My Drawing Ticket – A Grand Piano

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. September 2020

In the treasured years of formation in a convent for 13 years, I looked forward to our group wheeling the retired nuns to our postulate study room to play cards or games. It was a win-win, although very elderly Sister Helen left happy, only if she had won! I loved volunteering to play with her and escorting her back to her room to hear . . . through her loose dentures, “I have a 100% track-record of winning . . . every time I come!”

I’d smile. “O-h-h, ye-s-s, Sister Helen!”

Getting along well with the aged, I loved hearing stories of before and after they were nuns. I have visited the convent many times after leaving and still communicate and receive their quarterly newsletters.

My fondest dream has always been to share my music with residents in retirement homes. After I was married, I had many talented students of all ages coming to our home before and/or after school, even on Saturday mornings.

Was it permissible to call the retirement homes asking to allow my students to entertain? Would the parents be available and willing to take the children at the appropriate day and time? You’ve probably heard that we are to work as if it all depended on us, but to pray as if it all depended on God. I stormed heaven for an answer.

About ten minutes later, Wendy showed up for her daughter Elise’s piano lesson. Wendy asked, “Mary Jo, we just moved my mother into that nice new retirement center about a mile away from you. The activity director is looking for entertainers of all kinds. We love your recitals . . . your students always play well, and selections are fun with lots of variety. Would you consider having your students perform about a half hour?”

My jaw dropped. I shared how I had just finished my prayer.

“Sounds like an answer to your prayer.” Wendy and Elise said in unison. “I won’t say anything to the director, Mary Jo. I’ll just let you take it from here.”  What memories!

That was then. This is now:

In 2011, hubby Chris and I toured and retired at Panorama. During our initial tour, I was drawn to the shiny black grand piano in the newly opened Convalescent & Rehabilitation Center (C&R). WOW! I wonder if I will be able to play that piano if we move here.

Many residents are drawn to Panorama because of their interests and hobbies, such as their green thumbs aching to exercise planting and harvesting in the large Pea Patch area. Woodworker and metalworker ears eager to hear the buzz of their own saws and machines in our organized, well-kept woodshop & metal shop. The well-equipped art and weaving studios for classes given by professional residents! A dedicated BLOG of our two auditoriums would necessitate shorting if describing all that residents experience: choirs, recitals, talent shows, Readers’ Theater, resident-written plays, professional concerts, movies, lectures . . . you get the basic idea!

Then there is the Aquatic & Fitness Center! And our own many announcements and campus-videoed events to view or review on Panorama TV Channel 370. Oh, yes, and our library?  An extensive remodeling invited residents who didn’t read much to check out and enjoy books. The selections, varieties of books and reviews on their own website make it easy to use and reserve, if desired. Residents and former librarians train helpers, and on, and on . . . how did I digress onto that bunny trail?

Back to tickling my piano keys . . .

Would you believe? I never realized my major volunteer service here could be entertaining my background piano music for resident activities! These include monthly birthday dinners and other events held in our Seventeen51 Restaurant.

It was the first time I played in our Convalescent & Rehabilitation Center recreation/lunchroom, when a resident wheeled in his chair (almost touching the piano) to listen. At the end of 45 minutes, I tapped OFF on the electronic piano. He leaned forward, “Oh, won’t you please play that Nocturne again?”

I responded, “If they let me come play again, I certainly will!” And I did, many times. On Mondays I look forward to playing my favorite inspiring hymns and compositions shared during our Catholic communion service in our chapel.

My repertoire varies for 45 minutes to make sure to include something for each resident in Assisted Living: jazz, old-time favs from several eras, boogie, classics, rags, waltzes, tangos, inspiring, etc. A bit disappointing, since there is never enough time to play all I have selected!

Most often, residents come to the piano and whisper, “Mary Jo, we just love your variety of pieces . . . and the way you play. Thank you so much!”

The more I simply make others happy by sharing the gift of music, the more joy I receive. I pray to be able to bear all of my godsends from my convent days until to the present, especially for my 55 years of teaching music.

During COVID, I practice piano and patience, but feel empty not getting to play and distribute my joy to others. Those gifts are what kept me eager to get up in the mornings. Truly I’ve been blessed over and above. Thank you, Panorama!

The Longest Summer

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2020

This 2020 summer may be the longest one we have ever experienced, to say nothing of the spring! When the Coronavirus shutdown began, it seemed an inconvenience and the thought that things would even out and return to normal would be just a matter of a few months.

Now we are in September. 6 months of the shutdown of our favorite activities here at Panorama are behind us. Many of us have cleared out many old closet issues and drawers that needed trimming up or down. Well, some of that took a long week. Then the reality set in.

Long unread books from our shelves found themselves in the “to read” stack as we worked down them. Then we got to reading already read books that we loved. Now that libraries are opening in truncated fashion, we may get some new ones to read!

It turns out that we are grateful for living in a community with a caring administration. Enough to really put strict plans in place for day to day living. The restaurant, being closed, ramped up for meal delivery for lunch and dinner. Shopping for those who can’t drive began in earnest. Where the Lifestyle Enrichment department was arranging fun outings in the old days, they have stepped up to provide grocery shopping and delivery.

