasn’t until looking into the black night that we saw much debris down in the street and the wind howling.

A walk around the house in slippers and robe and flashlight found a large limb from the Douglas fir tree down, piercing the roof like a mis-directed javelin. The roof shingles were pried up as it went over on its side to lie on the roof. It hadn’t started raining yet and we must have had a brain-fade to not call Security. We simply climbed back in bed after looking in the room below the pierce.

Bush_Blog Photo_Tree A call at 8 AM to reception was routed to maintenance and it wasn’t long in the pouring down rain that two of our great operations guys showed up. They looked over the situation and decided to leave the tree branch in situ, as it were, to block any rain while they went for some sheet metal and shingles. By 9 AM, the limb was out and sawed off. The sheet metal slipped under the shingles to cover the hole and some new shingles applied to divert the rain down to the gutters.

As we were thanking the fellows for the quick response, one said, “Always call security no matter what time!” There are maintenance people on for fixes that occur in an urgent manner at all hours, including 3 AM!!! The paint crew has come in to fix the cracks and small hole in ceiling of the guest bathroom, which sported a Band-Aid! No water has leaked into our home. We are just very thankful!

Bush_Blog Photo_BandaidThis was our first experience with an emergent issue here in our new community and we are very impressed. Tired of fixing nasty things that happen to a house, we found this feature of Panorama living to be very high on our list of what we wanted in a retirement home.

So, let the storms come. We will take the wind with it, of course. It happens only rarely. We still love that towering tree; it was a major draw when we moved out of a flat and weedy meadow. The cats love the rain, but are very uneasy when it blows outside. That must have been the reason they were up in the hall when we went to find the problem. They are usually tucked in on our bed. We can enjoy the rain and green we so missed in our last community. However, here came the cold!!! Even before official winter!

Sandy Bio





Smartest Decision in Our Retirement, Part 10 – The Wheels on Our Bus Go Round..

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. October 2014

Bus LeavingThe driver helped eleven of us onto the lovely, clean Panorama bus.  We had tickets to attend the Washington Center of the Performing Arts.  Chris and I selected seats in the back, buckled up and enjoyed the slow ride through the winding campus lanes as we drove to pick up other residents.  Chris looked out the window at the lush spring foliage and exclaimed to the passengers, “I spy something green!”  Laughter overflowed.  When all seats were filled, the bus paused at the stop sign before leaving the campus.  Chris asked, “Are we there yet?”  Memories brought merriment again.  Returning home, Chris eyed a famous fast-food service.  “Oh, there’s a good place to drive up to the window and order 22 soft serves to go!”  Bus rides are fun.    

On another trip, rain greeted us at the door at the end of The Tempest at Olympia Little Playhouse.  Our beautiful, white bus also greeted us at the exit.  Other audience members scampered to parking lots to find their cars with umbrellas or play programs covering their heads.  On the trip back to our Panorama home, conversations swarmed with comments about the performers’ acting.   Bus rides are convenient and a time to visit with old friends, or to meet new ones.

We still find it hard to believe that Wes drives to our front door to chauffeur us to the grocery store.  After ample time to shop, Wes loads our reusable bags of purchases onto the bus.  He actually unloads our sacks at our homes. (But we’re still waiting for him to put our groceries away in the cabinets and refrigerators!) Our bus operates all week, with certain days to eye clinic, Walmart, Costco, concerts, plays, rides in the country, restaurants, malls, Sunday services, etc.

We talk about when we used our cars before Panorama:  parking, finding our car after shopping, opening our trunks to load or unload bags of groceries while rains filled the trunk of our car, driving home and repeating the ritual in reverse.  Bus rides can be a Wes Experience.

We’re allowed to take the bus to its destination, get off and go wherever we want and be back to get on the bus at the stated time of departure.  For example, a trip destined to the Seattle Pops can be to meet with a friend or to shop.  A trip to the grocery store can be a haircut or craft store close by.  Bus jaunts are practical and convenient.

Aquatic Center Race 116Also, the many city busses are clean, on-schedule, kneeling (lower) at the front for easier stepping on or off.  A travel-tutor is available for free to ride with us until we learn our most used routes or will plan with us on the phone.  We’ve done both and referred others to the service.  City busses are among the top in the country.

In addition to busses, one of the most valuable services at Panorama is run by volunteers.  Panorama provides and maintains two beautiful SUVs for independent living residents:  Resident Transit to anywhere on our campus from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  It is free, and no tipping!  With well-trained volunteer drivers and dispatchers, it’s operated most professionally.  Although I love to walk, I use it many times when I carry my big bag of music and consignments for the Gift Shop.  I’ve used it especially when it was raining hard and wanted to visit a friend, or to go to the clinic on campus.  It’s door-to-door and always reliable and a good time to visit a few minutes with another resident volunteer.

Do we miss our car?   If you mean, airing or replacing tires, oil, cleaning windows inside and out with the latest shame or selecting snacks from vending machines at the car wash, repair, or tune-up shops, selecting our preferred item to wave on our antenna to identify our car quicker, purchasing a shiny new car, renewing a driver license and license tag, vacuuming, waving to others in traffic jams, stressing while driving, writing checks for insurance…not really.  We’ve found the health and social advantages of walking or biking the beautiful 18 miles available on our campus.  Besides, we’d rather enjoy the bus rides and spend our time and money on other needs or amusements.

Mary Jo Bio