A mother with her toddler son, a husband with his young wife, a daughter with her frail father – they sit in the emergency room waiting with fear of the unknown. Once ushered back to a room, multiple doctors, nurses and technicians come in to ask questions, take them for tests and administer medications. Waiting for the answer can take hours. Waiting for the pain to subside is difficult. Having a family member or friend with you makes all of this a little easier.
At Springmoor, we are all family. If a resident needs to go to the Emergency Room for a fall, for shortness of breath or any other need, we will go too! A family member is always called first. However, often the family lives out of town or even out of state. Perhaps they are traveling on business or even tied up in a meeting. If they can’t go with their family member, we will.
There are ten administrative staff members that rotate a pager through the business week. A Stewart Health Center employee carries it during the evening hours and the Springmoor Senior Staff carries the pager on the weekends. There is always an extended family member here for our residents.
An administrative staff member writes, “Our primary goal is to make sure our residents feel connected to us and do not feel alone. One of the best feelings I have when accompanying them is the gratitude they show and the feeling that I am able to help during a time of distress. One of my most recent experiences is with a resident who had no family locally or even in the state. When I arrived at the Emergency Room, I introduced myself. The resident smiled and said thank you for coming. I then asked her if she needed me to stay or if she felt okay by herself. She asked that I stay a little while until she knew what was happening. While she was being assisted, she periodically looked at me and smiled. Once, when I stepped out of the room, I heard her ask, “Where did my lady go?” She seemed relieved when they told her I was still there but standing outside the door, waiting to come back in. When I returned, she looked at me again and smiled. The look of relief and peace on her face was priceless. Although she never really said anything to me while she was there, her expression and smile was all I needed.”
From another staff member: “I have been many times to the ER with residents. The first question asked of me is usually from a nurse, ‘Are you a family member?’ When I reply, ‘No, I’m just a friend. I am from Springmoor.’ Their response is always one of surprise and appreciation.
While waiting for doctors and tests results, the resident often wants to call their family. I have offered my phone or even taken notes from the nurse to ask the family. I have been there to fluff a pillow, raise the bed, get water or call for a bedpan. Laying on stretcher in the ER can be a stressful experience for anyone. Being in pain makes this even more difficult. Having a friend eases the burden. I have heard numerous stories about resident’s children, their family, their travels, their childhood homes and so much more. These stories warm my heart. We may not have even known each other when I arrive but afterwards, I feel like I have a new parent, a new friend. This time together has always felt like we both were given a special gift.
Our Chaplains visit residents in the hospital on a daily basis. Robin says of this unique service, “One of the many remarkable things that makes Springmoor stand out from other retirement communities is its staff. Not only is the staff dedicated to their unified mission of making each day special and valuable for each resident, Springmoor employees have put in place extra steps to ensure resident satisfaction on every level. The emergency pager policy is one of these steps.
This seemingly small task is a huge gift. The staff person, carrying the pager, has to stop what they are doing and perhaps have others cover for them while they go to one of the several area hospitals. I have seen first hand, as a chaplain, how very important this service is for the resident who finds themselves unexpectedly in the Emergency Department. Sometimes they have only a short visit with a staff person, as a family member arrives quickly, or sometimes it can be a long day. We all know how slow time moves in the ER. This small gesture, of not being alone in the time when you feel the most vulnerable, is so appreciated by the residents, their families and the chaplains. These busy Springmoor employees help lend that comforting hand for your loved ones, when an emergency arises.” Continue reading →
It’s time for an All-American Independence Day. What’s better than apple pie or juicy slice of watermelon, a hot dog with all the fixin’s or a delicious hamburger with fresh lettuce and tomatoes? Top it all off with fireworks and baseball and you have the perfect summer day!
Art Ernteman, Springmoor’s General Manager of Dining Services, was asked what’s on the menu for our July 4th Celebration. Of course, he is serving everyone’s favorites and adding a touch of stars and stripes to the dining rooms too. Along with the burgers and apple pie, he’s added okra and tomatoes, grilled zucchini, potato salad, sweet potato fries, rotisserie chicken and baked beans to the menu.
The July 4th menu will include one of everyone’s Springmoor favorites – Strawberry Fields Salad. He says it’s easy to make and can be served as an entrée salad.