Our wonderful bus drivers were repurposed to deliver mail and packages to keep outside traffic down to a minimum. Then they were occupied with screening at locations for use of the pharmacy and bank and for outside workers who check in every day. We all miss the outings with this great bunch, but it is so good to see that they are still employed!!!

Now some of us have worked our way through puzzles that accumulated over time and that has been fun. Those of us who are sport nuts have had a long dry spell, and I just couldn’t watch the national corn hole competitions that some TV channels were running.

So, as we creep into fall, we will see how football manages this pandemic. It will be a fine adjunct to my day, at least, to watch empty stadiums and actual football. Yes, I am a pro football nut and the colleges are trying to decide if they will have a season this year or move it to spring.

We are also grateful for the boost from the return of Kia, our welcoming totem, who is back on her plinth in McGandy Park. She was gone so long for refurbishment. It makes me smile to walk past her on a daily walk. Getting out in the air with a mask and walking has saved many of us from losing what little minds we have left!!!

It was good to see the Walk the Loop activity back for July in a truncated fashion. It has been full-blown in August and September, but with 7 AM to 7 PM times, distancing and masks, and the delightful trivia stations on the bollard lights! A weak excuse for the rousing Trivia nights in the restaurant bistro, but a nod to simpler times.

Another plus of more outside walking is meeting new folks who have joined our merry band in these trying times. They are probably tired of stories we old hands tell of trips out, and lunches and dinners and hikes taken when driven in our buses! We just all hope there will come a time when these activities return and the auditorium can again show movies and have entertainment come in from outside!!!

The Panorama campus is sprouting more bikes, three-wheelers and other devices as folks try to get back to exercise. With the gyms closed at present, home exercises always seem harder to do. Then the pool opened under a strict usage formula and it is wonderful to do 45 minutes of laps again. I’m so grateful, as it is a real boost to re-habbing my fractured/repaired elbow.

This summer has brought us periods of warm to hot weather and as I wrote this, we are due for another 8 straight days of 80s to maybe a 90-degree day or two! With the heat has brought many wild fires in our state and then south of us in OR and CA . . . and we count ourselves so very thankful that we are tucked into a protected environment.

No one I have talked with enjoys this shut-down time, especially as we look at the dark winter hours approaching. But we find that we are an island of safety here by way of procedures put in place to protect us. We are all trying to connect with shut-ins among us as this is a harder time for them.

So the longest summer on record, in my book, is coming to a close. I look forward to the gray and rainy days. Time to get the old flu shot and wait patiently for the new one, if they can make one work. We live in interesting times. Let’s all keep our spirits up as best we can . . . and this too shall pass.

Meditation

Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. August 2020

Classes are suspended until the COVID situation resolves. I have been recording audio practices for students to follow at home. My annual summer workshop was recorded as well & posted for students to listen. If need be, we will do a virtual session for the Fall Meditation Retreat.

How many retirement centers hold meditation retreats? Very few I would guess, and we are one of the leaders in the field. With over 3,000 papers and research studies showing the benefits of meditation, it’s well worth it. Invariably participants comment on what a difference the group experience makes. Each person’s presence supports everyone else. Not to mention that meditation and yoga postures are two wings of the same practice, and many students do both.

One of the greatest benefits of meditation is that we realize we are not our minds. Fortunately! We can have a distinct (even if momentary) experience of pure awareness beyond the mind. We all love those moments of inner peace and quiet. But most of the time, the mind continues its job of generating thoughts. Our work is to observe those thoughts, seeing how they influence the choices we make.

It is essential for students to feel safe in yoga class, both physically and emotionally. We use walls, chairs and other props for support when needed. There is no forcing, competition or judgment around our practice. We’re all students. We’re all in this together. In addition, there is continual emphasis on concentration, presence and breath awareness as we practice. In this safe and relaxed atmosphere, students can thrive.

Connie Ruhl is retiring from leading the chair yoga class. Connie began teaching in 2009 and has since taught many classes and workshops here for our community. She will still be involved in the meditation retreats and the New Year’s workshop. Thank you Connie for a job well done!

Welcome to Lynn Erfer, the newest member of the Yoga Team. Lynn did yoga training in Sacramento and Santa Cruz, California, Maui, Hawaii and Lacey with Firefly Yoga. She taught various fitness and movement classes at Island Spirit Yoga, the Hyatt Regency and the YMCA, including gymnastics, core fitness, belly dancing, swimming and yoga. Lynn loves teaching yoga classes because of the benefits a balanced practice provides to students, such as enhanced breathing, improved focus, better balance, as well as increased flexibility and core strength. She is excited to share her passion for fitness and yoga with Panorama students so that they too can experiences these benefits.

Washing Window Watch

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2020

Yea! Window washing day!!

NO! Not by me! I’d rather wade in my piles of stuff filling my craft room, or play a couple of hours at my piano in our family room, or spend hours writing blogs and books tapping on my tablet. In previous years during window washing day, I’d been in one of our auditoriums attending performances or lectures, entertaining piano background music during various happenings or visiting in our park, or enjoying the free coffee (and often cookies) in Panorama Hall. I had assumed our outside apartment building windows were washed with a squeegee and left to dry.

