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Thursday, July 28, 2016

'They all had a good, laughing time'

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

While a pontoon ride starts, Dyersburg Manor's Margaret Lee, James Ray, Bruce Overton and Ruth Baker, from left, opt for a bank view of the lake.
Seventeen residents of Dyersburg Manor Nursing & Rehab Center and Oakwood Community Living Center were given a special treat May 25 -- a day of fishing.

A week later, it's still a big topic of discussion.

It started a few weeks earlier when friends Roland Criswell and Oakwood resident Rupert Heathcott were talking about fishing. Criswell then contacted Frank Miller to see what he thought about taking Heathcott on a little field trip.

When Kevin and Diana Griffith first saw this picture on a realtor Web site, they knew it was what they were looking for. They renamed Viar Lake in honor of his grandmother. The property is now Fyrne Lake Farms.
"When he was talking, it dawned on me -- why not take the whole nursing home that way, the nurses would be there if something happened," said Miller, who has volunteered at area nursing homes for some 19 years.

Miller then called Kevin Griffith to set up the trip. But as those plans were being made, Miller "thought if we had one nursing home, why not two?"

"I thought it was a great idea," Griffith said.

Dyersburg Manor residents -- including from front, Amanda Harris, Ruth Baker, Bruce Overton -- and staff -- including admissions coordinator Susan Kellough -- lined the bank of Fyrne Lake to do a little fishing.

For the residents of Oakwood -- John Holland, Gloria Robeson, Mae Fortner, Joe Coats, Gladys Isbell, Mary Ellis and Elbert Seratt -- the day was literally a dream come true.

"Fishing was a wish for a number of the residents," said activity director Pat Sanders. "We'd been planning to go for several weeks but the weather wouldn't permit it."

Oakwood resident Elbert Seratt, front, and activity director Pat Sanders wait for a bite while housekeeping and laundry supervisor Angela DeBoard and resident Joe Coats enjoy the afternoon.
Oakwood has been participating in the Second Wind Dream program since in September 2001. Second Wind Dream is a national organization dedicated to mobilizing community resources to fulfill the wishes of residents and seniors. The non-profit organization based in Alpharetta, Ga., works to bring seniors back to the forefront of society and make them feel special.

The program places dreams in five categories:

? relationship-based dreams -- for example, to reunite the family.

Dyersburg Manor CNA James Kreitzer assists W.R. Holder.
? lifelong dreams -- for example, to reach an achievement like learning to play the piano or to swim.

? dreams to relive a past experience -- for example, riding a motorcycle or dining at a favorite restaurant.

? dreams for fun -- for example, riding a roller coaster.

Cool temperatures and sunny skies provided a perfect day for Lucille Borden, Limuel Daniels, John Holland and RSVP director Carolyn Finley to take a pontoon boat ride.
? need-based dreams -- for example, granting a wish to those who don't have the financial ability to do so.

To fulfill those dreams, the Oakwood Dream Weaver committee asks residents if there is something they wish they could do, what they are good at and if there's anything in the world they'd like to do. Then it's just a matter of setting the dream in motion.

At Dyersburg Manor, finding residents who wanted to go took just one question.

Cool temperatures and sunny skies provided a perfect day for Lucille Borden, Limuel Daniels, John Holland and RSVP director Carolyn Finley to take a pontoon boat ride.
"I told them about it one day last week," said Dyersburg Manor activity director Kathy Giles. "They've been so excited about it."

Enjoying the day from Dyersburg Manor were residents Ruth Baker, Velma Addison, Lucille Borden, Limuel Daniels, Amanda Harris, T.C. Thurman, Margaret Lee, Bruce Overton, James Ray and W.R. Holder.

With transportation provided by Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency and RSVP, the residents spent some four hours fishing and taking pontoon boat rides.

"It was wonderful," Miller said. "It seemed everybody loved it. Being outside on a nice day, they all (residents and employees) had a good, laughing time."

Griffith and his wife, Diana, purchased Viar Lake and the acreage surrounding it in the fall of 2004.

"It was a dream of ours to have a wilderness setting and make our home," he said as he prepared a fishing pole for one of his guests. "We were looking for a lake that hadn't been developed yet. Our plan is to keep it this way."

After deciding what they wanted and where, the Griffiths looked for the location for two years.

"We started in East Tennessee and came west," he said. "We almost ran out of Tennessee before we found it."

For Griffith, the dream of having undeveloped lake property goes back to his childhood. Born in Indiana, his family moved to Florida when he was 3. His grandparents still lived in Indiana and he spent his summers with them. He learned to fish from his father and his grandmother.

The Griffiths found the Viar Lake property through Internet searches. They were attracted to the spot not only because of its remoteness but also the view -- from the air, the lake looks like a fern.

"We got in contact with a realtor who remembered the property was for sale a few years back," Griffith said. "As soon as we were out on the lake, we knew it was the right one."

After negotiations were finalized, the Griffiths purchased the property in October. They come once a month from their home in Clearwater, Fla., where he is president of Depco Pump Company, which distributes and assembles custom pumps for boasts and industries nationwide. They will soon begin building a home on the property, which he has renamed Fyrne Lake Farms in memory of his grandmother and for the aerial view of the lake. Criswell is the property manager.

While Dyersburg Manor and Oakwood residents and employees did get several tugs on their lines, not many fish were caught. That didn't hinder the fun of the day.

"This is just beautiful," Giles said of the setting, "and just getting out on a day like today is just wonderful."

The day was not only a memory maker but also a time of reminiscing.

"Fishing is something most residents used to do with their families, especially on weekends, to go see nature," Sanders said.

A week later "this is something they're still talking about," Sanders said of the May 25 trip. "They all enjoyed it and have been asking when we're going on another (fishing trip) and another boat ride. We're planning for another one."

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