Strawberry Fields Salad
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
- Spring Mix Lettuce
- Sliced Red Onion
- Fresh Sliced Strawberries
- Walnut Pieces
- Topped with a Honey Poppy Seed Balsamic Dressing (serves 8)
- ½ cup of Balsamic Dressing
- Add honey and poppy seed to taste
We look forward to an afternoon get-together in the Garden Grill and The Terrace Room for a fresh slice of juicy watermelon before your evening activities.
Are you entertaining family and friends this week too? Raleigh has a long list of local farms. Lyon Farms offers two choices: you can pick your own bucket of berries or drop by their neighborhood produce stand. A Creedmoor Farm since 1861, they bring their fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood during the growing season. They are located only a few blocks away on Creedmoor Road! For the best blackberries – and a day on the farm – you can pick your own from mid-June to the end of July. They have a large of assortment of fruits and veggies at the stand and also sell a few speciality items that you won’t want to miss: pickled items, strawberry lemonade, jams, cider and corn on the cob.
Page Farms is located only a few miles away too. If your family is in town and you want to explore “a little bit of country”, they suggest you come for a visit. Blackberry season is in full swing now on their farm too. You can pick your own or buy them by the pound.
What’s more All-American than apple pie? How about a little minor-league baseball while your family is here? The Durham Bulls and The Carolina Mudcats have stadiums that are only thirty minutes away. Both teams are in town this week and have special firework events scheduled for their 4th of July celebrations after the game. The Durham Bulls take on The Charlotte Knights at the DPAP in downtown Durham. And at Five County Stadium, in Zebulon, you will find the Mudcats and The Salem Red Sox.
After a burger and a slice of apple pie, you and your family might want to head downtown to join in the Raleigh festivities. The ‘Works! begins at noon. There will be live music, Aerial Performances, Cirque de Vol street performers and more. The fireworks begin about 9:30pm. This great show always lights up the Raleigh skyline.
This week we asked the Springmoor Residents as well as the Staff where they were going for their summer vacations. The answers varied from short in-state trips to long overseas excursions. Join us as we travel from coast to coast by air, by sea and by car.
We will be heading to the Metro Detroit area to visit family in Michigan. We lived there for 23 years and will see family in Troy, St. Clair Shores and the Clinton Township. My mother, brother and sister-in-law will make the trip with us from North Carolina.
I’m hoping to take my children the Detroit Zoo because I loved going there when I was a kid!
Art and Architecture
My Daughter-in-Law and I share a “Girls Only” vacation each year. Our trip is art museum focused. This year we chose to widen that focus to include naturally occurring art as well, as we visited the Grand Canyon and the Red Rocks of Sedona. We included the art of architecture by including the Arizona Biltmore and Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Designs.
Of course, no art focus is complete without a visit to a formal art museum so we enjoyed the collections of the Phoenix and the Heard Museums. As we parted ways at the airport for return to the West and East Coasts, the final conversation was about where our vacation destination would be next year!
We have recently returned from a glorious two-week tour of Scandinavia. The highlight of the trip was the hundreds of waterfalls we saw in Norway. We were not on a cruise. We prefer traveling with a group by bus and crossing countries to see the interior while learning how the local folks live their lives. A bus trip provides the advantage of a guide who feeds you knowledge of every sight you pass along the way.
A bus tour also offers you instant new friends – our group of forty travelers included twenty from Australia. We learned about life in Australia, as well as life in Scandinavia.
We have recently returned from a road trip to visit friends in Foley, Alabama on the upper Gulf Coast. We are planning a midsummer drive (after our first grandson arrives) to South Florida’s Gulf Coast to visit friends in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers, where we lived for fifteen years. This will be our first return since moving to Springmoor in October 2015.
Late in summer, if not early fall, we will drive to Naperville and Chicago, Illinois to visit more friends. We were students at Memphis Central High School with all of these friends. The three trips will average a minimum of 35 hours and 1,600 miles but we no longer enjoy flying so a road trip is our favorite style!