Another big, NO!

This time, we were experiencing stay-at-home months of COVID-19. Quickly jumping out of bed, I was eager to shower, dress and welcome the washing event from our 5th floor balcony at 8 a.m. with my iPhone . . . for the first time! I was a senior kid in a candy store! I snapped at least 30 photos to share for this blog and to send some to my families and friends.

Seth started on the building side perpendicular to ours. We’d be the last row of the two building sides. He worked his way down a fifth-floor apartment to the fourth, third, second and finally, first floor. The cherry picker moved him back up to the adjoining apartments.

Without missing a beat, he washed quickly as he conversed with residents who had come out onto nearby balconies with built-in-six-foot distancing to snooper-vise! Speaking at top volume over the large hum of the rolling cherry picker machine below (on the parking lot asphalt in the otherwise quiet Saturday 8 o’clock cool morning), chats were easily overheard!

When Seth finally made it to our windows, I joked, “Hi, I’m Mary Jo! I hadn’t visualized you would be so close to OUR balcony. I’m taking photos for the Panorama BLOG. I hope it’s okay with you!”

His big smile and wave to the camera spoke louder than the machine’s roar. He posed quickly with his drying towels. But what he asked next surprised me. “Would you like to get on board?” (I certainly would have, but at 81….well?? Besides, I figured he was teasing.)

Changing the subject quickly, I asked, “You seem so efficient and do such a good job. How long have you been washing windows?”

“I’m so glad you asked,” he proudly announced. “This is my 20th year, and I really enjoy doing it, BUT…this is my 15th year at Panorama. And I sure do look forward to coming here.”

Just another perk for us. Thanks for this blessing, Panorama!

Posting the Positives

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2020

Today presented no excuses for anyone “bored” at Panorama! I sprang out of bed, showered, and donned my bright yellow t-shirt with a slogan in black lettering:

WALK THE LOOP GROUP

Why? IN A NUTSHELL…for 2 reasons:

First reason!

For the last four years, residents have walked the ½ mile loop around our McGandy Park on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 in the evenings in August (and several weeks longer, depending the weather). Everyone was welcomed! Some arrived on walkers, electric scooters, or were caretaker-aided. Others made the effort to do part of the loop and then sat on benches or walkers to greet and enjoy the passersby. More energetics did multiple laps.

Around the loop, residents Kris and Dave had faithfully posted themed trivial questions we’d try to answer. It was neither a race nor a prize for the most loops, but each week we checked a large updated poster with how many laps each resident had done!! Each did what each could do. Amazing how much our endurance improved week to week!

So, what happens in 2020 with COVID-19?  This is not an event for distancing. But leave it to brainstormers! The announcement was out. On Wednesdays, the slogan tweaked to a clever:

WALK THE LOOP

BUT NOT IN A GROUP!

Instead of one hour, we’d walk anytime from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I packed my iPhone and ice water into my walker and punched ONE in the elevator from 5th floor Quinault Building and headed out for the…

Second reason!

McGandy Park’s large Y-shaped sidewalk was having a complete repaving! Because of the noise, I knew no one could hear the “Wow!” I yelled under my mask as I neared the west entrance to the park. A huge stabilizer/reclaimer’s rotor blade had already cut and pulverized at least 30 yards of the old pavement. I looked forward to observing each part of the three days of fun, learning how the repaving happens, and snapping photos.

I mused at how many rolling or electric walkers, footsteps and stories the briefly exposed dirt had heard and counted after so many years! Until next time! Just posting the positives of Panorama! Blessings!

In My Eyes Photography

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. July 2020

So little new stuff to say, so much time to say it? No, not at Panorama. Lots of new, clever, creative things to talk about and do! For instance, for six weeks, Panorama Lifestyle Enrichment planned In Your Eyes Photography Project. Each week had a theme that our photo should relate to. The notice on our resident portal called Kya stated all residents were invited, not just experienced photographers. I was excited; I’m not a pro, but love to take tons of photos.

We looked forward to watching our Panorama closed-circuit Channel 370 or to tapping computers at any time to view the slideshow. The creative interpretations were snapped all over our campus.

Week one’s theme? Heart. I was amazed at the many entries! The first photo showed Patricia at her sewing machine lovingly making some of the over 3,000 face masks for others. Then there was the cute brown teddy bear with a red heart on its chest. Hearts were tucked inside decorations year-round, hanging on hallway door-hooks in the Chalet, Chinook, and Quinault buildings.

Even though I keep remarking on how our campus reminds me of the lush beauty of pictures of the Garden of Paradise, I must admit, I did not realize how many leaves were in the shapes of hearts! All shades of solid greens, red and green combinations, etc. Plantain Lilies shot up from heart-shaped greens outlined in cream. There was the ironing board striking a pose on its straight edge wearing a covering with outlines of various colors of hearts!

Week two sent us looking for Beauty. I smiled viewing the first photo: a headshot of a resident honoring her beautiful, serene, soft-smiling mother. Her bright red lipstick and lovely hairdo announced the 1920s era.

With over 600 varieties of flowers on our Panorama campus, many are difficult to find, hiding in unusual corners, small and inconspicuous, or seen for a short time.

