A Resident’s Perspective – Spring is Here!

Written by Panorama resident, Judy Murphy. March 2016

Spring is here, and the Panorama Pea Patch is ready for action! During January and February, Panorama’s Grounds Department installed all new irrigation pipes and individual faucets for each garden plot.  The heat of last summer raised concerns about water usage and leaks, and reminded us that our water supply, from Panorama’s Chalet well, could be in jeopardy if we did not implement more efficient irrigation of our gardens.  The new irrigation system ensures that no water is leaking beneath the ground and the replacement of old faucets will add to our efficiency.  The Pea Patch will be holding informational programs to help gardeners become more familiar with irrigation systems and better understand how much water their plants need.

Panorama Pea PatchIn addition, the Grounds Department leveled the pathways between the plots, which over the years had become uneven and hazardous to navigate. The pathways were dug up, leveled, and grass replaced.  New sod was planted and sand added to aid the grass in filling in where it was sparse.  The paths are now much safer for gardeners to walk on and do their work.

All of this was done while it seemed the rain never stopped, adding extra challenges to the project. After the work was completed, the Pea Patch Irrigation Updatedriveway into the RV Park and Pea Patch was graded and re-graveled.  The Pea Patch gardeners (more than 80 of us!) are very appreciative of all the work that was done, and we are chomping at the bit to begin our preparations for planting.  It’s a whole new world, and come late June we will welcome residents to Friday Share, where everyone can enjoy the fruits of our labors!  Thank you, Panorama!

Murphy Bio

KPAN Presents Workshops with Katherine Billings






As residents are seated comfortably in the Panorama Auditorium seats, a screen portrays the chapter selection for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Between the microphones being handed out and the movie, it is exciting to see what Katherine, Auditorium Coordinator, has in store for her students. As the workshop starts, Katherine dives into the world of voice over animation and post-production sound. Her intention for this session is to give her students a chance to put their voices in place of the characters’. It seems like a simple task until the students take a shot at it. The sound is turned off and subtitles scroll across the screen as each scene is played once before the students give it a try. With a combination of humans and animated characters, “Roger Rabbit” is a nice example to start with. Between the wide moving lips and fast paced subtitles, students quickly learn the difficultly of fitting their voice into a character.

Between multiple movie scenes, including some from “Up” and “Madagascar”, Katherine talks about post-production sound and how it plays a key role in movies. She covers a large amount of “behind the scenes” information of post-production sound, using technical terms and even sharing stories from past jobs. With practice and Katherine’s tips, the students slowly begin to learn how to articulate and pace themselves, improving the quality of their voiceover skills.

What seems to be a fun chance to voice an animated character is actually an in-depth lesson and background into the film industry. One small part of film making contributes a large deal to the creation of a film. If you ever have a moment, turn off your volume while watching a movie. Without any sound, the movie loses its pizzazz. Take out the extras, background noises, or even the music, and the film is just a series of scenes with simple dialogue.

Panorama residents are lifelong learners! In the workshop described above, they challenge themselves to “think out of the box” and find how many characters they can create with their voices and imagination. And…the laughter never stops!

KPAN is a resident performance group which creates live radio shows to delight audiences of fellow Panorama residents. The group has written radio shows and commercials looking back at the 1940’s & 50’s, honored Panorama Veterans in a show about how they served their country, discussed the media’s responsibility to its listeners in exploring the iconic broadcast, War of the Worlds,  and even created their own send ups of all things Panorama called Primose Path and Panoramaland.

Katherine Billings Bio


Embracing Life Discussion – A Physician’s Perspective

Embracing Life - 3The third discussion of the yearlong initiative, “Embracing Life”, was led by Dr. David Fairbook. With a physician background, he led a discussion from this standpoint, discussing chapter 7 of Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal. The chapter focuses on hard conversations, mortality, and medical choices. Making plans and communicating them are vital to ensure that we get what we want at the end of life, especially when we are unable to speak for ourselves. Dr. Fairbrook discussed cases of patients and the differences between communication and medical choices. At the end, he presented residents with key questions to think about:

  1. What do you really understand about your illness?

  2. What are your biggest fears and concerns?

  3. What goals and hopes do you wish for?

  4. What trade-offs are you willing to undertake?

Although we desire full details from doctors and physicians and expect to have important life changes discussed with us, communicating our questions, wants, and fears to our doctors is just as important. We expect doctors to share this information, but we are just as responsible for asking those hard questions. It is important to make plans and discuss those plans with loved ones and relatives. We may face a day where we are unable to communicate what we want and have to leave it up to others to make those hard choices. Asking those hard questions and discussing those difficult topics with ensure that we get what we want at the end and are thoroughly prepared for the end of life.

