Meditation

Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. August 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posting the Positives

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2020

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

WALK THE LOOP GROUP

Why? IN A NUTSHELL…for 2 reasons:

First reason!

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

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

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

WALK THE LOOP

BUT NOT IN A GROUP!

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

Second reason!

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

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

Cabin Fever – A Back Roads Tour

Submitted by resident group, CarTable – April 2020

The following is a fun way to get out of the house safely. It was originally created for the resident CarTable group but we imagine the whole Panorama community could find enjoyment here.

“Hey Cooped-up Car Nutz,

Instead of our outlawed regular meeting at the QCR, here’s something for a sunny day that you can do without breaking any laws; well, social gathering laws anyway. You can run it at any time; there is NO meeting at the start, and it will magically get you back to your house.  A little over 60 miles long; suitable for EVs or bicycles. An EZ 2 hours unless you are a very fast driver and break a few laws.

Hope you have fun!

Later,

gr

General Stuff:

  • Run this whenever you want. 
  • No preliminary gathering.
  • Ends at YOUR house.
  • Most fun on a sunny day with a spouse/partner for navigating.
  • Could be done with an EV or even a bicycle.
  • 0.00 mile is from STOP on pavement at the exit of Panorama Aquatic & Fitness Center. Zero your odometer here.
  • Trip measures with Halda Tripmaster in the PBMGB.
  • If in doubt, go straight or follow the obvious main road.
  • Most importantly, there are no official bio-breaks. Island Johnny at park at end is probably closed; indoor cubbynays at the Shell at 13.87 mile point and Chevron at 19.50 mile point.

0.00   Rt out of Aquatic & Fitness Center.

0.10   Rt at traffic circle.

0.23   Left onto Sleater Kinney.

0.55   L @ STOP on 21st  Ave.

0.80   R @ STOP on Golf Club.

1.02   L onto 26th Ave (NOT Lp).

1.24   L @ STOP to remain on 26th Ave  (NOT Lp).

1.29   R @ STOP onto College.

3.23   Straight @ signal to cross Yelm Hwy; College becomes Rainier Rd.  Follow it.

There are two Xmas tree farms on this stretch, practically across the road from one another.  Notice their names.

13.62 Rainier becomes Minnesota for a short piece.

13.87 L @ STOP.  School straight ahead; SHELL station on L.

14.00 R toward Lawrence Lake; Centre St (Hard to See).

Centre eventually becomes Algyer, which becomes 148th

19.00 R @ STOP onto Vail Rd.

19.50 L @ Chevron onto 153rd toward Lake Lawrence.

21.09 L @ STOP onto Lawrence Lk Rd.

22.07 Straight @ STOP and continue onto Bald Hill Rd.

29.40 Straight into DEAD END towards Deschutes Falls Park.

31.42 Deschutes Falls Park. Probably closed. Don’t congregate here or you’ll get in trouble!  Note cabin; look thru window. 

0.00  Turnaround Time.  Zero odo at white gate and go back out the way you came.

1.70  CAUTION – Exposure Left.

1.98  Straight to get home.

9.33  Straight @ STOP toward Lawrence Lake.

10.31 R onto 153rd – COMES UP QUICK – No other landmark.  Miss this and you’re lost!

11.90  L @  STOP onto Vail Rd  (This is a bit different than how you got here.)

13.64  Keep Right after bridge.

15.50  Keep R onto Vail Cut-off.

17.28  R @ STOP to remain on Vail Cut-off.

19.53  R @ STOP onto Hwy 507 toward Tacoma.

20.10 L before SHELL toward East Olympia (Minnesota again).

20.95  Keep Right to pick up Rainier Rd.

30.72 Straight at signal; Rainier Rd becomes College St.

32.68  L on 26th and find your way home!  No gathering!! 

Travel with Hope in 2021

Submitted by Hopes & Dreams Travel – May 2020

The face of travel may look a lot different in 2021!  People will travel again but the process will look different – much like September 11 events forever changed air travel, but helped to better ensure safety. We believe that going forward, cruises and tours will greatly enhance their safety protocols. We are hearing about some of the options that cruises may look to implement going forward:  smaller sailing capacity on the larger ships, filling each ship to only 50-70% of their occupancy, increasing onboard medical staff, having unsold cabins serve as potential quarantine areas in the event of any future outbreak, taking temperatures and conducting health checks daily, extreme cleaning measures taking place a few times each day and hourly in certain public areas of the ships. Nothing has been officially decided but these are some of the discussions and safety reviews that are happening now.