We will be going to Oak Island on our annual family beach trip with my mother’s family. This year will be the 54th year our family has gone as one unit. We drive there and now have to occupy two houses. We continue the tradition with my mom’s siblings. It has become the highlight of my girl’s summer. They cannot wait to be there all week with their four cousins. We still play putt-putt in the Annual Family Challenge game, eat at the same restaurant that we have for over 20 years and we always go get Italian Ice.
We will also head back to the OBX for a long weekend to celebrate my third daughter’s graduation. We will rent an RV and stay at Cape Hatteras as we navigate the rest of Hwy. 12. We also escape to Topsail Island every chance we get, including this weekend!
We are just got back from a very quick trip to Iowa. There was lush, beautiful greenery along the roadside with the mimosa trees in full bloom. There was mostly calm traffic. And only a few rain showers along the way.
The trip highlights included a family luncheon, a short Lutheran Commitment Ceremony and a drive with my sister to Nauvoo, Illinois, where we admired the outside of the reconstructed temple and stopped at the LDS Visitors’ Center where we viewed an interesting video, “Remembering Nauvoo.”
We are going to Cape Lookout. We have never been there before. There will be four or five boats going with lots of friends on board!
We are headed to Orlando to see grandchildren and of course, their parents, too. Yes, we’ve been there before and will be there many more times in the future.
We are planning a trip to Canada later. I want to go whale watching, see Niagara Falls from the north side, and eat French food!
Wyoming and Utah
Our vacation for the summer starts the last week in June with the Caravan Tour Company. We will fly into Rapid City, South Dakota and journey via bus, river float trip, and more to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse; Little Big Horn, Montana; Yellowstone, Wyoming; the Grand Tetons and Jackson and end in Salt Lake City, Utah.
We are going by ourselves and will join with probably thirty-five or more people on the tour, generally from all over the country. With the exception of Yellowstone, everything will be new to us.
National Best Friend Day seeks to celebrate best friends and the contribution that best friends make in our daily lives. They are the person that you can always rely on, someone genuine, trustworthy and who accepts you for who you are.
Today, we celebrate the many friends we have at Springmoor. Some are life-long friends, some met in college and have reconnected again in retirement, some met at work and some met when they moved in next door to each other.
Peggy and Eunice
Peggy Blackburn and Eunice Bland met each other at the puzzle table. The two moved to Springmoor from the Raleigh area. Eunice moved to Springmoor from Wake Forest, a small town north of Raleigh, twelve years ago. Peggy moved onto the same hall just three years ago. The first puzzle they did together was one that Gail Jens spread out for those on the hallway to work on as a group. Since then, they have inherited many from Eunice’s daughter. They’ve never done the same one twice and much prefer those with photos from North Carolina. Eunice likes to sort her pieces by color. Peggy sorts them by shape. Eunice wonders if they are “left brain and right brain friends.”
One Word Description
When asked to describe their friend in one word, they both found that much to difficult. One word was not sufficient! Eunice says of Peggy, “She is fun, friendly, and a wonderful care-giver.” Peggy describes Eunice as a “Saint. She is so very good to everyone. She visits the Stewart Health Center everyday to say hello to her friends.” She takes her little poodle Ginger too.
Similar and Different
Peggy loves to cook and was preparing special treats for her family’s beach trip this afternoon. Eunice was quick to say that Peggy chooses something special for each one of them. They will all stop by tomorrow on the way out of town to pick up something from their mom’s kitchen. Cheese straws, chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate cheesecake have all been prepared today.
Eunice likes to cook too, but loves sporting events! Whatever the season, she has a team to cheer for: the Golden State Warriors, the Red Sox, Davidson College and UNC. “Oh yes, anything Carolina” adds Peggy, “we love to cheer for them too!”
The two grew up in North Carolina. Eunice grew up on a Harnett County farm in central North Carolina while Peggy was raised in Marion in the western part of the state. They have both landed in Springmoor’s West Wing and met at the puzzle table. Sitting for hours, sometimes not saying anything but enjoying the excitement of building a puzzle together. And sometimes, chatting more than puzzle making. Ginger is usually not far away, curled up on the floor beneath their chairs.
Nadine and Jan
Nadine Tope and Jan Christensen met at North Carolina State University. They moved to Raleigh, Nadine from Indiana and Jan from Wisconsin, within eight years of each other. They both started careers in the Cooperative Extension Agency at NC State. Nadine’s department prepared the research and Jan’s department edited the publications. The two, although in the same office, never did much outside of the office together.
