Illustration by Susan Estelle Kwas



This is the story of nine seniors,
mostly in their eighties,
living together under one roof.
An Octogenarian Partridge family of sorts,
sharing the ups and downs of cooperative
living in their twilight years.
Come meet the residents of Lola Court.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve on The Court

Let me introduce you to Ms. J. She turned 80 on Christmas day.
 Ms. J is the social director and baker extraordinaire at Lola Court. 
Shortly after moving into the court she decided that 
my boxed cake mixes left much to be desired. 
Ms. J is not a fan of processed food products. 
She prefers that everything be made from scratch. 
Sorry Ms. J. we haven't a baker in the house, it's just me and my Betty Crocker cake mix. No worries said Ms. J, I will be the baker. And so she is. 
Every week she gives me her shopping list and each and every Thursday and Sunday, 
Ms. J arrives from her cottage with a scrumptious dessert. 
It almost always involves a pound of butter 
and a 14 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
Everyone loves Ms. J.

This year at our annual Christmas Eve dinner, Ms. J arrived early and took her place next to the Christmas tree dressed in her wooden soldier outfit. She stood there for an entire hour and didn't move a muscle. They oohed and aahed and couldn't believe the amazing toy soldier I found at the thrift store for only $3.00. I'm not sure if the other residents were just playing along or if she really had them baffled. It didn't really matter. We all had a great evening. I serve wine on the big holidays. They were all feeling the spirit of Christmas, literally.

Ms. J made her costume from scratch, natch! Her hat is made from an ice cream tub. She is one clever lady.

Ms. Lyla and Joe enjoying the show. Ms. Lyla secretly pissed off that Ms. J is the center of attention but happy to be sitting so close to handsome Joe. Restrain yourself girl!

You are going to fall in love with this handsome gent. I will introduce you to Joe in a later post.

My husband standing by, ready to cut the prime rib. For any of you out there that think these people don't eat much...think again. My grocery bill is proof of that.

Cheers to you.

Husband and son finishing up the dishes. It's good to have help. I'm a lucky cook.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lyla You Shameless Hussy

Miss Lyla doing her "DB".

Miss Lyla was one of our first residents. She moved to Lola Court in 2003 shortly after her husband passed. The day she moved in she walked through the front door like she was walking into the Ritz Carlton. Her nose was so far in the air her neck waddle all but disappeared. Miss Lyla is a pistol. She will be 90 years old in July. No one messes with her. She quickly chose a chair in the living room and declared it hers. Anyone who dares to sit in Lyla's chair will suffer the wrath of Lyla. Her old green recliner is her throne. She rules the castle from her throne. Lyla dislikes any woman that moves into Lola Court and falls in love with any man that moves in. Actually she falls in love with any man that walks through the door. She is a shameless hussy. She has a favorite pink tee shirt that reads, "I can't be good all the time" in silver glittery letters. She rides the bus to the senior lounge every Friday. A band called the Leftovers play on Fridays. She is in love with the guitar player, and the base player, and the bus driver. She was banned from dancing because she insisted on doing the dirty boogie. (her words, not mine) In fact she tells everyone she meets that she loves to "dirty boogie". Lyla once told me not to worry because she wouldn't steal my husband from me. She was serious. In her mind she will always be thirty. I want to be like Lyla when I grow up.

In The Beginning

photo:Young@Heart Chorus

Once upon a time there lived a couple who decided to invest in a rental property. 
They found a large house in very poor condition and put their DIY skills to work. 
The couple wanted to rent the home to people that would take care of it. 
They decided to rent rooms to senior citizens. 

The wife was not employed at the time so she decided to cook three meals a day for the residents. The meals would be included in the monthly rent. 

She layed out a few house rules.

1. Residents must keep their own rooms neat and tidy.
2. Residents must keep themselves neat and tidy.
3. Residents must not talk to cook about bodily functions or dysfunctions.
4. Residents may not wander off in the middle of the night. This makes the neighbors unhappy.
5. Residents must put their teeth in before leaving their rooms.
6. Residents must work out their disagreements without assistance from cook. There will be no house meetings, time-outs or logical consequences. The cook has raised her children and does not suffer from empty nest syndrome i.e. I am not the house mother, I am your cook.
7. I am not a taxi driver, secretary, counselor, maid or any other service provider. I am your cook.
As the old adage goes, rules are meant to be broken. Hearing about bodily dysfunctions, bowel movements or non-movements, gastrointestinal ailments, flatulence, palpitations, constipation ad infinitum has become an everyday part of my life. I am at times the taxi driver to hair appointments and such. Occasionally, a resident may need a reminder about the teeth. I have worn the counselor hat and at times have felt like the social secretary. Some of these people have more of a social life than I do. I am not above giving a resident a tongue lashing if they are rude or inconsiderate of their housemates. Like I said, rules are meant to be broken, deal with it.

In the posts to come, I will share stories about the residents at Lola Court. Names will be changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent. Hope you enjoy.