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!!

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!

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.

Handling Virus Restrictions in Our Apartment

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw – April 2020

Every story is different when handling this Coronavirus, even here at Panorama!!

Years ago, my grandfather passed his strong, dominant, germ-freak gene down to my father. Being Dad’s oldest, I inherited the largest dose of that gene.

However, my father was a bit stingy. My thumb and forefinger don’t open doors, but I do cringe and wash my hands or use sanitizer at the very next chance. Guess I have a jump-start on assassinating germs! For many years, I’ve carried Purell to execute them after reading a menu, or after singing/reading from church manuals before Holy Communion, and especially after handling money. Eeeuu! We should have had stock in Clorox and Lysol.

So, am I bored here in our 1,000 square foot apartment at Panorama? The day that our local news reported Washington state had the first case of Coronavirus, my ears perked in shock. It was in a nursing home, and residents would be quarantined. I figured Panorama would keep us safe and ahead of the game with top notch suggestions and restrictions. They did and still are, at this date, April 2, 2020.

I made a list of things to do during the extra time of confinement:

1.) Start writing a third book. Goofies and Goodies. I sent out notices to Panorama residents to pass the word to friends and relatives, in-laws and out-laws for their one-liners, or paragraphs or longer stories of embarrassing moments, teacher stories, funnies, unusual happenings, unexpected job offer, handling the virus restrictions/confinements etc. However, the info must be original and true. I’m thrilled with incoming varieties of narratives and tales.

2.) Make crafts to sell in our Gifts, Etc. when it opens up again: design another line of my all occasion cards, and crochet Christmas stockings.

3.) Practice piano: keep reviewing the huge stack of pieces I’d been playing all over the campus. I know from experience that if I don’t, I’ll be reteaching myself. Dyslexia definitely doesn’t do that without difficulty. I teach myself pieces I’ve always wanted to learn, but didn’t have time to do.

Chris, in his recliner and remote, is backed up to my piano chair. I hear the news, Gomer Pyle, Carol Burnett, or Bible preachers, as I play with low volume, and no headset. Actually, I can still focus on my piano and improve each day. I’ve discovered that late night practice helps me focus and retain if I go to bed right away after practicing. Someone wrote me, “I just hope when this stay-at-home is over, and you play the new pieces of music all over your Panorama campus, you don’t start speaking the news reports at the same time!”

4.) Read. I wanted to read resident Candy Berner’s, new book, Timothy Ridge, hot off the press in my free time.  She strolled over to the Quinault with her walker. I met her at the entrance with my own walker and stepped 6+ feet away for her to lay her book on my walker’s seat. We were happy to see and visit in person. (This was her first novel and a real page-turner, by the way. I couldn’t wait to get to the end, but didn’t want it to end!!)

5.) Increase time for daily devotions. This takes priority, first time in the morning. However, we realize man proposes, and God disposes. He did last Sunday, when the phone awakened me. (I’d been treating myself to a late rise, after practicing piano till 2 a.m., and then reading a good book another 2 hours.) My iPhone text read “Good morning! Your order of groceries will be delivered to your home in one hour.” YIKES! We had been told it would be delivered anytime in the next 4 to 5 days. Surely, not on a Sunday…so we thought!

Shower, wash hair, get dressed, get breakfast, and be downstairs with a large, orange shopping cart provided by Panorama in an hour? Yes. Only half of the $220 large monthly order for two people was available in stock. After delivery, I sanitized each item well with large Clorox wipes, set them on the counters and glass-top stove to dry, then took note of the items not available to put onto the next list. A challenge, but thanked God for my safety and firm restrictions care at Panorama.

Not enough hours in each day, to scratch off each item on my want-to-do list!!

We’ve heard we are not stuck at home, but safe at home. (At least we are not stuck in a safe!)

