November 2017 Newsletter

New Market News

Whether you live in the Shenandoah Valley or visit one of our residents here, we hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of our beautiful autumn scenery. We’ll miss the leaves when they fall, but look forward to some great winter happenings around the area. The local ski slopes will be open soon, and New Market’s annual ‘Tis the Season Celebration is coming up on December 2nd.

Since we’ve previewed ‘Tis the Season in past newsletters – available under the “Newsletters” tab on – we thought we’d switch things up this year and give you a rundown of local options for your holiday shopping in New Market. There are too many good choices to list! What follows are a few of our favorites, but you can find a larger selection on, the town’s excellent and informative website.

To get in a festive spirit, start with a visit to The Christmas Gallery. Located right on Congress Street, this shop offers ornaments, décor, and unique gift ideas. Chickadees Studio and Artist Gallery is just down the road. This pottery shop sells goods made right on site, as well as work from local artisans. Quilts, blown glass, and soy candles are a few of their offerings.

If you’ve worked up an appetite after browsing, head for Jackson’s Corner Café, which is also on Congress St. You’ll find coffee and tea, as well as local pastries, soups, and sandwiches. Short Stop Market and Wine Shop over on Old Cross Rd. is another good choice for refreshments and shopping. In addition to sandwiches and beverages, they have a selection of fantastic gifts in the wine and gourmet foods section.

Volunteering at Shenandoah Place

While winter is a picturesque season in the Valley, we like to offer plenty of indoor activities for our residents during the colder months. If you have a talent or skill to share at Shenandoah Place, we would welcome you as a volunteer now, or any time of the year.
Volunteering with seniors is so rewarding, and does not take a large time commitment. Even one hour a month is enough to bring some fun into our community. And, we don’t need anything fancy. Activities can be informal and simple.

If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Melissa at 540-740-4300. She can work with you to set up individual volunteering, or to organize something up for a group that has time and kindness to share! Volunteering at Shenandoah Place would be a great opportunity for your church or community group to make a positive impact.

We look forward to expanding our volunteer network, and are grateful to the people and organizations that already enhance the lives of our residents! Janice and Zoey, Marvel, Suzanne and Christal (New Century Hospice), and Robert Reedy and the Ol’ Tyme Pickers do a wonderful job with their monthly volunteering. A big thanks to you all!

Resident Spotlight: Jean Gay

When we spoke with Jean Gay for this profile, she was sitting on her bed in her lovely room with a box of photographs and mementos beside her. It made for a wonderful conversation. As Jean sifted through the box and chose photos to show us, she reminisced about the 92 years she has lived so far.

Jean was born Jean Dilley in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. She lived on her father’s farm with her brother and her twin sister, Jane. The girls looked just alike and were often confused for one another. Jean recalls feeling sheltered by her strict father, who discouraged her and her sister from helping with farm chores such as milking cows. She laughs when she recalls their shared decision to leave home just after high school: “two country girls going to the big city!” As you can see in our photograph, they were beautiful.

With her sister, Jean moved to Baltimore. A representative of the Social Security Administration had come to her high school to recruit students to work in the city. “We learned a lot, believe me!” Jean says. The twins stayed for three years, until the second World War was finished. As Jean remembers, men returned from serving in the war and wanted their jobs back. “So, we had to go!”

After a short time back home on the farm, Jean and Jane left again, this time for Fairmont, West Virginia. They worked in a Westinghouse factory there, but only stayed a year. The summer heat was so intense in the factory that the twins decided to quit. They were slender to begin with, but Jean is sure they both lost weight in the sweltering environment.

During another two years back home, Jean dated Dale Gay, who was known around the community for attending college on a football scholarship. Shortly before Jane married a beau of her own, Jean and Dale married and moved to Timberville, Virginia, where Dale had a job as a herdsman. Jane and her husband remained in another West Virginia town.

Dale and Jean’s first child, a son, was born two years after their 1949 marriage. His delivery was difficult, so Jean waited five years before welcoming her second child, a girl. She now has grandchildren – “they’re my angels,” she says – and a beloved niece who is Jane’s daughter. As they built their life together, Dale asked Jean if she wanted to work, and she told him that she did not. Instead, she enjoyed raising their children.

Dale was a hard worker and was “very dedicated” to his cows. Jean marvels, looking back, at how he passed up other careers to do the work that he loved. He was qualified in many fields by his college degree, but truly enjoyed the life of a herdsman. “He would get up at 3:30 in the morning to go tend to those cows!” she says. Dale worked for CC Turner, a well-known Valley cattleowner.
Despite Dale’s demanding job, the couple did enjoy traveling together. Jean especially enjoyed a trip out West. The Gays went with their neice, “and we did have the time of our life!” That niece still visits her today. “She brings me parfaits” Jean says, and tells Jean how much she loves her.

Jean suspects that her niece is so loving in part because of Jane’s passing over a decade ago at age 81. Jean was present when her sister passed, and is obviously moved thinking about her much-loved twin.  “Twins are like that,” she says, holding up two entwined fingers. They never fought and were close as could be. “I miss her,” she says, discussing the loneliness that comes from being a twin without her sister.

We loved talking to Jean and sharing a piece of her life story. She’s lively and an engaging conversationalist so say hello if you see her around Shenandoah Place!

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Important Reminders for Flu Season

As flu season approaches, we ask that you take some simple precautions, especially when visiting. Thanks for your cooperation and help in keeping our community as healthy as possible. Our requests are:
1. If you have or have recently had a fever, cough, running nose, or any other flu-like symptoms, please reschedule your Shenandoah Place visit.
2. Please practice good hand washing at all times. Hand sanitizer is readily available throughout our facility.
3. Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
In the event that an outbreak of the flu occurs, the facility could be quarantined at the discretion of Dr. Lovelace, VDH, and our nursing staff. We will notify families and post signs at the front of the facility if this happens. Please respect our request to avoid visiting during quarantine.
Above all, we ask that you err on the side of caution when it comes to the flu. Even if you feel fine and are symptom free, you may still carry the germs. Let’s work together for the healthiest winter possible.

Activity Spotlight: October Jack O’Lanterns

Before we say farewell to Fall at Shenandoah Place, we wanted to share a recent craft project with you. Our residents got together in October for a festive pumpkin activity. They enjoyed painting rows of popsicle sticks orange and decorating them with “cutout” stickers to create jack o’lanterns. This was a simple activity, but it brought a bit of Halloween fun into our community!

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Personal Histories with Teresa Townsend

This month, Shenandoah Place residents will be treated to a one-of-a-kind workshop with Teresa Townsend. Teresa is a personal historian who specializes in helping people organize and tell the stories of their lives. Using clients’ photographs, interviews, writing, and other resources, she guides them through the process of preserving their own histories.

Teresa turned her interest in stories and photographs into a career about three and a half years ago. Through her small business, Tapestry, she offers digital recording, life story workshops and coaching, and photo organizing sessions. “Everyone has a story,” she writes on her website, “and I believe in the power of sharing….It is a priceless treasure and legacy that connects generations.”

Though Teresa’s workshop next month will be her first at Shenandoah Place, she’s already part of our community. Teresa’s mother, Treva, was a resident here before her passing earlier this year. We are grateful to Teresa for offering this unique opportunity to our residents, and look forward to seeing what they discover together! The workshop will take place on November 13th at 2:30 PM.

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We would like to welcome Doris S. to Shenandoah Place.

Our sincere condolences go out to our resident Tommy and his family for the loss of his wife, Erma.