GUEST COLUMN from GRACE KULL
Free For 98 Years,
Now In Confinement
This month marks the first anniversary of my move to Woodside Hall, One Main St., Cooperstown. Half of that time has been spent in lockdown due to the coronavirus. And oh my, has my
In my 98 years, I have never been restricted in any way as to where I can go. Now the extent of my travelling is a few blocks to Bassett Hospital for doctor’s appointments.
However, if I have to be restricted, Woodside Hall is the place to be.
Karen Cadwalader and Stephen Cadwalader, owners and directors of Woodside Hall, have abided by all the rules and regulations to keep us safe.
Tape on the floor indicates spots six feet apart, where it is safe to stand or sit. Diners are seated six feet apart at mealtime. Masks are required to be worn if you are closer than six feet. All staff wear masks and have their temperature taken before they are admitted to the house and are routinely tested for COVID-19.
They are all cheerful and helpful and do everything and anything for us: Keeping our rooms clean, doing our laundry, helping with personal hygiene if required, giving meds, serving delightful meals prepared by our talented kitchen staff. I thank them all.
The most unhappy part was that, for six months, we could not have visitors inside, and had to visit through closed windows. That meant no physical contact with our families. That’s hard.
Barbara Sullivan, activities director, always has interesting activities planned for us, be it games, painting, crafts or discussion groups. And of course, BINGO.
Even I add to the “entertainment” by reading aloud from my two books of letters and Jim Atwell reads to us from his book about living in Fly Creek.
Mary Margaret Kuhn, besides planting and tending to the lovely gardens outside, leads interesting activities inside. She even brought a huge container of flowers from her home garden for us to arrange in vases to brighten tables around the house including our own rooms if we choose. Love it.
The biggest change in me over this time is in my appearance. I have always worn my hair quite short, but after six months with no haircut, my hair is down past my ears. When I look in the mirror, I see that famous portrait of George Washington with his white wig on. Do you know the one I mean?
I can’t wait for Doris Loiacona, who used to come in and keep us well coiffed, to be allowed in again so I can have a haircut and look like my own self again.
I also can’t wait for this whole pandemic to be over and for the world to be back to normal, if that will ever really be possible. I for one, doubt it. But it will be better. This too shall pass.
Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂 It is refreshing to hear a positive story about retirement homes instead of just the negative. I am sure your family is so thankful that you are in a place where the people love and care about you 🥰 Although our lives are not the same, you are right, this too shall pass!! I am thankful that at 98 you are still making the most of life. Again, thank you for sharing your story!
We did not know you were living again in Cooperstown and it is very good to hear that Woodside Hall is your home now. I have visited many times in the past and enjoyed informative events there. I have a lot of admiration for Karen Cadwalader and all that she arranges for both residents and the community. Hopefully there will be a time when we can visit again.
Thanks for your most enjoyable accounting of your life at Woodside Hall.