Programs and Activities

June 23, 2017            ‘North Church’ Handbell Choir

Members of the North Congregational United Church of Christ handbell choir — including our own Kay McKee! — were here to entertain us this evening. This group was playing three octaves of White Chapel handbells, alternating at times with hand chimes that produce a sound like a large music box. Have you ever seen one lady pinching hitting for a missing member playing two sets of  handbells? Impressive!


June 22, 2017     A Trip to India with Food and Music

This evening our dining staff took us to the Himalayas and back with a dinner theme of Indian foods. This was followed by an evening of traditional music of northern India with Utpola Borah and Hans Utter. Vocalist Utpola Borah earned her PhD in music in Delhi specializing in both Indian classical and folk music. Instrumentalist Hans Utter earned his PhD in ethnomusicology at Ohio State specializing in the sitar and tabla both of which he used in entertaining us. Afterwards several of us gathered around to see and question Utpola about some of the handicrafts she displayed on the piano.


June 19, 2017     “The Experience” – Christ Lutheran Touring Choir

This morning we had a special treat and an overflow audience under our portico for a concert by “The Experience,” a high-school-age touring choir of the Christ Lutheran Church at Charlotte, North Carolina. This group of forty-two young people from ten different high schools presented “These Chains,” a selection of religious songs with a definite youthful, modern beat. Accompanied by keyboard, drums and guitar the program featured a variety of soloists, or small groups backed by the entire choir. One highlight was the trumpet soloist. Presenting programs as they go, the group also makes time for fun with a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this afternoon and Cedar Point tomorrow.

June 6, 2017       Three Creeks Metro Park Tram Ride

The trams are running again in the Columbus Metro Parks, so today we headed for Three Creeks with a picnic lunch prepared by our dining staff. We found a shelter house with picnic tables overlooking Turtle Pond. Three Creeks is southeast of Columbus near Groveport and includes the confluence of Alum, Blacklick, and Big Walnut Creeks. At 1100 acres it is one of the largest metro parks and a delight to explore by tram. Rangers say that over over 100 species of birds have been sighted in the park and we were delighted to see a blue heron and colorful Baltimore oriole among several more common species. We were fascinated by a pollinating garden with an ‘insect hotel’ to attract bees. Many weeds and shrubs were in full bloom including the elegant elderberry. A truly beautiful day.


June 2, 2017      Happy Hour on Patio

It’s summer again and we can enjoy our regular Friday and Saturday evening Happy Hours on the patio when the weather cooperates. We love it!

June 2, 2017       Stop and Smell the Roses

Today we did indeed stop to smell the roses with a trip to one of our loveliest neighbors, the Columbus Park of Roses. This 13 acre park within the larger 149 acre Whetstone Park was already at or slightly past its peak bloom this year. We didn’t see every one the 12,000 roses, but we admired hundreds – first taking in the entire panorama and then up close to admire the grandeur of many individually. The weather was perfect for just sitting on a bench or wandering the paved paths refreshing our souls!


June 1, 2017      Patio Concert: Four Winds

What a lovely evening! The weather was perfect – blue skies, low seventies – the patio was inviting, and the music was mellow with the Four Winds saxophone quartet. For those of us who know the alto or tenor sax well, seeing the full range from soprano to baritone was a real treat. The diversity of their musical selections included the lively Pennsylvania Polka, the iconic Take the A Train and Pink Panther, Glenn Miller’s famous String of Pearls, the mellow sounds of Moon River and Stardust, and several jazz tunes before ending with A Closer Walk with Thee in New Orleans style from funeral march to celebration in the bar. Definitely an evening to remember. 



May 29, 2017        Memorial Day Buffet Picnic

Today was our traditional annual Memorial Day Buffet Picnic. This year it featured Bratwurst, Barbequed Hamburger Sliders with Bacon, Fried Chicken thighs, Macaroni & Cheese, Corn, Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables, Potato Salad, Pea Salad, Cole Slaw, Fruit Salad, beverages and Cherry Pie for Dessert. Some preferred to eat in our scenic dining room dominated by a huge American flag while others preferred to take theirs out on the patio and enjoy the gorgeous weather.


May 25, 2017       Columbus International Program Chinese Visitors

The Columbus International Program (CIP) promotes international understanding through youth and adult international exchanges where participants live with families and absorb local culture related to their special interests. Today a group of professional Chinese social workers visited us, learning about senior living lifestyle options in the U.S. Paki, our regular Tai Chi class leader invited everyone to participate in a Tai Chi session that made our lobby resemble a very active Chinese public park.


May 22, 2017        Resident and Staff Talent Show

What a joyous, fun afternoon this turned out to be with Kay keeping the show moving as MC. Marilyn and Bill dancing to Glenn Miller’s “Pennsylvania 6-5000” brought back many memories and a few tears.

Tracy’s piano rendition of the gospel song “Amen” turned into a singing, clapping audience participation number.

The Singing Seniors accompanied by Sylvia at the piano responded with “Amazing Grace” and A.J. recited a poem about growing older that he learned as a boy.

Peg sang the version of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music that Julie Andrews altered to honor seniors when she performed for an AARP convention. Chris has been playing harmonica since he was ten and the audience couldn’t resist joining him in “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Alyssa on guitar and Chelsea as vocalist presented the Rock and Roll classic, “Games People Play.”


