LSS Blog

America’s Three Most Beautiful Camping Spots, According to Lois Templeton

Lois Templeton, Breeze Park ResidentLooking to do some camping this summer? Before picking a destination, you’d be wise to talk to Lois Templeton.

“Before I moved to Breeze Park,” Lois says, “my husband John and I did a lot of camping and traveling. We went all over the country in a camper, and let me tell you — there are so many beautiful things here.”

So for her money, which was the best spot to camp? “Colorado was my favorite,” she says. “We loved it. We went back to Rocky Mountain National Park almost every year.” A close second for her was Yellowstone with its natural geysers, while the Smokey Mountains come in in third place. “But they’re all good. We have such a beautiful country to explore.”

Nowadays, Lois spends much of her time exploring her home at Breeze Park. “I do a lot of walking here,” she says. “I have to get out. If you just sit in your room, that would be boring.” When the weather’s nice, you can find her in the shady courtyard outside the window of her apartment. When it’s not as nice, she walks the halls and hits the gym to work with the weight machines.

Always moving…that’s Lois. And having just hit the 100-year mark, she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. “I don’t get bored,” she says with a smile. “I’m a positive thinker. I try to look for the good in things. The way I see it, there’s always something to do, and here, I have people to do things with.”

May we all have such an outlook when we reach our first century!

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in St. Charles, MO 63304, Breeze Park senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing.  For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Dog Days at Lenoir Woods

May 8 will go down in history at Lenoir Woods as the day the place went to the dogs. The community snipped the ribbon on its brand new dog park — a sun-dappled stretch of wooded grassland perfect for playing fetch with your four-legged friend. Many of our residents (human and canine alike) turned out to celebrate with a barbecue lunch and a quick romp around the place. Click below to see pictures from the day’s festivities!

Dog Days at Lenoir Woods

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in Columbia, MO 65201, Lenoir Woods senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Digital Fever: Chellis DeFord is LHV’s Resident Technophile

Explorer_June2014_LHV_Story1_BlogThe stockholders at Best Buy would LOVE Chellis DeFord.

Sitting on his couch in front of his SmartTV, he opens up his Chrome Book laptop to check his email. On one side of him he has his Kindle Fire for reading eBooks. On the other side, he has his iPad.

Chellis just has a natural affinity for technology. “It just attracts my attention,” he says. “I’m not a golfer. I don’t watch football. Keeping up with technology is a hobby of mine.”

It’s a hobby he came to later in life, he says. “I worked almost 40 years for the phone company, so I always was around kind of a smattering of technology,” he says, “but I didn’t get my first computer until 1994.” After taking a class in the basics of computer usage from a local college, he was just hooked.

Of course, he doesn’t spend all his time watching YouTube on his flatscreen; he’s been spending a lot of time exploring his new home at Lutheran Hillside Village. “With my wife gone, I wanted to do something and move somewhere while I was still young and able,” he says. “I didn’t want to wait and end up having to make my kids make that decision for me. They were tickled to death about that. This was all my idea; this is what I wanted.”

In the year since he moved in, Chellis hasn’t looked back. “Winter was great. I barely stuck my nose out the door,” he says with a grin. “They’ve got everything right here. Everybody’s so polite, and they make it clear that they’re all here to help you.”

If the definition of technology is a tool to make your life easier, would it be safe to say Lutheran Hillside Village is the ultimate technology? “I don’t know about that,” Chellis says. “But I will say I’m well pleased by what I see here. This place has been the best.”

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in Peoria, Illinois 61614, Lutheran Hillside Village senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Meramec Bluffs, Meet CityGarden

An elegant little urban playground nestled in the heart of downtown St. Louis, CityGarden features delightful art installations and well-manicured landscaping to delight the senses. Our residents took a leisurely tour of the place, and had a chance to sample the avant-garde hamburgers at Bailey’s Range restaurant while they were in the neighborhood! Click below to see images from our CityGarden trip!

Meramec Bluffs, Meet City Garden

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in Ballwin, Missouri 63021, Meramec Bluffs senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here

Fun in the Sun…Without the Sun! Rain Sends the Meridian Village Luau Indoors

A perfectly timed deluge sent the organizers of this year’s Meridian Village luau scrambling to relocate at the last moment…but between the musical stylings of the Ocean Trio Band and some top-notch work by the dining services team, the luau couldn’t have been any more of a success. Click below to see images from the day’s festivities.

Meridian Village Luau

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in Glen Carbon, IL 62034, Meridian Village senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

What Christians Do: Mel West Leads the Charge in Helping the Developing World

Explorer_June2014_LW_Story1_BlogAn afternoon spent talking with Lenoir Woods resident Mel West isn’t nearly long enough. You could listen to him talking about his career for hours and walk away with the impression that you’d barely scratched the surface.

“I was in Atlanta a few months ago to help celebrate house number 800,000 for Habitat for Humanity,” Mel says. “I was on the board there when it started with Jimmy Carter and all the rest. It’s made a lot of progress over the years.”

The list of organizations Mel has worked with over the years is a veritable who’s who of service agencies dedicated to helping feed, clothe, and provide for the world’s needy. Heifer International, which provides livestock and training for struggling communities. Echo, which helps with food production in the developing world. Alfalit International, which works to improve literacy worldwide. And many more.

Mel has been involved in mission work all his life, but his work on the world stage began when he helped start the Office of Creative Ministries at the Southern Methodist University in Columbia, Missouri. There, he began a number of mission activities that church workers carried to all the corners of the world.

