Trash Talk – Tips on Recycling at Panorama

Submitted by resident group, Panorama Green Team – April 2020

Plastics

There is a difference between what is RECYCLABLE and what our current recycling service will accept. The numbered triangles on the bottom of many plastic items only indicate the type of plastic; they do not indicate what our current recycling service provider can take.

What is acceptable here may be different than what you are used to and may change as markets for recyclables change.

You MAY put in the recycling bin: plastic bottles, jugs, and jars (no caps or lids); dairy tubs and yogurt cups (no caps or lids); plastic buckets (no lids or handles).

You may NOT put in the recycling bins: any plastics numbered 1-6 other than the above items. Do not put in the Recycling Bin: clear deli containers, frozen dinner trays, plastic takeout containers, plastic bags of any kind (including such things as bubble wrap, plastic-lined mailers), plastic egg cartons, plastic lids, plastic utensils. Unfortunately, all of these must be put in the trash.

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

Next month: Paper

Sustainable Transportation at Panorama

Submitted by resident group, Panorama Green Team – April 2020

Many of us are asking: “What can I – and my community – do as a positive response to climate change?”

The Green Team is considering how Panorama residents might shrink our carbon footprint while meeting our transportation needs. The goal is ambitious: we want Panorama to be seen as a leader in meeting its transportation needs in a sustainable manner. The Green Team is forming a work group to consider this and bring a plan to our community. We invite interested persons to join us.

What might such a plan include? We believe education is the key. Could we help our neighbors make smart choices to reduce fossil fuel use? This could include shifting to hybrid or electric vehicles, as well as improved access to alternate transportation. What are the questions we need answered to make wise choices?

We hope to collaborate with Panorama management in this effort. Could new or remodeled residences include outlets to recharge electric vehicles? Is there a cost-efficient strategy to begin providing vehicle recharge stations at our apartment buildings? In the longer term, could there be opportunities for Panorama to convert its vehicle fleet to electric power?

We know that transportation is a highly significant source of carbon dioxide emissions that accelerate climate change. We want to do our part to reduce our impact – and to educate the larger community if we can lead by example. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

If interested in joining this work group, call Cleve P. (contact information available to residents on Kya and the Resident Directory).

Inside Panorama TV

Submitted by Panorama TV – April 2020

TIME OUT

The Panorama Dream goes something like this. Give our residents a pleasant environment and plenty to do — dozens of self-governing interest and activity groups served by first-rate workshops and facilities — and they’ll stay healthy and happy. 

Now, the COVID-19 Pandemic is testing our dream in a way few of us could have imagined — the threat might abate if we stop doing what we do best — stop demonstrating our interdependence; and stay away from each other. ‘Til further notice. 

And yet, look how quickly we’re adjusting:

Like all campus activities, Panorama TV has suspended meetings and most production. But PTV has a part to play during this emergency — the vital information part: “INSIDE PANORAMA” shows continue (11AM, 3PM and 10PM on channel 370 and on demand via Kya.panorama.org) — our leaders, explaining community process, emergency rules and policies. We also stepped up with a new show, “The News with Lu” (8:00AM, 12PM, 6PM on 370, on demand on Kya) where residents can see the latest official updates. And, safety first, we’ll also be recording in a new way — everyone involved in production will be physically separated.

Actually, this forced break is an opportunity to take stock of the Panorama TV dream. We’re working on new shows that demonstrate how Panorama works. We’re dreaming about new cameras and clearer pictures on your TVs, tablets and smart phones. Our dreams are full of new on-demand features for the Kya resident web portal. To make sure it’s accessible to all, we’re working on additional methods for services like closed captioning.

This is a great time to get involved — subscribe to our weekly Highlights email; watch our cable channel (tell your new Xfinity voice remote “Channel 370”). Look us up on Kya. 

When the danger passes — and it will — we’ll dream up more fresh neighborhood TV…Panorama TV.

Dave Newton, Panorama TV

Caring For Our Neighbors During the COVID-19 Crisis

Submitted by Resident Emergency Resources Group – April 2020

Map Your Neighborhood and the other Resident Emergency Resource groups have been helping Panorama residents prepare for natural disasters for many years, never thinking that we would find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic.  Yet here we are, surviving the unexpected!  Here are some ways in which we can all help and care for each other in this difficult time.

