A Resident’s Perspective – Privacy Etiquette at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. January 2016.

Like many other Panorama residents, my spouse and I moved here from a single family home. We lived on a 2 ½ acre lot, surrounded on three sides by woods and wetland. The Panorama neighborhood we moved into, Holladay Park, is one of the densest on campus, with a tightly knit, actively social group of neighbors. From our duplex patio and back windows we can see several other folks’ patios and into their living areas. Worrywart that I am, I wondered what the rules of etiquette for privacy are in my new surroundings. So I decided to solicit opinions from other residents. Here are some FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and some FWBUAQs (Frequently Wondered But Unasked Questions), with answers provided by an unscientific poll of my wise friends and neighbors.  I’d welcome feedback and advice on any of these or other “privacy etiquette” questions.

Q: If I am out on my patio, and I see a neighbor on her patio, should I say hi, or pretend she is not there, in order to respect her privacy? A: Say hi! My consultants agreed that it is ruder to “respect their privacy” than to say a friendly hello.

Q: Should I call a neighbor ahead of time if I want to visit, or should I feel free to drop over? A: Unless you are very close friends, or your neighbor says it’s OK just to drop by, it’s best to call ahead of time.

Q: What can my neighbor hear on the other side of my duplex/triplex/apartment wall? A: Experience may vary on this. Our duplex has well-insulated walls and our next door neighbor can’t hear sounds through the walls. On the other hand, he can hear – or perhaps more accurately, feel – us through the floorboards if we tread heavily. Others have told me they don’t hear a thing from their neighbors. When in doubt, ask your neighbor for an honest assessment of what noises can be heard.

Q: I’m a newbie and am thinking about asking for a privacy fence. Should I have one installed? A: Express your concerns and needs so staff can help you develop a plan that will work for the home you’ve chosen. Once a plan has been approved, you can ask to take some time living in your new home before the privacy panel is installed in case you decide it won’t be needed. We ultimately decided against it as it would have blocked sunlight and we are less hung up about privacy than when we first moved in. There are several options, including landscaping alternatives, and Panorama staff are great about working with you to find a good fit. We are unlikely to face the following problem:






Deb 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 – It’s All About the FUN, FOOD, and FELLOWSHIP

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. January 2016

“Yeah!! Great start!! Russell Wilson is fired up already!”

“Way to go!” “GO-O-O!  GO-O-O!!”

“Seahawks are off to a super start!”

Outstretched arms swing cups of lemonade, hot chocolate and hot tea as the yells and cheers bellow from the gathering in our auditorium lobby. Even hotdogs are waving their tails! “Gonna be a g-o-o-d game.”

We remove our jackets topped with globs of snowflakes while reading one of the two big TV monitors on the walls with amplifier. The last conference game, before playoffs for the 50th Super Bowl Game, is just beginning.

“Hey, Chris, Mary Jo, welcome! Help yourself to hotdogs. Sit where ever you like, and don’t forget the super-size screen in the auditorium,” beckons Katherine Billings, auditorium manager dressed in her navy, lime green, white Seahawk logo shirt. “Dinah volunteers to bake many of the cookies, banana breads and other yummies for the events for her fellow residents. She did today, too!”

Seahawks Football at PanoramaWe greet friends and head for the festive-foods table.

Chris lettered as a Texas Longhorn and has a life time pass to all the local Austin, Texas games. (A lot of good out here, right?) He’s into football. Me? I brought my crochet. I know when they make a touchdown—I look up when the noise swells! But we both love the socialization and fun in the Panorama auditorium and lobby.

Mary P. sits working with a pink knitting-loop, in her signature, sequined, low-cut tennis shoes. “I don’t know that much about football. I sang 16 years in the resident chorus of Seattle opera and was in 31 musicals. I didn’t have time for football games, but I never miss the fellowship, food and fun here!” She drops her knitting. “Touchdown!!”

A mass of roars and hand clapping rings through the rooms.

Chris and I mingle with a table of six. Fred admits, “I’ve had 100% attendance since these parties began weeks ago. I love football, but enjoy the hotdogs and fun!”

Barbara and Michael talk above the excitement in their matching Seahawk shirts. She discloses, “I’d never watched a football game in my life; but when Katherine Billings said she was showing the Seahawk games in the auditorium and lobby with party foods, I wanted to come to meet new residents, and socialize. I wouldn’t miss the fun!”

Seahawks Football at PanoramaAt half-time, a couple shows up with a large box of assorted, tempting donuts–word gets around fast, and so does the crowd!

