AARP AARP States Oregon

Changing Seasons - Except in an Alf

Spring tulips

Ever so quietly. Ever so surreptitiously. Ever so delicately. Spring is springing.

Daffodils flaunt their yellow diadems. Crocuses issue forth their lilac blades. Lilies flutter their white fingers.

It’s Spring again/And birds/On the wing/Again

Not only do they start to sing again, but they herald a new season.

That’s the gentleness of seasonal change in Oregon. In Iowa, where I emigrated from, Spring enveloped us more violently: over worked sump-pumps couldn’t clear the water from melting snow on our lawns, out of our basements; spring also harbinged tornadoes. Summer was a furnace so the corn could grow. Winter was howling wind and snow drifts and the raucous sound of snow blowers. Fall was freezing in football stadia.

While life in the yawning, unfettered expanse of nature, has either its tumultuous (Iowa) or subtle (Oregon) change of seasons, life in Long Term Care-land remains standardized.

Awake at 7:00. Meals at 8:00, 2:00, and 5:00. Showers twice a week. Laundry once a week. Activities after meals. Movies Friday nights.

(Of course there are bursts of individuality and change – but the famed first commercial for Apple computers holds say.)

And, perhaps, that’s as it should be: Old Folks don’t like change. We like our comfort zone. Normalization is safe. Standardization is comfortable. Routine is security.

Let the wind howl , the snow blow. The seasons change. We sit without care in front of the fireplace.

Dick Weinman is an AARP Volunteer and our Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Guru.

About AARP Oregon
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.