Yoga & Summer Solstice

Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. September 2019

Who are those crazy people still in the Pea Patch at 9:30 pm? We weren’t gardening; we’re yoga students celebrating the summer solstice on the longest day of the year. We enjoyed pleasant company in the beautiful gardens at twilight. We also did a little chair yoga and silent meditation. A good time was had by all!

We also had a summer workshop on self care with yoga. Our next event will be high tea on the Fall Equinox & then the Fall Meditation Retreat in October.

Yoga works on many levels. Foremost it is a spiritual practice, whatever your religious beliefs, because it quiets the agitation of the mind. We experience moments of inner peace and contentment through practice. Yoga trains the mind in concentration, which is a precursor to meditation – those transcendent moments of quiet mind and open heart. Compassion is an essential part of yoga as we realize the world is all one family.

And movement is what most people associate with yoga – twisting into pretzels. Of course, our practice is designed for seniors in a way that is accessible to all. In a recent survey the question was – how do you know your class is effective? I responded – because I see people moving like someone 20 years younger. It’s true!

Breath training is also an essential part of yoga. We all have dysfunctional breathing. Yoga helps release chronic constriction around the breath. Breath is the bridge between mind and body. It has a direct impact on emotions as well. Conscious breathing can quiet the mind as well as calm the emotions.

Students sometimes say I didn’t feel like coming this morning but I’m glad I did. I’ve heard that often over the years. Yoga becomes more effective and enjoyable the longer we practice. And, of course, we continually modify and adapt out practice to accommodate any limitations.

Come take a trial class and join the fun. You’ll be glad you did.

Wildlife

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2019

It has been a fast-moving month here at Panorama. We are heading lickety-split into September. Some trees seem to be turning color early, especially in some of our hiking trips away from home.

The month has been full of animal happenings. We witnessed an eagle taking a bunny out on Golf Club Road on our eastern boundary. Meanwhile, I have been attending the summer lecture series at Nisqually Refuge every Wednesday evening and one night we had an overview of wolves in Washington.

What prompted this writing about wildlife was the fact that as I was driving friends home from our outing to Nisqually, a large coyote walked down the street I was turning onto. It was also where I had to walk after parking our vehicle. I took my hiking pole with the protective rubber cup off the bottom and headed for home. I figured that if it was lurking and watching me, I’d be ready to at least pound it across the snout, if not just jab it. I know, me the animal lover…..well….It was helpful to learn from the wolf evening lecture that wolves are really best suited to a woodsy habitat away from humans. Coyotes have become adapted to living within city limits and do very well in the urban interface. First People have always looked at coyotes as tricksters and very wily. Suffice it to say, I got home without another sighting.

What amazed me was the good condition of this animal. The one I had seen a month earlier in a friend’s backyard a few blocks away was leaner, smaller and obviously in the middle of a molt, looking very scraggly. The one in our neighborhood looked wonderfully fit.

Now someone on foot as tall as I am would never be approached, I assume. But a friend with a small dog on a leash (and we have so many wonderful little dogs as family members here in Panorama) has been followed by one or two coyotes on occasion. The “dog people” have been alerted about carrying rattling cans to scare a coyote off with the noise. I refer to these people affectionately as I consider myself a “cat person.”

This may alarm some folks, but I think it is a privilege to be able to live among the wild things. A doe and some fawns have been seen in our backyard and perhaps just moving away from a predator. The Chehalis Trail is our western boundary here at Panorama, and there is a fair amount of wildlife traffic over by Chambers Lake at our southern boundary.

It is one thing to enjoy wildlife on the outings and hiking trips offered to us, but it is totally another to experience some wildness right here in our neighborhoods. The seasons are changing and the coyotes and deer are finding it time to disperse to other regions. I am hoping we can give them the space they need to flourish, but not on our little family members!!!  Be alert and enjoy!  

80th Birthday Bundle

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2019

A huge bundle of birthday gifts and surprises arrived for me for my 80th birthday. It also included offerings for my hubby Chris’ 87th birthday too!

I had the table set. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, and syrup were just about finished when DING. DING. DING. DING!! Our son CW, his wife Teresa, and our granddaughters, Sarah and Emily, flew into my opened arms when I swung the door opened. After two years, the girls had grown almost as tall as me. They drove straight here from SeaTac Airport after traveling all night.

I ran to the stove about 20 feet from the door, “Oh, the last pancakes are ready. Wash your hands.”

After cozily gathering around our small table (expanded with our card table), we bowed our heads as CW voluntarily offered up a prayer.