N.B. A Panorama Staff Parade! Residents waved from front doors, driveways and/or patios as staff drove their cars with balloons of all types, streamers, signs, tooting horns. That is another way that our community sticks together! If the parade didn’t pass our home, we will be able to catch it soon on our closed-circuit Panorama Channel 370.

Panorama has financial reserves set aside for times like this, and is re-purposing employees into jobs needed in other venues on the campus.

The Coronavirus will eventually come to an end. However, with the dedicated, loving, employees, staff, residents and prayer, we will all be the better for it. Because we are in this together, in every aspect.

 I say thank you, thank you, Panorama. God is with you and with us always.

Remembering Jo Love

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers – March 2020

Recently, on a lovely Saturday afternoon, the Panorama Community gathered to pay honor to one of our own, Jo Love Beach. She and her partner, Diane Stiles, moved to Panorama City (that was its moniker then) in November 2000. They became active in the Benevolent Fund bringing a spark of new energy to its work of helping those in the ebbtide of life have the resources they need for living. It is no secret to those living at Panorama that life in our fourth quarter often has some uncertainty:

Will we have enough to live our lives without fear?

Will our health continue to be robust?

Will we find something to do besides sit and wait?

Who will care when we age and need assistance with living?

Jo Love was active in helping others allay their fears about the future. Testimony was given by many at the memorial gathering concerning Jo Love’s involvement in making Panorama among the best places to age in our country. The memorial gathering was our way of saying thanks to Jo Love: Thanks for her leadership…thanks for her involvement…thanks for her positive personality.  Volunteering and leading is the way residents of Panorama can add to the richness of the community. There’s a place for everyone. As one who has lived here for 19 years, I can testify that it’s a dynamic place, full of energy and life. I can also say that Panorama will never be finished just as life is never finished.

The memorial gathering itself was marvel. I’ve seen and participated in many memorial gatherings but this one in honor of Jo Love outdid them all. In an easy, relaxed atmosphere those of us who attended shared with each other around elegantly set tables in the Seventeen51 Restaurant. We remembered Jo Love and honored Diane. We got to know the Beach family as they told us about their mother and grandmother. We shared with each other and went home with a quiet inner feeling of satisfaction, knowing that this is a good place to be at this time. Thanks, Jo Love, for having lived and worked among us. Your life is a challenge to our own to do what we can to make our world a better place.


Makin’ Do

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush – March 2020

The situation today that is affecting so many populations makes me harken back to my bringing up. My grandmother came through the depression and essentially raised me until I was about eleven. She instilled cooking and sewing skills and ways to solve problems, “makin’ do” she called it.

Then my family was a one-earner blue collar family and it was hard some of the time. Polio scare came and went with the vaccine. My dad was a staunch union supporter and we went through long strikes where he wouldn’t cross the picket lines, and that was hard on a young family.

Now, finally in my waning years, I am ensconced in a caring community. Panorama was a life-affirming decision we may in our early 70s. Six years we have enjoyed what the community has offered us. Outings and activities have let us explore a new region and keep fit at the same time. 

Now I am impressed, as we all head into uncharted territory with a new health and public safety issue. I am impressed that our management and board of directors have our well-being out center in their sights.

We are experiencing disruptions to our daily patterns and find we are in new territory as a community. In our various neighborhoods we are readily watching out for those who are less prepared for the deprivations ahead. All of our workers and service people have family issues of their own in this time.  I am so grateful for them all!!!

I am betting on our common sense and abilities to ride this thing out. One hopes this is a passing threat and will resolve as other flus have. But in case this is the new normal, boy, will our frugal and caring ways come to the fore. Limiting our actual contact with friends and neighbors is best, but phones and email work!!!

Everyone is stressed, and that is not so good re: our immune systems fighting what may be a casual contact with this virus. We need to get our books and readers out, work some puzzles, and try to laugh at funny stuff. The media is making most everyone nuts. The less time spent monitoring that is best.

