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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Senior Citizen Day Care Home

Senior citizens can continue to live in a comfortable world if proper infrastructure is provided for them. Their children are all grown up now, and their duties almost complete, they have the time to do what they please, if their health permits. Sadly they have the limited capacity to do things and they get bored easily. Okay, I agree, they can go for walks, or to religious or social events, or watch TV all day, but still that is not enough. Their family have the life of their own and may not get time to pamper their parents, so its important that there is some day care centre where they can be entertained regularly.

One such seniors day care centre I visited in Frisco, a small town in Dallas. My uncle and aunt, who are in their late 70s, visit this government sponsored centre regularly. A bus transports them to and fro from their house to the centre, picking up more seniors on their way. Frisco Senior Centre is a beautiful place to spend few hours everyday.

This one has an impressive entrance that sets you in the mood.

They have volunteers on regular basis who come to help with different activities. There are regular doctor visits for different problems like ENT, heart specialist, physicians, etc who look after their health problems and advise them on how to keep fit providing free medications.

There are lots of activities happening at this centre. Every month they have birthday celebration where the seniors celebrate their birthday month together. During my stay in Dallas, it was my uncle’s birthday, and I decided to attend the birthday party.

Everybody was asked to bring a dish catering to eight people. There was a great variety of food from every participant. People were called to the dinning area in turns, by calling out the birthday persons first, then smaller groups according to their table numbers. Everything was systematically managed. There was variety entertainment program after lunch. Birthday persons were given a chance to speak about themselves, and this was followed by musical show put up by the senior people at the centre. It was interesting to see all the participants dressed in cowboy style with hats and scarfs and singing the country songs.  The music program was amazing. I was told that they had been practising for this day since a month, sometimes waiting till late evenings. They had formed their own music and singing group and met regularly at the centre.

How can they ever get bored when the centre provides all the comfort? Different room had different activities and people could choose the room according to their interest.

There were cards room with round tables, this also had comfortable sofas for people who sit prefer to relax watching TV.

In the canteen room, one could buy food and drinks at nominal rates

While some people chatted over cup of coffee, there were separate tables for people who preferred to enjoy playing board games with friends.

In one room there were 2 billiard tables..what a wonderful game!

There was table-tennis room

Art and craft room had people who were interested in needle work and other handicraft work. They sat together to create beautiful work that they sold during annual exhibition held at the centre itself. I had the opportunity to visit the exhibition on another day and even bought shawls, and costume jewellery.

In the gym room, besides the equipments there was a large TV too so that they could watch TV while exercising.

Then was was a computer room where you could check your mail or play online.

The library room was really beautiful with comfortable sofa and a soft music in the background.

Every morning, five days a week, uncle and aunt get ready at 9am to wait for the bus to arrive and they are gone for good 4-5hours at the centre, come home after lunch to get their afternoon sleep, go to the park in the evenings and late evenings they sit with their ipads or TV and watch their favourite programs. Outstation trips are also planned regularly, while I was there, uncle spoke about the cruise that the centre was organising at nominal rates of 500 US dollars for one week stay. Uncle was quite excited to take this trip because he is very fond of travelling.

Their time is spend beautifully and family members happy too that their senior members have some diversions away from home……

Monday, 31 August 2015

Fishing Trail at Bull Sluice Lake

No, I do not go out for fishing, I don't even have the patience to wait for a catch, but nevertheless, I was very amused at the little boy of 5years jumping up and down excitedly, waiting to see the fish trapped on the line. He helped his father roll in the cord and would hand the rod back to his father,then run back few meters away and wait while his papa adjusted the bait at the end of the line and swing the fishing line to the far end of the lake and then he would come back to hold the rod and hoping to lure a catch.

Bull Sluice Lake is the extension of Chattahoochee Lake that I had visited earlier. This is the shallow end of the lake closer to the Morgan Falls Dam, that generates enough electricity to light up more than 4000 homes in the Atlanta

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Centennial Olympic Park Is a Lovely Spot To Visit In Atlanta.

The first thing that attracted me as I approached the Centennial Olympic Park was the voice of the singer, Tina P as she performed in the concerts on the recreation side of the park at Southern Company Amphitheater.

It could be heard all the way for quite a distance  till we reached the ‘Fountain of Rings’, and then I got distracted with the children playing in the interactive water sprinklers. We had just missed the 6:30 session of computer-controlled lights and jets of water that synchronizes with music. But it fun, watching young kids in the water play area that consists of 251 jets over five large olympics rings.

