Singing in the Dining Room

Love, I find, is like singing.  ~ Nora Zeale Hurston

In the midst of my very busy Saturday, I was scheduled to do crafts with the old folks at the local nursing home.  I had a great plan on Friday night which I decided, at about 9 PM, to switch up.  (I do this every single time.  No idea why.)  I had decided to make coffee filter butterflies that they can either hang in their window or put on a clothespin to clip.

My goal in the monthly craft is two-fold:  (1) Get folks out of their room and making something that will brighten their day and (2) make it easy enough that anyone can participate in some way, regardless of their dexterity.  The second part is most often challenging but after doing this a few months, I’m getting the hang of it.  I try, whenever possible, to prep pieces of the craft so it goes quickly and smoothly.

The challenge of the butterflies was that you were supposed to use either food coloring or watercolor paints, neither of which I felt confident having the folks use.  A friend suggested instead using washable markers;  when you colored the coffee filter and then sprayed it, the colors swirled into a cool tie dye look.  That decided, my challenge was now what to do when they were waiting for them to dry so they could move on to the next part.  I tested using a hair dryer on the filter;  it got a lot of the dampness out but not all.  They really had to sit for a bit to dry.  I thought I might come up with a game or some questions to ask them in the interim but in the midst of my busy day, I never concretely came up with a plan.

Thankfully, the Activities Assistant was on hand to help this week and things were going very smoothly.  They were enjoying how the colors swirls on the filter but were starting to get a bit antsy as I was trying to dry them.  Just then, a group from a local church happened in.  I had seen them only one other time since I’d been doing crafts and they were on their way out that day.  They came into the room and started talking to the residents and then, just when they were getting bored from the drying time wait, they started leading them through a few songs.  It was amazing and perfect.

I can’t even tell you how much these seemingly “little” things that happened on Saturday have impacted me.  I think it’s really just summed up in one of my favorite songs, “God Speaking” by Mandisa.

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