“Granny it’s so hot and humid in Austin. We’ll get used to this nice cool air, but this hot chocolate is just perfect.” Emily sipped slowly.

Sarah asked, “Last time we were here, you had just moved into this neat place in the Quinault. I forgot how updated the fixtures are and all the storage for such a small place. I like how the cabinets and drawers close automatically after a little nudge.”

We chatted about school, camp, and their exciting attendance at Steubenville Catholic Youth Conference. After breakfast, exhaustion set in. The parents’ eyelids drooped, despite the noticeable efforts to keep it secret. Hearing I had prepared our bedroom for a nap, they needed no mother-hen wings to push them down the hallway.

We matched the teens’ adrenalin-high and looked forward to Granny-Pawpaw bonding for a couple of hours. The girls were not little ones anymore. They were attentive, caring, helpful and considerate of my needing a walker on this visit. After two years, they had overcome shyness, as they were friendly and personable to the elder residents, smiling, asking, and answering questions.

Another present in our bundle of birthday blessings: our daughter Melody, her husband John and their daughter Hope, who live in Lacey, all enjoyed our Aquatic & Fitness Center’s large pool, warm pool, and the spa several of the 10 days they were here. What a perk to have built-in, indoor pool entertainment that is refreshing, beneficial, and fun with all the extras: fins, sponge balls, rods, spin machine to dry swim suits, and dressing rooms for men, women and family.

One of my most memorable and highlighted gifts was on Monday when my little Shaw family attended our Panorama Chapel for Mass with pastor Fr. Tim from Sacred Heart Church. Afterward, we had a delightful walk through our McGandy Park, recalling hide and seek behind the large trunks of the tall trees when they were younger. We packed a picnic in baskets and strolled over to the Panorama Auditorium porch where lovely tables with umbrellas kept us shaded. The cool breezes inhaled smells of our juicy ham, lettuce, bacon, cheese sandwiches, bugle chips, cookies, and watermelon.

They tried out the new electronic piano in the Assisted Living dining room where I entertain during lunch on Mondays. We peeked into Panorama’s closed-circuit TV studio that films “Meet Your Neighbor” interviews, announcements, residents’ picture stories, and loads of other interesting things for our closed-circuit Channel 370. Most of the main events on our campus that are held in our large Panorama Auditorium Theater, the Quinault Auditorium and McGandy Park are filmed for future showing on our television channel. Run by volunteer residents who have learned a new skill, it’s under the daily supervision of a professional.

The men in the Wood Shop had kept in touch with our son CW by phone, photos and emails for two years. So he spent a couple hours on two different days with them, exchanging knowledge and skills, especially on the CNC machine. “How old are you, Chris?” they asked.

“Oh, I’m only 47, so it’s going to be a while yet before I can be a Panorama resident. I can’t believe all the activities and opportunities Mom and Dad have here. I hear even some staff members are on the wait list.”

Our package of birthday gifts included being able to share our annual Panorama Patio Sale, an event our Texan family had only heard us try to explain. They stood in amazement and wonder. “The organization is mesmerizing. How long did it take to set all of this up? Where do we begin to shop? What happens if it rains? Oh, my! I’ve always wanted this kind of waffle iron. Whoa, Granny, didn’t your grandmother have one of these nutcrackers? Good thing we flew here, otherwise, we would have stuffed our car with so many of these treasures. The prices are sooo reasonable. We don’t even have to look at the price tags.”

I remarked that the proceeds of the event come back to us residents. The remarks went on and on.

I was busy finding items I “needed” at the sale, when over the crowd I heard, “Granny, hurry, it’s almost one o’clock and we’re supposed to meet in the Seventeen51 Restaurant at one. Pawpaw just called. He’s already there and he’s waiting for us.”

“Oh, okay, I’ll hurry and pay for my things!”

Chris is there already?!? He’s late for EVERYTHING!!!

CW walked from the Patio Sale with me and my walker. He carried my treasures the short distance to the restaurant, but the rest of the family hurried ahead.

When we entered the Gallery room at the restaurant, my eyes bulged, my jaw dropped, and my palms hit my cheeks.

SURPRISE, GRANNY! HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY!”

Sitting around 4 tables formed into one, Melody’s family had decorated with balloons and curled shiny streamers. Emily and Hope each held a 4-foot, shiny, gold, inflated balloon: one was shaped as the number “8” and the other as the number “0”. Appetizers, entrees, desserts…all gourmet from our Panorama kitchen! What convenience it was! No calling to restaurants to reserve a room, no time limitation to sit and visit, waiters and waitresses with familiar TLC smiles. Familiar residents were in the room looking on, sharing in the fun, taking pictures and videos to send later, and chiming in the singing for me.

