In my last blog post I shared observations around my campus focusing on my sense of sight. It got me thinking about my other senses, so I took time to focus on what I hear and smell at Country Meadows.
As I enter the atrium where many programs are held, I hear the happy voices of residents chatting and laughing, and a speaker sharing knowledge on an interesting topic. In another area, I hear a gifted pianist performing followed by the applause from appreciative residents. I sniff some wonderful fresh flowers placed in the lobby and enjoy their delicate bouquet.
In the Governor’s Lounge, I hear laughter and conversations of residents enjoying Happy Hour. Someone calls to another person down the hall, using hand-held phones for quick communication between staff members.
At any given time of day I hear voices expressing greetings to one another, or to a staff member…a warm “Hello”, or caring “How are you today?”, or even a brief “Hi there!” Often these are punctuated by the use of the person’s name, which makes the greeting much more personal.
In the dining room I notice the clinking sound of glasses and dishes as they are being placed on the tables. Delicious smells are coming from the kitchen which stimulate my appetite. It makes me think about the grand smells every summer that came from the outdoor grill and campfire when cooking s’mores or hotdogs. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water!
Once in a while I hear the shrill sound of a fire drill and hope it’s just a drill and not the real thing! Another sound I don’t like is that of an ambulance approaching our facility, announcing that someone may be taken to the hospital.
As I walk down the hall, I hear the sound of a TV coming from someone’s apartment as a resident views the news, or perhaps a show, or maybe just listens to music. In the morning I smell toast and coffee coming from an apartment—not all residents choose to go to the dining room for breakfast. And speaking of breakfast, I always know it’s Wednesday by the smell of eggs and bacon cooking!
When I get to the chapel I hear the voices and music from performers talking, singing and playing instruments. Paying attention to what is being said or played is critical—they’re all very good.
Laughter is one sound I always enjoy hearing; perhaps it was stimulated by someone telling a good joke, or relating a funny story or event. Each person has a special laugh—it may be loud or soft, but laughter is a lovely sound.
When an apartment is being readied for a new resident, the sound of a hammer or drill is unmistakable. But we know it will end soon and we’ll have a new neighbor.
Often I hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner as members of the housekeeping staff do their daily rounds to keep our apartments in top condition. Or it might be the sound of the carpet cleaner making its round of the hallways.
Next time you visit Country Meadows, open your ears and nostrils to discover these sounds and smells. Add these senses to what you see, and you’re well on your way to developing an awareness of your own senses.