By: Resident Elsa Price

img_1025In stoic beauty and stately elegance stands Plymouth Harbor, the tallest building in our fair city, her statuesque posture marking a landmark of distinction and excellence. This is home to many embraced as “family” with people from all walks of life! This is where 24 years ago my late husband Don and I found our lovely new home in the tower on the 23rd floor, where the horizon meets the sky in a breathtaking vista!

As a “long-term” resident may I reminisce a bit?     Perhaps it may seem as though you have moved into a “construction zone” with the noise of huge rumbling trucks,  the jarring staccato of  jackhammering from somewhere within, the tall cranes piercing the sky, and the daily rush of the many contractors as they sprint, charts in hand, up and down the floors. This, I note with great satisfaction, is commonly referred to as progress!

Believe me, it was not this way many years ago when a dreary, lifeless color coated the entire outside of the building, including all inside halls and doors of each and every floor! It was not unlike a hotel, when one could not distinguish his room from all the others! Today, with the changes in administration over time, and the inspiration, motivation, and originality of incoming new residents, each floor now boasts lively colors, inviting those who live behind these doors to step out and greet their neighbors with a smile!

Of course, all this did not just “happen,” but rather it took the courage and initiative of many people throughout the years. These “visionaries” believed that beneath the drab, stark outward appearance of our building, it was quite promising that with a team of very talented, resourceful, and innovative people, miracles could happen! Indeed, happen they did!

With careful planning to the future needs of our expanding population, our small, rather bleak dining room was transformed to a spacious, cheerful welcoming area with attractive furniture and lovely artwork on the walls.

Keeping in mind first impressions matter, our previous nondescript lobby became a maze of “staging forms,” extending out from the elevators to the front desk so that a new look could be created, and residents tread carefully for many days under the complex network of scaffolding to get to our dining room! Attractive new facings enhanced the elevator doors, nonslip tile was laid on the lobby floor, and our mailboxes and front desk were reconfigured for greater vision for those working behind the desk. This was not without myriad confusion and provided an unforgettable exercise in patience!

Pilgrim Hall, our “gathering place” for many functions, holds a multitude of memories years past when residents whose latent theatrical talents blossomed as they enjoyed performing “on stage.” These very amusing, hilarious plays written by some of our more creative residents, whose previous vocation had been in the landscape of playwriting,  somehow always managed to project a satire or caricature of a “happening” within our hallowed halls! I was even inspired to participate in several of these plays and found the experience challenging, gratifying, and a real test of one’s memory! It is reassuring to know that Pilgrim Hall, currently undergoing extensive renovation, will provide our residents a bright, comfortable area in which to once again enjoy a multitude of diverse activities and programs.

As we age, exercise and mobility becomes more important, and that very fact is admirably reflected in our state-of-the-art Wellness Center. Careful attention and thought were given to the safety and the needs of residents, and instructors and trainers were hired with excellent credentials who would maintain the highest standards required. The pleasing ambiance of our Wellness Center beckons those who wish to find strength, relaxation, and companionship.

In the near future, we will have the very best that life has to offer with the completion of our new, much anticipated, “Memory Care Residence,” housed within the Northwest Garden Building, with a dedicated focus on creating a loving, safe retreat for those who require that very special care. The living areas will be thoughtfully designed with cheerful colors providing a soothing atmosphere, and will provide hope, peace, and joy to all who enter there, that each may live life with serenity and dignity as they make their final journey.

It is with a grateful heart that I pause and reflect on nearly 24 years in my home in the Tower, living within a vibrant community of people, where I have made lasting friends, and where new companions are warmly welcomed.  For many years I have watched as “Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay” has evolved into the impressive structure we see today.

Maintaining this level of excellence will continue to be guided, advised, and directed by our capable administration and staff who prudently calculate and project our future needs with foresight and transparency, always keeping us well informed.

And so it is, the “saga” of the THEN, and NOW!

Your friend and neighbor,

Elsa Price, T-2301