By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, MN As sunlight filtered through the window at The Lodge in Howard Lake, Scott Beaumont strummed his guitar, his cheerful voice bouncing through the lyrics.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey . . .”
Ten feet away, resident Agnes Herbst’s harmonica accompanied in perfect rhythm, while other residents sang along.
Beaumont performs for care facilities throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, focusing on melodies from the 1920s to the 1970s.
“I have been struck at how music, especially songs from whatever era the residents grew up in, can cheer them, and bring them out of themselves, and can help them to feel part of a group . . .” Beaumont noted.
Beaumont’s service began in 2011, when his mother-in-law, Mary, was a resident at Johanna Shores in Arden Hills.
“My wife, Patricia, and I visited Mary every Sunday, and I played her favorite songs for her every week,” Beaumont noted.
Word spread, and pretty soon, Beaumont was sharing music with a number of care facilities on a regular basis.
“I feel so honored to help carry the power of live music to the lovely people who accomplished so much in their lifetimes,” he noted. “Many of the men have served in the World Wars, and the women have kept the country going while the men were away. The popular songs from that era are one of the only momentos that many of the residents may still carry with them in their minds and hearts.”
Entertainment like Beaumont’s is one example of how residents at The Lodge love to spend their free time.
“Music is a big one,” said Karla Davis, senior housing manager at The Lodge.
Stop by The Lodge Thursdays
Community members are welcome to visit The Lodge at 2 p.m. each Thursday to enjoy a social hour where they can play board games/cards with residents, or just stop by to chat.
Visitors are welcome to share a talent, such as playing the violin, knitting lessons, or adult coloring. Residents love to see dance and piano recitals, too.
“We’ll provide the coffee, the beverages, and the snacks,” Davis said. “We want to be a place for people in the community to go.”
For those who’d rather spend time outdoors, The Lodge is offering six community garden plots this spring. If more than six people sign up, Davis said additional plots can be added. The plots are about 3 feet by 4 feet, allowing gardeners to grow tomatoes, onions, lettuce, flowers, or whatever they enjoy.
To sign up for a garden plot, or to share a talent during the Thursday social hour, contact Davis at (320) 543-1010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.