Our TV and Kya functions are keeping us posted with what is important to us. Keep tabs on it and share with those who might not be so electrically hooked up….we really are all in this together. Let’s enjoy the spring and the blooms and now the snow and the rain. We are so very lucky to live in such a place as Panorama.

Residents Financially Helping Residents?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. February 2020

Our Benevolent Fund (BF) is unique. It’s an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization operated by residents to benefit residents. The Benevolent Fund provides financial assistance to independent living residents who have outlived their financial resources. Since starting in 1972, it has given more than $2.5 million directly to residents who were in need. BF presents each resident a free SARA® pendant when they become a resident. We press the pendant if we fall or if we’re in an emergency situation anywhere on our campus.

It also funds the three full-time Social Services Advisors through Independent Living Services. Those advisors help us as we age in place. Benevolent Fund began a program to help up to three assisted-living residents with partial financial support. Actually, BF depends on the continuing generosity of our residents, which includes our monetary donations and bequests…and in unique ways!

If we ever end up with things we no longer need(furniture, office items, appliances, home décor, etc.), we call our Stiles-Beach Barn, and/or Encore Furniture and Books to make an appointment for pick-up.  A large white truck, with several Benevolent Fund volunteers, show up at our door to haul our items away to the appropriate building to be priced and sold…by other happy, cheerful volunteers. They also hold the popular, more-than-huge Panorama Annual Patio Sale with volunteers selling items that were not sold during the rest of the year. But the reverse is to our benefit…when we need items during the year, we head to the Barn or Encore conveniently located right on our campus to shop! No need to look at prices – the costs are too good to be true!

Around Valentine’s Day, we look forward to the Benevolent Fund’s Annual Silent Auction in our Seventeen51 Restaurant. At the fun event, organized to perfection, we get to bid on great items (donated by residents and our faithful local merchants), such as:

  • Gift baskets with appetizers (wines, cheeses, crackers, etc.), fruits and desserts, packaged pasta or salmon dinner items, or combinations of non-foods.
  • Fine wines of every sort
  • Many gift cards/certificates for restaurants, groceries, travel trips, performances, theaters, etc.
  • Framed artwork by Panorama and non-Panorama artists, antiques and fun items
  • Too many other great entries to mention

Tickets for the 50/50 drawing brought a sizable income…split between resident and Benevolent Fun. (I won $500 one year!)

After a hearty lunch just before arriving, I laid my bulging eyes on the expansive food-table topped with large round trays of gourmet shrimp, individual quiches, sliced melons and fruits,  large metal bowls of different varieties of salads, Hungarian meatballs in thick sauce, egg rolls, and on and on.

I don’t want you to drool, Reader, so just draw an “imaginative photo” of the decisions we made with the desserts!

We feasted while visiting and listening to Clint P’s mic articulating the “winners”. My ears tuned in for Diane S’s donated, large basket of specially selected fruits of Hawaiian papaya, mango, kiwi, large organic blackberries, pears, apples, grapes and bananas.

Finally, “Mary Jo Shaw, come up.” Get this! Diane S. will deliver us a seasonal basket three more times! We are indulging in the fruits, especially when cut-up and topped with plain Greek yogurt and slivered almonds or in our cereals and oatmeal. What a treat…our kind of dessert/snack!

On top of these benefits, all of our gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Gail Madden, current president of the Benevolent Fund, says, “We need you, because you need us.”

It’s always a win-win. Thanks again, Panorama and Residents!

The Joy of Learning and Living

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers. February 2020

Roupen S. threw a worm into Panorama’s lake and I was one of 50 Panorama fish who took the bait and got hooked. What he offered us was essentially a brief history of music and musical composition. What we got was the enthusiastic musicology course we didn’t have in college. Sounds boring doesn’t it – like a course for uppity nerds. But, if that’s what you think, you are overwhelmingly wrong.