Embracing Life Discussion – Shared Decision Making

Written by Panorama resident, Judy Murphy. March 2016

Embracing Life - 3The Wednesday discussion group of 22 people was small enough to allow a give-and-take among the facilitator and the attendees. We focused on the Shared Decision-Making model of the patient-physician relationship, discussing choices that patients need to make and the obstacles to making them.  In shared decision making, the physician presents options and the patient makes choices with the physician’s guidance.  This model was exemplified in “Being Mortal” by Dr. Gawande’s father’s terminal cancer diagnosis and how he and his family responded to it.  The importance of communication with family and medical providers was emphasized.  Several people mentioned that we need to be cautious about information we find on the Internet and suggested that second opinions and fact checking are very important.

Other topics surfaced as well, such as what constitutes quality of life, particularly for someone with dementia. Concerns expressed by residents included how to make your wishes known well in advance of illness, being sure the family, physicians and institutions have appropriate paperwork, and the need for families to come to an understanding and acceptance of the parents’ wishes.  Children do not always agree, and if that is the case, the medical power of attorney is extremely important.

Obstacles to making appropriate decisions included

1) Expense of medical care that could impoverish family members

2) Regrets about one’s life and poor choices one may have made

3) The wish to please family and physicians

4) Not acknowledging that one is dying

5) The desire to not burden spouse and family.

We also discussed differences in cultural attitudes towards death and dying, the need for us to face these realities, the importance of palliative care and hospice, and the gift of having time to say good-bye to friends and family. One suggestion many found helpful was writing letters to children about your feelings and things that are meaningful to you.  A common sentiment was that the dying process gives us an opportunity to enrich our relationships with others.

All agreed that living at Panorama is a gift in this regard, and the need for facing difficult subjects is made easier by being able to talk about them with like-minded people.

Murphy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Embracing Life at Panorama


Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. March 2016

Embracing Life - 3In the first week of March, Panorama initiated a year-long program called “Embracing Life,” based on the principles expressed in Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal. The first event, sponsored by the Panorama Library, was a PBS Frontline film about Gawande and his ideas, shown to a full house in the auditorium. Three discussion sessions were scheduled for the following week, to explore the issues raised in the book and the film.  Embracing Life 1st Discussion GrpI had the honor of facilitating the first session on March 8. I asked the participants to answer three questions: What makes your life worth living? What have you already done to achieve or prolong this? and What do you plan to do in the next twelve months? The answers were far-ranging and inspirational. Here are some of the common themes:



What makes my life worth living?

  • Keeping Mobile/Travel
  • Preserving Health
  • Family
  • Panorama neighbors and friends, and other friends
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Learning
  • Beauty
  • Crafts
  • Spouse
  • Mental Health/Memory
  • Spiritual Issues
  • Sense of Humor
  • Enjoying Life
  • Love


What have I done, or plan to do, to achieve or prolong this?

  • Moving to Panorama!
  • Getting important documents in order: wills, other legal documents, powers of attorney Talking with family and making sure they are on board with wishes
  • Getting finances in order
  • Taking care of health
  • Dealing with stuff (downsizing, inventory)
  • Finding ways to keep spouse happy and healthy
  • Finding alternatives when I can no longer do certain things due to health, mobility, sensory issues
  • Having a positive attitude, enjoy life as it comes every day
  • Being prepared for change, seize opportunities
  • Taking classes such as Brainfit
  • Moving to Quinault when advisable
  • Using time wisely, and taking control of my own schedule
  • Taking steps to preserve ability to continue in independent living, including calling on Hospice when the time comes


This list doesn’t adequately capture the depth and variety of responses. One couple, who had both been widowed, met here and married two years ago, and take great joy in each others’ company. Another finds spiritual sustenance by helping others. Another said he greeted every day with delight at being alive and healthy. The two overriding themes expressed by our residents were first, that the pursuit of happiness is the most important thing to them, in all its many forms; and that moving to Panorama was a huge step towards achieving that goal.

I look forward to participating in the forums and sessions around the theme of Embracing Life over the next several months, and continuing to learn both from residents and presenters how we can embrace life, while recognizing our own mortality.

