Who’s jumping in the giant leaf pile at Beech Cluster?

Autumn scene at Pine Run…with leafy details by Marc Stine:

Last year we collected a little over 200 cubic yards of leaves. To date this season we estimate to have already collected and recycled 80 yards of shredded leaves. The leaf trucks haul our donations to two offsite collection facilities that recycle them into compost and blended soil mixes.

We started picking up leaves this year in the second week of October and will continue to collect into December. Right now the majority of the leaves from our crabapples, linden, tupelo, sweetgum, locusts, ash trees and a fair number of maples are down. The trees that retain their leaves the longest on our campus are the pin oak and beech trees.

Halloween Festivities

Pine Run Associates show their Halloween spirit with a theatrical display of pumpkins in the Health Center. Paint, fabric, lights, and spooky props come out of the bountiful “Life Enrichment” closets of Tracy Mullarkey and Emily Cuff to help the creepy creations take shape. Eerily amazing is the Pumpkin Graveyard all aglow with lights and complete with tombstones, crackling leaves, and a headless horseman. The charming bug-eyed Purple Hat Witch is a flash back to tradition – her twisted stem nose, with sparkling granny glasses, and a giant black bug perched at the end could be a crowd favorite. A bright yellow Pumpkin Bee with a diaphanous tutu livens up the funky contest as does the giant Candy Apple Pumpkin wrapped in cellophane. All of the entries, even the bizarre Golden Plunger fashioned by Housekeeping lure the eye and reveal the uncanny talent we can all celebrate at Pine Run!

The festivities continue on October 31 with costumes, parties,
and a Safe Trick or Treat for children.

Making Their Day! Garden Beach Trip

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripHave you ever wondered what it would be like if you take someone you love back for one last trip to the beach? The Jersey shore is place held dear in the memories of so many of the residents we serve, their family members, and of course many of us that grew up in this part of the county.

Garden team member, Emily Cuff, had this dream and shared the vision with us to consider. After many, many months and hours of planning and consideration, we were excited (and admittedly a little nervous) when Barbara Dumas and Cathleen Stewart gave us approval to move forward.

It paid off… In ways that words can never describe, eleven Garden residents and their family members had their day made over and over when they boarded the Hagey’s coach this past Tuesday morning for day trip to Ocean City, New Jersey.

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripThe excitement was palpable Tuesday morning. Not all the residents remembered where they were going, and some thought they were getting on a plane or boat rather than bus, but the child-like excitement of leaving on vacation was in the air at the Garden.

One family member told me that every ounce of effort and every challenge was more than worth it the moment they got that first view of the ocean!

One resident, that spends many minutes of every day at the Garden wondering where she is or wondering where her family is or insisting that we need to get her to work sat so contentedly on the boardwalk. Her son said to her, “Do you know where you are mom?” and she replied, “Of course I do. This is the board walk in Ocean City”… She and her family had gone to Ocean City for years… Indeed, others from her family met her and her son there on Tuesday!

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripOne resident that rarely speaks repeatedly said, “Beautiful, just beautiful” as associates gave her a ride in a wheelchair on the boardwalk.

Nearly everyone enjoyed ice cream and one of our residents with her husband happily patronized many of the food vendors along the board walk!

Family members bonded.

Some residents enjoyed squawking at the seagulls while others enjoyed people watching and had laughs at some of the attire they saw of those they saw on the boards and the beach. A few even got their toes in the sand!

A trip like this, with a group like this, was not pulled off without a lot of hard work! I fear I may forget to thank someone… But thank you to all that played a part big or little!
• Emily Cuff – brain child and primary planner, organizer, communicator – everything!
• Lauren Kulp – chief medic and insurer that everything would be safe
• Brittany Snyder and Andrew Phillips – RCA’s – so pleasant – so into it – did the dirty work with a smile and really cared that this was the best experience possible
• Our brave family members that trusted in us for the adventure and helped every step of the way, especially that day
• Barbara Dumas and Cathleen Stewart – for trusting in us enough to do something completely different and allowing us to “Make Their Day” in a big, big way
Making Their Day! Garden Beach Trip• ALL the associates of the Garden – those that stayed behind, those prepped in days ahead packing bags of clothing, copying transfer emergency packets and med lists and more!
• Dining – wonderful bagged lunches and snacks and beverages – all perfectly packed for the residents, their family members, the team members on the trip
• Elizabeth Ivers – our wonderful volunteer who is so reliable that it’s like having another paid associate helping us
• Security – for helping us save space for the bus
• Hagey’s bus company for trusting us that we’d do everything right to serve this challenged population on a bus trip and even helping us brainstorm what we needed to do and how we needed to adapt to make it work for this group
• And for anyone that I’m forgetting – please forgive me
It truly took a team!

