By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Marie Pohling, who began Amazing Days in 1994, retired in December. She turned the keys over to Karen Johnson who has been working at the elderly care center for 2 1/2 years.
The nursing home, nestled in the woods, north of Randall, was a home to many over the years. Pohling took care of the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and those unable to live alone. The non-institutional environment is friendly, relaxed and homey.
“Marie was like no one I’ve ever met,” said Johnson. “She is caring, loving, courteous, thoughtful and helpful. She did great things for the people here.”
Pohling started Amazing Days after her husband Kent had three heart attacks and a quadruple bypass.
“The outlook was not good and he couldn’t work. He told me he wanted to move north, nearer our daughters who lived then in Staples and Motley,” said Pohling.
So that’s what they did, even though Pohling had just started an Elderly Care Center in her home in the Twin Cities.
“One of my residents from the Cities moved to Randall with us, then two more followed,” she said.
“It’s amazing what she’s done here. The residents are loved and cared for with a family setting. The residents enjoy it a lot,” said Johnson. “They are treated like family.”
Pohling said her joy is serving those with Alzheimers.
“They are so vulnerable, they needed me so much. I guess I needed to be needed,” she said. “Plus, Kent and I had a big family to take care of and we liked that.”
In the 20 years that Pohling operated Amazing Days, more than 80 residents have lived in her home. The longest lived there for nine years and died at the age of 104.
Pohling said proudly that Amazing Days was a Christian home, with prayers at each meal and at bedtime.
“To me, that’s important,” she said. “We also had Bible study two times each week.”
For entertainment, the residents have Asian deer to feed and pet. They also plant and harvest a vegetable garden and help with the canning. Plum and chokecherry trees provide the fruit for jams.
Pohling decided to retire for many reasons, but the cold winters was a primary one. She suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, a neuropathic disorder characterized by intense facial pain. She said the cold affects it the most.
She also has asthma.
So Pohling has decided that North Carolina is the place for her in the winter and that it was time for her to sell.
“I miss the Alzheimer patients the most,” she said. “It think I relate to them really well.”
Pohling said that she knows that those who lived at Amazing Days had a good, quality life.
“God has been good to me. I spent my life helping others in a job I loved,” she said.
“I am a different person today because of Marie,” said Johnson. “Nothing prepares one for the attention the elderly need. She gave me a new understanding of those with dementia and how they see the world. It’s nice to understand their perspective. I am able to jump into their world now and then.
“Marie had built a great home for the elderly and I’m carrying on with the same concept,” said Johnson. “I won’t be changing a lot here.”