We have a little monthly newsletter and I’ve been asked to help out. Now I’m a cub-reporter and enjoying my new role. I’ve been interviewing new arrivals to give everyone a chance to “meet” newcomers.
One of the things I am noticing is that several people arrived here with physical problems their families were unable to help with. Often the person had fallen and broken something. They’ve been to rehabilitation, but their family’s concern has prompted them to encourage their parent to move to “assisted living.” Assisted living is part of Mallard Landing, but most of it is really for the active adult. Now “active” doesn’t have to be jogging each morning. It just means able to care for themselves, maybe with some assistance. What I’m impressed by is the number of people bouncing along with their canes or walkers living a full life. Doctors say that if you are not moving around your joints become stiffer and you become much less mobile.
One of the pleasant aspects for me is to see people. Often, they are sitting in the lobby waiting for their friends to join them and head together to the dining room. Or perhaps they are waiting for someone to pick them up to take them to a doctor’s appointment or shopping. Sometimes there is a group of people returning from watching a recently released movie on the large screen at the Pub, laughing and talking about the show. Or from playing Bingo, or from playing bridge. There is something going on almost every day. And no charge.
Yesterday when I returned home from work on a warm spring day, I heard several women sitting on the bench at the front door talking and laughing. Two walked away in different directions and the other just sat there laughing. She explained that Jane, who was graduating from her walker to a cane, was moving her car to a handicapped spot closer to the door. Apparently, she had gotten her courage up to drive her car again. The other woman standing in the handicapped spot, like an orange cone, was saving it for her friend. All of them having a good time. This is what everyone needs at some point in their lives….encouragement from friends.
When I moved in, there was a buzz in the air about a little-known clause in the original contracts that allowed the buyers at that time to choose, after living here for twenty years, to not participate in the meal plan. Because my seller had been an original buyer then, there was a chance I could elect to skip the meal plan and people were asking if I had checked out that possibility. I assured them I had not because for me, the whole purpose of being here was to enjoy the community, not to be isolated from it. And the easiest way was in the dining room.
Fifteen year ago I sold a friend’s mother a cottage here at Mallard Landing. Over the years her son, a chef, had helped her organize a Covered Dish Dinner on one Saturday evening a month. About 35-40 people attend it. They enjoy having an opportunity to prepare a favorite dish to share. She turned 90 not long ago and her family gave her a birthday party in the dining room and invited all the residents. It was a fun occasion for everyone. She enjoys gardening and flower arranging so the cottage has worked out well for her. From time to time her flowers help to decorate the lobby of the main building, and she enjoys fussing over them each time she comes for dinner.