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Memory Garden September Look Back

With the onset of the Fall season, September has been a month of transition to cooler and shorter days. We find ourselves looking forward to the beauty of the changing leaves, football and pumpkin spice!

Our Memory Garden residents have enjoyed a wide variety of musical talents this month, including Lucille Shurkus, Michael Dennehy and Rick Bruening. We also ventured over to Tanglewood’s main lounge for the ever popular concert w/Bart & Bumpy. Dave Johnson gave his monthly performance, bringing his banjo and accordion as our residents savored some delicious creamsicle floats. Lucille Miller graced us with her piano playing during our monthly birthday party. Don Sandy rocks the house every Wednesday morning with his lively polka music during coffee house and Wednesday afternoons Spencer Drake plays guitar leading our residents in up beat sing alongs.

For our take out Friday lunch we brought in some delicious food from Applebee’s Restaurant. We also had a lunch outing at Honest John’s. Everybody filled up at the buffet leaving just enough room for ice cream.

On National Pepperoni Pizza Day which just so happened to fall on National Punch Day, we of course had a pizza and punch party. The residents enjoy a slice of warm cheesy pepperoni pizza and yummy pizza rolls with a glass of homemade punch. We played some pizza related word games and puzzles while Dean Martin’s, “That’s Amore” played in the back round.

We brought out the tea hats again for the monthly tea party. The residents sipped on their favorite flavored tea and nibbled on scrumptious cookies while listening to the tunes of Mitch Miller. Our bakers came together and made some delectable loaves of cream cheese filled banana bread.

On National Read a Book Day we read some fascinating stories from the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. National Chocolate Milkshake Day found our residents sipping on chocolate milkshakes while laughing to episodes of “I Love Lucy”.

Tapping into our creativity, our residents crafted some Labor Day decorations using a marble painting technique on cardstock stars. They look great hanging in the activity room. We also crafted some leaf shaped sun catchers made in festive Fall colors. Hanging in the windows of the front lobby, they fit right in with the Fall decorations.

Nursery Rhyme trivia brought back a lot of great memories for our residents of bed time stories with their children and grand children, remembering so many nursery rhymes long thought forgotten.  We also did some fun Fall trivia questions on the first day of Autumn. ‘What’s in the Bag?’ is a fun sensory game. The residents have to guess what’s in the bag by putting their hand in and touching the item without looking.

Throughout the month the residents have been very active playing games including basketball toss and balloon volleyball which involves trying to keep 20 balloons in the air by hitting them to each other. Other fun physical activities are bowling, ring toss and kickball (everybody sits in a circle and kicks the ball to each other). Noodle ball is a favorite game where participants sit in a circle and using pool noodles try to hit balloons to each other. Beanbag Twister involves tossing beanbags onto the Twister mat, trying to land on the colored circles designated by the spinner. Each circle has a different point value. The residents also enjoy a friendly competition of ladder ball by tossing short strands of rope with rubber balls on each end at a three rung ladder, trying to get the rope to wrap around a rung with the highest point value. Frisbee golf is another great game where the player tries to toss the Frisbee into the basket.

Everybody has to put on their thinking caps when we bring out the white board, playing word games such as Name 10 (name ten items in a certain category), hangman and word scrambles. Pictionary is a great party game in which players try to guess what’s being drawn on the board.

The residents love playing the 7-Up card game(Everyone is dealt seven cards face up and when one of their cards matches a card drawn from a different deck they turn their card over. The first to turn over all their cards wins!), Fact or Fiction ( A player draws a prepared statement about themselves and everyone has to guess if that statement is fact or fiction about that player.) and Giant Kerplunk (pull out a stick but don’t let the marbles fall).

Our vegetable garden has produced a number of cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans. Right now we’re waiting on some developing watermelons. The gardeners in the group have enjoyed planting, growing and harvesting these delicious veggies.

We embrace October and anticipate more fun games and entertainment! If you have any questions or comments for upcoming activities, please contact Margaret Wright, Memory Garden Activities Coordinator at (716)488-9434 ext 2226, or email at