It wasn’t the music that primarily excited my soul; although, honestly, it did. The music came from many disks played on a tiny Bose. I had heard many of them on my own tiny Bose. Roupen had them laid out before him and selected each illuminating sample as it became appropriate in his course outline. He would give us a smattering of lecture and illustrate it with a tiny sample of music. Then, when he had to interrupt the music, he would shudder, smile, and apologize because he hated moving on before the full beauty of the whole piece had been savored.

The course was temptingly presented. The lecture wasn’t in the least boring. It wasn’t as though Roupen had carefully scripted himself and his subject matter in the King’s English. He didn’t use a contemporary razzle-dazzle projector with high wattage that shows stunning photographs. Nor did we pass around magnificent photos of composers and the interiors of church sanctuaries or views of the orchestra and opera halls of the world. He didn’t put an ensemble before us to play superbly. He simply drew black squiggly lines on modern white presentation board to show us how music developed.

What was striking about this presentation was Roupen! His intense eyes…his warm smile…his obvious enthusiasm for music…his deep knowledge of his subject…and the way he gently bared his soul to us about his life’s work of composing, teaching, and continuing to learn. He was so infectiously earnest about what he was attempting to do in this brief course that we came away with little flecks of enthusiasm on us to use wherever we might in life. What a rich experience for those of us in our older years who think we know everything and, then, gently learn through teachers like Roupen what delights still lie before us and how much we have yet to learn.

Roupen helped me look at my own art of writing and telling stories in a different way. Why do I write? Why do I love writing? I’ve been literally writing all my life. I was encouraged to write by two English teachers in high school. They thought I had budding talent. They urged me to become a journalist or author.

Mom and Dad didn’t encourage me to write because Mom didn’t and Dad couldn’t. Mom was a church musician who played piano and organ at our small Methodist church. She had sung solos in her college years and after. Mom didn’t make time to write anything except letters. She wrote lots of them to friends and family. She wrote a letter every week to our family for forty years until she became a resident of a nursing home. She wanted me to be a musician and sing solos. She pushed hard.

Dad was not encouraged to read or write. His poor farm family had little education and none of them except Uncle George graduated from high school. Most of them went to grade school, if they got that far. At an early age, they were put to work either at home or on loan as farmhands or housemaids.

Dad insisted I go to college. He didn’t care what I took. The Drake University College of Liberal Arts introduced me to life beyond Mitchellville, my little hometown. My grade average was 3.67. From Drake, I went to Garrett, a graduate school of theology of the Methodist Church. I was ordained in 1961. My new bride and I moved to our first full-time appointment in the Methodist ministry.

I wrote many sermons in the ministry. I enjoyed writing them and, to some extent, preaching them. But sermons are designed to teach the Biblical story and inspire holy living but, not necessarily, to inspire the writer to bare that which is deep inside him. Whenever I was moved to let what was inside out in the hopes of being either inspirational or pedagogical, the act of preaching inspired some of my parishioners to try to be pedagogical with me. I wasn’t any more enthusiastic about pedagogy from them than they were to receive what I had to give.

I’ve found since being in Pan Writers under Bryan’s gentle guidance that writing is about letting the deepest emotion of my soul breathe free. It’s about releasing the observations, loves, and hates of the author’s life. Writing is a way of opening one’s self in interaction with other humans. It’s about naming what thrills and moves us in our lives. Writing is an emotional act, a releasing act, a creating act. Good writing is like all creative endeavors: it breathes and has a life that can inspire more life. It moves us to name our loves and conquer our misconceptions and hates. It swerves us from the path of “my way is right and yours is wrong” to the road of “let’s help each other find a way that works”.

So, Roupen, your little class was an inspiration to spur me to do some thinking about who I am and why I write. I caught something from your presentation that moved me from beyond myself. I’ve got a few more years to think about it…a few more years to explore this amazing world…a few more years to write. Thanks!

