It’s a perfect time of ….
It’s a perfect time of year to practice gratitude and even more powerful when you can do it in the wake (hopefully) of a pandemic. To that end, the LW Weekly would like to express gratitude to the cheerful, optimistic and altruistic residents who make this community such a great place to work. LW Weekly staffers thank you for making our jobs so fulfilling. Thank you for the stories, letters, columns, photos and other contributions that keep this weekly slice of LW life so vibrant. Thank you for your patience during trying times, like now, when the news office is closed to the public. Most of all, thank you for your smiles and encouraging words. May this holiday be the best ever for you and yours. Read on for more Thanksgiving lists from your friends and neighbors.
• Kenneth Glenn Koons, Mutual 15 In the last few months, I have been struck with prostate cancer and foolishly fell out of bed, crushing my hip socket. But many people, including my blessed wife, prayed, sent cards and encouraged me. Truly it will be a godly Thanksgiving for this 82-year-old person who loves Leisure World. Never tell me prayer and faith in the Lord are not reality. I am home working out my pain et al, but that truly is my Thanksgiving blessing.
• Sylvia Schiada, Mutual 1 I am thankful to have taught beginning brush calligraphy on Zoom to OLLI University of Hawaii students. They learned a new skill and how to make greeting cards with flair. In a time when people were isolated, writing beautiful letters made a difference, especially for those who suffered loss and loneliness. It’s heartening to know that this was the perfect thing to learn online and that people derived joy by giving and receiving in the form of a beautifully calligraphed letter.
• Lee Ann Warner, Mutual 2 I’m thankful for the beautiful tree next to my patio. It puts on a colorful show each fall and helps me to experience all the seasons as it changes from green to red/orange/yellow, then bare, and back to green again (see page 3).
And I’m thankful for the beautification committee for planting many more trees throughout the Mutual.
And of course, it goes without saying, that I am forever thankful for my husband, adult kids and granddaughters.
• Linda and Fred Fenton, Mutual 12 Linda and I are thankful to be living in Leisure World. That has made getting through COVID-19 much easier than it would have been elsewhere.
Why? Nearly everyone at LW has been vaccinated. The list of advantages to living here seems endless. In a noisy world, this is a place of peace and quiet, and safety. There are so many recreational opportunities and social activities it would require a full page of LW Weekly just to list them.
Best of all is all the interesting and friendly people we meet at Leisure World. And that includes our volunteer board in Mutual 12 and all the professional staff we have met.
Thanksgiving is a season for giving thanks. We give thanks for Leisure World—for all of you!
• Mitch Cohen, Mutual 15
I am thankful for having a beautiful family that lives close by. They are helpful and generous with their time. I am also grateful for my neighbors and the entire Leisure World family, my Mutual 15 Board of Directors and their assistance, and for the workman who, when needed, arrive quickly and are professional, neat and clean. Thank you for this opportunity to give Leisure World five stars.
• Garrett Noorigian, Mutual 12
As I go on my morning walks, I take in all that is around me, breathing in the crisp ocean air, my neighbors’ beautiful plants and flowers, and the slight whisper of the morning sounds. I love watching the animals enjoying the small things in life. I am so grateful. I smile, looking forward to another day in Shangri-La.
• Glenda McNeil, Mutual 5
Beginning in 2020, I was part of a new Zentangle artist group, led by resident Cathie McCormick. Once a week, we gathered in the art room for an hour to learn and to draw. Then COVID hit, and everything closed down. But not with Cathie. Without hardly missing a week, she transitioned the group to Zoom, and we continued to meet and draw together twice a week. All through those months when we were cut off from the rest of the world, we met online. The group even expanded as others from outside Leisure World were added, and our friendships grew.
It took a special leader to foster confidence and creativity. She modeled these characteristics and encouraged our friendships by being a friend. We lost Cathie in late summer, but our friendships remain, once a group of strangers, now friends.
• Crystal Bushinsky, Mutual 15
I got through most of the pandemic by tuning into livestream with Beth David on Friday evenings for Shabbat service, going to Pilates classes in Long Beach at LB piLAtes, as well as attending Zoom sessions on Friday and Saturday for several weeks with the late great Cathryn McCormick. I also got to meet and become friends with some really talented and exceptional women, and a couple of men also joined.
We were all tutored in ZenTangle with Cathryn. She gave her greatest gift of time, expertise and nurturing us as we waited for our vaccines. With her encouragement and inspiration, I am still tangling, and I hope there is Zentangle in Heaven!
Other activities I have enjoyed during this time have been Zumba sessions with our awesome instructor, Stephanie Sullivan. We have a great time while raising our heartbeats. The vibe is great, and the music is too! It’s good to have so many friends to enjoy these sessions with.
I am new to the Bunco group, but it’s always a great time with more new friends. I’m looking forward to cribbage as soon as I can fit it in.
• Glenda Saunders, Mutual 15
I am thankful for my husband. Without him, it would have been very difficult through this COVID time. We don’t just stay home. We take little trips to break up the days. I am really thankful for FaceTime, which kept me close to my kids and grandkids. I have been so blessed with a loving husband, family and friends. I have this poem that I saw somewhere, but it keeps me thinking positively: Somedays are better, Somedays are worse. Look for the blessing, instead of the curse. Be positive, stay strong, and get enough rest. You can’t do it all, but you can do your best!