Making Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach TripMaking Their Day! Garden Beach Trip

Make a Wish

Dear Ceil,

Make a WishThank you for putting together another great Make a Wish Day!!! Great job organizing the day and making sure the wishes were granted to our villagers. It is always so amazing to me to see all of us come together to do what we do best…Make the Day of those we serve.

I always say that we get so much more than we give and these days are true evidence of that statement. It leaves you with such a good feeling to know that you helped someone have a brighter day with a small act of kindness. I know this year was hard with so many of our wish granters on vacation and having so many wishes submitted but looking around at everyone having a good time while working hard just truly makes me Pine Run Proud!! This event truly brings our community together as associates from different departments have the chance to work together and those of us not involved every day with our villagers have a chance to get out there and meet new ones and cross paths with those we have helped in the health center.

Make a WishThe car wash is just a blast…go team wash, dry and vac!!!! Thanks to everyone, we rocked out about 30 cars. There were a few hose mishaps and water bottle dumps which added to the fun of the day! An extra big thanks to all of those on the vac/window station which is definitely the most work simply because of the heat involved. So many of those who had their car washed, as well as those headed to the hub, commented on how hard everyone was working and how nice the event was. I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my kids to wash cars for the entire day and show them the spirit of giving to others for simply nothing else than to make someone’s day. Such a very important lesson for kids to learn. Make a Wish

As I said, you often get so much more than you give when you do for others. Jake said on the ride home, “Mom this morning I was going to ask how much I was going to make today but now I don’t want anything because it was really nice to do this today and I had so much fun. The villagers I talked to were so nice and very happy to have had this done for them. You work at the best place ever and you should never quit.” Our spirit was truly palpable and the best part is it spanned across generations!

Thank you again for organizing this wonderful day that has become a Pine Run tradition that allows us to be part of this great community beyond our everyday roles. It really does re-energize you!

— Kristy, Unit Manager 3rd Floor, Pine Run Health Center

Make a Wish GardenThank you Kristy, you shared your thoughts of the spirit of the day beautifully!

I’m still tallying things up and it looks like we have completed 165 wishes, with 8 more to go. We will be fulfilling those wishes this week.

Make a Wish Ice Cream Thank you to the many associates who helped make this day possible. It is always amazing to me how excited someone can be about cleaning someone’s oven or washing their car! The Villagers LOVED the day as much as we did. I’m sure everyone who granted the wishes slept like a rock Friday night!! Seeing the faces of everyone as they waited in line at the Jack and Jill ice cream truck was priceless. I will be sharing those photos with everyone, as well as the thank you notes I receive as they come in. Thank you again for your Pine Run Spirit.

Make a Wish Ice CreamAs the Villagers say “they know of no other retirement community who has such an event as this, and they can’t believe how we go above and beyond their expectations!”

— Ceil Krajewski, Director of Life Enrichment, Pine Run Community

Our Swans

Our SwansFor those of you new to Pine Run, it seems a good time for you to be formally introduced to our swans. The “season” will soon be here for the annual swan watch and for them the “best time of the year.” For new folks, let me introduce them to you.

Their names are Coo and Honey. Their history here goes back a dozen years when we first came to Pine Run. They have been a colorful addition to life here and have given us some interesting and difficult times. Their adventures have been many. There is a story of drama, runaways, mayhem and murder! For some of us they are very special, and, with care from the staff and several Villagers, they have brought many interesting stories and excitement.

Coo, the male, must be about 15 years old, but we really do not know. Honey is about 8. I purchased her from a trusted breeder in Illinois and had her flown in to join our lonely male. We always hoped for them to have some cygnets and grace our pond with growing families. This will not happen, but each year the swans do their thing and try. Apparently the male had been neutered before being sold to us. I do not know the source of that bird but the female, I know, is fertile. We know that it takes “two to tango” but they do not know this and keep trying. It is in their nature to do what swans do in the early spring.

When, if ever, it warms up, you will, if you are lucky, see the swans do their mating dance on the pond. It is beautiful. They swim together side by side, rubbing their necks together, entwine them and they dive together. Mating is done under the water (shy). Honey will lay 4-5-6 eggs in the nesting area we provide for them (up top near the mail room entrance). Coo will work hard to make a nice nest and stay with Honey. They do take turns with the egg sitting but generally it is the female that does this – (surprise, surprise). Several futile weeks will go by and we will feed them up top in the nest area. When Honey appears too tired, we take the eggs away and they go back to life on the pond. Then the summer begins, but without cygnets. That is a disappointment. Some consolation is that the pond has snapping turtles in it and baby swans are a tasty morsel. Seeing that happen would be so hard to see.