Charlie, accompanied by Tracy brought the audience in singing Burl Ives’ “Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between.” Pete Anderson, our longest resident, reminisced about what the Forum was like 25 years ago, and Tracy closed with a rousing version of the great gospel song, “How Great Thou Art.” How we do enjoy and appreciate each other!

May 15, 2017     Houses of Faith: Broad St. Presbyterian

Today our Houses of Faith series continued with a visit to the East Broad Street Presbyterian Church. This Romanesque style building was designed in 1887 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 1987. It was expanded early in the 20th century when the congregation became one of the largest in the city. Our guide gave us an excellent history of the church and its exquisite collection of Tiffany windows, including the Resurrection window in the chancel and Christ Blessing the Children at the rear of the sanctuary. These and those at Greenlawn Cemetery are the only Tiffany windows in Columbus.


May 13, 20117      Roll Out the Red Carpet for Moms

Today we rolled out the red ‘carpet’ and set the stage to honor the ‘stars’ – our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and the concept of motherhood. Musician/entertainer extraordinaire, Johnnie Steiner, entertained an overflow crowd with a medley of songs from joyous to sentimental.

Afterwards we moved to the dining room for an elegant selection of sweets from our marvelous chefs, accompanied by colorful flutes of champagne or Shirley Temples. Then to the living room to have a professional photo commemorating the occasion. Memorable day indeed!




May 7, 2017      Spring in Bloom all Around the Forum

Gorgeous spring days are the perfect time to walk the Forum grounds and admire the lovely flowers offering a changing display week by week. John & Jackie’s pansies and roses, Joyce’s peonies literally pulsing with color, Ginny’s dainty blue and white iris, Dorothy’s commanding clemitis, Jim and Bev’s delicate French lilac – we dare you not to love them all.




May 5, 2017           Cinco ‘de Mayo

Cinco ‘de Mayo commemorates the improbable victory of 2000 Mexican soldiers over the much larger 6000 man French army on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. Today we joined our neighbors to the south in celebrating with a specially themed Happy Hour with Margaritas, chips and salsa. The dining staff outdid themselves with a south-of-the-border menu highlighting Tira de Asado (barbecue beef short ribs), Chipotle Shrimp, or Arroz con Pollo accompanied by colorful Latin soup, salad, sides, and dessert.


April 27, 2017       Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

The theme of today’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon was Lawrence Welk’s famous saying “Wunderful! Wunderful!” Volunteers are indeed wonderful. They compose the committees that work with staff in welcoming newcomers, suggesting programs, providing feedback on dining services. They conduct a variety of programs and activities from Bible Study to Current Events, calling Bingo, or staffing the gift shop. Life at the Forum is enriched by their time and effort. We enjoyed a delightful lunch of mushroom soup, chicken salad, fruit, topped off by lemon ribbon cake and coffee or tea. Ken and Mary were here to entertain us afterwards with a lively accordion performance of Lawrence Welk standards, and everyone one left with a box of chocolates! 







April 17, 2017      Concert: Friday Night Live Music

Yes, it’s the meteorologist Ben Gelber who we see on WCMH-TV giving weather reports, who is also the founder of “Friday Night Live Music.” Nine of them were with us this evening playing evocative and enchanting Jewish melodies. Ben plays keyboard. He took piano lessons as a child and played with groups while attending Penn State University. But music took a back seat to his professional career until his mother developed cancer and his father dementia. Music was a language in which they could communicate. Although Friday Night Live Music plays many venues, senior living communities have a special place in Ben’s heart.

April 12, 2017      Redbud in the Ravine

Our beautiful ravine is a joy to us in all seasons – even with a winter coat of pristine snow. But it comes into all of its glory when the redbud and crabapples bloom. Don’t underestimate the healing and restorative powers of nature when you are choosing a senior living community.

April 8, 2017         Easter Bunny Visit & Easter Egg Hunt

This afternoon featured the Forum’s annual visit from the Easter bunny. The entire building was decorated and overflowing with those special Easter eggs filled with candies. Staff members brought their children and residents invited their great-grandchildren age two to ten. Kids get a hug and have their picture taken with the Easter bunny and join the scramble for eggs with prizes for the winners and cookies and punch for everyone. It makes you feel young again!





April 3, 2017       Tour: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral


This afternoon fifteen of us toured the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral as part of our “Houses of Faith” series. The traditional Byzantine architecture of this building is modeled on the 6th century Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in the shape of the Greek cross with all cross pieces of equal length. The large dome above their cross point portrays Christ in the center Four corner arches feature the apostles. The half dome behind the altar features a mosaic icon of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child. Our guide gave us an excellent explanation of the meaning of the iconostasis and the mosaic workmanship containing millions of small pieces of colored glass. Colorful stained glass windows feature various Biblical stories such as St. George killing the dragon.


This shrine will soon be covered with fresh flowers and paraded around the block on Good Friday.

A special treat was the current exhibit of colorful wedding attire in the unique styles of various regions of Greece. Note the bride wearing her dowry of coins in her neckless and head dress.



Mar. 31, 2017       Resident ‘Quilt Share’


What better way to end our March focus on quilts than an exhibit to allow residents to share their own treasured quilts with other residents? Eighteen residents shared heirloom treasures, their own creations, or special gifts from family members or friends. Mary Lou Drake’s ‘crazy quilt’ was the oldest, made by her husband’s great-grandmother from 1884 to 1886; John & Charlene Graber’s ‘Family photo quilt’ was a 50th anniversary gift from one of their daughters; Sylvia McKinney’s ‘Christmas Star’ was a gift from a friend for her husband’s birthday on December 23rd and it decorated their bed every year from November to New Years; and Maxine Gerber’s ‘Dresden Plate’ quilt was made from her sewing scraps with many memories of dresses past. Every treasured quilt has a story and we’ve celebrated them this month.