Other items at the bottom of that bundled box of birthday-package-stuffers included:

  • Seeing the film/photos of Granny Jo (me) winning the July 4th pie eating contest in our park.
  • Visiting in Panorama Hall and Quinault Coffee Room with complementary coffee, hot chocolate, and even some cookies at times. Where else but Panorama!

At one point, Sarah’s jesting eyes danced, “Granny, are you still happy about your move to Panorama and to the Quinault?”

Ha! What do you think?

A 3-inch Short, Polite Story

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2019

I ran into a neighborhood resident. The resident glances at my name tag. “Oh Mary Jo, I want you to meet my family.” The next week, the neighbor very graciously thanks me for wearing my name tag.

For several days that simple, polite gesture tagged my thoughts.

When my many Panorama friends politely don their little tags, I don’t have to ask them to “refresh” my memory. I’m glad I can comfortably greet them and, also, introduce them to my family or to other residents.

I’m sure our many faithful Security officers are grateful to “recognize” those familiar 3-inch name tags that identify us as residents.

When I lost my tag, I figured it would be returned—my name was on it! Besides, it was of no use to anyone else. After a few weeks of searching, I received another one.

Sure enough, a few months later, I found it in a coat pocket. I had removed it when off campus visiting with our family. Again, no use to turn it in. Now I have one for my heavy jacket.

Recently in the grocery store, a gray-haired couple spied my little name tag. “So…you’re from Panorama? Do you like it there?” he asked.

Transferring tuna fish cans into my basket, I smiled and looked up at the couple, “Oh, don’t get me started! Hubby Chris didn’t want to move from our home. But eventually, we flew up here from Nevada with our daughter and family who planned to move to Lacey. After comparing many retirement places, Chris himself whispered, ‘Maybe we’d better sign up!’”

“Wow, that’s impressive! How long have you been there?”

“Since July 3, 2011! We wish we could have come sooner…. so many activities, even the staff are like family. We are blessed.” From the side of my purse, I grabbed a Panorama Marketing retirement advisor’s business card with my own sticker on the back. “Here, give Panorama a call and take a free tour sometime.”

With raised eyebrows, they smiled and nodded to each other.

“Hey, I gotta get checked out. Our Panorama bus will be here shortly.”

I pointed to my tag. “You know my name…Mary Jo Shaw.”

That little 3-inch magnetized name tag has stretched a lo-o-ong way, has many more stories to share, and has earned a lot of attention!

Tooth of the Tale

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. July 2019

Although Chris and I look forward to the Seventeen51 Restaurant soup and salad bar offered two Saturdays each month, one particular supper was a challenge! After serving ourselves and thanking God, I pierced a nice, cold red tomato and piece of crisp Romaine. Oh no! It crunched back at me with a do-not-eat warning!

“Chris, did you hear that?”

“Yes, it sounded like you bit on a piece of glass! Don’t swallow it. Here, put it in this soup spoon.”

We stared at each other, then over to the big portable table of about two dozen fresh compartments containing ice cold, bright colors of bite-sized veggies, meats, turkey, chicken, strawberries, grated cheeses, mushrooms, dried cranberries, croutons, juicy mandarin oranges, candied walnuts…

Our eyeballs bounced back and forth…salad bar, our full plates, salad bar, plates…

Was it just one piece of glass or were there more?

My tongue wiggled curiously.

CHRIS! I BROKE MY TOOTH. The upper back tooth has a vacancy!”

My thoughts raced. When would I have time to take off for the dentist? I have all these projects with deadlines since I was ill. Lord, it’s up to You. This is a long holiday weekend, too.

But Sunday, the impossible happened!

I prepared my huge made-from-scratch enchiladas and at the first bite…same sounding crunch, only this time, a shiny pea-sized souvenir appeared on my favorite enchilada-eating round spoon.

“Chris, what are the odds? Another tooth!! I can’t call the dentist till Tuesday, and they’ll be soo busy.”

Early Monday, I called the dentist to leave a message and get first whack at an appointment for Tuesday. But—I tell you the tooth—the office was open for business and yes, “We are swamped today, but let me see what we can do.” 

Oh, Lord, thanks for your help. You always come through for me.

“Mary Jo, can you come in at 11:40 today?”

“Are you kidding? Yes, that will be perfect!!”

It was drizzling and windy outside (otherwise I would have walked), but I dialed 7725 to reserve a Resident Transit ride for the two blocks.

“You’re our first caller, Mary Jo! The driver can pick you up at 11:30.”

