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February 10, 2011

Home Notes: Balloon volleyball is a blast

BY SUSAN KENYON

“Sport is a preserver of health.” _ Hippocrates The history of volleyball dates back to 1895 when William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director created a game called “Mintonette.”

Though similar to tennis and handball, it was designed to be less rough than basketball, but still to be a fun and athletic sport. However, while watching the game, one of the spectators stated that there was a lot of “volleying” during the game. Thus, the name was changed to volleyball.

Recently my husband and I attended our daughter, Elle’s, J.V. volleyball game at Cooperstown Central School. It was while watching and rooting for her team that I thought “What a fun sport, if only the residents and staff could play volleyball, but the ball is so hard. What if we replaced the volleyball with a balloon?’’

With the assistance of Frank Miller, our facilities manager, a volleyball net was set up in the activities room, chairs were placed strategically and teams were assembled.

Art Laidlaw, Maureen Micek, Laura Black, Laurie Blatt, and Pat DeBaun were team, “Velvet Frogs”, while Bunny Laidlaw, Ellen Hankin, Carol Affourtit, Kathy Lindberg, Frank Rollins and Shelia Jones were team, “Raising Hares.’’

Assigning myself as referee, I blew the whistle signaling the start of the game. The balloon was served, double quicks, cut shots, jousts, line shots and back row attacks ensued.

Three out of five games determined the winning team: “Velvet Frog !”

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.’’ _ Vince Lombardi At our Eden home we serve each other and work as a team to create meaning and joy in each others’ lives.

Adaptability, imagination and patience are essential to alleviating boredom, loneliness and helplessness. Many of our staff provide one-on-one and spontaneous group activities.

Nancy Rackmyer, LPN, offered residents a viewing of the PBS documentary, by Ken Burns, “Lewis and Clark.’’ Eight residents took comfortable seats in our library and with fresh, buttery popcorn, cool drinks and an extra-large screen television, the lights were dimmed and the film was shown.

As an activity director, I am always searching for new and interesting programs, games,  information and with the NewYear upon us I learned that the Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 3rd this year. This knowledge, in turn, prompted me to look up the Chinese Zodiacs of our residents and staff. This year, 2011, is being celebrated  as the “Year of the Rabbit’’ inChina. I found the following stats.

We have three Monkeys,  four Sheep, Dragons andRoosters, five Oxen, Pigs and Snakes, seven Dogs, eight Tigers, nine Horses and in honor of the Year of the Rabbit, five Rabbits who include PCA Alex Melniczenko and residents Doris Blomquist, Fannie Navarra, Art Laidlaw and ironically enough, his wife Natalie Laidlaw, whom he affectionately nicknamed “Bunny.’’ Here’s to all you Rabbits!

And last, but not least, we have one Rat, who just happens to be our wonderful cook, Darcey Schilling!

“A lot of people, they get all caught up in the New Year’s resolution thing and I think it gives them an easy way, later, to say, ‘Oh, that was just a New Year’s resolution’ and not take it seriously. People who really want to make changes  can make them any day ofthe year, whether it be the  Jewish New Year, the ChineseNew Year or any day that suits them. You’ve got every day of your life to make changes.’’ _ Dr. James Wilcox.

In concluding our month of January, we decided to celebrate with a Chinese meal.

Our local Chinese restaurant, Foo Kin John, provided us with a delicious menu of wonton soup, spring rolls, beef with broccoli, chicken with vegetables and white rice.

Our sweet tooths were satisfied with vanilla ice cream and of course, fortune cookies!

After reading our future predictions, we retired to our spacious living room where LPN Mary Butler’s brother, David Kircher, gave a talk and slideshow of his bicycle trip through Lao, or Laos.

Unity in the exploration of new challenges brings people together as a team, resulting in positive outcomes.

Be it in a physical challenge such as balloon volleyball, an educational documentary or a change in menu to Chinese, our Eden Home provides each resident  with physical, mental andsocial events which energize and engage us in each others’ lives. Whether you choose to be part of the team or part of the cheering squad, we are all working toward a winning game, which by the way, Cooperstown won!

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