Magenta roses as large as my hand appeared too gorgeous to be real. (Remember the last time you spotted a nylon rose and asked if it was real or artificial?) We viewed at least 4 versions of tulips, violets and pansies. Then the strong red chrysanthemum morifolium with large bright yellow center! This week’s slideshow was bulging with real winners.

Week three featured Support interpretations. Most were various fun plant-supports for tomatoes and flowers. Purple, red, orange, yellow vined-blossoms hung from patio rafters, arches, and a gazebo!

I snapped a photo in the driveway of Bill’s garden home. Oversized black hand-grippers supported a 3-foot long paper sign with 1-inch wording to a pole in his driveway: “Why can’t your nose grow twelve inches long? Because it would be a foot.”

So clever was the photo of the label in an undergarment that read SPANX!!! Talk about support!

I couldn’t resist sending a picture of an intersection on campus that gives resident and off-campus drivers great support.

One of my favorites was the last slide of a resident leisurely lounging while he was supported in a large, heavy-duty hammock in the shade of a tree . . . in a lush green lawn (manicured by Panorama Grounds crews, of course).

Fourth week’s slide named CHANGE began with a comfortable outdoor Panorama bench covered with about 2 inches of snow, immediately followed by a dramatic photo of outdoor bright shades of autumn oranges, yellows, browns, and reds! And then cleverly returning to the snow bench again!

Someone had arranged four different Lime Leaves in seasonal colors: one in dark green, the second in multi-colors from yellow to lime to brownish red, the third in red with a splash of yellow, and the last in white!

From our 5th floor balcony, we have panoramic views above tall treetops of the Northwest skies. I snapped both a beautiful blue sky punctuated with large fluffy white clouds AND, in the same view, heavy dark gray clouds ready to explode. 

I noticed the big contrast in a simple photo of an empty outdoor bench (COVID-19!) to the complicated photo of the large construction of our Assisted Living addition.

As week six approached, I was disappointed the project would be ending.

It’s poked me more than just a nudge to get outside, despite my never-ending TO DO fun list at home. Writing for many venues, including this monthly blog, my new in-progress book, Goofies and Goodies, piano practice a couple of hours, strolling outside while my walker appreciates the beautiful perfect sun, cleaning our humongous small floor plan which I sincerely love, trying and mending new recipes, climbing over and cleaning up the mess when I’ve turned over a TV table with unfinished projects in my tiny craft room, keeping clean the great love-to-look-through 5th floor window-view of tree tops. I had to reread this last paragraph to find out what blessings I have been numerating. Oh, yes, why I needed the poke to get out for the In Your Eyes Photography Project!

But just recently, the Lifestyle Enrichment Department has listed more themes to interpret! Yea! I wanna get outside!

Remember going to drugstores or Kodak kiosks with our films to be developed, paying extra for “next day pick-up”, then being disappointed with the color, angle, or lighting? Sometimes I take for granted the ease of grabbing my iPhone, snapping or videoing instantly to my family, or forwarding my gems to the designated Panorama staff person to set up a slideshow!

Thanks so much Panorama for all the suggested fun activities. We are blessed again!

A Cautionary Tale

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2020

We all know the fear of falling at our age . . . and in preparation for a possible unforeseen happening, we signed up for the “Learn How to Fall” class that was given by our fitness coordinator. That was last Fall before the coronavirus shut down gatherings, lectures and classes. I am so grateful for the tips I learned. Our instructor suggested falling on soft things. That was not in the cards when I fell on a hardwood hallway floor! Due to the tips I learned, I was able to save wrist damage, head damage, and no broken hip.

Much damage can be done when one keels over, and the first instinct is to brace yourself thinking you will break your fall. However, protecting your head should be the first consideration in that insane second and a half you have from upright to flat down. Falling backward requires you to tuck your head forward. Falling forward (in my case) you must keep your head/face from hitting the floor. Tilting your head back as you go down will save dangerous and unsightly damage.                            

I have always moved too fast, for no real reason. I am tall and that is just how I move, indoors and outdoors. Well, I was moving too fast when our beloved cat raced along in front of me, perhaps thinking I was on the way to her food bowl. She has literally never done this before!

Finding me sprawled on the floor . . . we were all alarmed. I tried assessing the damage and just wanted to get up, which I did by myself, only to feel a terrible pain in my dominant arm elbow. Carefully, I felt a bone piece moving about and went directly to the freezer and got the frozen peas. Not being a mom, I only learned of using frozen pea packages from friends in the face of an awful injury.

What is a lifesaver, or at least a comfort to us at Panorama, is the closeness of a Providence outlying clinic for urgent care about 12 blocks away that has x-ray and lab capability and immediate care with no long waits that can occur in the main emergency room at Providence St. Peter’s hospital 6 blocks away. Coming from a community where medical help was 2 hours away, this is such a luxury. This is not to say our walk to our Panorama Clinic in 4 minutes isn’t helpful . . . it is wonderful. But trauma as I was expecting this to be is best seen where x-ray is available.

