A Resident’s Perspective – My Experience of Panorama’s Annual Patio Sale

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2015

…FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!!  YEAAAH!!!  The tsunami of bodies, some with babies in buggies or grannies in wheel chairs, poured onto Panorama campus for our annual patio sale, the largest of its kind in western Washington.  Bargain hunters grasped colored maps matching banners of the areas that surely had the treasures they were seeking!!

The crowd of shoppers rush in as soon as the gate is open at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

The crowd of shoppers rush in as soon as the gate is open at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

Over 5,000 volunteer-hours by Panorama residents were spent Monday through Saturday the week of sale– clearing the resident parking lot, raising tents, setting up and laying recycled doors over saw-horses.  Hundreds of marked boxes were uncrated.  Other uncrated boxes were stored under the tables with more of what was displayed on the table above.   It was worth attending just to see the organization of tents and tables of donated merchandise!

Scarves for sale at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

Scarves for sale at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

So what generated the exciting gross of $51,172.47?  VOLUNTEERS and TONS OF ITEMS donated by residents last year.

Of the total 650 volunteers, 500 were Panorama residents, and 150 came from off campus from as far as Alaska.  Some have worked ten years, and many five, six, and seven years at the annual Patio Sale.  One hundred and eight residents donated time year ’round to collect, sort, clean, repair, price, wrap, pack and label about 1,700 boxes for this sale.   Many items are sold three times a week in our campus Barn and larger items, like furniture, in our Warehouse around the corner from Panorama.

In addition to the dedicated volunteers who headed, planned, organized, managed volunteers, advertised, and set up signs in sale area and around the campus to direct traffic-flow, we could work in clean up, purchasing, trafficking, greeting visitors, and cashiering – among many others.  All-volunteer staffed!

A ”few” items included: pencils to pillows, books to bookcases,  collectors’ items, fine china and collectables, small kitchen appliances, sets of dishes and utensils like my grandmother used years ago.

Tons of office supplies, electronics, and hardware and garden tools were sorted, and were easy for me to find.  Blankets, sheets, and pillow cases were folded and wrapped with ribbons and labels for size.  Hats and scarves!

Our Chambers Restaurant provided hearty sandwiches, chips, veggies, dip, cookies, lemonade and coffee for workers.

Others, like me, remarked how economical things were, not how expensive.  Before leaving, our family feasted on chili dogs, drinks, cookies and ice cream under the tent on tables with red-and-white-check cloths.   Sitting with other residents, we chuckled as each revealed a best find. One man’s trash is another man’s…you know how that goes!!

The book section at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

The book section at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

My daughter’s favorites were the mattings for her water color art projects and a bag of books.  My choices?  Many crafts, including yarns, colored Sharpie pens, and large three-ring binders to hold my autobiography papers until published, and a set of sage Corelle plates with herb sketches.  I bought three loads of folding, wheeled baskets of stuff, and walked them home after each refill!  Eight year old, Hope, liked the toys, puzzles and trinkets she bought with her own money!

The roving resident reporter collected loads of positive evaluations.  Trucks hauled away unsold items to deliver to three local non-profit organizations.  Only Christmas things were kept to sell at our at our December Santa’s Shop.  At the end of the day, the parking lot was immaculate, and you’d never know the sale took place.

WHY the huge annual sale?   To support the Benevolent Fund which provides assistance to residents in need so they can continue living independently at Panorama.

SAVE THE DATE:  Saturday, July 16, 2016, is for the public.  Friday, July 15th is for residents.  Look me up!

Mary Jo Bio




Friday Share at Panorama’s Pea Patch Gardens

Photo taken by resident, Charlie Keck. August 2015

Photo taken by resident, Charlie Keck. August 2015

Residents who love to garden create such a beautiful atmosphere at our Pea Patch gardens. And it’s that time of year again when the produce is plentiful. Every Friday during harvest season, the gardeners of the Pea Patch bring together the surplus of their bounty and share it with other residents. This weekly event is so popular, patrons know they have to arrive early if they hope to take anything home! Donations for the produce and flowers taken during Friday share are greatly appreciated by the gardeners who use the earnings to keep those gardens flourishing!

Photo taken by resident Charlie Keck. August 2015

Photo taken by resident Charlie Keck. August 2015


A Resident’s Perspective – It Was All About Cars and Caring

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. August 2015

On Saturday August 15th Panorama held it’s first Car Show. What a treat! Jean Jacobsen and Grace Moore from Lifestyle Enrichment did a bang up job of a show presenting new and vintage cars for Panorama and local residents alike. To be honest though, Jean was getting a little nervous on Friday when the torrential rains were looking a little ominous. Car show guys are just not in the habit of bringing those bright shiny cars out in the rain.20150815_121130_resized copy


Photo by resident Charlie Keck

The Show had two parking lots full of cars. A great band, Pumphouse, that played songs we all knew and some danced to. The Car Show had all the extras we love; fun T-shirts, a raffle with great prizes and of course food. This time the food was provided by food trucks! There was an Asian fusion and Mediterranean style offering, with my favorite being the dessert truck….elephant ears. Had never heard of them, had them and will be back for them.