• Shirley Tam, Mutual 14
We are very thankful for the good Lord, who provided blessings for the whole 2021. They include safety, warmth, joy and happiness thoughout LW.
And I am grateful for the abundance of orchids in bloom welcoming the holidays. They remind me of the beautiful and safe environment I have here with good neighbors and friends in Leisure World. Praise the Lord.
• Rose Rinaldi, Mutual 9
The people who get me through everything: My children and grandchildren, son-in-law, and his family.
• Cherry Hostler, Mutual 15
An amazing thing happened right on the edge of my patio that went on for weeks: A hummingbird built its nest in a very precarious position, layed two tiny eggs, and then fed and fledged two big babies, who still come to visit.
• Glenn T. Brazeal, Mutual 17
I’m gratified and thankful for the present—and also the past that brought me to Leisure World. It was around 1965 that I happened by LW and considered having my mom live here. However, she was living in Memphis at the time, and it just didn’t work out.
Before I moved here, I often enjoyed the Amphitheater programs, dances and other specials with a lady who lived here already. It seemed as if everyone was on vacation.
With my daughter in Denver and my son in Houston, I began to think of my long-range plan. LW was already on my mind, and I uprooted from Paramount and moved here in December 2017.
Miguel, a younger friend, shares my residence and helps me a lot. This gives me time to enjoy the gym and the many other amenities. I’m thankful for the friendly residents that I’ve met here, the management and the close-by businesses, all of which leave nothing to be desired.
• Zsa-Zsa Kovats, Mutual 2 Hello, all! I’m fairly new to LW and am thankful for the many kind, considerate and caring residents here! I appreciate such a warm welcome. May the God of our Father and Lord, Jesus Christ, continue to bless you daily. Happy Thanksgiving.
• Bev Bender, Mutual 17
I have so many things to be thankful for, but the following are just a few of my top ones: Hot shower, plenty of food, friends who care about me, my sense of humor, own my home, and I am able to take advantage of continuing education. Also, my daughters are independent; I am a cancer survivor; and I don’t live in Texas or Afghanistan.
• Hazel Eileen Dohl, Mutual 11 I am thankful for every day. I am thankful for my heart. We all have a heart (if our heart did not beat, we would not be here). So let’s give thanks for every day of our life.
Also thanks for my body, family, friends, for the sun, moon and stars, and for prayer, exercise and walking, which got me through COVID-19.
• Anna Derby, Mutual 5
Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on how fortunate we are to celebrate our lives with family we love unconditionally, friends who are like family and neighbors who take care of each other.
I am especially grateful for the COVID- 19 vaccine that has saved hundreds of lives and given us the opportunity to see family after more than a year of lockdowns. And finally I can hug our grandchildren now that they have an opportunity to get vaccinated.
This year, Thanksgiving means that we get to celebrate the day with our favorite dishes. We get to sit down at the table to catch up on those difficult two years that are now behind us, hopefully. And we get to look forward to our grandchildren doing what they love to do. After all, they are the ones we’re hoping will accomplish their dreams.
• Ruthie Nelson, Mutual 7 I’m thankful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for his faithfulness and many blessings especially through the pandemic.
We are still here. I’m grateful to the GRF administration and all the departments for protecting us and helping us, plus going the extra mile. I’m thankful for the LW Library (where we could call in our book orders), the food trucks that came in daily, the LW Weekly that kept us informed, plus Zoom and email.
I’m glad that the Optum Health Care Center stayed open, and the COVID shots were made available to every one of us. The buses kept going around, and Security was always there for us. It was wonderful that we could have church services at the Amphitheater while the clubhouses were shut down.
I am grateful for all of it.
•Jeanne Haislett Pontac, Mutual 10
I have a renewed appreciation for my relationships, both social and professional, and the creative ways we have been able to stay connected through the various seasons of the pandemic.
I am able to work at home, via teleconference, and my husband, Tom, continues to take boxing classes via Zoom.
This allows us to have more time with each other, as we rarely need to drive. I always wondered how we would do if I retired and spent more time at home.
I treasure my extra time with Tom. Neighbors have had safe get-togethers that are more meaningful, for which I am thankful.
• Kaye Huff, Mutual 7
I have so much to be thankful for here in Leisure World, and my blessings have greatly increased now that my niece Cookie and her husband, Paul Bordinaro, have moved into Mutual 3. They enjoy so many activities here, discovering more and more as things are opening up. It’s possible you will see them biking around; you can wave at them. They are very friendly.
• Charlotte Cone, Mutual 6 Gratitude is a powerful catalyst. When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or are grateful for where you are, what you have experienced and what is yet to be. With the passing of my husband, Ken, in 2021, I experienced a loss greater than any other, but I choose to be grateful for the 25 years of laughter, love, music and wine we shared together rather than the loss. Moving into Mutual 6 in 2017 was truly a blessing because of the neighbors I met who have become friends. My family and friends (most have moved or are moving into LW) will always be the spark that lights joy in my life.
There is always something to be grateful for.
Cherry Hostler, Mutual 15, couldn't believe her luck at having a hummingbird select her patio to build its nest.