One thing that we hope people may feel more comfortable with is traveling closer to home, within the U.S. and Canada for 2021. There are so many incredible travel options right here!  What destinations do you still have on your list?  Perhaps a visit to Tennessee or the Smokey Mountains?  A New England fall foliage tour?  A train trip through the Canadian Rockies?  Or sailing on the Columbia River in our own backyard with only 70-80 guests on a small ship? 

For 2021, Hopes & Dreams Travel is offering a couple of group trips that may interest you. First, we are planning to reschedule our Cannon Beach group for next spring as well as our Holland America Alaska group for June of 2021.  Here are two new trips that we are offering as well: 

April 30 – May 06, 2021

Canadian Rockies By Rail and Coach From Vancouver To Calgary, With Round-trip Panorama transfers.

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

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

October 23 – 30, 2021

7 Nights on the ss Legacy UnCruise – Rivers of Wine & History Round-trip Portland, OR With Optional Transportation From Panorama

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

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

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

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.


Pain Management with Yoga

Written by Panorama resident and Yoga Instructor, Charles Kasler – April 2020

We greeted the year with a silent meditation + tea on New Year’s Eve, and a free class on New Year’s Day. We held our spring meditation retreat in the lovely chapel. Connie focused on new scientific research in meditation in her dharma talk. Charles began working with interested yoga students individually outside of class.

We have temporarily discontinued all classes while we shelter in place until the virus threat passes. Likewise we cancelled our spring equinox gathering, the first time we have missed a gathering since we began. Needless to say, we are all looking forward to practicing together again. In the meantime, there are audio and video classes for students to follow at home.

The original purpose of yoga was for inner peace. That’s still true today but there are also many side benefits, among them pain management. One of our students said that her yoga practice is like medicine. So true! Regular practice can lower stress and can have a feedback effect to improve chronic pain. 

“Yoga can teach you how to focus your mind to change your experience of physical pain. It can teach you how to listen to your body and take care of your needs so that you can participate in the activities that matter to you. It can give you back the sense of safety, control, and courage that you need to move past your experience of chronic pain.” – Kelly McConnogal, Stanford University

Practicing yoga on a regular basis can affect your response to pain, decreasing your level of perceived suffering. The increased flow of oxygen to the brain and muscle tissues improves energy level and sense of well being. Combining breath awareness with the physical movement of yoga helps release muscle tension in your body. For people with arthritis, moving joints through their range of motion and stretching muscles can decrease the intensity of pain, or relieve it completely. 

You can manage pain in two ways: 

Symptom Improvement – reduce pain for conditions that cause acute or chronic pain, such as low back pain, or recovery from surgery.

Adjunct to Western Medicine – aid in treatment of conditions that have pain as the main feature, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic headaches, and cancer treatments.

The level of pain you feel is influenced by how your brain perceives the experience. Several factors can influence pain perception, including: 

Age – As brain areas degenerate with age so does brain circuitry, so older people have lower pain tolerance and it may be harder to deal with pain.

Memory – Our past experience dealing with pain can influence our neural responses to it, causing us to be more sensitive to pain.

Acute vs. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain differs from acute pain in three ways: 

  1. Your body can become more sensitive to the threat of pain, leading to fear and anxiety.
  2. Your brain can become more likely to interpret situations as threatening, and sensations as painful.
  3. With the experience of repeated reactions to pain, your ability to differentiate between the many aspects of the pain response may become blurred.