Mar. 30, 2017      Full Sound Concert

Full Sound, our favorite Chamber Music Group, was back this evening with a Bravo! performance. The Loritch family string quintet includes brothers Shalem and Chesed on violin, Chayah on viola, Rachsam on cello and Tsidqah on double bass — full sound! The special treat of this evening was Tsidqah’s performance as piano soloist for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-Flat Major. He not only plays bass but arranges many of the selections this quintet plays and is a virtuoso pianist. It was a delightful evening.



Mar. 28, 2016         Weeping Cherry in Bloom

The minute you walk into our dining room these days your spirits get a lift from the weeping cherry tree in full bloom. Like a bride in her white wedding gown coming down the aisle in all her glory, this tree is silhouetted in front of the big window, demanding that you admire her attire. It is a memorial to a former resident and we thank the donor for a beautiful annual reminder that spring always follows winter.





Mar. 24, 2017          Magic Show: David Lehman

Last evening we were treated to a show by magician David Lehman. He entertained some of us last year at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and it was such fun we recommended that he be invited back for the whole Forum community to enjoy. He was assisted by skilled volunteers from the audience who, with his guidance and magic words, put scares into a hat and pulled out flags or found them all tied together. Barb looks a bit leery of his knife sharp enough to cut carrots but we are happy to report her hand is fine this morning. And the grand finale involved a live rabbit from the master of illusion.



Mar. 17, 2017         St. Patrick’s Day: Richens Timm Irish Dancers

Ah, it was a lovely day for wearin’ o’ the green – just like the old country, snow squalls, a peak of sun, and showers! Our celebration began at Happy Hour with green beer or wine. After dinner we were entertained by dancers from Richens Timm Academy founded thirty-five years ago by Ann Richens, a Dublin Ireland native. In 1993, her prize student and Senor Men’s World Champion, John Timm, became her partner. After her death in 2011, his wife Heather became his partner. Richens Timm students compete in Irish dancing worldwide, collecting 38 top medals and two men’s championships. From beginners to national competitors, they were delightful!



Mar. 15, 2017       Dinner on the Town: Anna’s Greek Cuisine

This evening our party of fifteen from the Forum enjoyed a dinner out at Anna’s. With its decor of hand-painted murals and authentic Greek food, Anna’s is the closest Columbus comes to offering a typical Greek island taverina dining experience. Anna was born on the Greek island of Evola and moved with her family to Columbus where her parents operated a gyro restaurant at 11th and High, across from the OSU campus. Since 1997 Anna’s Greek Cuisine has been fulfilling her dream of a restaurant featuring traditional Greek food and family recipes. Some of us started with hummus and tzatziki with pita bread, Tiropita, Spanakopita, Domathakia, or Greek Farmer’s salad. Lamb was a popular entree from gyros to lamp chops or Lamb Parnases. And a few had room to top it off with a sweet Baklava.



Mar. 14, 2017       Tour of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church

This afternoon was the first of the “House of Faith” tours we are planning this spring. We visited St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Westerville. This Catholic congregation began in 1913 as a mission with seven local families and has grown to the 6th largest parish in Ohio with over 14,000 members. The current church building was built in 2011 and is highlighted by 164 stained glass windows, all donated by members of the parish. A number of them were restored from closed parishes in the Cleveland area.



Mar. 10, 2017       ‘The Great Hopewell Road,’ Dr. Bradley Lepper

This afternoon we had a fascinating presentation on “The Great Hopewell Road” by Dr. Bradley Lepper, Curator of Archaeology at the Ohio History Connection. The Hopewell are prehistoric peoples who lived in Ohio from c. 100 BCE to 400 CE, more often known as the “moundbuilders” for the many earthen mounds that still survive. Brad Lepper, who earned his PhD at Ohio State and has written a monthly column for the Dispatch has long researched these people. One of his research interests is ‘The Great Hopewell Road’ between the cluster of mound formations at Newark to another cluster sixty miles away at Chillicothe. Aerial views and infrared photographs reveal parallel earthen embankments three feet high and two hundred feet apart creating a perfectly straight line between these two points. Similar roads have been found among the Anasazi in New Mexico and Mayan culture in Central America. Dr. Lepper suggests that the Great Hopewell Road was a pilgrimage road, not unlike Mecca, between prehistoric ceremonial sites. Artifacts found at these sites contain obsidian from the Rocky Mountains and mica from the Carolinas, ceremonial offerings from far distant geographical communities.great-hopewell-road




Mar.10, 2017      The Daffodils in the Ravine are Blooming

The daffodils started coming out a week ago, much earlier than usual. Yesterday they were basking in the warmth of a 60 degree March day. But this morning they woke up to a dusting of snow! Welcome to March in Ohio!

Feb. 28, 2017        Mardi Gras with Trombones Plus


mardi-gras-5We were only in New Orleans in our imagination but we had quite a Mardi Gras celebration. Our festively decorated lobby with New Orleans jazz on the sound system was the place for punch and spicy nuts before dinner. The dining staff outdid themselves with corn and clam chowder, spring salad, a choice of barbequed brisket, shrimp gumbo or French Quarter chicken with cheese grits, tomato and okra stew and Banana Foster beignets for dessert. And did you catch Britnae’s hat! After dinner “Trombones Plus” – six trombones plus piano, bass and drums – were here to entertain us with live toe-tapping New Orleans jazz.

