This 4th of July was particularly special for me. No barbecues or baking this year! Instead, I spent most of my day from the morning to afternoon parading in the Kirkland Parade with seniors from a retirement home. (Plus a couple of hours with some very good friends :))
Seniors from a retirement home? Ever since March of this year, I have been a regular volunteer where I interact, play piano for, and engage in eye-shifting card games with the seniors.
Why do I choose to spend my all my Friday afternoons here? Consider yourself an 85 year old gentleman/lady, with ceasing eyesight, hearing, and mobility. You live in a retirement home with your own unit which you call home. Your home consists of a small living room, your bedroom, and a very miniature kitchen. You spend around 80% of the day in the unit and the rest eating meals and doing some socializing with the other seniors.
Just imagine your delight when a 15-year-old girl comes knocking on your door and awkwardly asks “Is it alright if I visit you for a bit?”. Of course, it would be alright! It’s been so long since anyone has come to visit you, right? Right.
And that’s the way with most of the seniors. Some of them even spend 100% of their days in their units because of their immobility. Whatever the case, they are the most delightful acquaintances ever. They tell me about their lives (one lived in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed, another one’s husband ran away with a girl in Europe, and one wears matching clown costumes with her daughter during family reunions.)
Volunteering there has been a wonderful experience for me. I have come to care for them as I would my grandparents, and they have come to like me as they would their granddaughter. Isn’t it obvious why I choose to spend my Friday afternoons there?
Just know, my dear reader, that this world is full of seniors in retirement homes who would love your care and time more than anything. Keep that in mind.
To further inspire you, virgin mojitos anyone?
Virgin Mojito (For one glass)
3/4 lime (cut into 3 pieces)
6 mint leaves
~4 oz. of ginger ale
Put the lime and mint leaves at the bottom of a cocktail sugar. Fill with as much ice as desired (I put in 3 pretty big ice cubes). Fill to the top with ginger ale. Shake with a shaker or manually for 10 seconds.
My parents absolutely adored it. The lime flavor and mint combined to form a delightful, sparkling cocktail just cool enough for a warm Seattle day.
Three cheers for three things! One for the seniors I volunteer for, one for the amazing city Seattle, and the last for America (the beautiful)! -Dink- -Drink- Ahhh….