Chronic pain is challenging because it goes beyond the physical presence of pain, and affects your mind-body connection. Chronic pain can affect your daily functioning due to changes in: 

  • Breathing. Your breath can become more shallow and shaky, making exercise and even normal physical activities more challenging. 
  • Muscle Tension. Because your body is in a constant state of alert, muscle tension can increase. This will limit your range of motion, which in turn can worsen stiffness. 
  • Movement Patterns. As you try to protect the area of pain, your movement patterns can change dramatically. Some people stop all nonessential movement, limiting what they can do in the short term and causing stiffness and weakness in the long term. Other people grit and bear the pain, only stopping when the pain is so intense that they can’t continue, but they may be creating unhealthy movement patterns that result in uneven physical wear and tear. 
  • Body Image. How you view yourself can change from physically capable to weak and incapable, which makes you less willing to take on physical challenges or even to keep exercising. 
  • Thought Patterns. Chronic pain can cause you to become less optimistic about pain and your life in general.
  • Emotions. Your emotions may become more volatile, leading you to become angry, frustrated, tearful, and overwhelmed. 

Although chronic pain can cause each of these issues, they are all problems that you can treat with yoga. And as you consciously address your chronic pain, you can improve or reverse the physical, mental, and emotional damage it has caused. 

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.

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.

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.

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!

Apple Around Campus

Written by Panorama resident, Tam Alden. Video produced by Panorama residents.
January 2019

One of the joys of living at Panorama is that the Chehalis Western Trail borders the campus.  The trail is a tremendous asset that I enjoy. I can boast that I have ridden my bike from Woodard Bay to the “T” at Highway 507. Not all in one day, of course, but still – been there, done that.  On one autumn day a lowly little crabapple stopped me in my tracks.  In my zeal for exercise and fresh air, I had never noticed the crabapple tree growing alongside the trail until it tossed one of its apples in front of me.  I passed it by and screeched to a halt.  “Might make an interesting photo,” I thought.  I turned around and squatted down to rest my iPhone on the asphalt for a close-up portrait of the apple with my bike in the background.  I was so delighted with this photo that I picked up the apple and took it with me.  Suddenly, my focus changed from trying to best my previous speed record to slowing down and looking at the trail with fresh eyes, searching for other unique places to take apple photographs.

Until the apple became too old and wrinkly, it was my companion.  I took it with me walking around Panorama and that tiny apple introduced me to the campus in a detail that I’d previously not noticed.  The apple and I even saved a life.   As I watched with horror, a honeybee flew into the fountain pool located between the Aquatic Fitness Center and the Auditorium.  The precious honeybee would have certainly drowned.  I floated the apple in the fountain pool to give the wet bee a life raft so I could lift it to safety. I left the bee to dry in the sun where it efficiently squeegeed off the water with its tiny legs before busily getting back to work.  Without my iPhone camera and the apple, I would not have noticed this drama taking place.

I still power walk and ride my bike from place to place on the Panorama campus, taking advantage of pickleball, ping pong, water volleyball, bocce ball, Pub Trivia, Spanish class, basket weaving, needle felting, movies, book club and entertainments at the Auditorium (whew!). However, I also now take time to stop, slow down and really see the amazing detail of the world in which I am so blessed to live and to marvel at my immense good fortune to live in the best place on earth – Panorama.

 

Balance

Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. August 2018

We held our annual Summer Solstice gathering in the Pea Patch, keeping watch for the last hour of light on the longest day. It was very pleasant sitting and walking among the flowers. I taught a balance workshop in August with simple home practices to help prevent falls. Fall/winter will bring more gatherings: a meditation retreat, a mindfulness introduction workshop, a New Year’s Eve silent meditation, and maybe a New Year’s Day class. We have a rich and close community of yoga/meditation students here at Panorama, open to all residents. I think of it as a silent support group.

Connie at the Activity Fair

Summer Solstice in the Pea Patch

People sometimes think their injuries, illness or limitations prevent them from joining a yoga class. Not at all! We adapt movements to each student. Yoga is for everybody, seniors especially. We’re all in this together, teachers included. That’s a beautiful part of yoga at Panorama – we live together, we’re friends and see each other outside of class as well. In addition, we care for and support each other as we go through different challenges. That’s the true spirit of yoga beyond a movement practice.

