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

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