The show was an overall success with lots of residents and local folks out with their kids. However I think there were some special moments.

Like one of the car owners saying he doesn’t go to many car shows where the spectators say things like “I remember when my family got one of those cars when it was new.” “We had that car when I was a kid.” “That was my first car when I was in high school.”20150815_121432_resized

One of the real special moments was when the show participants took their cars for a parade around Panorama as they left the show. The parade route even included a trip through the C&R parking lot so the residents in the nursing facility could look out the windows and see the cars. What a nice gesture.

For one of Panorama’s residents the show was particularly sweet and more than a little nostalgic. Frank Alberti of Holladay Park showed his 1917 King automobile. Incidentally the year the car was “born”, so was Frank. After many years of working on it, showing it off and taking the neighbors for rides, it was time to let it go. Frank sold his baby to an Air and Car Museum in Oregon where they not only display their exhibits but keep them in running order and have shows of their vintage planes and cars. The car went to a nice home.


Frank Alberti and his wife Reta pose in front of their 1917 King Motor Car just before it was loaded up for its trip to the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.

Mike_Jay_Frank (copy)

Residents Mike Turner, Jay Felzien and Frank Alberti pose with Frank’s 1917 King Motor Car on the morning of Panorama’s 1st Car Show.

Frank and his wife Reta were surprised, proud and excited when they learned that the car had been voted BEST IN SHOW. But as we know life sometimes throws us curve balls or in this case a gas line leak. As Frank was taking his car to the fair early Saturday morning, the gas line sprung a leak. No gas, no moving. And here is where the “care” portion of the story comes in. We know how the Panorama staff looks out for us, provides great service and really care about our welfare and safety. Well who knew that care included some AAA service? When security and some of the Panorama staff found out about the situation they were on the spot providing a very long push to the Auditorium parking lot to make sure that Frank’s car was in its special place when the show opened. I spoke to Frank about that and showed him the pictures that were taken. He said he thought the one with all the guys pushing reminded him of the Iwo Jima statue with the Marines hoisting the American flag. Good eye Frank. 2

Panorama Staff give resident, Frank Alberti and is 1917 King a push to the Car Show.

Panorama Staff give resident, Frank Alberti and is 1917 King a push to the Car Show.

UntitledWell here’s to another great Panorama program! See you around campus.

Mike Turner


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

Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers Galore: The Pea Patch in August

Pea Patch August 2015 squash

Squash at the Pea Patch. Photo by Charlie Keck.


Written by Panorama resident Judy Murphy. August 2015

What can 90 gardeners produce on a plot at the Panorama Pea Patch?  You name it, we grow it!  From apples to zucchini, our gardens are bursting with beauty and bounty.  Despite the heat this summer, or in some cases because of it, and despite trying to conserve water, the Pea Patch Friday Share was a sight to behold this past week.  It’s especially fun to introduce residents to new vegetables and fruits as well as share recipes with them.  Many people have never seen or tasted a ripe, fresh fig or a purple kohlrabi, a lemon cucumber or a delicatta squash.  The dahlias are in their glory, the corn is soon to come, and the tomatoes are ripening on the vine.  When did any of us last have a vine-ripened tomato?  Friday Share is worth a trip even for those who aren’t inclined to cook.  The bees have had a busy summer, and so have the gardeners.


Friday Share – Pea Patch gardeners share their bounty with fellow Panorama residents.



Friday Share – Pea Patch gardeners share their bounty with fellow Panorama residents.



Friday Share volunteers – Linda S., Juanita P., and Gail G.

Murphy Bio

Panorama Yoga Program – Annual Summer Solstice Vigil

summer solstice vigil

Written by Panorama resident and Yoga instructor, Charles Kasler July 2015

Why are people sitting around the fountain in silence on the first day of summer? It’s the annual summer solstice vigil – one of the quarterly gatherings for yoga/meditation students. We greet the summer with sitting or walking meditation for the last hour of light on the longest day of the year. This year Judy Murphy led chanting to start us off.

People come to yoga for many reasons – stress, back pain, to feel better…It doesn’t matter. Yoga calls us home…the experience is unmistakable. It has nothing to do with how accomplished or flexible we are. It quiets the mind and by the end of class, students have a feeling of well-being and inner peace. Anyone can experience this, even after the first class.

Judy Murphy leads chantingThere are a variety of practices from which to choose – restorative postures, for example, meditation, or pranayama (breath work). We can easily match practice to our current state of body and mind. That’s advanced practice! Some students attend the weekly meditation sitting group as well as yoga class – two wings of practice.

walking meditation 2Yoga has changed to meet the needs of seniors. We focus on practical things such as fall prevention, better breathing, concentration, and stress reduction – skills we can all use. Inner peace and quality of life – who can ask for more?