The both retired from the university in the early 90’s. At a home economics office event Jan heard Nadine say she was looking for someone to go to the NC Symphony. Jan was quick to raise her hand and say, “Oh, I will go!” They have been going to both the Pops, Classical and Summerfest series together ever since. They have North Carolina Ballet tickets too.
Jan, the “avid sports fan” (as Nadine describes her) is the one that gets the tickets for NC State Basketball (both men and women’s games), NC State football, an occasional Hurricane Hockey game and Durham Bulls baseball games. Nadine tags along for the excitement.
Similar and Different
Jan is the “wild traveler” having visited eighty-eight different countries while Nadine is the homebody. Jan lives on the 4th floor and describes her apartment view as “living up in the clouds” while Nadine lives on the ground floor, her view is much more “down to earth.” They both agree this seems to also describe their personalities. Nadine has a dog and a cat that keep her grounded. Jan lives with her suitcase packed and always ready for the next adventure. They both love to learn and have found participating in the OLLI (a continuing education program) at NC State is a great way to keep their minds active. And they share a similar taste in ice cream – when asked their favorite flavor, in unison, they both said “moose tracks.”
Friends for more than forty years, the two have dinner plans tonight with the Springmoor Out-To-Dinner group. 42nd Street is where you will find these two NC State retirees on this National Best Friend Day. Continue reading →
The sisters began working at Springmoor when the North Village wing was only built out to Apartment 228. South Village was on the architect’s desk and the West Wing was just red mud. That was thirty-three years ago.
Sisters, Barbara Venson and Sandra Harris have been Springmoor employees for thirty-three years. Their sister, Linda discovered Springmoor first. She encouraged the two of them to apply for a housekeeping job too. Barbara took Linda’s advice and joined the staff. Within a month, Sandra had joined her sisters too. The family (all six siblings) has their mother’s work ethic. They are proud to say that she continued to work until she was 87 years old. Keeping a clean house and taking care of her children and their children was part of who she was.
Barbara says with a big smile, like her mother, she has a hard time “just sitting around,” she much prefers to be doing something. Whether it is working in the yard or cleaning her own house: she likes to be moving around. She is an early riser and loves her job and the residents at Springmoor. In her quiet time, she does enjoy a good book. She has always been an avid reader. Sandra says that since Barbara was a little girl she has always had her nose in the books. When she can find time, a good walk in the neighborhood on a beautiful North Carolina day is another favorite pastime.
The two sisters live only a few blocks away from work. They share a house and all the household chores. While Barbara is keeping things clean and tidy, Sandra can be found in the kitchen preparing the meals. Cooking, shopping and a good movie are Sandra’s favorites activities. Barbara is happy to brag on her sister’s cooking skills, “Her ribs are the best!” After work, they can be found at their favorite Harris Teeter picking up a few more ingredients for tonight’s dinner. It’s usually something quick after a long day on their feet.
The Extended Family
North Village residents are happy to have both sisters working on their side of the Springmoor campus. They each are assigned four resident’s apartments a day. Barbara worked in the villas and homes for over fourteen years but now can be found inside the East and West wing apartments. She is a floater: cleaning her assigned apartments as well as filling-in where she is needed, training new housekeepers and also assisting with management duties. Sandra can be found most often in the West wing. They both love a clean house and they both love their job!
The residents have become family to the sisters. They have shared many hours cleaning but more importantly being a friend, listening to a story, helping with a small task or finding a missing key. Springmoor Residents, Lorine Calloway and Peggy Blackburn consider the two as great friends of theirs, “They are very special sisters to all of the residents. They always ask about our families.” Lorine says, “They make my day! They always greet me with a great smile.” The residents are the most important part of their job. The laughs they have shared are numerous!
Sandra loves to tell the story of the resident that dressed up for Halloween to scare his housekeeper. He put on a monkey’s mask and patiently waited for her to arrive. While waiting, he crawled onto the bed and fell asleep. We will never know who laughed and who screamed more. The surprise on both of their faces was a story that has lived on for many years!