I arrived five minutes early.

The assistant took a picture of  my upper right and the lower left teeth. “Doctor will be with you shortly.”

I asked the assistant, “Can you tell me how serious it is? And how long you think it might take?”

“Well, the caps are both cracked…maybe two…or two-and-a-half hours.”

I tried to catch up with my racing thoughts…another appointment? Maybe two? I’ve lost time already today.

In the reclining chair, I stared at the ceiling trying to review the next several week’s activities and possible lengthy “free” times to return for another appointment. I want to be sure I play piano in Assisted Living, in the Convalescent & Rehabilitation Center for Happy Hour, Gentle Care, and Monday chapel service. Oh, and that lecture, and the two great movies in Panorama Auditorium. I’m thinking about signing up for the Panorama bus to that performance in Seattle. I’d like to walk that campus tree tour. And Chris and I never miss the live resident plays! There’s one coming up soon, and…

At that last thought, Doctor E greeted me. “Mary Jo, let’s check you out.”

She took a few minutes look and immediately flipped off the light!

Thoughts overlapped thoughts. Oh dear! Must be bad news. No hope. Extractions? No dental insurance. How much will this cost?

“Mary Jo, you have parts of two aged porcelain caps that have been broken off. The fillings are still great. If we just file off the rough edges, you will be fine. If you’re happy with that?”

She took a total of about 6 minutes to do the job. Thrilled with the fee, and another Resident Transit ride, I was home within the hour, thanks to our on-campus dentist office! More Panorama blessings! This is not a tale…I tell you the TOOTH! 

Finding Wild

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. June 2019

What an amazing sight we had on our walk home one night recently. Visiting with friends out on Chambers Lake, we decided to take Golf Club Road home instead of usual Beta Street or Marina route. We had been watching water fowl on the lake. We also enjoyed the bunnies hopping by and munching as they went by. I have always wondered why we see fewer bunnies in the late summer.

We had a direct answer to that question as we watched a raptor circling very high over Golf Club and then a murder of crows banding together, yelling, diving, and harrying the raptor. Finally he/she lowered its circle and then at about 70 feet high, we could see the white head of a bald eagle. Graceful in the face of harassment by the crows, it circled and circled. As we just turned to resume our walk home, it folded its wings and fell out of the sky with talons leading the way.

Quicker than we could comment, it took off from the grass verge with a bunny in its talons, and up it went. This was accompanied by the raucous bombardment of the crow contingent as the eagle disappeared into a tall fir. Then we saw it fly again and thought it was gone However, when we looked up in the high branches, we saw either it or another eagle munching and tearing away at the prey between its talons. A mate? The same eagle? The crows were perching near it and screaming and giving it the business.

I know raptors and probably eagles will raid other nests for eggs and that was my first thought about the mobbing behavior. But crows and birds will mob anything that gets near a nest or just mob for the fun and excitement of it. Predators mostly come from the sky, after all.

We have traveled some and enjoyed Alaskan wilds where eagles foraged along with brown bears for salmon. Being bold, they would often take prey from the big mammals in the streams and rivers.  I know prey is prey and that rodents and smaller mammals will suffice if that is what is available, but I’ve never seen a catch in such a dramatic fashion. Strong legs and stronger talons make deadly weapons. 

We had thought we would miss the wild environment we came from only to find a wonderful wild contingent here at Panorama. Sights of coyote, the odd raccoon, opossums, an osprey perched in our fir tree, and even a deer walking sedately down our street (probably from the local Chehalis Trail) are so very welcome. The variety of birds who visit isn’t very large, but we do get wonderful avian sights. The ability to catch sight of an eagle hunting in our streets is just wonderful.

The little song birds seem to be up and speaking after 4 AM now that we are post-solstice and it gets light so very early. I am awakened early by that little bunch. May they stay clear of the hunting eagle and prosper!!! 

Bird’s Eye Talks

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. June 2019

True story with fictitious names

Before I make a right turn into the wing of our 5th floor apartment, I always walk a few feet farther toward the huge window to admire God’s beauty on our campus. I had just played “America the Beautiful” on piano during the Monday Catholic service on the 4th floor. A little later, residents in Assisted Living tapped their feet while I played “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, “The Marines’ Hymn”, “Caissons Go Rolling Along”, “Anchors Aweigh”, and “The U.S. Air Force”.

Today was special. It was Memorial Day. I sat on the couch by the window to let my thoughts think. What a beautiful blue sky, in contrast to the years that made today so very necessary. I actually heard real-life events of those who miraculously survived. And I realize that most reveal their stories only when I inquire.

