Chaplain Karen Borchert
From our front porch we often heard the train whistle at Dollywood, beckoning us to visit. This week had our chance! We boarded the buses and headed over for a day of adventure! Thirty-four of us, including elders, nurses, CNAs and staff rolled into the park early and enjoyed a full day of fun!
Everyone enjoyed the mix of activities and sights: hearing the squeals of children on rides, seeing a ferris wheel for the first time in decades, playing carnival games, riding the carousel, watching shows, visiting Dolly’s museum, singing with musicians and more. There was something for everyone, and plenty of staff to get the job done.
“Coney Island has nothing on us,” one resident commented as she recalled how she used to love twirly rides similar to the ones she saw the children enjoying. The delight in her eyes and the laughter of friends made the day a memorable one.
These elders defied loneliness, helplessness and boredom with a day of companionship, sharing and spontaneity. Their laugher filled the buses on the way home as they shared tales of water fights, train rides and brandished carnival prizes.
Now when we hear that whistle from our porch, it reminds us of a lovely day we shared together!