Looking ahead: Residents' Future Plans
Residents conclude their interviews by discussing their future plans in a world forever impacted by the pandemic.
Reengaging in simple pleasures: "Well, obviously, if we had to choose one word it would be uncertainty, right? I guess others are frustrated and tired. But at this point, so I take some moderate risks compared to some people. That is, some people take more risks and some people take many fewer. So we’ve gone to one play. And we’ve gone to two concerts at Severance Hall. And we’re gonna go to another play very soon. You know, wearing masks and showing vaccination cards, so anyways, and I’ve gone to two movies (laughs) in two years plus. We get takeout food sometimes. So I feel that my life is not back to complete, you know 'normal' in the sense but I feel like I’m leading a really satisfying, stimulating, meaningful life."
Restarting relationships: "So I am rekindling my relationship with my independent living people very consciously. We’re seeing each other regularly, more often. I think we’re realizing how much more precious it is when we have the opportunity to do that. I’ll get outside on my scooter as much as my back allows me to. So I’ve been going on the perimeter road just to see the pond."
Keeping up with the volunteer work: My next-door neighbor had to go to Strongsville, which is like three miles out of the county. And they were going to charge her 200 dollars. And I said, I’ll take you, that’s not a big deal. And then I realized–and we had a rideshare program where residents, I’m on this now, where residents are on a list, and if you have to go some place, you call a rideshare person and they put the notice out and we wonderful people will drive people an hour away, whatever all on our own time on our own dime and do it. And I thought, I have a car, I can do this, that’s wonderful. So I took the AAA driving course and I started to do that. And that was a really–you know people are always saying you know volunteering is a way to get out of yourself and just knowing I was doing that was a big help.
Celebrating the end of cancer treatment with travel: "I’m planning a trip and this will be a big deal for me because I really haven’t been anywhere other than a short trip to Kentucky in October...And they may have the opportunity to go to Mystic in August. I haven’t told anybody in Mystic yet. But a friend of mine here is driving to Massachusetts in August to visit with her daughter and offered to take me along and drop me off in Mystic if I wanted to...Two days after my last infusion we’re going to Amish country."
Moving to a new Kendal apartment: When this apartment, which is going to be a super apartment apparently, everybody’s excited about it, and so am I. I thought, I’ll never be as good as I am now, why not do it now?
Fearlessly taking on New York City: I’m still optimistic about my chance to go to New York and, well it’s been too long, and yeah, I am getting weaker, I mean physically, not as able to travel but I still have a place to go. And when you’re going somewhere by plane, there’s always wheelchairs that you can hire. So that doesn’t worry me, but when I go to New York, I like to walk, and I can still, I can still do subway for sure, and I know how to get around on a New York subway. Crossing a busy street, ayayay, a little bit concerning. And yet I like to travel alone. I really like to, I have gone all sorts of places alone. Anyway, there’s a little, as you can see l– a little bit of worry. But I’m not so risk-averse as to what is forgettable, I wanna try.
Restarting a regular exercise routine, all on a silver platter: "I mean I don’t have the energy I used to have…riding a bike. In fact, I just rode a bike yesterday afternoon just to my cottage over to Heiser and back and I was worn out! I mean maybe it’s because I hadn’t been riding very much and I haven’t been using those muscles. It’s a matter of…I think that to get totally back to normal, I’m going to have to do some exercise classes on a regular basis. I’ve been doing water aerobics three times a week, which has really been good. That’s been very much a help. But I think I have to add to that, maybe another two or three times a week with some strength and some stretching exercise. But you know here at Kendal they’re in the process of recreating those classes, so it’s nice being here. On a silver paddle! You have some solutions to my problems! That’s very nice."
Returning as a volunteer in the Care Center: "I go and I visit people and umm I think it’s important for them to be able to hug and scratch dogs. The tactile experience is so important when you’re in the Care Center. Umm so that’s really fun. And then I hang out in the Jameson House, which is the dementia place a couple times a week."
Continuing to organize a collaborative concert series between the Oberlin Conservatory and Kendal at Oberlin: So we have had now since December every Sunday afternoon has been a student concert or one of our concerts. And I got some help from one of the students at the conservatory who was studying concert management. And he’s helping me set it up. But we have booked people right through the end of the term. You know in June everybody will go home, but in the fall we’ll do it again. So I’m sort of proud of that because the thing that’s most amazing about it is how good they are. These kids–they’re just incredible. And they’re far better than we were back–I mean when I played in the orchestra it was pretty good for a college orchestra. But not it’s just–I think kids start earlier, they learn better. It’s first-rate.