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 →
Water exercises put less stress on the joints making it a perfect exercise for seniors. The water acts as a form of resistance, so strength exercises can be performed in the pool without heavy weights. Flexibility, balance, bone density and cardiovascular functions are increased while muscle-loss is decreased. Water workouts are a perfect alternative to exercising at the gym. Have you tried a water class yet?
This week, we did an Aqua Fitness Question and Answer session with Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director.
Can you give us a short description of the classes offered at the Springmoor pools?
Aqua Basic – 45 minutes of fundamental water exercises to improve strength, range of motion, and balance.
Aqua Challenge – 45 minutes of challenging water exercises with a strong emphasis on cardiovascular endurance.
Aqua Free Time – The pool is supervised by a Health & Fitness Staff Member, allowing the residents to swim, walk or exercise at their own pace.
What level of difficulty is each class?
Aqua Challenge is in our “C” category, making it the highest level of difficulty. Modifications can be provided for different needs.
Aqua Basic is considered a “B” category… not as intense or fast paced.
Aqua Free Time is great for those who are motivated and like to exercise on their own.
Is one better than another for sore muscles or arthritis or other ailments? Do the physical therapy instructors also help?
Aqua Basic is the best option for those who have arthritis, chronic pain, or starting to exercise after a joint surgery or injury.
Physical Therapists do not teach classes but they can provide Aquatic Therapy for patients in the facility.
Water volleyball is a new monthly resident activity. Does the Wellness staff play too? Do you have an audience/cheering section?
The staff participates with the residents and we have a lot of fun!!! Cheering sections are welcome. We laugh and get a good workout while playing. (We don’t keep score.)
Lap swim – when, where and who?
Residents can lap swim during Aqua Free Time: Mon/Wed/Fri from 9:00 – 10:00 am or Mon/Wed from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Residents can use the pool on their own during non-programming hours. We strongly encourage the buddy rule.
Which resident swims the most laps (each day, each week)?
John Neal swims the most laps at one time. He swims a minimum of a mile three days a week (72 lengths plus another 6 to 8 laps just to be sure he counted correctly). Don & Jane Priess win the most consistent award. They come early in the morning and do their own routine.
Swimming in North Village – is this smaller pool just for aerobics? Anything else?
The Fitness Staff provides an Aqua Basic class in the NV Pool on Tues/Thurs at 9:15 am. A resident led group meets at 6:30 am on Tues/Thurs/Sat.
Some residents will use the pool on their own time to do their home exercise routine.
Time for play in the pool with grandchildren – how does this work?
Residents can enjoy spending time with their family while using the pool. We have several families who take advantage of this and they have so much fun! The rules are: residents must be present with their guests in the pool area at all times. We currently do not have “guest hours.” Residents may bring their guests any time there isn’t a scheduled program. Residents have first priority of the pool area.
Do residents do laps with kick boards or other equipment for lap swims?
Some residents swim laps with kick boards and others use the noodles or aqua dumbbells while water walking.
The hot tub and spa – tell us about this Wellness Center amenity.
The spa is popular after the Aqua classes as part of their cool down and relaxation time. It also becomes social time as they sit and relax with the jets on, talking and laughing with their friends. Some people only come to use the spa because of joint pain.
What is the most popular class? Why?
Aqua Challenge is the most popular class because it provides a good cardio and strength workout for all levels. Those who like the challenge can push themselves to their limit and those who like to take it easy can go at a slower pace and modify some of the movements.
What is the best class for beginners?
Aqua Basic is the best because it is slower paced and focuses on strength, range of motion, and balance.
What is the best class for life-long swimmers?
Aqua Challenge or Aqua Free Time
What hours is the pool open? Are there any special dos and don’ts?
The pool is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm. The programming hours are listed on the Fitness Calendar in the back of the monthly Springtimes. Hydration is important! Even though you feel like you’re not working as hard, you still need to drink plenty of water before and after your exercise in the water. It’s even more important to be hydrated if you spend time in the spa because of the warmer temperature. Always get out of the water if you experience dizziness, cramping, or chest pain.
