Monthly Archives: April 2017

Mankato Primrose Residents Attend Ice Show

Mankato Primrose residents at Ice Show

Mankato Primrose residents at Ice Show

The residents at Primrose Retirement Community of Mankato recently attended the 42nd annual Mankato Figure Skating Club Ice Show. The theme was “Toy Stories on Ice” and we had a great time! We went to All Seasons Arena to watch this event and the show had figure skaters of all ages and skating levels. Skaters performed to an interactive story plot filled with fun routines and a variety of musical songs.

The residents at Primrose of Mankato enjoy going into the community and attending events and supporting local organizations and groups. We love going to local plays and this was the first time we attended an Ice Show and are looking forward to going back next year! The residents were amazed by the skaters and thought their skills were wonderful. Our Life Enrichment Coordinator, Hannah, is a coach for the Mankato Figure Skating Club and she introduced the residents to some of the skaters who participated in the show. In between the routines we reminisced about the days when they used to skate at the river, lake, or local arena.

We had a great time watching the local talent the young figure skaters in our area have and we can’t wait for next year!

Mishawaka Primrose Resident Shares Whitewater Rafting Experience

Primrose resident Bob Pearce

Bob Pearce

Some 20 years ago my son-in-law and I went on a whitewater rafting trip. I described it then, and still do describe it as a “trip and a half!” What an exciting run that was!

The outfitter was Ace Whitewater. The trip was on a 13 mile stretch of the New River in West Virginia, described as being the second oldest river in the world.

Knowing that we would be on the river all day, we slathered ourselves with sun tan lotion. Then we donned the life jackets that we were issued and thought that we were ready to go. I did have a bit of trouble adjusting my life jacket. One of the staff came along and assisted, pulling a couple of the straps until they were extremely tight. I protested a bit, saying that it was so tight that I could hardly breath. His response: “that’s okay–if you can’t breathe you can’t drown!” Did I need to hear that?

We headed for the river where we met the rest of the rafters and the guides. Here we were taught that if we fell out of the raft (which was likely to happen) we were to “assume the position” to “survive” the rest of the trip through the rapids. That meant getting into a fetal position and letting your feet and knees lead the way.

Our guide, Tug, herded us into our twelve-foot self-bailing raft and we headed out on to the river. We soon understood that the self-bailing feature was extremely important, in that as we traversed each rapid we were totally inundated with waves overflowing onto us and into the raft. (Self-bailing simply meant that there were holes near the bottom of the raft walls. Of course, that meant that water could get into the raft but, more importantly, it could get out. We certainly would have never managed if we had to bail water all day long.)

Ace starts their trip further up the river than many of the other outfitters. The water is flat, with only very small rapids. The water was quite warm and Tug encouraged us to hop out for a swim if we were so inclined. I decided “why not,” so jumped overboard. Soon I discovered the negative aspect of having been slathered with sun tan lotion. We were to latch on to straps that crossed the raft and pull ourselves in. My “greasy” hands just slid, refusing to grasp the strap. So, rather embarrassingly, Tug had to pull me back into the raft. From that point on I was determined that I’d do whatever it was going to take to avoid “leaving the raft!”

Rapids are rated by degree of difficulty correlating to the thrill of the ride through them. Ratings are from class one through class five. Commercial outfitters are not permitted to traverse rapids rated at five. Our trip included mostly threes, with several fours. In retrospect, I’d be hard to tell which were threes and which were fours.

As we approached each of the rapids, Tug would give us detailed instructions so we could get the best possible ride through it. His experience gained through having guided rafting trips many times before taught him well. His instructions included when we were to point ourselves heading into the rapids and when each of us was to paddle, whether forward, backward or not at all. The result in each case was the maximum thrill that each rapid had to offer. There were two or three times when I knew that I was about to “leave the ship” (we were each just sitting freely on the edge of the raft). Each time I abandoned my paddle and grabbed the raft’s strap. Each time too, then, I heard Tug shouting from the back of the raft, “I said paddle, dammit, paddle!” (I also remember three of the rapids where the rear of the raft was pitched up so much that Tug was tossed several feet into the air and out into the “drink!” He was much better at getting back into the raft than was I!)

Colleen kayaked down the river ahead of us, photographing as we traversed each of the rapids. At a couple of them we could “surf.” When the raft was appropriately placed, the hydraulic force of the water would just hold it there until we pushed away. Very interesting. Each surfing spot was just below a small water fall, perhaps two feet tall. The water would beat down on the up-river side of the raft, go under the raft, then tend to push up on the down-river side. This required that most of the weight in the raft be in the down-river side. We failed this “test” once and tipped over (thus I failed in my determination to stay in the raft.) The raft tipped completely over. The down-river side wound up being the up-river side and came down on top of my head. Knowing that I wanted to see during this trip, I had purchased a “keeper” with which I was to secure my glasses. In this whole process the “keeper” failed too and to this day the bottom of the New River possesses a pair of my glasses. (Fortunately foresight caused me to take a spare pair. They were quite old, thus less than very adequate, but did get me back home.)