People are living longer, even as the body declines. We need to stay active in order to live independently. As we age, we lose muscle mass and strength and reaction time is slower, affecting balance. Our reflexes and coordination also slow down with age. A third of people over 65 fall each year. At 80, half of the seniors fall each year. Falling, not osteoporosis, is the strongest risk factor for fractures. In addition, some people fall and aren’t seriously hurt, but can’t get back up. Falls can be reduced by up to 50% with balance training. Over the years, many yoga students have reported that their practice has improved their balance, and sometimes averted a fall. Yoga develops mental clarity and concentration, as well as improved body awareness and control. The two go hand in hand. While age is a risk factor, a person who is healthy and fit effectively has a lower chronological age, leaving them less susceptible to falls and fractures. Yoga can help us age gracefully with improved quality of life.

A Resident’s Perspective – Walk Events

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. June 2018

Over the five years we have been in residence at Panorama, I am always amazed at the outpouring of support and inclusion of our community, by both residents and staff when activities happen. Three events are prime examples: the 5K walkabout on campus, Walk the Loop Tuesdays, and the Arts Walk.

May found many of us signed up for and completing the 5K walk around campus. Much energy was put in designing the path and then marking it in orange rain-soluble chalk.  Then there were the water stations at many points. It was also designed so that benches were along the way for resting awhile, if needed. It seemed every department was represented in the effort. Security, Emergency Response, Marketing, Bus Transportation drivers, Aquatic & Fitness Center, Lifestyle Enrichment, Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro, and Independent Living Services were all manning some aspect of keeping us safe and connected. And then there was the start-finish boom box with fun music at the Aquatic & Fitness Center!

5K or 3 miles onward!

Walk, ride, or whatever!

Besides “Shanks Mare” (walking), there were bicycles, upright segues, scooters, three-wheelers, canes, and walkers used. The overcast day kept the temperatures bearable for those of us who abhor walking in the heat!!!!  This time of year, with the unbelievable array of color in the Rhododendrons, it was an additional treat to walk the neighborhoods that the route took us.

Vibrant Rhododendrons

Grace, from Lifestyle Enrichment, in her cheerleader hat!

Medals at the end were a nice touch!

And now it is Walk the Loop time for summer Tuesday evenings from 6:30 PM on. These are gentle walks, allowing you to do what length you want and enjoy the learning stations along the way. Riddles, quizzes and informational postings add to memories or learning or just plain fun. The Panorama campus is flat and is such a treat for those who are mobility-impaired and using various aids, such as canes or walkers or scooters, to enjoy the fresh air of an evening. Also, it is a gab-fest for folks you don’t see day to day. The opportunities to connect and stay moving here at Panorama are such a bonus.

The Arts Walk involved so many artists and supporters of artists in amazing displays in many venues about campus! These were concentrated in a few buildings and environs, so the “walk” part was not excessive. Buses ran on a schedule to get folks to all the venues. The creativity of residents is wonderful to see. Music was heard all over the venues by various groups with different instruments and vocals in the Auditorium. Actors and readers were reprising the “Dixie Swim Club” play from earlier this year and it was just as funny with good attendance in the Auditorium. The afternoon found our Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro dispensing ice cream products under the portico of the Auditorium.

I always think no wonder there are 400+ folks on the wait lists to get in here! We are so very fortunate. Do get out and enjoy campus as we roll into summer, in a few weeks. The grounds crew has made this such a vibrant-hued community in ALL seasons.

A Resident’s Perspective – Walking and Hiking Season Begins Apace!

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. May 2018

The celebration of May Day saw the opening, in earnest, of the Panorama outings into the environment! The day was wonderful with overcast and NO RAIN! Nine of us spent a lovely leg stretcher, after so much winter rain, by hiking up to Mima Falls.

There was a second trip planned the next day to accommodate an increasing interest in joining these hikes. The gathering at the Falls was a snack break and gab session. A new resident of three weeks (!) joined this trip.  She managed to put aside her unpacking to investigate these wonderful outings.

Spring brings with it so much bird song & flowering of wild flowers. There were also the croaking frogs along with the splash of the falls. A quiet day in the woods is always rejuvenating. I’ve only included a few pictures of things abloom, but there were so many. So many shades and hues of the trilliums were a treat. Also pictured was the flowering Oregon Grape.