So that is our routine. We hope you are fortunate and see the very lovely “Swan Lake” mating ritual. We try very hard to take good care of these birds and hope they bring you pleasure. If you are interested in helping with their care, please let us know.

— Richard and Alice Wetherill

Come, Let’s Take a Walk

Let's Take a Walk“Come, let’s take a walk!” This invitation is one I usually will accept willingly. Since childhood, walking has been an enjoyable activity for me. It was fed by an innate curiosity. I wanted to know where that path led or what was in the woods below the homes nearby. It was in the woods that I found, to my delight, little purple flowers to pick for Mom and saw a creature I learned was a woods turtle. Another finding was a plant called “skunk cabbage”. I discovered it aptly named when I inadvertently broke off a leaf.

My curiosity has not diminished with adulthood for I still yearn to see where the unfamiliar road may lead. This curiosity has taken me on solo journeys to the New England states and Florida.

Walking rewards me with peace of mind and soul in times of loss and distress. This was especially true when walking in the early morning or the evenings when I walked the quiet dimly lit streets of the small town where my husband, Del, and I lived. After Del’s death, my walking was limited to walking our dog, Duke.

A friend and neighbor suffered a series of tragic events. She lost her mother followed by two major surgeries. There was no family nearby to help her deal with these events so I stepped in. I offered comfort and help getting counseling and did whatever I could. She had difficulty sleeping and we discovered walking helped her relax enough that she could go to bed and sleep. Thus began our routine of evening walks. We walked the dimly lit streets of the little town and, in time, she recovered, but we continued our walking. Our walking became a time of enjoyment as well as a time of relaxation.

When I moved from Western PA, I continued my walking but now I was accompanied by my little Schnausers. First it was Charlie then Dutch. These walks provided exercise for the dogs and for me reflection and appreciation of my blessings and the beauty of God’s world. When I moved to Pine Run, I still had a reason to walk several times a day with my dog, Dutch. Dutch is gone and now I must find a new way to get out and enjoy the world around me.

My ability to walk has been somewhat compromised in the last few years but I still want to walk even though it’s not as easy as it once was. Though aging may affect our ability to walk, the joy is still there when we make the effort even with the assistance of walkers or motorized vehicles. We can still enjoy the beauty around us. There are still the skies above – sometimes even a cloudy, rainy sky can be fascinating. There may be a sunrise of red and gold or a sunset with glowing colors to give us a fleeting moment of wonder. We just need to take the time to look. At Pine Run, we can enjoy a pond alive with geese and our own graceful swans. One evening as I walked slowly from my cottage and approached the pond, it appeared to be a glittering sparkling field, I was so caught up by its beauty, I had to stop to take it in. It gave me a feeling of awe, peace and joy that I shall treasure.

— Phyllis Cassidy

Let’s Talk Books

Let's Talk BooksAmong the many active committees that make Pine Run residents busy, involved and entertained, our Let’s Talk Books Club is one of the longest in existence and most enthusiastic group of women and a few men. Some people might observe that reading is a solitary act and that reading a book allows the reader to enter another world. But what happens when you read a book in the company of others? You enter the world together but see it in your own way. It is through sharing those differences of perception that the group acquires its emotional power.

A NY Times journalist, Robin Teller, is in three book groups – a woman’s group, an inter-generational group with her daughter, and a couples group. She says, “It’s like sitting around gossiping about people, only you’re gossiping about characters in fiction which is more meaningful.”

Over the last 8 years, our Pine Run Book Club has run the gambit from mystery to classics, to books that evoke many different emotions. The most common quote we hear at the conclusion of a meeting is, “Oh, I like the book so much better after we have talked about it!” No doubt that reactions do differ – from “I loved this book” to “As soon as I get home, I’m going to burn this book!”

— Rita Klein

A Christmas Story

This true story, submitted by Audrey McCrae, appeared in the Pine Run Voice several years ago. We thought that you might enjoy it again.

A Happy War Memory

This incident came up in a conversation I had at dinner recently, and the people at the table loved it and suggested that it should be shared.

During what we refer to as the “Second World War,” my husband, Johnny McCrea, was serving as a ball-turret gunner on a B-17 Bomber. He was stationed in England in 1943-1944 and their missions were over Germany. After one particularly rough raid, their plane was the only one of the squadron to reach their home base, and the plane was severely damaged. One other plane managed to make it back but landed at another base. With the squadron so depleted, it was decided to send the two remaining crews to a rest home for a week. It happened it was over Christmas.

