Moved and Made It!

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. February 2022

“Wake up, Mary Jo and Chris, your breakfast is here!”

“Okie, Dokie! Thanks so much,” I respond.

After our few seconds of forehead temperature, we take a quick peek under warming lids to recall what hearty combinations we ordered for breakfast, make bathroom stop, and don robes to eat while our bed is being made! I pause, “Thank you, God, for the good food, the good friends and the good fun, Amen.” Grabbing my schedule book, I review the exciting day ahead. After devotions with Stephanie, (activity director) or independently, my agenda begins with either Catholic Chapel Communion service on Mondays, or I get energetically invigorated after 10:30 chair exercises!

Can’t believe we’ve been in Assisted Living (AL) since one day before Christmas Eve. Seems longer, because of all of the fun of crafts, bingo, movies, piano playing, puzzles, social hours with beer, wine & mixed drinks we’ve experienced so far. And we attend the live entertainment in our Quinault Auditorium in the lower level three times a month! What joy to hear student performers in recital. As a music teacher for 55 years, I’ve heard gifted music talent on many instruments during our entrance to Panorama.

Did we ever have fun decorating thick ginger bread Christmas cookies of about 6 different shapes in our Activity Room (AR)! My eyes bulged at the long red, green, and white tubes of icing, along with very thin tubes of black for writing or for Santa’s buttons, belt, eyes, etc.

“Stephanie, what are you going to do with our cookies?” I was curious.

“Mary Jo, you get to keep them…no matter how many you make. I get off work at five.”

My fun lasted the entire three hours. I carefully, placed the seven 1-inch-high decorated goodies printed with the names of Melody, John, and Hope on the seat of my walker. So great later to hear “Wow, Mom!” and “Granny, can I eat mine now?” and “You really spent some time on those, thanks!”

One common comment AL residents share is, “I really feel retired when I realize I don’t have to make a grocery list, shop, put the stuff in the pantry, cook meals, eat alone most of the time, clean up afterward, put dishes into the dishwasher, then put them in the cabinets. And start all over again later on!” Nodding and laughs always follow.

What else is at the top of my thankful list? Housekeeping! Once a week our sheets are changed, washed and replaced. Also weekly, our apartment is dusted, vacuumed, mopped…and bathrooms smell delightful and sparkle…

like we see on TV ads! Our personal laundry is washed twice a week and folded so perfectly, I thought Chris must have received someone else’s shirt.

I was impressed at the monthly Town Hall meetings for AL after lunch in the new dining room. We are encouraged to share what we like or what we’d suggest changing or fine tuning…foods, service, activities, and such. After listening to the entire group, Stephanie goes from table to table asking each by name whether we were at ease with any possible changes, or if we have any suggestions.

Not long ago, this was my observation: Oh, it’s Monday! One thirty. I’ve gotta look out the window to watch Stephanie help the Assisted Living residents board a Panorama shopping bus for that one-mile trip to Fred Meyer. She seems so patient and calm. One day I’ll be there, too. Please, Lord!

We’ve only been in AL 7 weeks, so stay tuned!

Thank you, Panorama for each of the AL staff and employees! And to our family for the big move days…we love you!

And thank You, Lord for another blessing.  We’ve moved and made it!    

Assisted Living Activity Coordinator, Stephanie Blomberg
Christmas tree in Assisted Living lounge