Thankful Hands at Trillium Woods

Residents at Trillium Woods are proving that there’s plenty to be thankful for this year, reflecting on how they’ve had a hand in helping their communities throughout their lives and today. Enjoy their stories and thoughts on gratitude and thankfulness below.

Christine and Dennis K.

Residents at Trillium Woods hold their hands out

Keep calm and volunteer! What a blessing it has been for us to give some time at The Birches. We have had the opportunity to meet many new friends and share part of their day as we volunteered with The Birches residents. Pre-pandemic, we were able to participate and lead exercise classes called Music & Movement with the fitness center staff on a weekly basis. We also participated in weekly Trailblazer walks around the campus with The Birches Residents. Once onsite at Trillium Woods, The Birches residents were often greeted by so many of us and lit up with joy. We also helped when The Birches staff took residents on outings to places like Bachman’s for the Christmas display or to Como Park.

For now, we will continue with window visits in The Birches Courtyard, share some stories, listen to their day, and just be there. Most of all, we let them know we care about their wellbeing. Blessings to all during this wondrous season.

Ann J.

Lake Camelot is an important part of our Trillium Woods community life. When the south boardwalk fell into disrepair and there was talk of not replacing it, I spearheaded an effort to save the boardwalk. A group of Trillium Woods residents gathered petition signatures and many residents wrote testimonials for a book, which was presented to the Plymouth Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission. I gave a presentation representing the residents’ strong advocacy for replacement of the boardwalk. The replacement issue, while not guaranteed yet, was placed on the Plymouth Community Five-Year Plan. So, be ready for the next chapter.

For several years I have also volunteered at The Birches, assisting with the Movement & Music and Trailblazers walks, as well as visiting with former independent living residents and others. Spending time with the residents is truly a rewarding experience and one that I miss greatly during the restrictions of this unprecedented time.

Becky M.

I am thankful for my family and our early connection with music. Music has always been a large part of my life. In my family, there were six children and we all played instruments (drums, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, piano and voice). I also am thankful for all the times I have worked with children of all ages. I helped write a musical to raise money for my church, and then came bells! My children were raised, and they needed a director for the bells, so I began learning the techniques.

Our minister decided to take a pilgrimage to Eastern Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.  What a wonderful opportunity to share our bells with people of different cultures. It was wonderful to see the expressions of joy and awe on their faces. We sang, played and after the concert, we planted a tree for those that had been destroyed during the war at every church.  The people joined in ringing with us. This was the beginning of many trips overseas to become connected with people of different cultures.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with children and adults of all ages. Music is joyous! People are fun! Children are forever exciting! Put it all together – what more can you ask of life?

Dan M.

I was a reckless kid. At age seven, I was hit by a car and received a fractured skull. Everything was fine for the next six years, then I was caught in a rockslide and suffered a fractured pelvis. I was immobilized for seven weeks. I am thankful to have healed well and have enjoyed a fruitful life. One of my joys was always playing golf. I am thankful to my mother for her encouragement to learn the piano and sing, which was a large part of my youth that has continued throughout my life.

Masonry has been very important in my life, as it was to my father and grandfather. I am thankful that I have been able to be very active in Masonry and Shrine, holding many offices.  The Shriners and Masons raise money that provides care to children with orthopedic conditions and other specialized pediatric care. I cannot forget the many early mornings feeding people at the Minnesota State Fair to raise money for the Shriners Children’s Hospital. I am thankful for being able to give to others.

Rich S.

Let us speak of the Gift of Communion. Let us dwell on the sharing or exchange of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level. Is it not more valuable than ever during these troubled and turbulent times? Communion is embodied in support groups within Trillium Woods that refuse to desist, outliving even politics and the dreaded pandemic. These special gatherings survive, even grow, not because of the facilitator, but due to the dedication and commitment of the attendees.

Whether men who trust in each other and care to share, or patients of Parkinson’s Disease, accompanied by loyal caregivers, or even writers who compose alone, then read as one – group interactivity spawns trust and friendship and knowledge and the belief of betterment. I have been blessed over the past five years being involved with all of these, and the encouragement I have received is beyond definition. Indeed, psychic income is alive and well.

Learn more about community life at Trillium Woods by clicking here.