Deb Bio_Edit


Hiker of the Year Award

Written by Panorama Hiking Guide, Steve Pogge. February 2016

We have some amazing people at Panorama.  Most everyone here has lived full and interesting lives.  What I find inspiring is that people at Panorama do not stop living once they reach senior status.  No where do I find this more evident than on my hikes and walks.  The people who sign up for my trips are still very interested in learning, exercise, spirituality, health, appreciating nature, getting outside, socializing and just plain having fun .

Each year, myself and the volunteer guides have the hard task of picking one individual who exemplifies traits that we feel reflect the best qualities in an outdoors person or any person for that matter.

For the 2015 season, Sylvia Clark has been awarded the HIKER of the YEAR.

Hiking Guide, Steve, and award recipient, Sylvia, appeared on Panorama's closed-circuit TV station - February 2016.

Hiking Guide, Steve, and award recipient, Sylvia, appeared on Panorama’s closed-circuit TV station – February 2016.

This was a very tough decision, we had many possible picks, we narrowed it down to 5 or 6 individuals and it was close.

Here are some of the variables that tipped the scales.  Sylvia is a fairly new resident to Panorama and jumped into the hikes and walks with both feet (literally).  She completed 20  1-day trips in 2016 (more than any other person) along with completing the Oregon Coast/ Mt. Hood 6-day trip.

It wasn’t the number of hikes but her enthusiasm which won us over.  She is the best ambassador we could ever want.  She is always positive and friendly. Having nice things to say about others and eternally looking on the bright side of life.  Sylvia is one of the few people who will never speak poorly of another individual no matter who it is.

We did have challenges last year as we do every year on certain trips.  We encountered heat in the 90’s, a few downpours, difficult rocky terrain on some walks and a few were challenging in length and elevation.  Sylvia pushed through it all without even a hint of complaint.  She wasn’t able to make it to the end of all the trails.  I appreciated that she knew her limits and made the decision on a couple of occasions to retreat and save herself for another day.

We all experience and are touched by nature differently.  Some look at a majestic mountain range,  meadow wildflowers, a stand of old growth trees, a rapid flowing river and recognize the beauty. Others not only recognize the beauty but are truly moved to the core by the wilderness finery.  Sylvia is one of those people who can be truly touched by nature. I was reminded of this when I caught her hugging a tree on one of our hikes.

All of us, at one point in our lives have struggles and hardships to deal with, whether it be a physical problem, an illness or loss of a family member.  Sylvia has dealt with a severe loss of sight in recent years.  Most people would feel sorry for them self and stop doing many activities.  Sylvia did not let this slow her down, she continues to walk and hike with the added challenge of not being able to see the trail all that well.  It is that courage, heart and positive nature that inspires us and we are proud to bestow on her: HIKER OF THE YEAR 2015!

Steve Pogge Bio

A Resident’s Perspective: Thankful for Those Who Live Around Us

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers. February 2016

Within the last month three women died whom I considered to be friends.  Each in their own way contributed richly to this campus.  Each was a quiet and unassuming person who left an indelible mark across the face of Panorama.

You probably have seen Arra Browning riding her three-wheel recumbent bicycle on the campus streets or on the Chehalis Trail.  She and her husband moved to the campus in 2002 taking up residence in a lakeside home on Chambers Lake Drive.  Arra was committed to making life better for all of us by focusing her energy upon things ecological and especially recycling.  In her quiet way she got others involved. She was an enthusiast for the Green Team’s efforts.  She served on the Resident Council and worked with the Foundation. She was also one who made the atmosphere around her alive.  I will never forget her ready smile.

Sydell Friedman and her husband moved to the same lakeshore in 2002 just down the street from Arra.  They immediately became active in many aspects of campus life.  They were involved in the Foundation’s work in building the Auditorium.  Sydell participated in the Drama Group that was the precursor to all the many varieties of reading, speaking and drama we currently have.  She was active in the TV operation for years. Sydell also was a Resident Council member.

Finally, Mary Jo Hinkel and her husband George moved into Holladay Park in 2004.  I knew her when she was on Resident Council, but she showed up in many other places around Panorama, particularly the Benevolent Fund Board and the Patio Sale book venue. She was active with the Auditorium once it came on line.  Her quick smile and infectious laugh always added to Panorama’s atmosphere.

Panorama is full of women and men who have left their mark upon Panorama life. I’ve lived here going on 16 years and I can tell you that we should be eternally grateful to the residents who have gone before us and those that live around us.  They have quietly given an on-going transformative energy that by its presence makes Panorama a place with vitality and life. That’s what makes this a great place to be as we age. Thanks to all the Arras, Sydells and Mary Jos that are out there.

Bob Bowers Bio