The Fairbanks Pioneers Home hosts an Ice Cream Social for residents and guests every Saturday evening, usually accompanied by some singing and occasionally other diversion as well. It is a popular activity in which Niilo and Joan have been participating ever since we found out about it a month or two ago.
Joan and Heather join Niilo for supper at the Home before the Ice Cream Social. The main dining hall is spacious and cheerful, with tables for 4-6, seasonal decoration, a magnificent large painting of walruses, and window views of crabapple trees. We usually converse with some others there as well.
After supper, we go to a table where there are jigsaw puzzles and Joan works on one of these while I find newspaper articles that might be interesting to Niilo & Joan. Niilo usually watches and listens, only occasionally lending a hand or a comment.
The Ice Cream Social in the Home’s library is usually at 7 pm. Activities Coordinator Jessica and volunteers serve a choice of rootbeer float or vanilla ice cream with toppings. And there is some singing. Tonight it was led by a delightful couple, 74 & 85 years old and still wonderfully musical, playing guitars and harmonica. Joan joined in on most songs, including a couple I had never heard before and she doesn’t think she has sung since she was a schoolgirl.
We have had only a third the average snowfall for this time of year, and it’s fairly mild out: zero to -10F.