Gifts and More Gifts Galore!

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. September 2021

Just where are these “Gifts and more gifts galore?”  

They are in Gifts, Etc. – conveniently located close to Pan Hall, which some of us call the Senior Student Union Center. The lounge area in Pan Hall has a large fireplace, couches, comfortable chairs at tables for visiting, reading, writing, stirring hot coffee or chocolate, and convenient access to our executive offices, Lifestyle Enrichment department, Activity Desk, Timberland bank, etc. Whew!  

In the hallway close to that lounge hangs a sign called Gifts, Etc! During COVID, the shop was closed, but received remodeling and updating. The grand re-opening was September 7, 2021.  

Counters and walls display practical, useful, and gifts for all ages. All are handmade only by our residents, including professional resident artists’ works.

Seasonally, they have large selections for Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday, graduation, and other event gift giving times. Prices vary from a few dollars to as far as the SpaceX’s orbit into outer space! (I exaggerate a tad, but you get my drift!)

Approximately 30 volunteers look forward to working behind the scenes, managing, operating the new cash register, helping residents, substituting, etc.  

Curious? Take a look at some of the kinds of items:  

Bags – Drawstring. Small to large. Various uses.

Basketry – Pine needle & fabric.

Blankets – Baby. Soft cotton fabric or baby crochet yarn.

Books – Autobiography, children, fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, etc.

Cards – Hand painted. Photographs.

Egg ornaments – Uniquely design painted, glued & glazed. Triangle gift box included.

Framed – Paintings. Cloth hand-work.

Honey – LOCAL . . . the more local, the better for you!

Jewelry – Fused glass. Braided. Chained, etc.

Kitchen – Clever aprons. Decorated hand towels. Pot scrubbers. Cotton-knitted wash cloths. Padded pot holders, etc.

Pottery – Unique, beautiful, shapes. Cups. Kiln baked.

Scarves – Out of this world Batik. Yarn. Curly.

Stamps – Actual value price.

Woodshop offerings – Pens, boxes, bowls, etc.

Wool felting — Animals, etc. Too clever to explain!

Reader, if you enlarge the photos with your two fingers, you will see many items and details. I can hear your, “WOW, I had no idea!” Enjoy!  

By the way, consignors keep 80% of sales. The 20% is split between Resident Council and Gifts, Etc. 10% goes into the Resident Council fund that supports many activities. The other 10% goes into the gift shop’s activity fund to cover operating expenses (equipment, software, and office supplies).  

Thank you, Panorama, for this popular, fun space with a galore of items called Gifts, Etc. for our convenience and socializing!

Encore to Panorama’s Lamp

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2021

You know what an encore is. Everyone applauds with an encore at the end of a great piano concert. We MUST HAVE “MORE! MORE!” And we stand smiling from ear to ear, applauding at a higher volume, as the pianist returns nodding a head. I realize the fingers must be exhausted, but still applaud . . . selfishly. I absorb and treasure every nuance of every note. This IS the final to take home.

So, what does this have to do with my title Panorama’s Lamp?

Remember, I wrote about our Stiles-Beach Barn where we turn in those goodies and tons of smaller items like crafts, small kitchen appliances, office supplies, pictures, frames, etc. that we finally realized we don’t need, but they’re too good to throw away. Or we’ve asked, “Why am I keeping this?” Well, Encore is a large, very organized sparkling warehouse of larger items for just about anything you need, such as tables, chairs, cabinets, open or closed shelving, big lamps, etc. At the back . . . shelves of too many books to count.

I really needed a card table for my craft room, also realizing that it would take up valuable real estate in the center of the room. I was tired of working on those three wobbling white plastic TV trays that constantly tipped over when I inched by or hit with my foot.

“No, we have no card tables today, but keep checking . . . you know we get things all the time,” the volunteer resident said, trying to cheer me up.

“Oh, yes, I know,” I whimpered. “I’ll look around for whatever else I might need.”

The guy volunteers belted out teasing-laughter, pretending to help me, “Oh, here, Mary Jo, you must have whatever this is.” Neither I nor they knew what it was, so, Reader, I can’t tell you what the weird thing was. I can’t even recall its shape for description!

Then what to my wondering eye should appear? A crafter’s lamp, the likes of which I didn’t even know existed . . . and several twin look-alikes.

“OH, I’ve never seen anything like this before. I have such little space for a floor lamp, but really need more light. This is exactly what I need. Where has it been all of my 82 years of life?”

Lady Volunteer beamed to help & tapped the toggle. “NO light!” She toggled again. “NO LIGHT. I can’t believe it wasn’t tested as we do when they come in.” I observed the long, connecting light bulb-pack. Volunteer removed and replaced the set, and TOGGLED AGAIN. “You probably can go online and order a set,” she advised.

My heart sank. I don’t order online. “Lord, please, help us in our situation,” I said aloud.

Then there was Jerry! Who is Jerry? He is the volunteer who drove me over to the Encore warehouse, and was going to take me back home if I was going to have a short visit. If he received a call on his special phone to pick up someone else, he could easily go do that and come back for me. Rides are made in 10-minute increments, since that is plenty time to go anywhere on our campus. He was helping with our predicament. And did he!!

Jerry belted out, picking up the cord.  “Well, it might help if we plugged it into the wall!”

WAA-LA! We all cheered!

My arms flew up. “Let there be light!”

This is a Verilux long-neck, and can be angled any direction. I’m sure other people have heard of it, seen it, or own it. Where has my long neck been all this time . . . in my turtle neck or in the sand? I’ve needed this baby for years!

But . . . Encore put me on their list to be called when a card table comes in! 

Panorama deserves encores of thanks for the Encore building. Volunteers there and the Resident Transit drivers who pick us up to take us anywhere on the campus deserve encores of thanks. Blessed once again.

NOTE:  Encore volunteers deliver our larger items to or from our homes or apartments, but Jerry slid my precious treasure right into the back of the SUV . . . next to my walker!