Juan can always be found weekdays at 9:00 a.m. in the Bistro at Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake. There, he enjoys his coffee black served with a smile. Usually there’s a new copy of the Star Tribune ready for him to peruse and a staff member or two around to chat about current events. Usually by 9:30 a.m., he’s back at the counter looking for a pastry. He tries a new one today: a white chocolate scone. He isn’t disappointed.
An hour later, Juan heads upstairs to his apartment to change clothes. It’s time for his class with Jeremy, the Aquafit instructor, who runs the 11:00 a.m. fitness swim class. Once a week, Juan skips the pastry and goes early to take advantage of the open swim time before class starts. He loves that part of his week, especially during the winter months, because the pool feels like bath water.
Sometimes, Juan likes to sit in the shallow end to feel the healing power of the pool jets. He says it feels good on his back in between massage therapy sessions. Since the pool is maintained by a salt water system, Juan can stay in the water longer. It’s not as harsh on his skin and eyes.
It’s a beautiful spring day; perfect for pulling the car out of the garage to pick up his granddaughter, Lucille, and do some shopping at Arbor Lakes. Spoiling his grandchildren is one of his favorite things, especially for their birthdays. Juan hosts the whole family at the Oxbow Lake club room for a party. The dining staff already knows each grandchild’s favorite cake. After shopping, the two head to Juan’s apartment to teach Lucille grandpa’s secret gardening tricks.
The lilies and bluebells are already starting to blossom. Since retiring his flower shop to his daughter, Juan enjoys gardening on his apartment patio which still allows him to parade his nurturing touch. He takes special pride in showing off his garden to neighbors which hosts a bountiful variety flowers and herbs from his native town in Mexico.
After enjoying the afternoon with Lucille, Juan heads down to the chapel to meet Sister Marie. When his wife passed away, Juan regularly sought counseling from the pastoral care staff and spent many evenings in the chapel talking to his wife and to God. He continues to meet with Sister Marie because the two of them get along so well. Sometimes they discuss Juan’s loss of his wife. Sometimes they head up to café to play a few hands of Canasta. Today, they’ll be taking a walk around Oxbow Lake before heading to the dining room for supper.
Oxbow Lake’s dining room choices are plentiful. Since Juan isn’t much of a cook, not even before he met his wife, he is very grateful to have dining options. Sister Marie opts for her usual: homemade pot roast. Juan decides on the homemade soup and salad. Dinner quickly arrives and on goes conversation with some of Juan’s friends who regularly join him for meals. He established a quick bond with a handful of other entrepreneurs. They like to shoot the breeze about their life lessons, sometimes as if to rewrite history.
Following dinner, Juan is scheduled to attend the evening film in the campus cinema with a few guys from dinner, Roy, Marshall and George. Roy says Gone with the Wind is one of those classics he has to see if he never has. He quickly purchases a Sprite from the soda machine and graciously accepts popcorn from the staff hosting the evening film. Juan finds the guys in the last row of the cinema.
At this moment, he finds himself very thankful for his home at Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake. Good friends, good food and good entertainment. What more could a guy want? Just then, Vivien Leigh graces the screen with a subtle smile. George whistles. The audience chuckles.