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Feb. 24, 2017        Recycling: Kristi Higgenbothem, SWACO

swacoThis afternoon Kristi Higgenbothem, Outreach and Programs Manager of SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio) presented a excellent program to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The Franklin County landfill accepts approximately 4000 tons of waste every single day and about 70% of it is potentially recyclable. We had lots of questions for her to answer. What should we recycle? Where do our recycled items go? What happens to them? How can the Forum residents and staff do better?

Feb. 23, 2017         Encore Band Concert

encore-bandThe Encore Band composed of trumpet, drums,guitar, piano and vocalists was back tonight entertaining us in the lobby with music from ‘our era.’ The members of this group have had other careers throughout their lives but are enjoying an Encore in their combined musical career.



Feb. 22, 2017       Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory Tour

A group of us had a marvelous tour today of the Anthony-Thomas factory whose famous buckeyes – chocolates with a peanut butter center – have been a tradition for over 75 years. Our excellent tour guide took us through from cacao beans to chocolate Easter bunnies being poured into plastic molds on the factory floor. And, of course, we ended in their extensive showroom where our $2 tour ticket could be redeemed in chocolate!

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Feb. 16, 2017         An Evening at the Opera

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opera-paola-sempriniTonight Grand Opera came to us!  Our gala evening began with a champagne reception before dinner and by the time we came out our lobby was a dramatic stage setting, transformed by red velvet draperies and a candelabra on the piano. The performance by soprano Paola Semprini literally quivered the chandeliers. She was born in Verona, Italy, but the City Opera of New York City was her home for over thirty years. She has performed famous roles such as Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Mimi, Norma, Carmen, and Aida  all over the world. Some of her costumes made a colorful background for her performance. Our program this evening was heavy on Puccini and Rossini arias, but wove in the Italian popular favorite, “O sole mio,” and ended with Bizet’s rousing ‘Habanera’ from Carmen. What a treat! opera-stage-2-16-17





Feb. 15, 2017           Soul Food Lunch

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In honor of Black History month, our dining staff prepared a Soul Food Buffet for lunch today. Those of us who have been here a year or more look forward to this annual tradition and newcomers really enjoyed this special treat: barbecued ribs, fried chicken, oxtail stew, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, collard greens, biscuits or cornbread muffins, potato salad, coleslaw, mixed fruit and a variety of pies and cookie bars to choose from. Uuummmmm GOOD!


Feb. 14, 2017      Valentine’s Day – Gingersnaps

gingersnaps-peg-singingIt’s Valentine’s Day, and we celebrated ours with a special dinner in the dining room preceded by entertainment by the Gingersnaps. This group of senior dancer/singers has been performing dances, songs, and comedy routines in nursing homes and senior centers for over twenty-five years. Our own Peg Wehner has been a member for years and we’re proud of her both as a dancer and soprano soloist.



Feb. 11, 2017            Happy Hour: Dulicmer Player Ray Brooks

ray-brooks-2-11-17Award-winning hammered dulcimer player Ray Brooks was with us again this evening at Happy Hour. Brooks studied musical composition at Capital University and has diverse musical talents from playing guitar with jazz and old-time bands to working as a pipe organ technician in Victorian village. His dulcimer performances range from weddings to the Worthington Farmer’s Market, to Liberty Presbyterian Church, and retirement living communities like the Forum.





Feb. 2, 2017        Allison Portnoy Sings

allison-portnoyThis evening after dinner Allison Portnoy entertained us in the living room with songs we know from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley. When we first knew her, she was a high school student with a beautiful voice and incredible musical maturity. Now she is a student in the School of Music at Ohio State University. We wish her well in her career and are glad she still has time for us.


Feb. 1, 2017         Dinner at Mozart’s


Ten of us went out for dinner this evening at Mozart’s Piano Cafe. Our big round table invited sociability with the piano right around the corner playing favorites from “our era.” We enjoyed a variety of entrees: beef stroganoff, chicken paprikash with spatzle, veal schnitzel sandwich, or garden vegetable quiche and chose desert from their famous display of sweets: rum cake coconut balls, raspberry chocolate truffles, chocolate eclairs. Some of brought treats home for tomorrow. Lovely evening.


Jan. 31, 2017       Sing with Joanie’s Kids


On Tuesday mornings the Forum living room overflows with joy as Joanie Calem, assisted by a variety of hand puppets and soft cuddly animals, leads intergenerational singing. A dozen or so preschoolers, their parents, and Forum resident “grandparents” join in songs with fun motions. Today Grandpa Groundhog was hibernating but wondering about spring, frogs and fishes were sleeping but waking to jump and swim when the sun came out, and a ‘river’ of colorful parachute cloth invited everyone from small fishes to whales to swim as they sang. Such fun for everyone!



Jan. 30, 2017      Flower Arranging with Michelle DeSantis

flower-arrangement-feb-2017In the closing days of January, there is nothing like a cheerful bouquet to perk up our spirits. Today Michele DeSantis was here bringing roses, daises, carnations and a bit of greenery to highlight the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Even those of us with ten thumbs end up with cheerful bouquets under Michelle’s helpful guidance. Everyone creates an arrangement for their apartment, or gift for a friend, or in Jean McMillan’s case on the table outside her door where everyone on their way to the lobby can enjoy its cheerful promise of springtime.