My x-ray did show a displaced fracture of the olecranon (in medical-ese) and the provider I saw sent a referral to the Orthopedic department for follow-up and probable surgery. To make a long story shorter, I was seen and booked for pinning and wiring of the bone piece back onto the lower arm bone from where it broke off. An interesting side-bar to treatment options came to light. Fractures are looked at in terms of a patient’s usual modes of living. Sedentary lifestyles may result in less invasive procedures. Active lifestyles result in repairs destined to give the patient as close to 100% mobility as was experienced before the injury. Who knew?

In due course, I showed up for the outpatient/same day surgery under general anesthesia.

This brings up my morbid fear of general anesthesia, having worked for years in a post-anesthesia recovery room, seeing patients waking from it. It IS poison of a high order, after all. The anesthesiologist explained it was a total arm block of numbing and I was relieved, as I imagined this would be with me awake. No, it was to give me 24 hours of pain-free post-op time before it wore off and I was aware of all the damage that had been fixed! I dreaded the block needle, but it seems that it was done with me asleep, using a sonogram to identify the main nerve in my comfy pre-op bed!

Looming over me was a cheerful nurse offering me some ice chips! I said no and that I couldn’t have any as I was due to have my surgery. She laughed and pointed to my arm in a splint and sling that was bigger than my leg and said, “You already have HAD surgery!”

The entire process of the block, moving me onto the operating room table, then off the table into a post-operative bed happened while I was just not there!!! It seems that anesthesia and procedures are way advanced from when I retired from nursing in 1992. Well, of course, it is now 2020, 28 years of advances have happened! I was admitted at 7 AM and home at 12:45 PM same day!

So, what is the point of all this rambling and what is this woman getting at, you ask? I think we can all be grateful for the services we have locally. Then we can be grateful for medical advances that are a slam-dunk, mostly. And last, but not least, is the concern of our Social Services department here at Panorama. With a husband, I had plenty of help at home, but they were there and wanting to know the progress and what they could do to help.  I am further grateful that I could muddle along, albeit a LONG healing process ahead. I worry now about 77 year-old bones healing properly. I am minding all the doctor’s orders and waiting until I can do things again! I took myself off the opiates that were prescribed after day two and have done well on Tylenol. Shifting a standard transmission vehicle seems daunting just now.

I’d like to let everyone know; you aren’t in trouble on your own! Reach out to the services and help that we have here. It is a blessing. You can rest easier if you know bad things can happen and guard against them, but be grateful you are in this caring community with services so helpful.

STOP, POP & GO: Banking on Foods at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. June 2020

Standing with my walker about 30 yards outside the exit of our Quinault Building, I knew something special was going on in the northwest area of our Panorama campus. Thurston County was moving to Phase Three, but Panorama was opening, thankfully for our benefit, with narrower, firmer guidelines. 

That special day, residents seemed to be leaking from nicks and crannies – enthusiastically aiming for the same destination. Some clung to plastic or paper bags. Others gripped envelopes. Cars were neither bumper-to-bumper nor inching along, but they too were headed toward the same destination.

I smiled, returning energetic arm waves, as my walker turned into the identical direction. I hadn’t been outside much, so instead of my daytime PJs, I actually “dressed-up”in my jogging white-striped black pants and matching top. No need to figure out how to apply make-up again – my mask covered my nose to chin, as did masks of all shapes, colors, and designs of my family of friends. I didn’t recognize eyeballs of many, but called out a Hi there!!  

“Oh, Mary Jo, it’s you. Clever signs!” I kept forgetting I was wearing my quickly hand-printed sign I had made for fun. It read: “I’m Mary Jo Shaw!” When I’d see my reflection, I didn’t recognize myself. My big floppy hat covered my forehead. My glasses turned brown outdoors, and I was wearing that mask.

We were traveling between 10 o’clock to noon to the Thurston County Food Bank Drive-Thru Donation Drive in the covered entrance of our Aquatic & Fitness Center. Cars, canes, walkers, scooters delivered non-perishable food items. Others gripped sealed envelopes with checks made out to “Thurston County Food Bank”.

Drivers who steered under the extended covering would STOP under the covered entrance and POP their trunks open to drop off their donation without leaving their car. Staff and employees removed bags of foods or an envelope with a donation check from the trunk. In a matter of seconds, the drop-off was completed for that resident and they would GO on their way. The energy at the tables with donated items was eclectic and exactingly organized.

The warm sunshine, cool-in-the-shade weather that God shown down on us enticed our walking and greeting – while distancing to chat with friends we hadn’t seen in months!

What an outing! I’m going to make myself get out more often to walk.

It had been a day of giving to the Thurston County Food Bank, but I had received more – blessings of visiting with lovely friends, refreshingly perfect weather, and knowing that Panorama cares about us as they remind us of the restrictions necessary to keep us well. We still have 0 cases of virus on our campus of over 1,200 residents, including the hundreds of staff on our campus daily.

Thank you Panorama for your care for us and helping us care for our off-campus community in need.

I started to tap SEND to this Panorama BLOG when on our Panorama closed circuit TV, News with Lu, announced that in addition to 32 large boxes of foods, those envelopes added up to $10,326!

AMEN . . . let’s go for it again!!