Earlier, Joe’s eyes bulged, “Oh, I’ll tell you!” He subjected himself totally into the action from years past: “deepest pits of hell” when he and his buddies arrived at different beaches, firearms blasting from behind concrete bunkers killing most of them before they reached the sand. The foxholes… He elaborated on and on, but ended to go to lunch.

Back to my window, my thoughts get a needed pick up as I noted several women moving down below my window A woman was moving her chair-walker forward in the half-circle driveway to our Quinault building. Her head scanned the lovely greens, flowered bushes, and tall pines. I automatically waved when her eyes spanned past my window, but I knew she hadn’t noticed. Looking down over at two other womenfolk leaving our building entrance, I grinned as they paused to talk with a couple sitting on the bench on the left.

I also noted a quick, light gait from a woman heading alone toward the back entrance to Panorama Hall. Her small plate was covered with a paper napkin with its corner flapping in the wind. Mary’s probably taking home some of Susan’s fancy dessert. They’re both Gold Star widows. We can’t let the narratives tucked in the hearts of these military survivors fade away forgotten. Stories go to the grave across the nation every day. 

I had just visited with a woman who had given birth to a little girl the day after her husband was deployed. Two years later, when they met him at the airport, the little one reached out, “Daddy?” My 90-year-old friend smiled. “I showed her his photo every day, so she would recognize him.”

My bird’s eye view talks to me each day. Breathing deeply, I smiled and gazed over toward McGandy Park again, dotting a tear as I thanked God and those who died for my freedom.

The spirit of Memorial Day should be in our hearts every day as we honor the heroic men and women who gave their lives and fought to protect our nation, particularly those here at Panorama. Sincere THANKS to each of you.   

Those Stairwells….

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. June 2019

What is it about those stairwells?

We, as a couple, decided that we are just not into being confined in rooms with lots of folks in exercise or meditation mode. We do our meditation out on the trails we love in NW Washington. We additionally swim laps twice a week.

But we have found that the tall stairs on either end of the Quinault building are excellent for cardiovascular work-outs. We walk all over campus to functions, meals, the bank, the gift shop, and pharmacy, but not ever at the rate that gives your heart an extra push.

We always do one set up and down, mostly in the north stairwell. The south stairwell provides an extra flight up to where Operations folks maintain equipment on the roof. And if you start in the basement, it gives you an extra flight as well. It is enough for us at 76 and 82 to get a heart rate up and build some “wind” for our lungs. If you have heart issues, be sure to check with your MD regarding what is safe for you.

We urge you to wear your SARA pendent and it’s always best to have a buddy along, or just let someone know where you are going. Taking a cell phone with you might also be prudent.

That being said, doing one set of stairs (like those who live in the Quinault building) is always beneficial. I know some folks who save up their flights and log a large number on the recording sheet. Whatever you do, it is beneficial. Some have said it is hard on knees to go down stairs, so going up the stairs and taking the elevator down is a perfectly healthy option. Those with balance problems should hold on to handrails and going down the flights might be more of a safety issue than going up them!!!

We decided to create a form to check off as a good way to guarantee that we actually get over there to do them as we don’t live in the Quinault. I know a lot more people “do the stairs” than are shown in the log results. That is fine; however, our Aquatic & Fitness Coordinator, Erin, logs the number of flights traveled as we turn them in at the end of the month and she often reports the numbers to the Board of Directors.

There is a benefit for making the effort up the north stairwell. On a clear day, in the foyer by the 5th floor elevator, you can see a mostly unobstructed view of Mt. Rainier. Sometimes at dusk, if it is clear, you can see the “Alpine Glow” of pinks.

There are also chairs to sit and catch your breath at the top of that stairwell. I hope you enjoy the views, when they are available, but I also hope you will join us if you are able to add some exercise in your life. Perhaps we will see you there.

Panorama Mothers

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. May 2019

If you are a mother in need of attention, Panorama treats you right.

 Even those who don’t have family members here can’t help but feel part of our big family spirit around Mother’s Day.

Chris honored me with our favorite dinner in Panorama’s Seventeen51 Restaurant the night before Mother’s Day. As we relaxed into our chairs, a waitress welcomed us with the included small plate of virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a basket of French bread.

I knew Chris’ preference before he ordered it: Reuben of grilled pastrami, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on marble rye, a big bowl of house-made cabbage soup, and a large salad with vegetables & French dressing

Me? I selected my choice eight-ounce New York steak, rubbed with ground coffee bean, chipotle, garlic, brown sugar and olive oil, along with a real baked (not microwaved like at home!) baked potato and a double portion of steamed asparagus. After an overindulgence of elegant sufficiency, I accepted only a bite of Chris’ large slice of caramel pecan pie.