Jan. 27, 2017       Hawaiian Luau

luau-2017-entryJust as the weather turned wintery again, we returned for a one-night escape with our annual Hawaiian Luau. Barb set the scene with island decorations:luau-2017-lobby luau-2017-bar

A large crowd – some in muumuu dresses and colorful Hawaiian shirts – in the lobby enjoyed spicy meatballs, coconut shrimp, cheese won tons, and fruit kebabs while watching our hulu dancer and listening to the steel drum player. And, of course, Natasha was tending bar among the orchids. Perfect recipe for a mid-winter escape.

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Jan. 24, 2017        Town Meeting

becky-chappelle-town-meeting-1-24-17What a delight it was for residents to share in the recognition of Chapelle McClure, Dining Room Lead Server as 2016 Employee of the Year. Chapelle has been with the Forum for eighteen years and has widespread appreciation from both residents and staff colleagues for her dedication to making our dining experience a pleasant one. Well deserved, Chapelle. The flowers and champagne are simply tokens of the gratitude we feel daily.

Dec. 31, 2016        New Year’s Eve

new-years-hors-doeuvresWhat better way to say goodbye to 2016 than with friends at our Forum special Happy Hour. The dining staff provided a lovely array of hors d’oeuvres from shrimp to veggies to pita and hummus and champagne at the bar. Andy Launer entertained us at the piano, including OSU fight songs among old favorites that encouraged us to sing along — and, of course, Auld Lang Syne. Dinner was a ‘Land and Sea’ theme from seafood bisque to a beef tenderloin and scallops entrée. Too bad the OSU football team didn’t rise to our expectations for a perfect year’s end.




Dec. 28, 2016       Tom Burns, Perkins Observatory

tom-burnsWe had an interesting program this afternoon by Tom Burns, Director of the Perkins Observatory at Ohio Wesleyan. We learned a number of fascinating things like the fact that humans won’t be going to Venus because its temperature of 900 degrees would consume us quickly if its atmosphere didn’t crush us like a pancake first. He also showed us how to find some constellations and major stars in the winter sky.



Dec. 14, 2016        Employee Appreciation Day


The checks are ready! Today was our annual employee appreciation day — although we really do appreciate them every day. The housekeepers who clean our apartments weekly. The dining room servers who wait on us twice a day and the cooks who prepare delicious meals. The bus and car drivers who take us to the grocery and on shopping excursions, special program events, and individually scheduled trips to doctors. The maintenance men who can fix anything from a leaky faucet to a misbehaving thermostat and more. And so many others from receptionists multi tasking daily to nurses and therapists when we need them. Rather than tipping for each service, our staff receive a December bonus check from resident contributions and we celebrate with a special lunch — buffet style with disposable plates and eating utensils — so staff and residents can eat together and get better acquainted informally. Happy Holidays!

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Dec. 13, 2016        Winter Arrived

Winter was a bit late this year but today it arrived in all of its glory — if we can enjoy it through the window and have no need to walk or drive in it. Several inches of snow turns our ravine into a fantastic wonderland, clinging to every branch and twig. It does make you wish you were a kid again and able to get out the sled and enjoy it. If someone’s great-grandkids are visiting maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get a snowman.

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Dec. 5, 2016        Decorations all through the House

Every year between Thanksgiving and our Holiday Open House, Don and Judy Long transform the Forum into a wonderland of holiday decorative scenes. What a joy it is to live amongst such beauty without the hassle of unpacking boxes, bringing out ladders, untangling strings of lights and everything needed to transform everyday spaces into a holiday wonderland. When you enter our lobby you’ll be greeted by a cluster of colorful nutcrackers standing at attention and lighted trees bracketing the door to the dining room topped with icicle lights. As you step into the dining room Santa peers down from his perch on a wreath on the tall window overlooking the ravine. By dinner time it is dark and the angel on the patio backed by the lights of a weeping cherry tree is pure magic.

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Santa had a special perch on the huge wreath in our big dining room window and outside on the patio an angel was silhouetted against our weeping cherry tree.


Walk into the living room and you’ll be awed by our large tree dazzling in gold ribbons and balls. Or turn in the opposite direction and be warmed by the fireplace with a mantel and wreath in rosy tones that echo the flames.

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Every nook and cranny contains an eye-catching display worth pausing for a closer look. In the corner by the library stands ‘Julenissen’ – Santa’s name in his native Norway. The crèche in the hall by elevator one, the gift of a former resident, rewards a close look of each person and animal with intricate wood carving.

xmas-norweigian-santa  xmas-creche

xmas-tree-with-antique-ornamentsOn the second floor by elevator one you’ll find a marvelous tree decked out in the Peterson’s collection of antique ornaments. You’ll be well rewarded if you stop for a close look at each.

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xmas-doll-treeOn the first floor by elevator two don’t miss the gorgeous tree featuring the Wright’s collection of international dolls acquired during years of travels. Bring your great grandchildren for a close look!

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Dec. 3, 2016       Holiday Bazaar

Residents always look forward to our holiday bazaar the first Saturday in December as the perfect time to invite family and friends, do a bit of shopping and sample cookie treats. There were a nice variety of crafts venders for different tastes and ages. For those planning holiday parties there were pottery serving dishes. For residents with three-year-old great-granddaughters there were girlie-girlie outfits perfect for a family gathering. For the sports minded there were miniature trees for Buckeyes, Browns, Bengals, or even that ‘team up north.’ And for everyone who appreciates handcrafted woodworking, there were dishes, plates and kitchen accessories.

