I’d like to pay tribute to two of THE OAKS’ most endearing and enduring women, Janet and Bernice. THE OAKS wouldn’t be what it is without these two ladies. They are an inspiration to all of us.
Janet, our fitness whiz, has been here the entire 30 years of THE OAKS’ existence! Amazing! She’s perfect for her job, vital, energetic and enthusiastic, the list could go on. I’ve signed up for several of her classes (I’ve flunked out of a few of them, too) but she always welcomes me back, never losing patience.
There’s just one thing about Janet I don’t get – she’s so darned happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Is this normal? How can one person be so consistently happy?
The rest of us get up in the morning and open our blinds to a typical western Oregon winter day, grey or dark grey, drizzle or more drizzle. Janet throws open her blinds and she sees rainbows and butterflies. I visualize her preparing her breakfast; organic, non HMO, steel cut, gluten-free oatmeal, never seeing the grey or the drizzle, just rainbows and butterflies.
And while I’m on the subject, I’m not too sure about Bernice either. I don’t know if she eats gluten-free oatmeal or not, but she’s a bright, unassuming person, young at heart, and a real pleasure to be with. She’s another happy lady who sees only rainbows and butterflies. A resident of nearly 26 years, Bernice will soon celebrate her 100th birthday.
Has anyone ever seen Bernice frown? I don’t think she even has frown lines. Everybody has frown lines, I was born with frown lines, but not Bernice. Imagine living here 26 years and never frowning! Unreal!!
Think of the changes these two ladies have seen, the changes they’ve been part of, the changes they helped to bring about, always remaining the same happy people.
Is it just coincidence that the two women most closely associated with THE OAKS seem to be the happiest? I have to wonder about the connection. Sure, it’s a great place to live, sure we’re all treated with affection and respect from the invariably kind and gracious employees, but there seems to be something more.
I’ve mulled over several possibilities. Perhaps we become more appreciative as we get older, maybe our age group was taught to concentrate on the bright side of things or maybe, as we near our second childhood, we accept things in a more child-like manner.
I even pondered the possibility of something in the water. Hey, that’s not as far fetched as it sounds. I’ve heard several residents comment on the fact that the water in the dining room tastes different from the water in the apartments. What do you think? Maybe a little PROZAC in the ice-cubes? Nah, they wouldn’t do that. Or would they?? One can’t help wondering…
All I know is I’d like to be associated with THE OAKS for a long time to come. I’m trying hard and I do eat lots of gluten-free oatmeal. I’ll never reach Bernice’s 26 years or Janet’s 30 years but I’ll be happy with what I get. I like rainbows and butterflies too!