The Wild Is So Close

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. January 2020

Historically, “It’s the Water” was the slogan that heralded a beer brewed at the Tumwater/Olympia border in the 1800s. It had a long history, and some new owners, and things changed. Then it was sold and lay fallow for years. A disastrous spill of toxic oil from a thieving incident a year or so ago caused much damage to the Deschutes River that runs beside it. That has been cleaned and the walkway along the river on both sides is once again open to the public to walk and enjoy a little wild in the midst of city streets and freeway. This area was deeded to the city long ago, so it isn’t in the park system.

In November, we see Washington’s most rainfall of the year. This past November caused much concern among weather reporters and the public in general when it remained dry but for little sprinkles. But then came December with a big rain incident that caused the river to run full spate. We have loved the access to that river since arriving here in 2013 at Panorama. It is a fifteen-minute drive from our front door. And what a wild place.

It is the site of a fish hatchery that worked with salmon that came up the Deschutes for years. Now that fish hatchery is being updated and completely redone. Fish ladders run along the western side of the river to aid returning salmon up over the falls.

Fast forward to this month of January when another 4+ inch rain filled that watershed and river and what a flow! Panorama offered two outings, a day apart, for lunch at the restaurant that overlooks the river and falls, and a walk along the roaring river. This was truly a wild run

The view from the restaurant
One of the three bridges that span the river
Interpretive signs & displays are helpful to learn of the area’s history. There is also a native planting area that volunteers are trying to restore along the western side.
The padlocks are a new thing to us who have moved here from parts south. These proclaim undying love by those who wish & secure them. This view across from the eastern side looks to the fish hatchery that is being redone & should be ready by next fall’s salmon run.

No one can say that Panorama residents aren’t plucky!!! We often make quite a sight in our weather gear, and often look like dyed Easter eggs! We had some wind, some rain and it was quite cold, but nothing like the previous day’s outing that was brutal by all accounts. We enjoyed learning much history during lunch provided by Steve, who leads such fine outings for us.

We never really understood when relocating here to the Northwest that there would be such accessible wild areas so very close to us. It takes so little effort to get out and enjoy the environment. All seasons are special, but this raging river provided a wonderful day in our Olympia/Tumwater area in the dead of winter.

Resident Council at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. January 2020 

I was sorting through the kitchen bargains under the huge white tent.

Above the excited chatter arose, “Hi, Mary Jo. I’m Bob Bowers, president of the Resident Council.”

Resident Council, what’s that? Who IS this guy? He has a Panorama name tag. Everyone greets me with my name these first two weeks. I smiled, but side glanced, “Oh, hi there. This is some Patio Sale . . . so organized.

Someone needs to fill me in on “resident council.”  We had student council at Providence High in San Antonio before I entered the convent.

So, what have I learned since that day in July 2011?

Panorama’s 140 acres is divided into 18 districts, each district electing one representative on the Resident Council for a three-year term. The council elects a president and vice president who appoint a secretary and treasurer. Monthly meetings are open for residents in our Quinault Auditorium, but our Panorama Channel 370 also televises them for closed-circuit viewing the next week.

The Resident Council (RC) is a liaison between residents and the Panorama Corporation. We residents are welcome to use equipment in the RC office, including:

  • Copy machine, including color!
  • Laminator
  • Three-hole punch
  • Laptop computers
  • Stapler

A volunteer is always there to help us.

Resident Council sponsors many of our activities and organizations. These are just a few examples of what they sponsor:

  • Activity Fair showcases the many activities offered and we are able to meet the volunteers.
  • Panorama Arts Guild shares, supports, and encourages creating and enjoying resident arts.
  • Bingo has winners twice a month in Quinault Auditorium
  • Clay/Ceramic Arts Studio promotes unusual, creative clay and ceramics activities.
  • Computer Learning Center (CLC) has up-to-date PC and Apple computers. Resident volunteers offer learning and enhancing opportunities.
  • Employee Appreciation Fund was established to thank eligible employees from residents.
  • State-of-the-Community Meetings and Forums are hosted by the Resident Council during the year to hear and question management and key staff on issues.
  • Garden Club provides the Pea Patch garden area for those enthusiasts.
  • Gifts, Etc. sells items handmade by over 100 talented residents.
  • Green Team promotes environmental sensitivity and wise use of energy and water resources, and promotes two on-campus recycling centers.
  • Lapidary Shop is for residents interested in cutting, grinding, polishing and displaying rocks.
  • Metal Shop has tools and equipment to repair and maintain metal objects and to create with metal.
  • Panorama Chorus provides opportunities for musical study, and for winter and spring performances.
  • Panorama Television Channel 370 is our closed-circuit Panorama broadcasting station delivering a great variety of resident-produced programming.
  • Readers’ Theater offers a venue for creative Panorama community involvement and entertainment through the spoken interpretation of the written word.
  • Resident Emergency Resources (RER) include:
    • Map your Neighborhood (MYN)
    • Panorama Pet Partners (PPP)
    • Emergency Communications Center (Radio Club K71F)
    • Storm Support Team
    • Disaster Supply Center
    • Crisis Support Team
  • Resident Council Transit provides free, on-campus transportation for residents, utilizing volunteer resident drivers and dispatchers.
  • Wood Shop is for all interested and qualified residents. Non-wood shopper residents may bring items needing repair!!

So do you think we kinda appreciate our Panorama Resident Council? I can’t think of a minute in the day when every resident does not benefit from our dedicated members. Thank you, Panorama Council members. Talk about blessings, all of us residents!

The “Blue” Zone

Written by Panorama residents, Alice Falter & Jim DeYoung. December 2019

There are a few places in the world that are known as the Blue Zone. The term refers to geographic areas in which people have low rates of chronic disease and live longer than anywhere else. These regions are home to some of the oldest and healthiest people in the world. Although their lifestyles differ slightly, they mostly eat a plant-based diet, actively move about as part of their regular lifestyle, have good spiritual, family and social networks, and drink moderate amounts of alcohol.

More specifically, these people tend to (a) have a specific purpose in life, (b) are physically active, (c) eat healthier, and (d) have an active social network.

Each of these individual lifestyle factors have been associated with a longer life. By incorporating them into your lifestyle, it may be possible to add a few enjoyable years for you as well. You then share a like lifestyle with those people who live in the blue zones throughout the rest of the world. We might add that they also get enough sleep, an occasional nap, and that is okay.

There are specific areas or zones throughout the world that are considered Blue Zones. They include small communities in California, Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, and Japan. As diverse as these locations are, Panorama could be considered its own Blue Zone for its healthy lifestyle and number of individuals who, by living out the key characteristics listed above, are unknowingly creating their own Blue Zone.

There is a new structure in the Panorama Pea Patch, in the very back of the garden, with the words “BLUE ZONE” across the front of the structure. At the right time on Friday afternoons when the sun is shining, a group of gardeners are enjoying each other’s company as well as a touch of the vino – promoting the concept of living in a Blue Zone.

The Blue Zone structure is a place to meet with friends, or to just quietly sit and contemplate the surrounding gardens and/or the turning of the earth. The name of the C&R Garden is also being changed to the “Blue Zone Gardens” to promote the pleasure that flowers bring to a healthy lifestyle.

In summary, the Blue Zone is not a social club or organization, but is comprised of those individuals who live a lifestyle that includes one or more of the above characteristics.

Free Taxi Service?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. December 2019

“Isn’t there a good movie today in the Panorama Auditorium?” I asked hubby Chris.

He opened our valued Panorama Newsletter to take a look at the Monthly Activities. “Oh, yes, it’s at 1:30 . . . The Imitation Game (2014) . . . ‘During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. Oscar winning, best screenplay.’”

“Sounds good. I’ll call Resident Transit for a ride.” I dialed 7725 on our house phone.

The afternoon resident transit dispatcher Kathy L. answered and asked, “Resident Transit, how may I help you?”

“This is Mary Jo Shaw. Do you have an opening for a 1:20 ride?”

