As most readers must expect, I’m disappointed that the design chosen for our health center expansion depends, for its funding, on adding significantly to our resident population. But it was clear from the meeting on November 28 that the decision has been made. (If you missed the meeting, you can watch a recording here.)

I now see two tasks for myself, and perhaps other readers will want to join me.

First, in the near term, I hope we can figure out how to make this building the best it can be. We already have a good concept for the main healthcare floor. But what sort of apartments and (assuming there is space) what other resident facilities might go on the lower floor?

Then, when the new residents arrive, I hope we come up with good ways to welcome them and integrate them into Kendal.

Come to think of it, we don’t need to wait for those new residents to arrive. Have we done enough to welcome the new residents that have joined us over the last couple of years? We did what we could under extremely trying circumstances. Many residents have worked hard to make our new neighbors welcome.

But some of the ways we were welcomed in the pre-pandemic environment have been lost, or at least been drastically reduced.  We’ve lost the “Try Us” program. (I hope to see it revived again soon.) The custom of “4:45s” (pre-dinner get-togethers) has been all but lost. The practice (followed by many residents) of making sure newcomers get invited to dinner was eliminated when the dining room shut down during the pandemic, and has been slowly returning. The weekly Friday night “coffee and cookies” social event in the lounge has disappeared (I presume because of both Covid and culinary staffing problems). Residents who have been here more than three years can probably think of many similar examples.

It seems to me the time is right for some brainstorming about how to make up for what we lost during the pandemic.

What should we be doing to make sure newcomers are properly welcomed and integrated? (And old-timers need more opportunities to renew their acquaintances too.) I welcome your suggestions in the comment facility (under “Leave a Reply”, below).