I’ve not since made the opportunity to go rafting again. But each time that I view the video I’m sorely tempted to make that phone call to reserve another trip!

By Bob Pearce
Mishawaka Primrose Resident

Welcome, gentle reader. You have just finished reading the 48th installment in a series of blogs written by actual Primrose residents. Please return often to read more! — Ed

Primrose Employee of the Year Krista Turnwall

Primrose Regional Operations Manager Tom Brown, Krista Turnwall, and Executive Director Melissa Nelson

Primrose Regional Operations Manager Tom Brown, Primrose Employee of the year Krista Turnwall, and Sioux Falls Primrose Executive Director Melissa Nelson

Krista Turnwall has been maned Employee of the Year for Primrose Retirement Communities. Krista has exhibited an exemplary level of professionalism in the five years that she has been employed by Primrose as an LPN. She is a focused and determined young woman who is currently going to school full time to get her RN degree and license while working full time. Going to school full time can be a daunting proposition all on its own, but the sheer quality of her care for our residents as she manages both a fulltime school schedule and full time employment is admirable. Krista is frequently the nurse in charge on her shifts and does not shrink from asking that her team be as productive and proactive as she is. Krista is very self-motivated and anticipates the needs of our residents and is a vigilant and vocal advocate for what is best for them.

We are fortunate to have Krista on our team and are honored to announce that she has also been promoted to become our new Assistant Director of Nursing.

Congratulations Krista we are all very proud of the outstanding nurse that you have become!!

Amvets’ Hospitality Leaves Lasting Impression on Lancaster Primrose Residents

seniors enjoying lunch

Primrose residents enjoying the senior lunch at the Amvets Post 15 in Thornville

The residents at Primrose of Lancaster were invited to a free lunch for the seniors at the Amvets Post 15 in Thornville, where resident Tera was a member. Tera’s friend and fellow member had contacted us about the lunch and as soon as our bus pulled up, members of the Post were coming out to greet us and help us unload. One by one they took all of us in and we were escorted ahead of a line that was wrapped half way around the building.

We soon ate lunch which consisted of homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, and green beans. There were also assorted pieces of cake on the tables for dessert. After lunch, everyone played bingo. Our gang played four games then it was time for us to head back to Lancaster. Again, the members helped us load up in the bus. They told us to come back to the next senior lunch in October. We said our goodbyes and then we were off. On the ride home, each resident was talking about what a wonderful time and experience they had. Later, after returning home, resident Fred remarked that he very much enjoyed himself and he felt very relaxed on the outing. The generosity of the Amvets Post 15 most definitely left a lasting impression on all of us that day.

‘Tracker’ the Dog Familiar at Findlay Primrose

Tracker the dog obediently sitting before he receives his treat

Tracker obediently sitting before he receives his treat

The puppy had no name when Barbara and her husband brought the little beagle/basset mix home from the shelter. Since their house was in a wood along Lake Huron in Michigan, they didn’t see any problem with placing him on the ground when they exited the car that day. They had groceries to unload, and they thought perhaps he would like to investigate his new residence. He may have heard the gobble of wild turkeys that were common in the area, or maybe he was just excited to check the area out, but ZOOM! Nose to the ground, he was off like a light!

Their immediate thought was, so much for our new puppy! But about fifteen minutes later, curiosity satisfied, he appeared out of the woods having tracked his way back to his new home. He was quickly dubbed “Tracker,” a name that still fits him well!

Tracker had a bit of a weight problem when they first moved to Primrose. It began, Barb believes, while they were still living in Michigan. “Our home was in the country, and we rarely kept him tied,” she said. “He would go on these little mini-excursions, but always returned in fifteen minutes. It was like he had an internal clock that told him it was time to go home,” she laughed. And the weight gain? It seems he had discovered a nearby marina, where he was always happily greeted with a pat on the head and a cookie – the pounds began to stack up!

Eventually he developed diabetes, and does require insulin shots twice a day. Tracker is now eleven years old, and complications from this same disease has caused vision problems which has rendered him totally blind. This does not, however, deter him from finding his way to the reception office after his morning walk. Karen has a stash of doggie treats in her desk drawer, and Tracker soon learned exactly how to find her office. The trouble is, it takes all the might and strength of Cindy, the dog walker, to get him to retreat after receiving his snack, as he still has the strength of a young pup!

Barb joined the Primrose Family in 2012 and was delighted to learn that we are a pet-friendly community. “I would never have moved here without my Tracker!” she said, and we are very glad to have them both!