Hopes & Dreams Travel News

People are slowly and very cautiously beginning to hope and dream about future travels! This past month I have had the opportunity to help some Panorama clients with new bookings for late 2021, 2022, and yes, even 2023! This breathes new hope and life back into Hopes & Dreams Travel. Over the past three months, I’ve made approximately 70 booking cancellations . . . so to have the chance to once again work on travel plans was such a treat. This challenging season of COVID-19 has reaffirmed how much I truly love helping people with travel. The joy and excitement that I felt while making those new bookings and talking with clients about their future trips was wonderful! At a time when fifty percent of people in the travel industry have lost their jobs, we are more committed than ever to continuing to help people at Panorama with their travel plans. 

We are getting our first reports of a few small ship cruise lines that will be starting to sail again in July and August. These small ships have far less people, usually 100 or less, and have implemented strict protocols of safety. They are not impacted by the CDC’s current cruise restrictions. American Cruise Lines will offer sailings on the Columbia River and on the Mississippi River in July at 75% percent capacity. UnCruise will be offering some Alaska cruises this summer on a very limited basis. New for 2021, UnCruise is offering 5-night roundtrip Washington itineraries including the Salish Sea, San Juan Islands, and Sucia Island. They also have a 7-night Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands itinerary.  These might be great options to consider for travels closer to home. 

Reports are continuing to confirm that travel within the United States will boom in the months ahead. I’ve been thinking and dreaming about a few places on my list, but I will probably not make many personal travel plans until 2021, when it will hopefully be less risky to travel. A few of the places I’m thinking about are Yosemite, South Carolina, and Boston.  There are also so many wonderful options right in our own backyard in the Pacific Northwest! What destinations are you dreaming about? 

Looking ahead, Viking Cruise Lines is now offering Great Lakes cruises and Mississippi River cruises beginning in 2022! We have some people that have expressed interest in going as a Panorama group, so please let me know if that is something that interests you. I will start working on a group if there is enough interest. Also, if you have individual Viking bookings that you would like help with for 2021, 2022, or 2023, please give me a call. I book a lot of Viking cruises and have helpful information and tips to offer. I will also add a special gift to your Viking cruise if you book with Hopes & Dreams Travel!

Below you will find two 2021 trips we are working on. I am taking a cautious approach before coming out with too many new options and want to be sure that it is safe before we resume our group trips. 

April 30 – May 06, 2021
Canadian Rockies by rail and coach from Vancouver to Calgary with roundtrip Panorama transfers

Explore the majestic Canadian Rockies by train with two days in GoldLeaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver to Kamloops to Banff. Then spend some time sightseeing in Banff as well as 2 days/nights in Lake Louise. Next, we will make our way to Calgary for some sightseeing and an overnight before flying back to Seattle.  

Prices start from approximately $4,899 per person based on double occupancy or $6,750 per person for single occupancy for this 8 day/7 night journey. This trip includes GoldLeaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer, tours from Vancouver to Calgary, 7 hotel nights, taxes, and porterage, touring by bus and train, airfare from Calgary to Seattle and roundtrip Panorama transfers. Trip will be escorted with a minimum of 16 people. Hold your spot with $1,000 per person deposit payable by check. Travel insurance is additional. 

October 23 – 30, 2021   
UnCruise – Rivers of Wine & History
7 nights on the ss Legacy
Roundtrip Portland, OR with optional transportation from Panorama

Join us for an adventure on the Columbia River in October 2021! We will sail roundtrip Portland on the ss Legacy, which holds just 86 guests. Ports include Astoria, Hood River, then we will pass through the Bonneville locks, and up to the Snake River with a side trip to Walla Walla. The cruise will also include a stop at the Maryhill Museum, as well as some wineries in Walla Walla and the Willamette Valley, with food and wine pairings and events along the way. UnCruise offers included excursions and amazing landscapes from sea to river on this unique journey. There’s no better way to discover the natural treasures of Washington and Oregon than from the decks of a small ship.

Prices have been lowered and now start from approximately $4,920 per person based on double occupancy, which includes cruise fare, port charges, and taxes. Additional savings are available if you have previously cruised with UnCruise. Gratuities, travel insurance and transfers to/from Portland are additional. Call today for more details, or if you simply want to add your name to the list of people who are interested!  You can then decide by June or July if you would like to put a deposit on any trip. 

To contact Hopes & Dreams Travel, you can leave a message at x5112 or call 253-931-0909. You can also email us at Hopesanddreamstravel@gmail.com. We look forward to helping you with group or individual bookings when you are ready to travel again!

Panorama Penthouse?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. May 2020

One day during this stay-at-home restriction, I stepped outside onto our balcony and eyed a woman walking through the covered parking lot for Quinault residents. “Hi there!!” I called out at a proper level of hearing that far away. She looked around, continued walking until hearing, “Hey…I’m up here!”

She gazed up, doing a complete 360.

“You missed me. I’m at your right. Look up to 5th floor.”

“Oh! Hi, there, Mary Jo! How are you doing?”

“I’m doing great! But who ARE you? I don’t recognize your eyeballs!”

She laughed heartily, pulling her mask down from her face, and responded, “I’m Pat! You have a great view from up there, don’t you?”

“Oh, yes, and we’re blessed in many other ways.”

I watched as she headed toward Circle Loop. What she didn’t know!

