Category Archives: Activity Committees

New Year’s Eve at Collington

Thanks to the Hospitality Committee and the staff of the Culinary Services Department, on the evening of December 31st some 80 – 90 residents enjoyed a splendid evening of dining, drinking and dancing, bidding farewell to 2017, and welcoming in the New Year.

Our fellow residents were resplendent in fine attire.   There were suits, ties, tuxes on our gentlemen, and an array of outfits from charming to chic on our ladies.  Grant Bagley was there taking pictures.  Be sure to check out this slideshow.

 

The evening started with a cocktail bar (Yolanda mixing, and Vionne and colleagues pouring) providing attendees with a variety of drinks to enjoy in the corridor alongside Clarita’s miniature pictures.  A delicious 3-course surf and turf dinner was served in the Auditorium, beside elegant centerpieces provide by our Flower Committee.

No sooner had the four-piece band began to play gentle tunes from the American songbook, than couples were coming up to dance.  A memory of the 70s – a mirror ball (thank you Grant) – provided the atmosphere that propelled many to dance to slow and faster numbers.

New Year’s Eve at Collington was designated to occur at 9:30 pm. There were champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries.  Hugs and kisses, and good wishes were exchanged. our servers and chefs received a round of applause.  Many thanks to our MC, Greg Gay, and his wife, Marlane Liddell, co-chairs of the Hospitality Committee for a perfect start to the New Year.

staff

Intelligent Re-utilization of Used Materials

Contributed by Dorothy Yuan

Finally, upon the much-anticipated completion of The Landing and other revised Collington space, the temporary road used for construction can now be removed.   Instead of discarding the asphalt milling, it is being used to improve part of the perimeter trail going into the woods.

Yuan collage

Planting Collington’s First Flower Meadow

Contributed by Alice Nicolson and Marian Fuchs

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On Friday 8 December, 18 months after Jane Engle, Peter Pfund and Alice Nicolson first walked with a meadow guru around campus to evaluate the status of the various meadow areas, native plants were being installed on the slope below the beehives (on the way to the community center) to form the first flowering meadow on campus – the first of many, perhaps.

“A year from now this will be a thing of beauty,” said the supervisor of the six men doing the soil improvement and planting.  The project planting guide gives a glimpse of how things will look.  The plan for the left half of the 3000 sq ft meadow is shown below.

The large circles marked Rc will be dwarf sumac shrubs.   The smaller dots will combinations of butterfly weed, milkweed, switchgrass, white beardtongue, slender mountain mint, little bluestem, Virginia spiderwort and heartleaf golden Alexander.  (Stirring and delightful names!)

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Another portion of the planting guide, shown below, shows the color scheme of the flowers and the foliage, and their bloom time.

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Preparing the meadow was hard work.

The meadow will consist of native plants, accustomed to growing in our campus soil.  So the workmen did not improve the area.  Instead the existing lawn grass was killed and each new plant had a hole drilled to receive it. (See the man drilling above right.)  As each section was planted, a light layer of mulch was spread (see above left). This willl be the only addition to the planting area. For the first year or two the meadow will be hand-weeded, but after that it will need only a single spring mowing and once-over to remove any invasive tree seedlings.

The meadow already has people who care for it.  Snow covered the meadow the day after it was planted, but once the snow melted, the area dried quickly and our new horticulturalist, Kyle Olsen, was seen staying late to give the entire meadow a good watering.

Naming is a nuanced issue here at Collington, but many of us will always think of this area as “Jane’s Meadow.”

HEROES and Me

Since arriving at Collington this May, Nancy and I have participated in so many old and new pleasures.  Book clubs, memoir writing, tai chi, yoga, balance and beyond classes fill the days.  Plus innumerable volunteer opportunities allow us to expand beyond ourselves.  Growth is inevitable.  Nancy has learned all about haunted houses and how to become the scariest of Collington witches.  And I have become immersed in the theater.  Let me explain.

After attending a few drama committee meetings, I volunteered to help out with the upcoming play, HEROES.  Sometime after rehearsals started I was asked to help the assistant director;  she needed a prop lady.  My journey began by attending rehearsals and moving a few things around.

Experiencing the production of HEROES was a gift.  Watching 3 wonderful neighbors act like 3 confused old men in the manner of vaudeville and observing amusingly stealthy Sister Madeleine plague the men can hardly be called work. Watching the director and assistant director ply their trade will never allow me to see live theater again in the same way.  The inventiveness of the lights and scenery man just plain appealed to my engineering self.  The chanteuse and her accompanist could do no wrong.

3 men and flag

 

Contributing in my own small way — where to place a chair, fetch water, cue actors when to go on stage, tape ear mikes in place, push the button on the video recorder or even teach geese the correct way to fly — made the experience one that I want to take on again and again.

My biggest joy was the camaraderie and constant laughter to the very last bow.  Thank you one and all.

Booker and Beyond Book Club

contributed by Dorothy Yuan

Eighteen of us gathered for an interesting discussion of the book selection of the month: “Pachinko”.  The discussion extended beyond the book content to discrimination within and between nationalities as well as the influence of the intrinsic characteristics usually associated with different peoples.

If you happen upon a book that you think maybe of interest to the group please send it to me (dcyuan01@gmail.com) and I will add it to the list of candidates to be voted on by the group.

The next meeting of the Club is scheduled for December 12, when we will discuss the interesting novel “Home Fire” by Kamila Shamsie.  Discussion will be led by Sara Case.