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open-house-santaThere were lots of staff children and resident’s great-grandchildren telling Santa what they really wanted for Christmas. Before lunch, members of the Bishop Watterson choir filled our lobby — and everywhere around with the sounds of beautiful music of the holiday season.




Nov. 18, 2016       Hyper Friday


This afternoon was one for the record books. The thermometer hit a sunny 73 degrees and we celebrated Hyper Friday outside under our patio for the first time ever. As the crowd waited for the buses carrying alumni band members and cheerleaders, our own staff cheerleaders built up the enthusiasm.

hyper-friday-bandBut there is nothing like the real live band with our own ‘Best Damn Band in the Land’ alum, Dave Schwertfager, on snare drums. Shelley Graf, who in 1981 made history as the first Big Ten female drum major, still looks like she could go out and lead the band tomorrow — and ours was the band’s 9th performance of the day! hyper-friday-shelley-graf

Not to be outdone, the alumni cheerleaders were still making pyramids like they were teenagers again. Good sport, Mary Jane Stein, dotted the ‘I’ with Shelley and we all joined in singing a heart-felt Carmen Ohio.




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Nov. 17, 2016         Guess Who


Wouldn’t it have been fun to know what our friends at the Forum looked like when they were kids, graduating from high school, getting married, or in the service? We had the most fun today, looking at pictures residents contributed and guessing who was who. It was part of our November theme “Still Me.” We were competing by floors and the second floor winners get a pizza party in addition to all the fun we had guessing and discussing what we looked like in years gone by.

Nov. 15, 2016       Concert: AAUW Chorus

aauw-chorusThe American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a national organization founded in 1881 to promote equity and education for women and girls. The AAUW Choral Group, founded in 1949, is affiliated with the Columbus Branch of the national organization. Lori Hagerman has been the Director since 2009. Their songs this evening honored Thanksgiving, and the 40s and 50s that bring back memories. We ended up joining them in America the Beautiful, celebrating all that we are thankful for in this season.


Nov. 11, 2016           Veteran’s Day

veterans-day-andy-launerToday we celebrated Veteran’s Day by honoring our very own resident veterans of World War II and the Korean War. Cadets from The Ohio State University Air Force ROTC conducted the color guard. Patriotic music was provided by Andy Launer.  Gary Sontag and Major Bogan served as masters of ceremonies. Perhaps the best part came at the end as ROTC members lingered to talk with veterans who fought in wars they only know from the history books. This evening our dining staff thanked our veterans for their service with a special Veteran’s Day dinner.veterans-day-rotc-with-brax





Nov. 10, 2016         Dublin Flute Choir Concert


The Dublin Flute Choir is the flute section of the much larger Dublin Wind Symphony which is too large to perform on our premises. As you might suspect, their selections tend to have an Irish theme honoring their hometown. We were delighted to welcome them to our living room.



Oct. 29, 2016       Halloween Trick or Treat

halloween-alice-and-great-gransThis afternoon we were treated to dozens of cute kids in a wild variety of Halloween costumes as staff children and resident great-grandchildren came trick or treating.


halloween-batman halloween-madhatter halloween-wonder-woman

Oct. 25, 2016        Dinner Out: Hofbrauhaus


hofbrauhaus-serverTonight ten of us enjoyed dinner at the Hofbrauhaus in Grandview. It probably has the most authentic German beer hall atmosphere of any place in central Ohio. They are proud to brew the “bier of the Bavarian kings” on site and it really is worth a sip. Among our group’s choices were good German appetizers such as ‘sauerkraut balls’, entrees such as ‘saurbraten with spatzle’, and desserts such as ‘apfel strudel.’ Tuesday nights are family nights and we enjoyed a dozen or so pre-schoolers ‘dancing’ to the beat of the accordionist.




Oct. 24, 2016         Velvet Ice Cream Tour

velvet-tour-bus-window-viewWhat a perfect autumn day for driving to Utica to tour the Velvet Ice Cream company at Utica. We saw many colorful trees through our bus windows and arrived in time for a tasty lunch in the Old Mill restaurant at their headquarters. Unfortunately their cream truck failed to arrive this morning and we couldn’t see the manufacturing in operation but we did see the process on film. This family firm, now operated by the fourth generation, produces five million gallons in seventy varieties annually and serves all states east of the Mississippi River. We ended by sampling the delicious product. Look at Bill’s banana split!!!!

velvet-tour-old-mill velvet-ice-cream-bills-sundae

Oct. 22, 2016        Art Hop

This afternoon was our annual Art Hop. Seven talented residents opened their apartments so we could tour the art they have produced or collected: Albina’s paintings of the Connecticut and Oregon coasts, Ruth’s blazing red zinnias, Betty’s granddaughter on the beach, Mina’s haunting watercolor landscape, Ginni’s needle work, Gwen’s jewelry, the photographs of Dorothy’s picture-perfect gardens – and so much more.


In the living room, Bishop-Waterson students were displaying creative images — even paintings on tennis shoes!

art-hop-rolled-paper  art-hop-shadow-box

In the multipurpose room Barb was encouraging everyone to try their hand at rolled paper art to be displayed in a shadow box. And the kitchen outdid themselves with artistic hors d’oeuvres that fit the occasion.