While enjoying our meal, we were introduced to several little grandchildren and we were welcomed to chat a while at the tables of other families. We remarked how we mothers always get to celebrate more than one day!

Had we not spent a lovely day with our daughter and family here in Lacey, we would have been able to enjoy a delicious brunch buffet at the Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro with our friends. Or we could have had our family attend with us, enjoying live piano music playing throughout the day there.

Personally, my day started off on the Panorama-provided bus trip to church, as I exchanged “Happy Mothers’ Day” with each woman on our bus. We chatted about our grands and greats children on the short 10-minute ride. 

During our church sermon, we had a special, inspiring prayer and blessing in thanksgiving for all the patience, guidance, hard work through illnesses, schooling, disciplining, loving, caring, cooking, driving, attending…you know, all those things that a mother lovingly endures to properly raise children from birth through teen years.

Our Panorama bus conversation continued during our ride home as we shared how we were going to celebrate the remainder of the day. One rider explained, “Mary, Ruth, and Carol aren’t on the bus today. They’re spending the weekend with their kinfolk out of town.” Other bus seats were empty because their adult children picked them up to attend Sunday services as a family.

As we passed others in hallways, outside, or events all week, we bragged about how many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren each other had! We mothers felt honored all week. Thank you once again, Panorama!

A Car Run

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. May 2019

In the old days (listen to me at 76!) we were a part of groups and singles who ran at night for fun with our sports cars (TR-4A for us) all over Wisconsin and California back roads. We still own a small Honda Del Sol (1994) that we sort of inherited from older neighbors in northern California who could no longer drive a manual transmission car. Well, these two six-footers still enjoy taking the top off (it stores in the trunk) and climbing in or “putting it on” and driving on two-lane roads!

A fairly new group has formed called “Car Table.”  It meets once a month in the coffee room in the Quinault lower level and is listed in our Panorama News Bulletin. I’ve not been to a meeting, but my husband has. We have joined the group now in two car outings. The first one we enjoyed was back roads to Centralia in fall of 2018. It was crispy cool, but colors were changing all over Thurston and Lewis County. With the top off, we had to run the heater which, in younger days, was always seen as cheating and wimpy! Ten cars joined the trip. These are always mid-week outings, so traffic is usually not a concern. The leader had a map to follow with mileages and turns marked and few of the 10 cars that ran that day got lost, only temporarily. We all met and lunched at a well-known restaurant serving both breakfast and lunch.

The car run with the gang this month was for spring colors and everything was abloom! Eight cars ran this time: us, a Porsche, a Corvette, an old post-WWII jeep painted bright blue, plus 4 other “civilized” vehicles. This was 45 miles out and 45 miles back along military and back roads in both Lewis and Thurston County. This time, lunch was in Chehalis at McMenamin’s establishment. I have to say the elk burgers were a tremendous success, along with a pomegranate hard cider for me!

Many who live at Panorama are local to the county and state and know of these roads. We, who moved up to the Northwest in 2013, are still finding lovely hidden roads that are a delight! The leaders of these outings do a great job of reconnoitering the routes and planning for the lunches.

We have found that activities that residents come up with are supported by Panorama. The Lifestyle Enrichment department work with you to calendar such groupings and events. We are so very lucky to have such support for our activities here at Panorama.

Blasting Burst-outs!

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. March 2019

How many times have we heard a real burst out? We heard some of them as children.

HEAR (pardon the on-purpose pun!) are a few echoes from the past:

GOOD for you…BIG GIRL…YOUR FIRST STEP. GIVE Mommy a BIG HUG!

You’re PREGNANT!? We’re going to be GRANDPARENTS!

Get out of bed and CLEAN UP this room!   

Ru-n-n, Tommy. Run!!

Do your homework, and I mean N-OW-W!

Go-o-o!….GO-O-O-O!  YEAH! …TOUCHDOWN!!

DAD!…I made all A’s!

Readers, do I see eyeball rolls and head nods?

Surely we’ve experienced the church organ with all STOPS bursting out Lohengrin’s Bridal March as our fancy hankies dotted smiling cheeks. Or maybe we recall when the orchestra played tutti (all, or almost all, the instruments playing at the same time) “How Great Thou Art” or John Phillip Sousa’s “Washington Post”. Then there are the unusual Washington State days: It’s going UP to 90 degrees today! Or what Chris and I seriously teased while living in the Las Vegas desert 25 years: At last, it’s going DOWN to a 100 tomorrow…A COLD FRONT!