  • Contact your neighbors by email or phone to stay connected and make sure that everyone has what they need.
  •  If you find that a neighbor is struggling in any way, please contact social services to let them know of your concerns. There is also a group of resident volunteers who have professional experience in helping people in times of distress. This Emotional Support Team is available to answer questions or just chat – call x6006 to leave a message and one of them will return your call.
  • Remind your neighbors that Jerry Gjovaag, Resident Council President, is the person to contact if you have any questions or concerns about what’s happening here at Panorama: councilpresident@panorama.org  For residents without internet access, the Emergency Hotline has the most current messages: x7777.
  • If you are able to support our neighbors outside of Panorama, donations to Thurston County organizations such as the Food Bank, Interfaith Works and the Thurston County United Way Covid-19 Response Fund are always welcome.

We would like to offer a standing ovation to the wonderful Panorama staff who are going “above and beyond” every day to help us through the current crisis.  We greatly appreciate each and every one of you!

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.


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. 

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!

Art Guild Class – Pine Needle Basketry

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. November 2019

As I played my weekly Monday background piano music a few weeks ago in Assisted Living, I learned about my friend Harriet Hunter. She has lived 20 years (since 1999) at Panorama and won third prize at the Thurston County Fair not long ago for her piece of ceramic sculpture. Panorama has an updated, beautiful ceramic studio where Harriet returns to “work” regularly. And this is at age 95! This reminded me of the Art Guild classes here at Panorama.

In “My Experience in Arts Walk 2019” blog, you read how excited I was about learning to weave a small coaster as an introduction for Pine Cone Basketry. Well, I showed up to the Quinault Lower Level Art Room with seven more residents who were as eager as I was. I’d been wanting to take the class of 12 hours spread out during several weeks, it didn’t work on my calendar. However, six hours on a Friday followed by another six on Saturday worked! All we had to bring was sharp, pointed scissors, needle nosed pliers, lunch and a minimal fee for materials! 

My unfinished pine needle coaster

We wove around a predrilled wooden center, learning the basic spiral stitch, a unique method of weaving, and created a very attractive-on-both-sides coaster. One woman will hang hers on the wall. I haven’t finished mine yet, but will display the unusual unique in-progress version for fun.

We were fortunate to have learned under resident Jim Shanower. Jim had coiled a pine needle basket he calls “Baleen Fantasy”, and won the Grand Champion Award in the Professional/Master Basket Maker Division at the 2019 Washington State Fair!

Jim Shanower’s Grand Champion Award in the Professional/Master Basket Maker Division at the 2019 Washington State Fair.

That’s the Arts Guild for you at Panorama. It sponsors classes and events throughout the year. They actually invite us to suggest what we are interested in each year. Ideas such as starting an ongoing still-life drawing group. Or more classes in drawing, watercolor or acrylic, fabric arts like wet felting and quilting, or woodworking, encaustic (using pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay), jewelry making, glass slumping, etc.

In addition to the huge Arts Walk,the Arts Guild offers much more. Some samplings:

  • The Arts Guild professionally displays residents’ 3D Art in Panorama Hall’s large, shelved, clear case with the artist’s name and title of the piece for several weeks. I love to see the varying media.
  • Besides making and displaying our art, we are welcomed to the Art Happy Hour in our Seventeen51 Bistro. About 30 artists and supporters attend.
  • Every few months, volunteer Arts Guild members display different residents’ works that relate to an assigned theme in Seventeen51 Restaurant’s Gallery. The current theme is PUZZLES (see my blog “Lunch in the Gallery” from 11/12/16)
  • Not enough? Then there is the monthly Arts Guild Alternate Monthly Luncheon with enthusiastic speakers to inspire, present appropriate opportunities to attend, offer ways to exhibit, etc.
Gallery display fabric collage

Thanks to Panorama and the many artists who share their resources and offer us opportunities to continue, extend or discover our artistic talents. Just another addition to our list of THANKSGIVINGS here at Panorama!