Another resident asked if her housekeeper could help find her second pair of glasses. She was watching TV and could not seem to see things clearly. After an extensive search through drawers and cabinets and under the bed and through the kitchen and all the coat pockets the two decided that the glasses must have been left somewhere on campus. When they could search no more, the housekeeper, looking at the resident, realized the glasses were right in front of them. Both pairs were on her nose. No wonder things were so blurry! What a laugh they shared with each other.
Mary Daniel, the North Village Housekeeping Supervisor, says these two are shining stars! “They have always been great workers and are very dependable. You can count on them to do anything asked of them.” At one time, Mary also had two of her own sisters working at Springmoor. “When you know how to treat your family with love then you really can treat others the same way. They are a joy to have as part of the team.” Continue reading →
They met when they were 18 years old. Margie came to Duke from Richmond and Peg came from Raleigh. Both girls were an only child and encouraged to go to Duke by their fathers. Both earned academic scholarships to pursue their degrees.
The Girl from North Carolina
Peg grew up in Raleigh, a Hugh Morson High School graduate and daughter of a Duke graduate. Her dad often said, “There’s no way I am letting you go to Chapel Hill.” So she packed her bags and left for Durham. She moved into Aycock Dorm on the East Campus, the Duke Women’s College side of campus.
The Girl from Virginia
Margie grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Her father loved Duke football and thought this would be a great place for his daughter. With her scholarship, she too headed for Durham and moved into Aycock (now East Residence Hall). And the adventure began for Margie and her new friends.
The girl’s rooms were on the same corner of the hall. Eight girls were paired with an upperclassman and each was given a large white hair bow to wear for six weeks. The bow was to be worn at all times to help designate the new freshman class. Both Margie and Peg wrinkled their noses with the memory of this initiation period at Duke. Margie recently found the bow and many other keepsakes in her scrapbook at her daughter’s house. The two girls and their roommates remained in the same dorm for the next three and half years.
Margie majored in Accounting while Peg chose English. Most girls stayed on the East Campus with their classes but Margie was often on the West Campus with her accounting, finance and statistics classes. She also spent lots of her time working in the library. She said she actually spent more time reading than working. Shelving the books often stirred her curiosity and she found herself reading a chapter or two of each new book. Peg described Margie as “very, very smart.” With a smile, Margie thanked her for the compliment and said her Duke days kept her nose in the books. Her scholarship was tied to her academics so grades were very important. Not to say that they both didn’t have fun while they were there too!
The football program was important to Margie’s dad. Yes, it was football they both said, that was the big sporting event at Duke in 1954. If you wanted to go to a Duke basketball game, you simply headed over to Cameron and walked right in. No tents, no camping out, and no tickets. Asked if they ever pulled any pranks, one of them giggled and told her story. She said her 2nd floor room was directly above the front door. Late at night, when a couple came back to the dorm and the boy turned to the girl for a goodnight kiss, they sprinkled water on them from the window above.
Fast forward, sixty plus years and the two are together again. They both graduated from Duke, got married and moved to new states. Both moved multiple times across the eastern United States, had children and pursued their careers. The two lost touch after they left the East Campus.
That is until the day that Peg saw Margie Ford’s name on the Springmoor move-in report. As she recalls, “the name sounded very familiar. I remembered a girl name Margie dating a boy named Tom Ford.” With a little digging, she put it all together and realized Margie was in her small Duke FAC group (Freshman Advisory Council).
The two both went on to pursue Master’s Degrees. After a few years of teaching English in Rye, NY, Peg received another scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Guidance Counseling. Margie, for her 65th birthday, completed her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Care. Peg was the President of Aycock Dorm and now is the President of the Springmoor Residents’ Association. Margie, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate continues to pursue her educational interest.
With their fathers’ encouragement, the girls moved to Durham. With their children’s encouragement they moved to Springmoor. The two now live on the same wing, separated only by a floor. The two Duke grads have come full circle and are back together again.
Asked what is the best memory from Duke both girls say the “adventure” of being away from home was the highlight of their college days. Yes, they are both avid fans and even with grandchildren at the other ACC schools, they would never, “not in this lifetime” ever cheer for anyone but their Blue Devils. Continue reading →