We watch as a TV camera zeros in on an announcer holding a microphone as he rings a doorbell. The door opens and the entire family is already assembled and peering from behind the jackpot winner. You hear the squeals of excitement and the announcement, “This could be you, if you just… I have to admit I’d be a little loud too. However, I’m tired of those years. Waiting until the last minute to make the decision to return the entry or not, then caving in and nervously spending an hour sorting what to enclose in the thick, large envelope and being sure all the correct stickers were pasted in their proper places. My heart’s exhausted from pounding as I parted with those precious “15” cent stamps. At 80 years old, I’m blessed I don’t have to make those kinds of important decisions anymore.

My big decisions at Panorama hover over which of the many great activities to select. Will it be a lecture, stage play, concert, luncheon, a visit in our Pan Hall, party, class, or movie? Perhaps I’ll play the piano somewhere to cheer people up, or write, or do my crafts. I hope God has good ears to capture my bursts out of thanks in my heart (and even aloud) every day.

I remember when my friend burst out: I’M FREE OF CANCER! NOW PRAY FOR ME TO REMEMBER TO KEEP GIVING THANKS TO GOD.

And when I waved both hands impatiently…HAND ME MY CAMERA…GOTTA CATCH THIS SUNSET.

Walking around our campus on the first day the temperature went up to 50 degrees after our snowstorm, I dropped my jaw at the rhododendrons waiting to burst with their huge blooms, along with the daffodils. Spring is ready to burst out all over our gorgeous campus. So many plants have their buds’ color peeking out of their little casings. How can our hearts not burst out – HOW GREAT THOU ART?             

So…what’s my last bud almost ready to burst out? My next book, CROSSROADS TO CONVENT memoir is ready for the printer….ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

What Brings Us to Yoga?

Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. Photos by Charlie Keck. March 2019

What brings us to yoga? Many reasons – to get into better shape, relax, reduce stress, improve chronic issues like back pain, or fear of falling. All good reasons; however, the joy of practice eventually becomes its own reward. We don’t practice to get something; it just becomes part of our lifestyle. It’s who we are. Of course, we still receive the many side-benefits of yoga.

Some people are intimidated because it seems too exotic, or they’re not flexible. No problem. Yoga adapts to each person. There is no goal except to have a positive relaxing experience. Our next summer workshop will go into detail about self-care with yoga. It doesn’t replace Western medicine, but it adds a nice complement that can be empowering for everyone.

Practice changes over time! Ageing has been compared to living in a house on fire. How do we find grace and ease in bodies, and sometimes minds, that gradually decline?

There is endless research showing the healing effects of yoga on body, mind and spirit. There are over 3000 papers and studies on meditation alone. All it takes is consistent practice. Attending a class helps, providing support, learning, fun, and community.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with a silent meditation in the chapel, tea and visiting afterward, and then a free yoga/meditation class on New Year’s Day. Connie taught a workshop in January on cardiovascular health. She is always well-informed and entertaining.

The Spring Mindfulness Retreat will be at the end of March, after our Spring Equinox gathering. Quarterly social get-togethers are popular with our yoga/meditation community. Classes are ongoing…take a trial class for free. Everyone is welcome!

The Eyes Have It

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. February 2019

The eyes have it…what my eyes didn’t and did see when it snowed.

While our eyes relaxed in deep sleep, those eyes did not see the deep snow falling on our quiet Panorama campus. It must have been mesmerizing to see the fluffing of such breathtaking scenes in a short span of time.

From our Quinault 5th floor balcony, my eyes spanned thick, white beautiful blankets lying dormant, the size and shape of every rooftop, yet hiding the shingles of those roofs from my eyes. The portrait was in black and white.

Trees taller than our balcony strained to hold tight to the whipped-cream snow mounds on their branches. I saw no green.

Lawns lay in layers of white, except for occasional foot or paw prints.

Autos, small vans, large SUVs, sedans, coupes, sports cars, station wagons…no color or variety…my eyes unable to distinguish my friends’ personal vehicles.

I had intended to use my eyes to finish my new book Crossroads to Convent that week, but the scene from the screen on our door got more attention than the screen on my laptop. I savored sitting, smiling, and meditating.

My eyes did not see–-in the many photos and videos I intended to send home—the real justice due to the Master Craftsman’s unusual sculpting for us that day.

What I did see:

Our loving, faithful maintenance in heavy coats, boots, gloves, hats and ear muffs, during their long day of clearing sidewalks and streets for us residents. Workers played games with Mother Nature…scoop…snow…scoop…snow.