Oct. 1, 2016       Honor Flight Donation


This picture shows resident Norma Colley and Forum staff members presenting a check from our silent auction to Honor Flight Columbus. In the background are a group of refurbished wheelchairs the Forum donated to serve Honor Flight needs every time they take a group to Washington. Thanks to everyone who helped make this worthy project a success.

Sept. 27, 2016         SWACO Tour of Columbus Landfill


This afternoon we had an unusual and memorable trip in connection with our “Go Green” theme. We traveled to the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio resource center on London-Groveport Road for a slide presentation and discussion of a modern-day landfill operation. Then a guide boarded our bus to give us a tour of the working face of the 285 acre Franklin County landfill where we could see huge dump trucks depositing waste and bulldozers covering it with soil. It was a unique opportunity to learn something new about waste and recycling and pretty dramatic to see a semi on a tipple silhouetted atop a 300 foot mountain of trash.semi-on-landfill-tipple

Sept. 21, 2016      Art Shepard’s 105th Birthday

art-shepards-105-th-birthdayToday we all joined in wishing Art Shepard – our oldest resident – a Happy 105th Birthday. He’s a role model of successful aging to all of us. Wish you could see him in person coming down the hall singing and smiling! The 105 birthday roses are the gift of a local florist and we all get to enjoy them in the lobby. Happy, Happy Birthday Art, you’re an inspiration.





Sept. 11, 2016      Honor Flight Fund Raiser

honor-flight-gary-at-grill honor-flight-picnic

honor-flight-picnic-dessertThis evening many of us participated in a picnic and silent auction to raise funds to support Honor Flight Columbus. Gary was at the grill turning out hot dogs and hamburgers, and both inside and out under our portico residents and guests were enjoying a complete picnic meal. The living room sported an array of silent auction items from food baskets to quilts. What a delicious way to raise more than $3000 for a worthy cause.honor-flight-silent-auction

Sept. 1, 2016           Four Winds Concert

Four WindsTonight was the last of our summer concerts under our front portico for 2016. The sweet jazz sound was from “The Four Winds,” our favorite saxophone quartet, and we had a good audience to enjoy it.

Four Winds audience

August 31, 2016      Farmer’s Market Dinner

Farm Dinner, Laura Farm Dinner decorations

Our Farmer’s Market Dinner this evening offered some great recipes for local Ohio foods. We were greeted by farmer Hostess/Manager Laura in plaid shirt and red suspenders in front our dining room ‘barn door’ and an exhibit of fresh Ohio bounty.

Farm dinner saladBeginning with a Chilled Canteloupe Soup our menu followed with an Heirloom Tomato and Deviled Egg Salad. For an entrée we had a choice of Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs, or Free-Range, Herb-Roasted Chicken and a choice of sides that included Patty Pan Squash with Basil Butter, Ratatouille, or Cheddar Cheese Grits and Grilled Corn. It was all topped off with a dessert of Fresh Yellow Peaches with Honey and Creame Fraiche. Ummm. . . good!

Farm dinner, plating entrees Farm dinner entree



August 30, 2016         Dinner Out at Lindey’s

Lindey's groupTonight our group headed to German Village for dinner at Lindey’s, Sue Doody’s landmark restaurant. It was too hot for the patio, but dinner was excellent and conversation delightful. Crab cakes were the most popular entrée, but pork chops, shrimp and grits, and steak had their advocates. Those who chose to end their meal with crème brulee and Irish coffee claimed the perfect finish, and we all came home singing “Show Me the Way to go Home!”

Lindey's crabcake Lindey's shrimp and grits



August 23, 2016     Three Creeks Tram Ride & Picnic

Today was a perfect pre-fall day in the sunny seventies and Three Creeks, the Columbus Metro Park surrounding the confluence of Alum, Big Walnut and Blacklick Creeks, was the perfect place for enjoying it to the utmost. We began with a tram ride on the seven-and-a-half mile Alum Creek Greenway Trail that brought trees, shrubs, and native flowers very close to our fingertips.

Three Creeks, tram

Our naturalists driver and tour guide made the trip memorable by finding and sharing a hummingbird nest that had been abandoned after the babies grew and flew, and a small toad we admired and returned to his habitat in the trailside vegetation.

Three Creeks, hummingbird nest  Three Creeks, toad

At another stop our guide brought out a collection of furs from animals that live in the park — coyote, fox, beaver, skunk. Barb and Don gave modeling a nice try, but they really would look better on their original owners.

Three Creeks, foxy Barb  Three Creeks, Don & skunk skin

We ended our delightful excursion with a picnic lunch from the Forum kitchen at tables overlooking Turtle Pond and a flower garden planted to attract pollinating insects. It featured an “Insect Hotel” crawling with bees and wasps in holes bored into cross sections of branches. A lovely way to celebrate a beautiful day!

Three Creeks, Turtle Pond Three Creeks, Insect Hotel



August 11, 2016     ProMusica Concert at Topiary Park

ProMusica attendees 1This year the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra summer concerts moved to the Topiary Park in downtown Columbus and Don & Judy Long accompanied a dozen of us for a marvelous evening. The thermometer read 92 as we left, but there were shade trees and a lovely breeze even before sunset in all its glory. The program featured American composer-conductor Aaron Copland’s ‘Rodeo’, guest guitar/vocalist George Barrett’s ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Shenandoah,’ and Strauss waltzes including ‘Roses from the South,’ and ‘Blue Danube’ from Conductor Danzmayr’s native Austria. The audience joined in demanding the ‘Emperor Waltz’ encore just as though we were in Vienna on New Year’s Eve.

