A Resident’s Perspective – Finding an Easter Ride

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. April 2015

Kids look for Easter eggs.  I looked for an Easter ride.  (Keep the names straight):

Saturday before Easter Sunday, I called Verl, the man I sponsored to become a Catholic, to cancel the ride he usually gave me to Saturday Mass.  (We have no car.)  Our family decided to go to supper in Panorama restaurant Saturday evening.  I would attend Mass the next morning, Easter Sunday, but I needed to get a ride with someone who usually goes on Sunday mornings.

I called my neighbor. “I’ll be delighted to take you in the morning.  I love that you go with me,” she said.  But a few hours later, she ended up in the hospital emergency room with very high blood pressure and horrible headache.  She sent word she wouldn’t be taking me the next morning, Easter Sunday.

Later I called Sally, a resident who often attends on Sunday mornings.  Fine!  She’d pick me up 45 minutes earlier so we could get a good parking space and a seat, since Sacred Heart Church would be very crowded for the annual celebration.

Easter: a car drives up.  I didn’t recall Sally’s car description, but I ran out and opened the passenger door.  I recognized the resident’s face, and hadn’t seen Sally in a long time, so I asked, “Oh, are you Sally?”

“No, I’m Rosemary.  I’m taking you to church.”

Still standing outside, I asked, “What happened to Sally?”

“Who’s Sally?”

“I called her to take me to Mass.”  I stared at her.  “Are you a Catholic?”

“Yes,” she said smiling with her hands on the steering wheel. “I usually go to St. Columban’s on the edge of town.”

I knew her name and recognized her face as a Panorama resident.  I’d signed her up for events at the activity desk, but I’d forgotten the face that matched the name.

Time was ticking, so I hopped in and shut the door.  We chuckled at the situation as she drove.

I turned toward her, “Did you change your Easter plans to take me to church?”  I was amazed at her generosity.

“That’s okay,” she said.  “Sacred Heart Church is closer anyway.  What number did you dial?”

“I don’t know!  Obviously, it was wrong.  You know it—I dialed your number!”

We laughed and wondered about the odds of dialing a wrong number, getting a Catholic resident, and one who was willing to take me to church.  I told her I believe that God must have a reason.

After Mass she said, “Mary Jo, you should buy a lottery ticket.  You’d have better odds at winning the lottery than anyone else.”

Hope you had a blessed Easter!  I did, and I met a new friend at Panorama!

Mary Jo Bio


The Story Behind Our Newest Fitness Program

What Is NIA?

Written by Panorama's Fitness Coordinator, Melissa Thoemke. April 2015


We have all heard the expression “no pain, no gain.” The idea behind this popular sentiment is that in order to achieve real results you need to push your body beyond your comfort level. Debbie Rosas, the creator of Nia had a different idea. Debbie was no stranger to pushing her body past its limits; from 1972 to 1983 she operated an exercise business in San Francisco known as the Bod Squad.  After a series of exercise related injuries, she decided to find an alternative method to her high impact fitness lifestyle.

After observing martial arts, Debbie realized that with all of her intense exercise, she had forgotten to how to move her body. After making this realization, Debbie Rosas spent 13 years developing Nia. Nia stands for Non Impact Aerobics and combines Yoga, Modern Dance and Martial arts. The practice is done barefoot so that the participant can more easily experience the mind/body connection.

The wonderful truth about Nia is that everyone who participates will see a benefit regardless of their physical abilities. The Panorama Aquatic Center has started hosting a weekly Nia class taught by Sandra Caldwell, Certified Nia Instructor. The class meets every Wednesday at 7 AM in our newly renovated Quinault fitness room. Residents who attend the class say that it makes them feel free and powerful and that it is a great way to start the day.

A Resident’s Perspective – Take a Look Around: Spring is Here!

Written by Panorama resident, Judy Murphy. March 2015

MurphyBlog_March15_PinkPlantSpring came early to the Pacific Northwest this year, even as the East Coast stayed buried under snow (my son lives in Boston, poor guy).  Compared to last year, plants have been blooming 3-4 weeks earlier this spring.  So here we are, almost April 1, and trees are leafing out, rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming, trillium are popping out and magnolias are in brilliant blossom all over Panorama, yet early spring hellebores and camellias are hanging on as well.  The pieris japonica is shooting up deep pink leaves, the fruiting cherry in front of our house is blooming, and the fiddleheads on the ferns are unfurling their new fronds.  Every year it’s a race to see if the lilies-of-the-valley will bloom by May 1, so a bouquet can be gathered for a lover on May Day, according to some traditions.  Inevitably they make their deadline, no matter the weather.  Well, this year it won’t be much of a contest since the green stalks are well under way and the blossoms won’t be far behind.

MurphyBlog_March15_FernThe birds are bustling, too.  The pines and firs around my house are exploding with bird songs and calls, but most of the time the birds are too high in the trees to see.  Sparrows, Robins, Chickadees, Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, Juncos and Towhees are the common suspects.  I see them mostly when they come to the birdbath, and this morning a lone Steller’s Jay was visible among the branches.  Occasionally I still hear the two-toned whistle of the Varied Thrush and the call of the Northern Flicker.

Most exciting, last night we heard Great Horned Owls hooting near the intersection of Sleater Kinney and 21st.  Their deep hoots have reverberated sporadically in the early evening for some months around our neighborhood.

This morning’s treat was watching a tiny kinglet gathering bits of our dog’s fur from under the azalea out front, leftovers from a bygone grooming.  Nest building 101 is in session.  No camera on hand, of course!

I am awaiting the blooming of my red perennials—fuchsia, monkey flower, bee balm, salvia—to lure the hummingbirds back to regular feeding, though they have been scouting around all winter looking for easy food at feeders, which I do not have.

Early spring has meant that gardeners are eager to plant flowers and vegetables at the Panorama Pea Patch.  It is always a wonderful time of year, as the brown and empty Pea Patch, looking bedraggled and forlorn, springs to life with fruit trees blossoming, raspberry and blueberry bushes leafing out and bees buzzing around to check out available nectar.

Speaking of bees, like so many others who have beehives, the Pea Patch lost several hives again this past year.  We’re clinging to the hope that as we improve our gardening practices by eliminating pesticides and as we plant more bee-friendly flowers and herbs, our bee populations will increase.

MurphyBlog_March15_BridIt’s not too early to go out on the Chehalis-Western trail or to check out the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to look for migrating songbirds.  Now is the time to step outside and revel in our beautiful surroundings.  Who could ask for more?

JudyMurphy Bio

Special Event: Patient Education Program for Parkinson’s Awareness


Wednesday, April 29th

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Panorama Auditorium

 1670 Circle Loop SE, Lacey, WA 98503

Panorama is inviting the community to attend a patient education program in recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. The guest speaker will be Dr. Pinky Agarwal from the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center and she will present Parkinson’s Disease: Medication and Non-Medication Options. The Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association will also be sharing valuable information and resources with attendees.

WHY:  April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s, affecting approximately one million people in the United States. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s.

Panorama offers a support group to over thirty residents who are battling Parkinson’s or have a loved one who’s been affected by the disease. The support group is organized and facilitated by the Campus Social Services department and meets once per month. In addition, the retirement community has a Parkinson’s exercise class and dinner group which have proven to be another great form of support to these residents. This month, Panorama wants to open its doors to educate, support and renew hope by inviting community members to this special event!

TO LEARN MORE:  For more information about the event, please contact Sara Wasser at 360-438-7776 or sara.wasser@panorama.org.  For more information on Parkinson’s and how you can help make a difference, contact the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) at (800) 457-6676, info@pdf.org or www.pdf.org.