But one of the programs nearest to Mel’s heart is PET, which stands for “Personal Energy Transportation”. “There are 21 million people in the world who have to crawl or be carried because they don’t have access to proper wheelchairs,” Mel says. “These are people who lost their legs due to landmines or illness.”

Working with a neighbor, Mel helped design the first PET, a handcrank-powered wheelchair with hauling capability. Then, he began working on a production and distribution model that would help get his invention into the hands of the people who needed it most.

“Very quickly, people begin finding a way to use the PETs to make a living,” Mel says. “I know of one man in Guatemala who lost the use of his legs because of polio. He crawled on the ground for 37 years as a beggar. When he got his PET, he made a little snack shop and hauled it around on a wagon. Immediately he became self-sufficient.”

Working with small production shops, the PET project produces some 6,000 wheelchairs a year for distribution in developing countries.

It seems helping people is just built into Mel West’s bones. “That’s just what Christians do,” Mel says. “I grew up in a very solid family and in a very close community. We all helped each other. I grew up with that spirit.”

In 2000, Mel came to another close-knit community — Lenoir Woods. “I was extremely busy with PET and all my other activities,” he says. “I didn’t have time to mow a yard or keep a house. So I decided it was time to make a change.” Lenoir Woods was a good fit for him, as the staff takes care of the little things, giving him a chance to continue doing what he feels he was put here to do — helping people.

“I remember a time when I was six years old,” Mel says. “It was during the dry Depression years. We were hard up, like everyone else. But Dad drove into town and brought back 50 pounds of ice to make a big two gallon batch of ice cream. Mom made angel food cake. And we took all this food back to town to the Methodist Church where they were having a social to raise money for mission activities to help people in other countries.”

“We didn’t have enough money to buy any of the cake and ice cream for ourselves that day,” Mel says. “Now, at the time, I really wanted that cake. But what impressed me, and what stuck with me, was that there were other people who were more important than me that evening.”

Today, 84 years later, Mel still keeps that lesson close to his heart.

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in Columbia, MO 65201, Lenoir Woods senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

No Password Required to Get into the Hidden Lake Speakeasy

The joint was swinging all afternoon long as the Riverbend Brass brought their big band sound to Hidden Lake’s first-ever Speakeasy. Fortunately, bathtub gin wasn’t on tap for the event, but champagne sure began to flow…at least until the “cops” showed up to bust the revelers for breaking Prohibition. Click below to see photos from before the raid started!

Hidden Lake Speakeasy

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We’d love to hear from you! Located in St. Louis, MO 63138, Hidden Lake senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Heel, Toe, Do-Si-Do: Boot Scoot Boogying on the Bluffs

If you hear the sounds of shuffling cowboy boots and country music coming from the multipurpose room at Heisinger Bluffs, you know it’s probably Donna Linnenbrink from the Show Me Bootscooters running another of her six-week line dancing courses. Click below to see photos from one of her recent classes. (And click here to check out the Bootscooters on Facebook!)

Boot Scoot Boogying on the Bluffs

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in St. Louis, MO 63138, Heisinger Bluffs & St. Joseph's Bluffs senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Jim and Sharon are Lutheran Royalty, and They’re Not Even Lutheran

Explorer_June2014_HL_Story1_BlogYou may not know Jim and Sharon Clayton, but those in St. Louis’ Lutheran community probably know their son, John.

“John used to be a broadcaster on KFUO AM,” says Jim. With KFUO being the radio arm of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, the Claytons are the next best thing to being Lutheran royalty in St. Louis. Which is funny, says Sharon, “because we’re not Lutheran. We’re elders in the Disciples of Christ.”

John was the one who first scouted out Hidden Lake for Jim and Sharon, and after moving in last December, they quickly discovered that you don’t need to be Lutheran to love living at a Lutheran Senior Services community.

“We’re settling in fine,” says Sharon. “We’re meeting a lot of people, and we’re participating in a lot of activities here.”

Exercise classes, religious services, game nights, out trips, and dinner in the dining room — Lutheran royalty or not, the Claytons are certainly getting used to being treated like a king and queen.

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We’d love to hear from you! Located in St. Louis, MO 63138, Hidden Lake senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Family Ties: Emma Bonnot Cares For Her Family… and For Yours

Emma Bonnot“Family means so much to me,” says Emma Bonnot. And she’s not just talking about her own family.

A mother of four, a grandmother of eight, and a great-grandmother of six (so far), Emma spends some of her free time helping other people’s families as well through the Afghans for Angels ministry.

“I love to crochet,” she says. “One of the other residents here found that out and asked if I’d be willing to help.” In this capacity, Emma found a perfect opportunity to use her natural predilection for crafting to help others.

And in between crocheting projects and trips to Hobby Lobby, Emma has no end of family members of her own in the area to see. “I have a lot of siblings in the area,” she says. “In fact, we got together this afternoon.”

It was Emma’s family that helped her make the move to Heisinger Bluffs in the first place. “My kids wanted people around me,” she says, “ and this place caught our eye immediately.” She chose an apartment with a river view — perfect for entertaining her four kids, eight grandkids, and six (so far) great-grandkids.

“I love it,” she says. “I like the location. I like the setup. It’s big, but you learn your way around really fast. The people are friendly and the staff are outstanding. I just love it.”

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We'd love to hear from you! Located in St. Louis, MO 63138, Heisinger Bluffs & St. Joseph's Bluffs senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.