Do any of the Springmoor Fitness Instructors have a swimming background?
Becky Boulo is our head Aquatic Instructor. Swimming has been a big part of her life. She taught swimming lessons all through college and even taught Swim 101 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Becky ran summer camps for the Aleut and Yupik Indians in Northern Alaska Villages through a program to help children learn to swim to reduce the rate of drowning. Becky also taught Aqua Fitness classes in the 1980’s when it first became popular. When she moved to North Carolina, Becky helped start the Summer Swim Team in her subdivision where her daughter started at the age of 5 and is now a collegiate swimmer at the University of Idaho. Becky has been teaching at Springmoor for over 5 years!
The rest of the fitness staff holds various certifications and helps teach some of the aquatic classes.
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 →
“Laughter activates the body’s natural relaxation response. It’s like internal jogging, providing a good massage to all internal organs while also toning abdominal muscles.” (Dr. Gulshan Sethi, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgeon at the Tucson Medical Center and University of Arizona Medical Center.)
Have you had your dose of laughter today?
Laughter is contagious – just hearing a laugh will make you smile and want to join in the fun.
Laughter boosts immunity – it increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, therefore improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge – it stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation.
Carol Burnett, I Love Lucy, Spike Jones, and a good joke will all make you laugh. And that’s just what the doctor has ordered. A smile, a little giggle, or a great big belly laugh will enhance your intake of oxygen-rich air. Your heart, lungs and muscles will be stimulated with the increase of endorphins and your body will be energized. Studies show that laughter really is the best medicine! Continue reading →
Now that you have retired, what are you doing with all of your free time? The Administration for Community Living has declared this Older American Month and is asking the same question. They are challenging us to Age Out Loud: Are you taking charge? Are you striving for wellness? Are you focusing on your independence? Are you advocating for yourself and others?
We ask these questions to one of our newest residents, Jan Hagarty. She toured the Springmoor Community with her son and her daughter-in law. They live in the area and thought it would be a great place for her to really retire. Really, meaning better weather and closer to her family. The words, slowing down are not in her vocabulary.
Jan and her husband raised two boys in the Northern Virginia area. When their youngest was only five, they decided as a family that they should have a group project to help others. As a nurse, administrator, volunteer, mother and teacher, she describes herself more as a server than a taker. Teaching their boys this lesson was important to the Hagarty family.
Their youngest son, Kevin, suggested they become a foster family. He wanted one of his classmates to come and live with them. The idea was hatched and 21 children later; the family has been a strong advocate for foster parenting and adoption. Their seventh foster child, Marvin, came to them when he was only five days old. He was adopted into their family at age two.
When Jan and her husband decided to leave the hectic life-style and traffic congestion in the DC area, they moved to the mountains of West Virginia. Her husband was quick to say, “we are going to volunteer, we are going to be involved and we are going to make a difference in our new community.”
Jan has kept these lessons with her as she has made her move to Springmoor. She arrived in mid-March. Step One: get involved! She took the Springtimes activity book and signed up for every activity that she could. She tried the lectures, she tried the outings, she tried the exercise classes, and she tried the art classes. The list was long but she knew that if she didn’t step out, she would be sitting in her chair and reading all day.
Striving for Wellness
Reading all day sounds like fun but not to a great way to stay active and healthy. She volunteered to work in the library as another way to surround herself with books. She has joined the Springmoor tai chi class and the yoga class. These additions have been great for her joints and her movement. She is feeling better than ever before!
Focusing on Independence
Not only is she jumping in to activities on campus but she is also learning her way around the city of Raleigh. Starting with the surrounding neighborhoods, she has found a church, an abundance of grocery stores and many new places to eat and shop. She hopes involvement in the church will enable her to find volunteer jobs in the community. She wants to enjoy all that her new city has to offer. Continue reading →