One example: We selected a very small apartment on the top floor of the Quinault Building. All my 50 years of marriage, I’ve wanted the smallest kitchen possible, but it needed to have lots of storage.

Reader, see you grinning, “Sounds like an oxymoron, Mary Jo!”

Hey, we got it! My husband calls it the Panorama Penthouse. With pantry pull-outs, I can double stack cans, front to back, in each of the four long drawers. Cabinets have things we really don’t need to keep…containers that I might need sometime!  Why have a large kitchen floor to keep clean?

I can stand at my kitchen sink, turn, and stir a cooking pot without moving a foot!Yes, the exercise would be good, but I have the option of walking through the hallway, family room, etc. for extra mileage. I actually do that at times, with my iPhone in my pocket to tract my distance. A quarter-mile walked trumps a quarter-mile in a recliner watching TV. Even then, if I want to watch or just listen, I can easily be tuned-in in this convenient, small place.

I turned to come back inside the apartment, but noticed Assisted Living activity coordinator, Stephanie, assisting a resident getting started on a walk. Pointing to the opposite side of the parking lot, they headed my way. I called out, louder than I had for Pat.  “Hey, Stephanie!” She, too, looked around.

“Over here…up high!” Both arms swung huge curves over my head right to left.

Stephane’s body language told me she was clueing in Ms. Assisted Living Woman. They nodded toward each other, waved back, and headed my way…a tad more than just moseying along. For about 20 seconds, we could not see each other because of the garage roof blocking the sidewalk view.

However, when they could see me again, they both wore big smiles and returned more arm-greetings. Emotionally I “heard” their hearts of happy excitement.

Their alert, quick pace remained until they turned and were just below my balcony. Now I could use a lower volume, “I miss playing piano on Mondays during lunchtime in Assisted Living.”

Stephanie’s response stirred up my thoughts. “Hopefully, it won’t be long!” was music to my ears…way up in our Panorama Penthouse!

Looking Back at Panorama

Submitted by Resident Archivist, Deb Ross – May 2020

In the next couple installments of Looking Back at Panorama we’ll spend some time with the well-known watercolor of the David and Elizabeth Chambers farm, by artist Edward Lange. The painting was likely created some time in the 1890s. We are looking roughly south from Willow Street; the southern lobe of Chambers Lake is visible as a sliver of blue in the distance. The  homestead was at the current site of the Chalet building. If you look closely, you’ll see two women in bicycles wheeling around the driveway to the home. A Smithsonian article stressed the importance of the bicycle craze to women’s empowerment in the 1890s: 

Bicycles extended women’s mobility outside the home. A woman didn’t need a horse to come and go as she pleased, whether to work outside the home or participate in social causes. Those who had been confined by Victorian standards for behavior and attire could break conventions and get out of the house.

Suffragist Susan B Anthony said that the bicycle “did more to emancipate women than anything in the world.” 

For your own closer look at the painting, stop by the interpretive panel outside the Chalet. 

A Reminder From The Emotional Support Team

Submitted by the resident group, Emotional Support Team – May 2020

 The Emotional Support Team (EST) is composed of Panorama resident volunteers who have professional training and experience helping people through times of trauma. During a disaster such as the current pandemic, they are available to provide emotional support for people who may be having a difficult time enduring isolation, anxiety, fear, crippling frustration or similar feelings. 

The EST will work with Panorama Social Services Staff in times of disaster to complement their program and will make referrals to them for further assistance when requested.  It is not the purpose of the EST to provide long-term care.

To request assistance from the EST, dial x6006 from any Panorama phone or 360-413-6006 from a cell phone or any landline phone. This telephone number is only for leaving a voice message, however, members of the EST will check for messages on a daily basis and respond as quickly as possible.

Trash Talk – Tips on Recycling at Panorama

Submitted by Panorama Green Team – May 2020

PAPER AND PAPER PRODUCTS

The LeMay posters that are affixed to each large dumpster list the following paper product items that can be put in the bins: Cardboard (flattened); magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and mail; cereal and food boxes.

To expand on this a bit, paper product items that MAY be put in the bin include: clean flattened cardboard, magazines, catalogs, newspapers (without plastic bags), office paper, envelopes, opened or un-opened junk mail, and chip board (cereal boxes, tissue boxes, cracker boxes, and similar). The small plastic sheets in window envelopes and tissue boxes do not need to be removed.

Paper product items that MAY NOT be put in the bin include: cardboard with grease or food residue (such as pizza boxes), waxed cartons (such as those used for milk, broth, soups, frozen foods), plastic coated paper (such as coffee cups, paper plates), egg cartons, paper food take-out containers, padded envelopes lined with plastic or bubble wrap, shredded paper, tissues (in this Corona virus age?), paper towels, glossy photographs.

Pay attention to the posted signs at the recycling centers, and if you are not sure about an item, please put it in the trash.

Next month: Take Out Containers

A Resident’s Perspective – Special Pandemic Offers Opportunity

Written by Carolyn Treadway and published May 2020 in The Voice.

