Voices from Sunflower Court: Otterbein Pemberville Residents Share Stories of 2020

Posted on: April 21, 2022

2020 is a year many people will be ready to forget, but it’s also one that yielded some inspiring works of creativity. We’ve compiled stories written by some of the residents of Sunflower Court at Otterbein Pemberville in 2020.

WestWard Ho

By Charles D.

When Betty and I moved to Otterbein in September 2018, it was a great transition for both of us. It was the first time in decades that either of us had lived in a dwelling we did not own. And, it was the first time that Betty and I lived together.

It was a joy to move into the beautiful Otterbein campus. And, when we settled our familiar furnishings into our villa on Sunflower Court, it immediately felt like home. We were most favorably impressed with the immediate and warm reception we received both by our Sunflower neighbors and by the Otterbein staff.

We were overwhelmed by the offerings available to us at Otterbein. There were optional activities galore; coffee hours, men’s and women’s breakfasts, birthday parties, trips to concerts, and theater performances. It was like we had moved into Playland. On the more serious side, there was attention to our medical needs, as well as transportation should we need it. Otterbein is a safe and happy home.

Then came COVID-19. In March, all things came to a halt. Our most able Trail Master, Denice Day, immediately circled the wagons. We were given simple protective instructions: stay home, don’t congregate, wear masks. I felt immediately relieved. Someone was taking care of us. All we had to do was follow Denice’s instructions. We in independent villas are particularly able to isolate ourselves.

Betty and I, like most other residents, had to develop new living patterns. We learned to order our groceries and have medications delivered to our home. We learned to avail ourselves of the unlimited bounty of Amazon.

Most important, Betty and I got to know each other better. I found that even under our adversity, Betty is a delightful and talented partner. We quickly learned that whatever wasn’t good and pleasurable to both of us, wasn’t good and pleasurable to either of us.

Most notable is the change in the culture of our court. We have gone from friendly neighbors to caring and concerned honored family. What hurts one of us, hurts all of us. What makes one happy, makes us all happy.

There is hope now that protective serums being developed will in 2021 be made available to us all, wiping out this deadly pestilence. Under Denice’s leadership, we only need to continue to follow her protective instructions until she gives the command “Westward Ho.”

Two Years at Otterbein

By Betty May Marlow Miller D.

My, how these two years flew,

even when COVID-19 did brew.

Otterbein made sure we were safe and well,

and in our villas we stayed for a long spell.

Thursdays, a treat was brought around,

regardless if there was snow on the ground.

Fridays, our Otterbein mail was hung on the door

inside, mail, puzzles, and items galore.

Daily, phone calls every morning at nine,

letting us know the updates online.

Activities can accommodate up to ten.

Mark your favorite activity with a pen.

Courtyard meetings were first class.

We had great attendance and wore our masks.

With Denice Day at the helm here,

and her wonderful staff, we have no fear.

We are happy, safe, and loving each day.

Yes, we are glad we are here to stay.

Memories of COVID-19 Pandemic

By Lois E.

Our lives have certainly changed, but I feel so fortunate to have this lovely home and wonderful neighbors who have become my good friends. True, my family has not been able to visit as before, but we have found that the new Zoom program has provided wonderful opportunities to see and visit my entire family over the computer regularly.

I am very thankful to have many of the new electronics at my fingertips and find myself reading Facebook and typing messages each morning. It has been thrilling to turn my computer on each morning and find the smiling face of one of my adorable great-grandchildren or one of my grandchildren or children sending me a message.

My sadness revolves around the danger of the virus and the fear of being exposed or exposing someone else. None of my family have been infected, so of course, I feel great gratitude and thankfulness for that. They have all had to make adjustments with jobs/salaries and activities, but I have seen no ill effects. I am sad when I think of the families who are experiencing the pain and restrictions resulting from the virus.

…I pray constantly that the pandemic ends soon, that the new vaccines are effective and life can resume without this fear and danger. I am sure that we will need to be wearing our masks for a long time.

Some unexpected joys: finding wonderful books to read; Todd, nurse practitioner, coming to my villa to administer shingles shot and flu shot; the podiatrist coming to my villa to cut my toenails; Labor Day Weekend Sunflower Court Activity; Richard’s Golf Cart joy ride around Otterbein campus; contest to name Sunflower Hill. Thanks to Betty May, our Activities Director, for her thoughtful additions to our daily lives. I do have so much to be thankful for.

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