Dedicated staff and employees bundled up, leaving deep footprints from the large parking lot across Sleater Kenny Road to the entrances to Panorama.

We are blessed.

I did eye many other dancing eyes from smiling residents, perked up from the expectedweather-report:  “Weather Man got it right for a change!”

What I did see…the work of the Master Artist painting a self-portrait of His own Beauty for us to behold with our human eyes. What must His Heaven be!

In the Bible, St. Paul says, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV.

If you’d like, search for “Eye Has Not Seen – Marty Haugen” and listen and let your eyes see to the very end. To me, it’s a magnum opus.

I could go on and on, but eyes got to stop for now!

February – Month of Romance

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. February 2019

What a surprise!!! We emigrated out of Wisconsin and Indiana in 1966. We left the awful blizzards and sub-zero freezing temperatures for a milder west coast climate. We were subjected to a dry climate and then a rainy one that washed out roads. We endured large wind events along the coast. Then we opted for moving to a more forgiving climate in the NW.

Since we have been living in Panorama, we have had some interesting weather happenings. We experienced a microburst a few years back when limbs came down in winds out of nowhere! Five years into our life here and we are watching the landscape turn into a wonderland.

A snow event that has Seattle sort of crippled and freeways a major danger has been forecast and we are in it. Usually, we are protected from winds from the west by the Olympics and winds from the east by the Cascades. This snowfall came quietly, perhaps winds to follow, but it is piling up snow. The snow will stay some time as the temperatures are running into below freezing at night for a week. We have lost three larger limbs of our beloved Magnolia at our patio. Sigh.

Those of us who are lucky to be ensconced in the Panorama community find that we can sit and look at the wonderland and not have to deal with it. It puts our exercise routines a bit on hold as the streets/walks below the snow can be icy. Some activities are being canceled as those watching over us decide what is safe for travel in the buses. But we don’t need to muscle snow and the beauty of it rules. We have lost a couple of branches from our big Magnolia tree in our backyard and a few large branches are down in yards around us. I imagine it is nothing like the ice storm we missed a few years before we moved in, which snapped many tree tops off.

A small blip this morning winked out our DVR until it could reset itself, but power has been pretty dependable. Many in communities north of us will suffer longer inconveniences.  This will slow us down and we can manage to get some of our piled up reading done!

There are concerns for our feathered friends. The robins moved in en masse last week and now find that being puffed up and waiting for the thaw is their daily routine. The hummingbirds will need all those feeders that folks have been offering.

Panorama is keeping us informed of daily changes in the our new resident Senior Portal. Our gates will be open all night for access by any emergency vehicles necessary.

The bottom line here seems to be that we are well taken care of and spoiled, if truth be known. Be careful if you are out walking on ice under fresher snow. And do enjoy this lovely winter landscape. It will melt soon enough.

Musical Thoughts

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. January 2019

It seems we are coming out of the dark now in January. Soon the flowering lovely spring trees will be blooming and the gardeners will be marching to the Pea Patch to ready their soil for planting.

Me? I have been reminded about some changes since we moved into Panorama. We are now into our 6th year here. Not yet old timers or pillars of the community, but certainly not new anymore.

What struck me the other night, as I listened to the Monday Night Program with the South Sound Trio in our lovely auditorium, is that times are changing. What a thought, eh? But I reminisced about our first year here (2013-2014) and the many programs featuring music from the 20s, 30s and 40s.

What crossed my mind was that my previous active community of friends maybe were right when they said, “You are going into a care facility way too early!” Well, the surprise to them was how much we loved this active community right off the bat!  Panorama, as we all know, is far from being solely a senior care facility.

Then a year or so ago, I realized that we were rocking to 50s, 60s and 70s music, which had sort of morphed out of the war years. Performers in our McGandy Park were bringing MY old music to the fore. Music from my old favorite rock and folk bands and groups were indeed being heard more and more. What a revelation!

Now, I can imagine the “boomers” coming and wondering, “Why in the world are they playing this old music for, anyway?” Their music will be 80s, 90s, and 00s!!!! I must tell them to take heart. We always urge friends and folks to come to Panorama earlier than later to take advantage of all that this community offers. And they will find that their music will catch up and make us older folks wonder what they see in it! Isn’t that always the way of passing the torch?

So, I am hoping you all enjoy the musical performances offered to us here and with no charge to us. It is such a bonus! And if you are one of those younger whipper-snappers…know that soon you will be rocking to YOUR beats. We are all in this together. Enjoy!!!