Panorama. April 30, 2020. Rhododendrons and azaleas are in breathtaking bloom, cherry blossoms blow around like pink snow, and spring is in full glory. We are so fortunate, sequestered here amidst such beauty––while the COVID-19 pandemic rages across our globe. Thanks to the wisdom, care, and fast-acting leadership of our administrators who closed our campus on March 12, we have been safe and secure in our homes, without one COVID-19 case at Panorama thus far.

All of us have had difficulties adapting to new, rapidly changing realities. But compared to so many whose very lives, income, and housing are at risk daily, we are privileged indeed. Despite the necessity of physical distancing, social connection in times of crisis is crucial. Numerous residents have found safe ways to connect, support each other, and cooperate on projects such as sewing thousands of face masks. Such webs of connection offer a model for our planetary future.

These are liminal times— “in between” times, in transition between the old and the new. The past as we have known it is likely gone forever, and the future is uncertain. Not-knowing is scary, and we long for the security of a predictable “normal.” But what “normal” will allow us (humans and other species) to survive and thrive, into the future?

A tiny virus has brought our world to a sudden halt. This enforced pause gives us an opportunity to see things we might have been too busy to notice: our ecosystems are in crisis; our economic and social systems are not equable for all; climate change is rapidly becoming increasingly catastrophic; “business as usual” is unraveling; our economic model, based upon constant growth, is impossible on a finite planet; and on and on.

We notice, astonishingly, how quickly the world can come together to change when it is imperative. As most of the world shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, human contribution to climate change became dramatically visible. As greenhouse gas emissions plummeted, air quality improved, smoggy skies cleared, and dolphins came back into the canals of Venice. Our choices and actions do make enormous differences.

What kind of a world do we want? Returning to our previous “normal” will continue to endanger the Earth, our matrix of life, our only home. What needs to change to create a sustainable world? COVID-19 clearly shows how intricately we are interconnected, and what is and is not working. More of the same will not “save” us; nor will technology.

We need shifts in the perceptions and behaviors of humans. We ARE the Earth, part of the integrated ecosystem of Earth, but we are the only species deliberately destroying it for personal gain. To survive, we must learn to live in harmony with the Earth and each other, as indigenous elders could well teach us. Natural systems survive and thrive by cooperation, not by separation and competition.

Let us not waste the opportunity of this unique liminal time to see more clearly what is happening across our planet, to reconnect with the Earth, and to work together to preserve it and each other.

Grey Resistance Indivisible Update

Submitted by resident group, Grey Resistance Indivisible – May 2020

A Word from GRI Coordinator, Mari Stuart

 Hopefully by the time you are reading this we are on the road to recovery. It is time to collect and energize ourselves and most importantly refocus on the upcoming election. Yes, we are in the midst of an ELECTION YEAR. Please select from the ideas below – simple yet effective and NECESSARY steps that will begin to engage you in the election process.

If you have 5 minutes (and who among us doesn’t?) here’s what you can do: Donate to a Senate Candidate in a toss-up race –

  • Michigan: Gary Peters.   petersformichigan.com
  • Colorado: John Hickenlooper. secure.hickenlooper.com
  • Arizona: Mark Kelly. Markkelly.com
  • North Carolina: Cal Cunningham. calfornc.com
  • Kentucky: Amy McGrath  amymcgrath.com

Magnify Your Impact

After you’ve made a donation, email or call a friend and encourage them to follow your lead.

Call Your MOC’s

Thank them for the steps they have taken to speak Truth to Power and encourage them to work in a bipartisan ways where possible. It will take courage and fortitude to meet the present demands of the crisis and also during the re-entry stages to follow.

If you have 30 minutes here is something you can do –

Send postcards to voters in Toss-Up states(follow the suggestions from Jean Garwood in the section titled “Election Team” below.)

If you have 1-2 hours (most of us!)

  • Write letters encouraging people in Toss-Up states to register and/or vote. Again, please follow Jean Garwood’s guide. She is co-chairing the Election 2020 team and would appreciate each of us checking in with her as she is coordinating this effort.
  • Text Banking. We have the opportunity to engage after a brief webinar. Please contact me (email address available to residents on Kya) if interested. We will be targeting those passionate environmentalists who are not so impassioned as voters. All thanks to our Indivisible member Janet Sears whose daughter has reached out to us.

Here are our opportunities to make a difference, engage positively and give us hope.

Mark Your Calendars

In the month of May South Sound Indivisible groups are sponsoring a series of virtual Town Hall events to meet candidates. GRI will send out more information, so watch for it in your email (if you subscribe to our updates).

Important Words from Our Action Groups

Elections Team

We are hard at work continuing to write Letters to Voters. We have prepared 600 letters so far and need a lot more. Go to votefwd.org and register and start writing. It is easy and something meaningful to do during this time. We can also write Postcards to Voters and look forward to Postcard Parties once we can gather again. Contact Jean Garwood (find her on Kya) for address and instructions.

 We can also call our Members of Congress and thank them for supporting us during this crisis. Their contact numbers can be found on line.

Immigration Team

Work continues on our southern border. More later.

Becoming Informed and Taking Action

Each week we are sent a Weekly Call to Action that includes context for most current bills or policies that may call for action. To receive this information, send an email to gri98503@gmail.com.

Grey Resistance Indivisible (GRI) is a local chapter of the national Indivisible organization.