This trail accommodated dogs on leash, as well as horses. We were treated to seeing two lovely horses ridden up the trail and back down past us. A further fun thing was a group of eight from Jubilee retirement facility who were working their way up as we were coming down to go to lunch. It was a “hail fellow, well met” happening. A particularly interesting discovery along the trail was the VERY RARE pretzel tree, quite festooned in honor of spring!

The trip was shortened by two miles, due to the worst up and down of the second section of the trail. For a first time out, this was such a great decision. For hikers and walkers interested, our leader, Steve Pogge, always has options on lengths and portions of trail that give us a walk or hike that meets our abilities. Steve is always available to answer questions regarding any planned hikes, and you can call him or email him with questions. The Activities and Events section of the Newsletter where hikes are described has his contact information for questions.

The trailhead did not provide comfortable lunch seating, so we drove around the corner to Mima Mounds recreational prairie reserve. There have been many spring wildflower walks out at this lovely destination and we ate our packed lunches looking out over the mounds. Many things were blooming, but the blue camas were in great profusion.

Watch the Activities and Events section of the Newsletter to find these gems of outings. It is such a luxury to have someone drive you out and back. We are so very spoiled!!!

Enjoy the spring! Panorama will help you do that!!!!!

A Resident’s Perspective – Activities at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. April 2018

I thought I’d take just a few minutes to share what impresses me about our planned activities here at Panorama. Everyone gets the monthly “Panorama News” bulletin, either by electronic media or on paper through our mail boxes. Along with the “Resident Handbook and Directory,” these provide us with all the happenings around Panorama.

We are informed about the current state of Panorama affairs by various departments, such as Maintenance or Grounds. Special interest groups can outline upcoming events that they are providing and other opportunities available are spelled out.

What has become almost a “bible” for us in our household is the long section of activities organized by the Lifestyle Enrichment department. On-campus offerings often provide bus transport to movies at the auditorium or Resident Council transport can be arranged for other things. Speaking for myself, I always make a copy of the often 8 pages (!!) of happenings and descriptions outlined to keep next to our paper (yes, paper) calendar. Movies, either foreign or first run recent films, are listed along with classics, which often run on special times or holidays, like Christmas.

The hiking, walking and outing offerings have always been uppermost in our interest as we are pretty mobile at this time. Being from out of state, the meal outings, such as Brunch at Its Best and Dinner at Its Best, have introduced us to places that locals already know about. This has been a wonderful learning service provided for getting to know Olympia and environs. Hidden parks you would never find on your own have been a delight to discover.

Many of the offerings include bus transportation to Seattle (and who wants to drive there??) and night performances at many theaters where parking and night vision make driving, in our circumstance, a bit of a crapshoot, if not, downright dangerous. Get to know the activity desk folks (9:30 AM to 12:00 PM weekdays) in Pan Hall to sign up for these outings. Also, get your suggestions about things you’d like to see & do to the Lifestyle Enrichment department, as well.

The listed activities coupled with special lectures for Learning in Retirement have been so very helpful as we maneuver through our aging years! The Office of Philanthropy underwrites performances and Lifestyle Enrichment department supports and covers so many other opportunities. The Panorama Board of Directors also supports administrative decisions for many activities.

We have met some wonderful folks on these outings and have had a good time. And we always look forward to the next month’s issue with listings of doings/outings to sign up for. This brings to mind the query I get from people from our old community on “what on earth do you do there?” This always makes me laugh. We are finding our calendar as full as it was ten years ago!!! Granted, the activities have changed. The opportunities to learn are different. But for anyone wondering what there is to do, these activities are a gold mine. Those who volunteer for many of our functions and interest groups find time at a premium, but still manage to go to a movie now and again.

I am hoping you will acquaint yourselves with this bulletin and what it offers. I know, many of you are still in boxes and moving in can be a bear. But remember that Panorama is rich in what they are providing us and we are rich in being the recipients of such energy and planning.  Enjoy Panorama!!!

(P.S. The magnolia finally bloomed as well!!!!!!!”)