We must begin by apologizing for our long hiatus. We have so many wonderful things to share with you we will do our utmost to keep this blog up to date.
Each December Christmas comes and with it a flurry of activity. There is hardly enough room on the Activity Calendar for all the many things taking place. There were parties, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and choirs and some days there were two or three entertainments scheduled. So after Christmas there is a long pause and often not much happens. This year was really an exception to the rule!
On February 15, we were happy to welcome a troupe of Chinese dancers. This group was asked to come at the end of January to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year but because of the New Year’s festivities they were unable to make an appearance at our home. They were finally able to come on the 15th and we were not in the least bit disappointed.
The group, called Dance Revelasian has as its mission the preservation of the Chinese culture through traditional dance. It teaches young American girls of Chinese heritage their traditional dances.
A large group of young dancers arrived at our home. There was a flurry of activity as they changed into their colorful costumes and then there was a burst of color as one act after the next took to the dance floor and performed.
We were mesmerized by the color of their costumes and the intricacy of their dance. All dances were done in groups and one dance seemed to be more spectacular than the next. The gracefulness and professionalism of these young girls was inspiring. It was an afternoon enjoyed by all.
With Lent fast approaching, we celebrated Mardi Gras in a grand style! Our auditorium was once again festively decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and gold. For days the voting had been taking place and each unit was busy selecting one man and one woman to represent the unit as their Duke and Duchess. Also on the agenda was the selection of the King and Queen of Mardi Gras.
The afternoon of March 7, the auditorium began to fill early. Many of the residents were on hand to celebrate. Let the good times roll and they did! Our celebration began at 4:30 p.m., with the presentation of the Royal Court. A DJ provided the music for our celebration and as our DJ played “Let the Saints Come Marching In,” our court jester, Joan Eagan, led in the Duke and Duchess representing each floor. They took their seats at the front of the auditorium where they would “reign” for the evening. At last after much anticipation, the King and Queen of Mardi Gras, Warren Barry and Lorain Solari made their royal entrance to the delight of all! After the introductions were complete, the King and Queen danced the traditional dance. By this time everyone had worked up quite an appetite and everyone was ready to dig in. Our Food Service Department had put their best foot forward once again and everyone enjoyed tasty finger sandwiches, wieners in a blanket as well as chicken wings and an assortment of salads and chips. After dinner, some of the residents took to the dance floor and our Queen, Loraine at ninety-nine years young outdid them all. Our stunned DJ couldn’t believe it when at the end of her eighth dance she asked where her cane was!
Two days later, we celebrated the feast of St. Patrick in grand style! Needless to say, our dinner for the day was the traditional corned beef and cabbage. Then we moved on to the auditorium to continue our celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
Our auditorium was awash in traditional green as a tribute to St. Patrick and the Emerald Isle. The tables were draped in alternating colors of green and white while shamrocks and balloons in green white and gold added to the festive décor. Many of the residents also donned green, some sported hats and beads as they joined in the celebration! Rev. David White, our assistant chaplain, helped to animate this afternoon’s gathering with a repertoire of Irish jokes. John Kolbe, the brother of a Little Sister played the organ and everyone joined in a lively sing-along. Our Food Service made sure there were ample treats to be enjoyed and there was an abundance of cake and green punch (with no punch in) to wash it all down. ‘Twas a grand day all the way around!
And we just kept on celebrating as the feast of St. Joseph the Worker took place two days later on March 19! Maria Sylvia and her housekeeping staff were hard at work the morning of the 19th as they readied the tables in the auditorium for our traditional St. Joseph’s Table. The tables were decorated with red table cloths and the tables for the food were also covered in red and white table cloths rivaling the green décor of just two days ago. Through the generosity of our benefactors at the market we had lovely white roses for each table. The statue of St. Joseph graced our main tables where the food would be placed and was flanked by two lovely bouquets of white roses and baby’s breath.
Many of the employees and even the Little Sisters had prepared items for the table that complimented the many goodies prepared by our faithful Food Service staff. There were cakes and pies as well as home-made Portuguese pasties and puddings. The table was laden with so many good things it was hard to know where to even begin! Father David White, our assistant chaplain, blessed the table then everyone dug in! Some of our faithful volunteers and Association Jeanne Jugan members were on hand to help serve those who couldn’t help themselves! Residents and staff lined up and filled their plates but there was too much so one had to carefully choose what they wanted to try! Everyone certainly enjoyed the afternoon evidenced by the fact there were now a lot of empty plates and bowls!
As a continuation of our St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we welcomed two young Irish Dancers who performed some traditional Irish dances for an enthusiastic and attentive crowd on March 24. Needless to say they and many other Irish performers were in high demand on the 17th. We were happy to have this delayed celebration that extended the wearing of the green for us just a little bit longer! Our young dancers wore the costume of their dance school, black with a Celtic design that accented the black in red and white. Their dance instructor kept up an informative commentary explaining the dances, their costumes, etc. Irish dancing is an expensive pursuit as each dancer has two costumes, a dance school costume as well as a more colorful costume for performances. These costumes can cost thousands of dollars it was explained. There was some high stepping as these young lasses danced a reel to the lively Irish musical accompaniment and also did some soft shoe dances as well. We were happy to have them visit us and hope they will come again!