B-17 Bomber
As the holiday approached, the crews there who were enjoying their time off from combat were asked by some local people whether they would be good enough to give a Christmas party to some orphans who were billeted nearby. The offer was gladly accepted – after all what’s Christmas without children? Preparations were made – perhaps meager by our standards, but England at that time had little food and no luxuries. It was discovered that they had the makings of ice cream but no way to freeze it. A captain among them went to the phone, called a nearby American airbase, asked for the officer in charge, and told him he had need of a B-17. The officer (probably using some purple language) wanted to know what on earth for. The captain explained the circumstances – there was a short pause – and the officer told him to get the stuff over there and they’d have a plane on the runway. The ice cream makings were delivered – taken up to twenty-two thousand feet – flown around for the time it took to get it firm – then landed and delivered to the party in time for dessert. Thus those children had their taste of ice cream. I figure it was the most expensive ice cream ever made! One happy ending in the midst of war.

And That’s How the Fight Started

One year I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift. The next year I didn’t buy her a gift. When she asked me why, I replied, “Well, you still haven’t used the gift I bought you last year.” And that’s how the fight started.

I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason took my order first. “I’ll have the filet steak, rare, please.” He said, “Aren’t you worried about the mad cow?” “Nah, she can order for herself.” And that’s how the fight started.

My wife sat down next to me as I was flipping channels. She asked, “What’s on TV?” I said, “Lots of dust.” And that’s how the fight started.

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 165 in about 2 seconds.” I bought her a bathroom scale. And that’s how the fight started.

— Submitted by Dan Reid

Yes I Did!

Yes I Did!
Montana Magazine’s sidebar on page 9 of the July/August 2014 issue asked, “Did you ever ride a horse to school?” with no apparent positive answers. Well, I did: three different times, three different horses, three different schools! Beginning in 1936, in the first grade and half of the second, Spark Plug was my noble steed. I went to the Boston Coulee School, a one-room structure with a lone teacher and eight pupils. The schoolhouse was 2 ½ miles from our ranch.

My mother, a widow at the time, would rise early, saddle “Sparky”, pack my lunch and away we would go; me riding, my mother leasing Sparky to the Maurer Ranch, which was halfway to the schoolhouse. I don’t remember missing one day of school during this time.

After two moves, a wedding and a mortgage, we were living on the “Pete Fake Place”, the schoolhouse had been moved – it was now only a mile and a quarter away. I was now in the fifth grade and Grace Smiley and I were the only two pupils in the school. I was capable of saddling “Crumbs” and riding him to and from school. Crumbs had one bad habit – he would not stay “ground hitched”, in other words, if you dropped the reins while opening or closing the gate, he would take off. Several times I followed him home, cursing (6th grade curses) to no avail. I was not fond of Crumbs who was an ugly horse to begin with. I rode him most of the year

Two years later, the Boston Coulee School was closed. The Meisenbach School was four miles to the east of where I lived. I rode “Bob” for two years. Bob was a great horse – big, strong and a good looking black gelding. By then I was big enough to wear my father’s chaps and a cowboy hat. I wished for a six-shooter but even in those days “carrying” a pistol was not allowed.

Six miles a day, sun, rain, sleet, snow or wind (and there was always wind), four gates, one small stream crossing (which Bob didn’t like and occasionally balked at for two years), concluded my riding a horse to school. I didn’t think it was as glamorous as it sounds.

Anyway, there was at least one Montana kid who rode a horse to school. I just wish it had been more exciting.

— William (Bill) Herbolsheimer

The Hub Pub

The Hub Pub
Have you been to the Hub Pub yet? If not, why not pay it a visit? It opens at 4:00 PM every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Alcoholic drinks are only $2.00 and a soft drink costs only $1.00. Every Pub night there is the wonderful piano playing of Shirley Wunsch or Charlie Burchill.

Traditional Pub meals, such as fish and chips, fried shrimp, and burgers, are served every Monday. On Fridays, hot Hors d’oeuvres are available at no charge. Sure, it’s a bit noisy in the Pub, but very convivial, relaxed and a change from the usual dining room experience.

In the photo above, Nicole Ventriglia is tending bar and Annie Tiers and Jon Long are looking on while Tom Swartz is examining the evening’s menu. Annie checked out the drink pattern that night and it turns out that of 77 alcoholic beverages sold, 13 were red (16.8%) and 22 white wines (28.6% ). 42 mixed drinks (54.5%) were consumed. In addition, several non-alcoholic drinks, such as tonic water or cokes, were sold.

— Walter A. Harris