I promised I’d give you a peek at what my life is like here at Franke Tobey Jones.
I take a shower, get dressed, fix my tea, load any leftover dishes or glasses into the dishwasher, eat a breakfast bar, feed the birds, water the flowers, check my email, read all the blogs I’ve received in my RSS reader, check the bank account, do a Curvy puzzle, work a jigsaw puzzle on-line, check Ancestry.com to see if anybody has posted anything interesting about any of the ancestors, check Facebook to see what’s happening, read the New York Times headlines, the Huffington Post shorts, updates from Knitting Paradise (and read the whole article if it interests me). By that time, it’s probably 11:00 or 11:30 and time to think about lunch.
We eat our dinner at noon and each fix our own snack-type suppers – soup, sandwich, fruit and cheese, nachos, etc.
About 5:30 or 6:00, Big Al and I meet in the living room to watch the news and Rachel Maddow. If there’s anything on network or cable that we want to see, we watch that (not often); otherwise, we watch something on Netflix.com. Right now we’re watching the British series, “M-I 5“, and “All Creatures Great and Small.” We usually get one or two episodes a night of each. Followed by the local news, and Jay Leno’s monologue, and finally – to bed.
Bethany Presbyterian Church worships at 10:30 and Sunday School is out for the summer. During most of the rest of the year, Sunday School is at 9:00.
Big Al and I go out to lunch after church, often on the waterfront.
Many Sundays we take a ride after lunch, sometimes through Point Defiance Park, sometime exploring.
Because I probably didn’t get anything from my daily routine done except the shower and the tea and breakfast bar, I spend a couple of hours in the afternoon catching up on my on-line reading. By that time, it’s 4:00 or so, and I go over to the Wellness Center to spend 50 minutes on the recumbent cross trainer (my personal preference for exercise torture). I try to get in three sessions a week of exercise, so Sunday is my make-up day if I’ve been a slug otherwise. If I don’t have to exercise, I spend an hour or so enjoying the porch and reading in my rocking chair.
Every other week I get together with other residents and a genealogist who gives us tips about how to get past the roadblocks in our research and where to find more information. She also helps us with presentation of our research and encourages us to include stories rather than just facts.
Every week, Big Al and I go to the Gamers Club and play bridge or some other game over in the Tobey Jones building. We only stay for an hour, but we enjoy the folks who make up the foursome – a retired federal judge, and a retired school teacher.
Once a month, the chef has a program on nutrition, or some other interesting topic. He also brings goodies to sample. Recently he has talked about protein, the difference between shrimp and prawns, diabetic diets, etc.
I try to fit in my 50 minutes of torture at the Wellness Center on Monday afternoons as well, sometimes before Gamers Club, sometimes, after.
Once a month I have a meeting of the Pierce County Hunger Advocates – part of the Ministerial Alliance.
Big Al and I eat lunch in the Bistro (think Starbucks or local coffee shop) here on campus. They have sandwiches, soup, and salads, and we usually each have a chef salad.
Then, I scurry off to my Tai Chi lesson, while Al finishes his lunch and reads the newspaper.
After Tai Chi, we go over to the Garden Apartments where we play bridge with a foursome we have been playing with ever since we lived there.
Then, it’s back to the Wellness Center for an hour or so of Brain Games. We play word games (like Scattergories) as teams, have paper games to work on, and have some social time. It’s fun, and a way to stretch my mind, and hopefully fend off the on-set of Alzheimer’s a little longer.
Wednesdays are the least structured of my week.
Wednesdays are often the day for trips. So far (since the weather has turned decent this summer), we’ve been to a winery, and the Wildlife Park. There’s a lunch cruise scheduled for next week.
Big Al volunteers at the FISH Food Bank once every six weeks. He also has a luncheon meeting of the state Safety Association in Tukwilla once a month.
I try to get in my 50-minute work out on Wednesday afternoons.
Wednesday is also the day we go to the commissary, about once every 6 weeks.
If you have a birthday or anniversary during the month, you are invited (with your significant other) to a lunch either in the Tobey Jones dining room, or the Lillian Pratt dining room on the last Wednesday of the month.
Often there are interesting programs on Wednesday afternoons, from the Tacoma Historical Society, a gardening expert, or on some other topic. Once a month, we have a program on wines.
Once a quarter, all the independent residents are invited to a dinner, usually on a Wednesday evening. There’s one coming up in a week.
Once a month, the CEO hosts Coffee with the CEO on Thursday mornings. Anyone who wants to can come and ask questions and air grievances. Generally everyone is pretty happy with how everything is going.
On Thursdays at 12:30 I have my second Tai Chi lesson of the week.
There’s also often a program from Senior University on Thursday afternoons.
At 4:00 is the All-Campus Wine and Cheese, where we are invited to lift our glasses and socialize with other residents and the board.
Friday morning at 11:00 I scurry over to Lillian Pratt for the Knitter’s Club. There are 5 or 6 of us who get together and chat while we do some kind of handwork. There’s a retired college president who is learning how to knit to keep his hands and brain busy, as well, and we can ask the others for help if we run into a problem. They always provide us with coffee, tea, and a goodie to stave off starvation until lunch time.
Friday is one of our lunches out. Once a month, the community takes the bus to a local eatery with whoever wants to go. We’ve been to a Japanese place, a Mexican place, an Indian place, an Italian place and a seafood place. If the Lunch Bunch isn’t going, Big Al and I find our own place for a nice lunch out.
The community has Ice Cream on the front porch at Lillian Pratt every Friday afternoon in the summer.
The Garden Apartments have Happy Hour on Friday afternoons. Everybody brings a little snackie-poo, and they provide wine and hard liquor (and soft drinks). We like going because it gives us an opportunity to catch up with the folks from the Garden Apartments.
Once a month, they have “Chef’s Table” that you have to sign up for. Chef Tim plans a specially nice menu and prepares it table-side, while he talks about the ingredients and preparation. It’s limited to 12 people, so it’s a nice opportunity to visit with other residents over a wonderful meal (with unbelievable desserts).
For the most part, Saturday is a day of catch-up. This is my day to work out (so I won’t have to on Sunday afternoon). We also go to the grocery store, hit the garden shop, buy more bird feed, etc.
So that’s what I do all the time. I’m just as busy as if I weren’t retired, but I really love it.