It’s a typical Wednesday at The Village of Arbour Trails and Peter Moogk, Roy Nicol, and Amber Cullen banter back and forth around the billiards table in the lounge, as they do quite often most late afternoons. They sound like old friends.
Peter and Roy are, in a way; Peter moved to the Village only months after it opened and when Roy moved in about four years ago, they became quick friends around the pool table, playing the game as they got to know more about each other.
Amber is the newbie.
She has cousins and an aunt who work at Arbour Trails and she answered a call for people to work the screening table in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She moved from Windsor to Guelph to take the job and quickly found she enjoyed it immensely, mostly because of the time she spends getting to know the residents. She connected with Roy early on and he suggested she join him for a few games of pool with Peter. Sometimes others join but it’s often just the three of them
“She’s a very special little lady,” Roy says of Amber, mentioning with a smile that he’s gone so far as to adopt her as his third daughter. “I’ve got two already and they’re quite a bit older than my youngest one here.”
Amber laughs and turns her attention to her next shot. When she first started playing, she admits she wasn’t much good, but practicing alongside her two friends has improved her game. She’s beating Peter at the moment and she’s trying to keep up the momentum.
Roy offers a few tips and she sinks another ball.
When she was a kid her parents would sometimes take her and her brother along with them to the local restaurant near their cottage. There was a pool table there and they would often smash the balls around and that was the extent of her billiards experience.
If she’s honest, the skill isn’t necessary – she simply enjoys visiting with Peter and Roy.
“It’s definitely nice getting to know them a little bit more,” Amber says. “Peter was quite the professor and Roy was quite the printer.” She starts to talk about their professional histories as Roy steps up to offer her tips on how to sink a precarious ball resting upon the edge of the black ball at the corner pocket.
Peter taught physics, so maybe he’s the one who should be offering the advice.
The game ends and Amber, Roy and Peter continue to chat. It’s a routine they’ve grown to look forward to and Amber says she sees a possible future working beyond the screening table, based on her past months working in The Village. Know Me is a key value within the Schlegel Villages CONNECT the Dots Customer Service Credo, and Amber innately understands how to connect with Village residents.
It had never occurred to her before to work in service of seniors, but she’s a natural with people and relationships are the foundation of community within Schlegel Villages. At the billiards table in Arbour Trails, the best of that foundation is on display.