- Author: Paula Pashby
A while ago, my Dad's circumstances required him to change his living situation and location. So, my Dad, my siblings and I got together to decide what would be best for him. We all decided on Eugene, OR so he could be close to one of my sisters.
He was most interested in moving into one of 200 apartments in Eugene's only 18-story high rise building, Ya-Po-Ah Terrace Retirement Apartments. Prior to visiting, I saw a few pictures of Ya-Po-Ah and wasn't exactly thrilled about it – I thought that it looked like a high rise with no balconies, yard, etc. This didn't seem like his taste, considering the homes he had raised us in had plenty of outside space to observe nature, hike in the hills, build tree forts, and create lovely gardens.
We planned a trip to go visit my Dad and sister in Eugene, mostly to make sure Dad was settled into his new home at Ya-Po-Ah. When we got there, I was amazed at the beautiful landscaping surrounding this high rise; it wasn't just a stark tall building. We visited Dad in his apartment on the 13th floor and were delighted to see a beautiful view of a tall hill called Skinner Butte. Skinner Butte was known as "Ya-Po-Ah", (meaning very high place) in the language of the Kalapuya, who inhabited the Willamette Valley prior to the arrival of Euro-American settlers in the 19th century.
He then took us out to a small outside balcony on his 13th floor. Each floor has two balconies for the residents to step out to get some nice fresh air, and enjoy the views without needing to go down to the first floor and out the door, which is nice, considering the elevator ride is not the quickest.
One of our balcony visits offered an awesome view of numerous garden beds in a large section of the outdoor area. What an enjoyable sight! There were several garden beds assigned to any of the residents who desired them! It was so much fun to see how each garden bed was so unique - different heights and configurations, construction out of different materials, wheelchair friendly, etc. And then the plantings in the garden - I love them all. You can see all of the passion that these folks put into making their one garden bed their own, and when talking to them, so exciting to see how therapeutic these gardens are.