ProMusica 8-11-16

ProMusica sunset


August 8, 2016     Concert: Worthington Civic Band

Worthington Civic Band 8-8-16

Our summer series of concerts under the portico continued this evening with the Worthington Civic Band. This band was organized in 1973 under the sponsorship of the Worthington Recreation and Parks Department. Today they have members from 24 to 85, many of them former college music majors. In addition to many local concerts they have traveled to Australia, Hawaii and several tours to various part of Europe. Their Director is Robert Gibson, a band member since 1998 and a former member of the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and trumpet section leader for the 122nd Ohio Army National Guard Band. He retired last year as Director of Bands at Ohio Dominican University but for a number of years previously served as Director of Bands for the Dublin City Schools.

Concert audience 8-9-16

July 4, 2016        4th of July Holiday Buffet

4th of July buffet

4th of July lunchOur lunch today was a typical 4th of July buffet with All-American favorites – Fresh fruit salad, Pasta Salad, Baked zucchini-tomato casserole, Baked butter-kidney-navy-black beans, Corn on the cob, Hot dogs, Barbequed ribs, Fried Chicken, and all the accompaniments from mustard to lemonade topped off with Apple Pie for dessert.

4th of July apple pie

4th of July picnic 4th of July dining room


June 30, 2016          Keith Lykins, Drum Guitar

Keith Lykins, drum guitarThis evening we were entertained by guitarist, Keith Lykins. Although he studied classical guitar at Oberlin and New England Conservatories, his specialty has become the Nine String Drum Guitar he invented to express a unique percussion accompaniment. As a guitarist, singer, and composer he performs “Music to Lift Your World of Spirit” with Spanish, Irish or Arabic influences.

June 21, 2016       Origami Exhibit & OSU Golf Club Lunch

Origami Yasue SakaolaThis morning we went to the Upper Arlington City Hall Gallery for a tour of Retrospective, 1980-2015 featuring the origami sculptures of Yasue Sakaoka. A Japanese native who has lived and worked in the US since 1980, Yasue Sakaoka is widely recognized as both a creative artist and a master teacher of this traditional Japanese art. What a treat to have her join us to explain the origami process and the inspiration for her pieces on exhibit which varied from a hanging mobile that suggested the sails of a ship, block pieces on the floor inviting children to play, and both two and three dimensional wall “paintings” reminiscent of pieced quilts or prickly balls or Italian floor tiles. Afterwards we crossed the street for lunch at the Ohio State University Golf Clubhouse Restaurant overlooking the golf course.


Origami floor blocks Origami 2 dimensions

Origami painting Origami box of balls


June 18, 2015         Father’s Day: Cowboy Bob & JoJo

Father's Day buffet 2 Father's Day buffet

We celebrated Father’s Day this noon with a Western themed lunch buffet. The cooks and servers dished up brats, hamburgers and fried chicken with scalloped potatoes or corn. baked beans and cole slaw. The dining room was festive with red-checkered table cloths as acoustic guitar player, Cowboy Bob Hummel and his vocalist wife JoJo, entertained residents and guests with country music favorites.

Father's Day Father's Day Cowboy Bob & Jojo

June 16, 2016         Dan Kennedy Piano Concert

Dan Kennedy 1This evening we had a concert by Dan Kennedy, an Amherst, Massachusetts pianist who graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and the New England Conservatory. He is making a Midwestern tour this summer and included the Forum. Dan is obviously a man of many talents who performed several of his own compositions.


June 13, 2016       Highbanks Metro Park Tram Ride

High Banks metro park metro park tram

Highbanks picnicToday we took delicious picnic lunches packed by our kitchen to Highbanks Metro Park north of Worthington. It was a perfect day in the sunny seventies and great to be outside among the birds and butterflies.

Highbanks-Nature-CenterHighbanks Barb in sycamore

After lunch we enjoyed exploring the nature center displays of the 100 foot shale bluff rising from the Olentangy River on the west side of the park that gave the park its name. Guess who couldn’t resist pretending she was a squirrel in the replica of the park’s huge over 400-year-old sycamore tree. Then we boarded the Metro Park tram to ride through this 1,159 acre park.  We didn’t see the resident pair of eagles and their three fledglings soaring overhead, but we did see lots of wildflowers and tree swallows on the nesting boxes in the meadow.

Highbanks tram ride 2



June 2, 2016      Concert: Matsiko Children’s Choir

Matsiko Matsiko 2

What a special, special program we had this morning by the Matsiko World Orphan Choir! Our camera couldn’t catch their fast-paced energy! The choir is sponsored by the International Children’s Network whose mission is to raise funds to provide university or vocational education for orphaned children and enable them to break the cycle of dependence and return to their hometowns as doctors, mechanic, nurses, or teachers. Matsiko is the Ugandan word for ‘hope,’ and the children’s choir has been touring the US every year since 2008.

Matsiko Indian boy & girlMatsiko Peru boy & girlMatsiko Liberan girls

This year’s choir includes twenty-two children from India, Peru, and Liberia performing in their own country’s colorful costumes.

 Matsiko drummer Matsiko selling handicrafts

Matsiko lunch with residentsThey offered a beautiful display of handicrafts from these countries for sale or the opportunity to sponsor a child personally for a year. Afterwards some of the residents shared a pizza lunch with the children and had a chance to know them better.