There were different flags surrounding the fountain area, that represented the host countries of each summer Olympics preceding the 1996 games.

Eight 65 foot tall light towers reminds me of classical Greek marker columns.

There were several pieces of sculptures scattered through the park.

The walking path was paved with small engraved bricks, alternating light and dark red, with short messages, bought by people who supported by contributing towards the cost for construction of this park.

We sat in the park for sometimes and then walked on the other side to enjoy the excellent views of the park and the surrounding area in a joy ride on the 200 foot ferris wheel, till the sun begun to settle down.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Chattahoochee Coffee Company in Atlanta

Long drive through wooded area, we reached a gated residential complex, we seeked permission and entered the private residential complex to have a cup of coffee at Chattahoochee Coffee Company, but oooh la la..What a place!!

We just ordered croissants and capuchins and walked towards Chattahoochee river, sat by the river side sipping coffee till the sun set…..

I could sit here all day because there is so much one can do. In the coffee shop there were comfortable lounges where one could have social meetings or sit and relax, just reading a book perhaps. Outside in the patio, many people sat relaxed, browsing the virtual world on their laptop or mobile. Those who loved nature, walked down to Chattahoochee river to sit on the rocks with feet immersed in water or sit on the comfortable wrought Iron seats, closer to the river. There were some people canoeing down the stream.

This is the place where everybody can enjoy. Swimming pool on one side of the coffee shop and tennis court on the other side. a group of health conscious people were engrossed in Yoga activities. Other group of friends were enjoying a BBQ party in a barn closer to river. A group of children sat listening to the stories and were playing some games under adult supervision

More important, the place was clean and tidy. It was a perfect place to spend a day with self, just being surrounded by nature, if one chose to.

Loved the place.

I could sit here all day and watch the stream. It was so beautiful.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Holocaust Museum at Skokie

I have read many books on stories around holocaust survivors but the impact of going through Holocaust museum was still chilling.

Not that there are actual graphic depictions of the atrocities that were inflicted on Jews on exhibit, there is nothing like that, but the real stories of the survivors is gripping. You walk through the series of cubicles in the main exhibition hall. Each cubicle has exhibits of pictures of people and their activities during that period on the walls, some artifacts, some personal belonging like a purse, or a shoe, or a clothing and the videos of the survivors, who painfully tell their personal stories. The story unfolds as you walk from one cubicle to another. You walk through time, starting with World War 1, through rise of Nazis, the propaganda they used to portray Jews as the ones who bought down the German society, the disinformation they used making the world believe that they were taking Jews to safety when actually they were taking them to Ghettos, the train journey to gas chambers and the growth of the Nazi’s ‘final solution’

I was deeply pained to learn about the plight of young children who once lived a happy and normal lives, but were suddenly pull away from the comforts of a family life and were subjected to starvation and deprivation.

How could people be so cruel and indifferent to human sufferings? How could people have so much hatred and prejudice?

I sat in each cubicle (there was a bench to sit on in some cubicles) to watch videos of survivors. The videos gave the actual narration of the survivors who were children then (during that period). One of the survivors was the youngest in the group of 200 women, and she spoke about how everybody tried to protect her and shared their ration of food with her to keep her strong, giving her the best from the little that they had. In another video, survivor spoke of the stench and stink in the railway compartment, in which they were transported to concentration camps. A chill passed through my spine as I saw the miniature models of gas chambers and the actual railway car, that is restored and was on exhibit inside the museum. I saw some people entering the car to witness the pain (I could not) I was transported to another world and at times, I could feel as though it was in the middle of the war.

My mood lightened up when I went downstairs to the Educational hall, which was interactive with games and quiz, educating children on how to be kind and tolerant. Through this initiative, it fosters the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide.

‘Never again’ is the strong message you bring back home as you walk through the bookstall and out to the real world.

I spend more than three hours inside the museum but was not able to see all of it. Didn’t spend much time, watching each photograph minutely in the art gallery, nor did I wait to see the movie about genocide, nor did I enter the railway car, nor did I spend any time in the coffee shop. I wish I had.

I came out to wait for car to fetch me, it was still sunny and warm outside, a gentleman came up to me and offered me to come back inside the museum and wait in the the AC rooms. It was only two minutes wait, I did not go back in, but his kindness lingered on…….

if you are in Chicago, do go and have a lookie….
9603 Woods Dr
Skokie, IL 60077
b/t Golf Rd & Old Orchard Rd


"I shall seize the fate by its throat....

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....
"I shall seize the fate by its throat....It shall certainly not bend nor crush me completely"

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