by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
Lynn Street Manor (LSM) of Onaway is decked out for the holidays thanks to a dedicated group of residents, who have decorated the community gathering places and halls for Christmas.
The senior apartment-housing complex in the southeast corner of town was led by the spirited decorating team of Carmen Clayton, Anna Wood, Eva Gilbert, Bob Mann, Rich Lucier, Gail Milledge and Cheryl Nichols.
Clayton was involved in decorating five Christmas trees, including the small one in her apartment that would make the founders of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland take notice. There is a tree on every level – even the lower level. The elevator doors open and there it is.
Carmen has been involved in decorating LSM since moving there almost five years ago and believes it is getting bigger and better every year.
“I used to decorate my house all of the time,” said Carmen. “I came here and there was a need to get it done and jumped right into it. I love doing it.”
The blue tree in the lobby is her favorite this year.
“I love blue and I did not get a chance to do blue last year, so I did it this year,” said Carmen.
Nichols, who is experiencing her first year at LSM, has enjoyed the camaraderie.
“Just getting everybody together – having fun,” said Nichols. “Talking about family Christmases we’ve all had.”
“Instead of focusing on the negative,” added Carmen, “if there is any sadness or loneliness, sometimes when you get together with other people, it puts a smile on your face.”
Members of the decorating team have enjoyed the ensuing praise from other residents and visitors that has come from their efforts, but Cheryl gives Carmen a lot of credit for the way the inside of the building looks.
“(Carmen) does a wonderful job,” said Cheryl. “This was my first Halloween here, too. She had the place fully decorated. It looked really cool.”
With a week left until Christmas, was everything done? Maybe, yes. Maybe, no.
“Pretty much,” said Carmen. But if she sees any empty spot, she’ll fill it with a stuffed Rudolph or Frosty, or Santa figurine.
There’s always plenty of decorations that have been donated to LSM over the years, sitting in totes, ready to get used again.
“In general, I’m done,” said Carmen.