For much of the spring summer, resident talk in the Cenacle dining room focused on family, flowers, and recipes. Residents of the female persuasion tended to be vocal, and they seasoned the chatter with words like “adorable, “precious,” “darling,” and “yummy.” Since autumn leaves began to fall and footballs fill the air, sports fans have become more excited and vocal. The conversation has turned masculine with language such as “amazing” and, let’s see, “amazing.” (A man’s emotional vocabulary is not large.) Nevertheless, meals are abuzz with the exchange of statistics, scores, trades, and other trivia, especially by sport historians Ken Jamsa and Roger Simmons. Their memories are amazing as long as the subject is strictly sports.
To be sure, residents of both persuasions talk excitedly about Maria Center athletics. One amazing event was the Scavenger Hunt, a cross country like competition to see who could find the largest number of coupons scattered throughout the Motherhouse. Successful hunting requires quick thinking, agility, and hawk-eye vision. It is not a game for the timid or for those with memory lapses (“Now why did I come up to the fifth floor?”) Unfortunately, reigning champ Keith Jefferies was out with injuries, leaving veterans Pauline Pierson and Dorothy Geisler as the preseason favorites. Both had won laps, and both had a history of playing aggressively with sharp elbows. Training and preparation proved to be the key, however. With the team elevator undergoing rehab, Sister Melanie, a rookie, went into training with a daily practice of climbing up four flights of stairs like a lamb and descending floor by floor like a lion. Dorothy and Pauline practiced by sitting on their rollators in front of the elevator door. When it finally opened, there was Sister Melanie with the winning basket of coupons.
And talk about surprises and controversy! Take Mary Alice Ziesenhene’s amazing October win at the Bingo table. Only four months from her 100th birthday, Mary Alice defeated all contenders at Bingo in the Cenacle dining room and sports complex. She not only won more games (4) than her competitors, but she also won the board-clearing, all-in, no holds-barred final game. As the reigning Bingo Queen, she wears her crown with a sassiness developed over 99 years of life growing up with seven brothers. She did annoy some bingo losers with a bit of trash talking at supper following her amazing victory, but since then she has been as humble as a Poor Handmaid during Lent.
In late Breaking News, Jane Mayhew was declared winner of the November bingo challenge with four individual wins. Does winning that contest make Jane the new Bingo Queen? Hold on to your canes. Her title may be voided for using an ineligible card at the table. Charge up your hearing aids and stay tuned.