February 2016 Newsletter

Local New Market News

With the chill of February in our mountain air, this month is a perfect time to explore New Market’s great indoors. History buffs, especially, will find plenty of unique and interesting sites to visit in town. Many sites are tied to the Civil War, as the 1864 Battle of New Market occurred right here in the Shenandoah Valley.

One of the oldest and best historic sites is the Strayer House, built over two centuries ago in 1808. Located in the heart of New Market, it hosted Stonewall Jackson and other famous figures during the Civil War. The House features an Orientation Center with exhibits, activities, and helpful information. Friendly staff members are happy to direct visitors to other nearby historic sites, so it’s a great place to start exploring local history. The building also has a bookstore and souvenir area, and even an in-house café, Jackson’s Corner Café and Coffee House.

For a double-dose of history, head from the Strayer House to The Virginia Museum of the Civil War, also in New Market. The museum is a National Historic Landmark, and is filled with artifacts and dioramas. Its main focus is on the Battle of New Market, and the role of Virginia Military Institute cadets in that conflict. An included general store sells books and and unique regional products, and a screening area shows a short film.

For more information on both historic sites, as well as other options for indoor fun, check the town of New Market’s website, www.newmarketvirginia.com. Happy exploring!

Shenandoah Place News/Announcements

We are happy to welcome three new residents to Shenandoah Place: Charlie, Carol, and Cornelia “Rich.”

We also are pleased to share an update on the excellent progress of our new memory care community, Shenandoah Terrace. The building has really taken shape. Our roof is on, our windows are in, and construction is entering its final phases! Our anticipated opening date will be in late spring.

With the Terrace so close to completion, we are now accepting applications for residency. For more information or to submit an application, please visit our website, www.ShenTerrace.com.

Resident Spotlight: Ingrid Middleton

Ingrid Middleton

Ingrid Middleton, the subject of this issue’s “Resident Spotlight,” began her life far from New Market. Ingrid was born to a family of salesmen and shipping industry workers in Bremerhaven, Germany, a town on the North Sea coast. Though her father was an talented salesman – “he could have sold the Brooklyn Bridge,” Ingrid says – he eventually decided to try his hand at retail management, a decision that had a huge impact on Ingrid’s life. When she was 3 ½ years old, the family moved to New York City for her father to manage a Cushman’s Bakery Store.

Ingrid left Germany on December 26th, 1926 aboard a ship that took 10 days to reach the United States. Though she doesn’t remember the journey, her mother always recalled being proud of her excellent behavior onboard. Ingrid’s mother was seasick and kept to her cabin, so a ship steward escorted Ingrid to all of her meals. Her good table manners and independence – the steward needed only to cut her meat – made her mother grateful, especially because Ingrid’s father was already in New York.

For close to 80 years after her January 6, 1927 arrival, Ingrid called New York City home. Her only sibling, a sister, was born on Long Island a few years after the family’s immigration. She attended high school there, and learned English alongside her parents. As Ingrid recalls, students speaking English as their second language was common at the time, and she felt embraced by her school community. In fact, Ingrid met her first husband on her way to school; John Crist was driving the bus that took her there! She graduated and studied book keeping while they courted, working briefly for a builder who was uneducated and liked dictating to her so that he didn’t have to write.

When they met during the Depression, John was an “electronics man” and driver who loved to take photographs. He was 14 years Ingrid’s senior, but she loved his sense of humor and he liked to tease her about her somewhat short stature. Ingrid remembers one playful occasion when he complimented her multicolored skirt by saying, “I like that color,” and she asked him, “Which one?” The couple was engaged on Christmas in 1941 and married the
next summer, on June 14th at a Lutheran church in New Jersey.

During the early years of their marriage, Ingrid and John had children in quick succession. Their three girls were born over a two-year span, from Sept. 1943 to Nov. 1945. Their son, Rick, was a surprise, born over ten years later in 1956. Rick was still living at home when John unexpectedly died from a heart attack, his second, in 1971. At that time, John had just retired and the family was happily preparing to move from Hicksville – which was “far from it!” – a section of Long Island, to a house they purchased in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The night before they planned to leave, and just hours after a going-away party thrown by their neighbors, John passed away.

Though Ingrid has experienced loss in her life – a daughter passed away at 65, also from heart trouble, which took John and John’s sister, too – her story takes a funny turn after 1971. After John’s death, she married a man named Ralph Middleton, whom she met, as she likes to say, through their mutual mother-in-law! Ralph had been married to John’s late sister. Throughout their marriage, Ingrid always got a kick out of saying they “shared a mother-in-law” because of the surprised, confused reactions she received to it.

Ingrid shared these and other stories with us at Shenandoah Place, where she moved about 10 years ago. Her son and his family were in New Market, and, at 83, she felt it was time “to have a little assistance.” We’re happy to have Ingrid here, and hope you enjoyed her story.

Activity Spotlight: Card-Making with Marvel and Friends

We love having visitors at Shenandoah Place, whether they’re residents’ families, our SVA student workers, or community volunteers. Recently, we had a member of that last (though not at all least!) group stop in, when our friend Ms. Marvel volunteered to hold a greeting card workshop with interested residents. Along with her sister and a friend, Marvel – whose last name is pronounced like the comics, but is fondly called “Mar-velle” here – brought card-making supplies and a big smile to Shenandoah Place.

Marvel comes once a month to help residents make a seasonally-themed card. In January, she had four resident participants in her workshop, but the number varies. Marvel brings a sample card to show, then assists residents in making their own versions of it. We all got a laugh out of this month’s creation, which featured Frosty the Snowman’s “baby picture” – a snowflake! – on the front. Inside, it conveyed wishes for a great “freezin’ season” beneath a sweet snowman picture. The ladies talked and laughed as they made their cards.

The good spirits Marvel and her friends bring are contagious. We hope the pictures of this event bring a smile to your face, too!

SVA Student Work Program

One of the unique benefits of living at Shenandoah Place is interacting with kind, enthusiastic young people. Through our SVA Student Work Program, high school students from the nearby Shenandoah Valley Academy spend time each week assisting at our facility and enjoying time with residents. This year, 3 students are working at Shenandoah Place. Darnell Devadass and Lelani Staszak each work about 4 hours per week in their first year with the program, while Jedson Watson works about an hour per week in his third year.

By working at Shenandoah Place, each student offsets the cost of his or her attendance at SVA. However, all three students agree that the program’s benefits are not just financial. They like hearing the stories residents tell, receiving residents’ advice, and learning from the experiences of their elders. Jedson especially enjoys listening to residents’ stories. The same goes for Lelani, who recently spent time with Annie Snell, the focus of November’s “Resident Spotlight.”

Annie shared her life story and reminisced about her “American Hero” husband.
In addition to helping with cleaning tasks, the students assist with and participate in everything from Bingo to manicures. Darnell’s favorite Shenandoah Place activity is “Batter-Up,” a “hysterical” game in which residents use pool noodles to try and keep a beach ball aloft. We’re proud to offer this collaboration between young and old at Shenandoah Place, and grateful for the grant, administered by Seventh Day Adventist University, that funds it.

You may be gone from my sight, but you are never gone from my heart.
In Memory of
Sophie Miller, Berkley Rau, Louise Gochenour