“Oh, hi, Mary Jo, yes we do. Where would you like to go?”

“To the Panorama Auditorium . . . and for Chris, too. And I have a chair-walker.”

She asked our address, our phone number, and repeated the information I gave her.

“Would you like a ride back home later?”

“Yes, but I’m not sure what time the movie is over. I’ll call you when we’re ready.”

Two hours later, I could have dialed 7725 on the Auditorium lobby phone, but decided to call on my cell phone, making sure to include the area code and the complete phone number.

Again, dispatcher Kathy asked the same questions about when and where.

“Chris won’t need a ride. He’s going off campus.”

BUT what happened next?

I quickly said, “Kathy, wait! Maybe someone else would like to hop a ride too.” The lobby had a few residents visiting while taking jackets off the nearby rack.

I announced at a higher volume, “I have Resident Transit on the phone. Anyone else want a ride home? There’s room for two more.”

No takers, but resident Marcene O. quickly offered, “Oh, Mary Jo, I’d love to take you home. We can visit a few minutes on the way.”

“That would be fun . . . okay, thanks, Marcene.”

Dispatcher Kathy overheard our conversation. “That’s fine, Mary Jo. Have a good day.”

When Marcene and I arrived at her SUV, I stopped short. “Oh, Marcene, I forgot that I have this walker. It won’t fit inside your car.”

“Oh, yes, I’m sure it will.” Determined, she worked different positions . . . to no avail.

Marcene bent over, shaking her head with both hands, “Oh, Mary Jo, I am so very, very sorry. I’m so embarrassed.”

“Don’t worry, Marcene. I’ll simply call Transit back.”

She was still apologizing. I gave her a big hug. “It’s good as done, Marcene! Really, it’s no problem.” Disappointed, we still laughed at the situation. Dispatcher Kathy enjoyed the story.

Some residents with cars don’t realize the ease of Resident Transit every weekday from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.

I picked Dave F’s brain for information. Volunteer residents use the two Toyota Sienna vans, using just one van on alternate weeks. Panorama provides insurance, maintenance, gas and wash coupons, using about ½ tank per week. Two members of the committee refuel, wash and vacuum every other week.

Twenty volunteers average about 4 ½ hours. Most work two shifts each month. Some drivers laugh, “The ‘pay’ is not very good, BUT the riders are friendly and grateful, and that means a lot. We work ‘overtime’ on PATIO Sale weekend, and during special events when needed.”

They serve all independent living residents, and will transfer canes, walkers, and even owners with dogs to have fun inside our fenced, great dog park. 

Interesting facts:

  • A single shift might vary from a low of one driver to a high of 16-18 people per shift.
  • They will transport to the three city bus stops that are on Panorama’s campus.
  • Collegiality of volunteers: no feeling guilty or worry about coverage if you have a problem. You can “pay back” later … works great and is much appreciated.
  • They use the VSP (Volunteer Scheduling Program App) that is now shared with other volunteer groups!
  • Ten-minute intervals are all that is needed to make trips to anywhere on our 140-acre campus.
  • Chris and I have not driven since we gave up our car in 2012!

Residents with cars are encouraged to use the rides to realize how simple and convenient the system is. We never know when we might not be able to drive.

Dispatchers and drivers may work through their home, or take the special phone and clipboard with the schedule for the day wherever they want on campus. They know to be prepared and ready to respond for duty.

When my sister was visiting, we used the service to the Auditorium. She opened her purse and whispered during the 4-minute drive, “How much tip do we give the driver?”

I chuckled and told him her inquiry.

“Wow, how nice! I can’t believe it.”

Why Resident Transit?

Dave answers, “Dispatchers and drivers are there to assist Panorama residents to our best ability so that they can remain mobile and independent for as long as possible.”

I always thank my driver, “This one of the best conveniences and necessities on our campus!”

Thank you Panorama and your faithful volunteers who provide this service for us. We are blessed!