Ann and Rocky munch goodies at a high, round table. I ask, “Why do you show up every Sunday when the games are aired?”

“For the BIG SCREEN!!” Rocky breaks in. “Some big screens are fuzzy, but that huge one in the auditorium is sharp and clear. We love football and would watch at home, but why? These free hotdogs are really good and tasty, too.”Seahawks Football at Panorama

Ann nods her head. “See, I wore my navy sweater.” She points to the crisp collar of the blouse underneath. “Here’s my lime green, too!”

Nora and Tim moved to Panorama in July, 2015. She’s in her appropriately colored V neck sweater and unique scarf. We chat. She looks me in the eye, “We love football and watch at home; but we come for the people and the party!”

The room groans, but suddenly roars. “INTERCEPTION!   TOUCHDOWN!!” They stand and slap high-fives.

Seahawks Football at PanoramaKris walks in late after her swim in the aquatic center and jumpstarts her snacks on her hubby Dave’s plate of hotdog, macaroni salad, watermelon and chips. “I’m just in time. It’s more fun here than at home—cheers and moans–like at a real game.”

“This is the best substitute for going to the game, and the company can’t be beat!” Pete and Louise insist.

Heads turn toward a smell permeating the room with the entrance of Don and Rosalie. “It’s still warm,” she yells across the crowd. The group magnetizes around the food table.

“Hot apple pie! And it’s huge!” I dig at its crusty edge that’s drooling with sticky, thick, syrup. (I did indulge in a few pieces of apple, of course.) What a way to end an already delicious day. BTW: Seahawks win—36-6 on this Sunday.

“Heck. Time to go home.” Hubby Chris buttons his coat. “This is better than pre-game, tail-gate parties. These last the entire game!”

“Exactly! We like to be where the happy action is—if you don’t know football, we have plenty people around, eager to tell you.” Peg and Pat stir up more ovations!

I barely hear my cell phone ring. “Hey, been trying to get you. (pause) What’s the racket in the background? Are you having a party?”

I think I’ll tell her to read this blog.

Mary Jo Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Transitions

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. December 2015

I went to visit George and Mary Jo, who have recently moved from Holladay Park to an apartment in the Quinault. I wanted to ask them about how they dealt with transitions, both to Panorama several years ago, and now this latest move.

George said that the decision to move to Panorama several years ago was not difficult. He was 66, and Mary Jo 65 when they came here. He no longer felt secure going up on an extension ladder to clean the roof, and did not feel like doing so much yardwork. His kids were not so enthusiastic: “Oh, Dad, you don’t want to live with those old folks!” said his son. George’s daughter-in-law put an end to the argument: “Your parents are doing what they need and want to do.” This bit of wisdom has guided George and Mary Jo’s decisions in retirement: they want to make transitions when they have control over them, not when there’s an emergency.

At first, George and Mary Jo were called “those young whippersnappers:” they were on the very young side of Panorama residents at the time (since then, the average age has dropped). “We both became very active: the Benevolent Fund board, the pea patch, Resident Council, driving for Resident Transit – we immersed ourselves in Panorama life. We particularly enjoyed the neighborhood concept of Panorama and loved Holladay Park.”

At the same time, they were always thinking ahead. “Where would we want to be in ten, fifteen, or twenty years?” They decided to put their names on the wait list for the Quinault. That way, when the perfect unit came up, they could be ready to move. (The Quinault wait list is open to all current Panorama residents, and operates similar to the wait list for other Panorama units.)

Mary Jo’s health deteriorated about four years ago, but they were still comfortable living in Holladay Park. Then, a unit on the top floor of the Quinault became available. Did we want it? “We were really not ready. But Mary Jo replied, ‘I think we should take it.’” This time, the kids were completely supportive and endorsed the philosophy of making the transition on George and Mary Jo’s own terms.

George and Mary Jo love their new apartment. It has everything: spaciousness, proximity to C&R if needed, an inside walk to the restaurant and bank, all amenities that would enable them to continue to live independently for many years. But one of the best things about Panorama is that they can still stay connected to neighbors and friends whom they’ve come to know over the years, as well as making plenty of new friends at the Quinault.

Advice from these wise people? Come to Panorama early so you can take advantage of all it has to offer. Make a long-term plan to know when you are ready to make transitions both to and within Panorama: it gets harder as you get older. And downsize before you move, not after. “Do I really need that turkey roaster and two dozen wine glasses?” George laughs ruefully.

Deb Bio