Julie's Joy Filled Blog & FROG Centre News

  • Julie Bigham

The Longest Day

Friday June 21, 2019 was the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. It was also The Longest Day Event for the Alzheimer’s Association, and with the help of friends and family, I raised $260 for the Alzheimer’s Association as I planned my day of fun. “The day with the most light, is the day we fight”, and that day is now in the history books, leaving fond memories for me to cherish!

I started my day at The Haven at Highland Creek in Concord. With residents gathered together in the common area, I brought out my Treasure Box filled with little summer time trinkets. One by one, residents pulled an item out of the box, then shared memories that the item brought back from vacations spent at the beach! When asked what they liked to do most at the beach, Mr. B said, “I loved to watch the girls, and the girls loved to watch me.” We ended our reminiscence session with some favorite summer tunes like “You are my Sunshine”, and “Bicycle Built for Two”.

Next up, Autumn Care Cornelius. Although I repeated the Treasure Box activity with each group, the memories shared were awesomely unique. While discussing the need for a boat anchor, a WWII Navy man was reminded of his time spent on the ocean, and shared the story of how he chose the Navy over the Army, “Why walk when you can ride?”, he’d thought to himself. Makes perfect sense to me.

With some time to spare between stops, I was able to head over to the Longest Day Event being held at the North Mecklenburg Senior Center. It was game day, and the center was filled with people playing games! There was fun, fellowship, and great food for all, and a big game of Bingo planned for the afternoon! I had a great time joining in a game of Skip Bo and learning to play Left, Right, Center! I will definitely be adding these jewels to a family game night.

Just after lunch I was off again to another facility in Charlotte. Peak Resources had a room full of smiling faces waiting for my arrival. I started this activity by asking participants to tell me about a favorite summer vacation, and several recounted trips to Niagara Falls. As one resident began to pull an item out of my Treasure Box, the message in a bottle caught her eye. When asked what participants thought the note might say, many answered “save me”. I couldn’t help but ask who they would most like to be stuck on an island with, and the ladies were all in agreement, Denzel Washington!

Next, I had the opportunity to relive some fun at Clare Bridge at Carriage Club, my old work home! We had great fun chatting about sea shells, lighthouses, and avoiding sunburn with sun screen. The smell of Coppertone brought back memories of the little girl on the front of the bottle of lotion, with the puppy dog tugging at her bathing suit.

My final stop for the day was The Citadel on Providence Road. Up on the 3rd floor, residents gathered to share some fun summertime memories. The ladies did an action-packed rendition of “Row, Row, Row your Boat” while the men just watched, but much to my surprise, when asked who they would most like to be stuck on an island with, one fellow said “Mary Ann” from Gilligan’s Island. He liked her much better than Ginger!

The day was filled with a lot of travel, loads of fun, many bright smiles, and fond memories of summers past, and I made about 60 news friends. I truly can’t think of a better way to spend “The Longest Day” of the year!


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