We’re Celebrating Christmas at Kirby Pines

Merry Christmas everyone! The spirit of the holidays cannot be missed at Kirby Pines. From the seventeen-foot live tree in the main lobby, to the carolers performing weekly, the spirit of the season is alive throughout the community.

Resident Programs has planned a variety of events for your enjoyment throughout this holiday season. In between events, many resident volunteers are keeping busy in the Blossom Shop, assisting the front desk as they sort through dozens of packages that arrive each day, and delivering them to residents who request that assistance. It is hard to imagine that a better group of volunteers could manage all of the packages that arrive each day. Well, maybe a group of Santa’s elves could do the job, but Memphis is a long way from the North Pole. Many other residents are volunteering their time to assist others in the community at large as well. No matter where they choose to volunteer, the spirit of Christmas is evident in their good works.

Of course it would not be a holiday season without some extra treats from Kirby’s culinary department. Can you imagine coming to work each day, and baking cookies, making egg nog or hot cider just one more time? This is just the kind of added daily activity that occurs in the kitchen during the holiday season at Kirby Pines, along with meal preparations for the hundreds of residents that live here. Just the same, these employees find time to relax and enjoy the spirit of Christmas that abounds throughout the community. By the way, if you have not made plans for Christmas Eve or Day, think about joining us for a delicious meal prepared in our dining room. I am sure you will find the meal delightful and the warmth of friendships comforting.

The decorations certainly add to the excitement of the season, but let us not forget this holiday celebrates the birth of Christ. His life and teachings are the basis for the values incorporated into our mission statement. It is with this in mind, that I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas, and the prospect of serving you in the year to come.


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Getting Back To Tradition at Kirby Pines

Celebrating Thanksgiving this year will certainly be different than the past couple of years. Like so many other holidays these past two years, the holiday, and not the pandemic, will be on everyone’s mind. We can again be thinking about who we were inviting to dinner here at Kirby Pines or where we might be traveling to meet family and with whom we might be celebrating with in our homes. This year we may experience how “celebratory” this holiday may feel, as we are mindful of the many blessings we have to be thankful for.

When Thanksgiving was first celebrated, it was customary to be thankful for our blessings and to say a thankful prayer as part of that ritual. As our world has evolved, that tradition continues, despite the movies that depict a more stressful family gathering or an over humorous family gathering. True, there can be stressful factors, whether it’s traveling, family conflicts, or cooking that didn’t meet everyone’s expectation, but the act of engaging in the tradition of gratitude changes those experiences from a negative to a positive.

Regardless of the potential for stress, most people would agree that a holiday centered around food and loved ones, is a great way to spend the day. The bonding that comes from either cooking for others, or sharing a meal with others, is another blessing we can all be thankful for. Mark Simpson and his culinary team plan on providing a wonderful traditional feast for you and Kirby employees this Thanksgiving. Together we can celebrate the bonds of friendship that have developed over the years; the blessings we share by living and working in a community filled with love; and the gratitude we gain from just being good to one another.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

39 Years of Community at Kirby Pines

This September, Kirby Pines LifeCare Community celebrates its thirty-ninth anniversary. As with any anniversary, a lot of planning goes into making this celebration one that will be enjoyable and memorable. Each year, a theme and a color is selected for the anniversary year. This year the color is Daisy Yellow and the theme is Greetings.

Yellow daisies have a strong association with cheerfulness, friendship, joy, and wishing someone well or “get well”. These feeling are frequently used to describe our community, and as a “LifeCare” community, the wishing of someone’s wellness or to get well is especially meaningful to all that live and work at Kirby Pines. Daisy flowers grow all over the world and have a long list of symbolic meanings. They symbolize new beginnings and rebirth; cheerfulness, hope and fun. Much like the annual celebration we have come to know as Lighting of the Lake.

This year’s theme for Lighting of the Lake is “Greetings”. A noun that means something friendly or a message that says you hope someone is well. Greeting is the act of welcoming; the acknowledgement and/or expression of good will. A perfect pairing with this year’s color of Daisy Yellow as described earlier in this message.

In the military a greeting is signified by a salute – a formal military gesture of respect and honor. Honor is also a source of credit or distinction given to individuals in service, and in this post pandemic era, it is an appropriate theme acknowledging employees and residents alike in celebration of Kirby’s thirty-ninth anniversary. 

So don your daisy yellow attire and gather near the lake on Saturday, September 10th to join in the fun as we celebrate another successful year of growth and service to all who work and live at Kirby Pines. 

Happy Anniversary, Kirby Pines!


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Celebrating New Things at Kirby Pines

The thirty-ninth anniversary of Kirby Pines is just a month away. Whether you have been a resident for thirty-nine months or just thirty-nine days, you are enjoying first hand the numerous improvements and upgrades the community has made over the past years. These improvements and our consistency as a leader in the senior living industry, has resulted in Kirby Pines being voted the Best Retirement Community by the readers of The Memphis Commercial Appeal for fifteen consecutive years. 

Here are just a few reasons why we have earned this citywide recognition year after year: The Performing Arts Center over the years has hosted artists from our own Resident Groups, the New Orleans Jazz Ensemble, Memphis Opera and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. The Dog Park is now opened, allowing our four legged Kirby family a place to run free and enjoy the shade provided by the majestic pine trees that border the park; cornhole boards are now permanently in place and tournaments have become one more enjoyable sport that many play on campus; dozens of koi fish have been introduced into the lake and several residents enjoy feeding them along the banks or from the bridge; the walking path in Kirby’s natural preserve was recently redone for those who enjoy daily walks with nature; the Art Wall has become so popular that we had to expand the gallery area; and we are steadily moving forward with the renovations of hallways in each building. Of course, the grand lobby continues to be busy place for residents to gather near the fireplace, around the concert Steinway piano, in the bright and cheering sunroom, or at cozy niches by the grand staircase. 

Regardless of how long you have been a resident, or have been contemplating a move to Kirby Pines, our thirty-ninth anniversary is possible because of the trust you and so many in the Memphis community have in us. On behalf of all employees, thank you for your cooperative spirits throughout the years, and may I suggest you make some time to relax in August, as our thirty-ninth celebrations are just a month away.


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Celebrating The Summer at Kirby Pines

July is traditionally the month when we begin to think about summer, however, the summer high temperatures began in June this year. July is also when we begin to plan celebrating America’s independence with family and good friends. This July will be no exception for residents at Kirby Pines Life Care Community.

As part of national Hot Dog Month, the Bistro is bringing back to its menu a Hot Dog of the week. What better way to celebrate the opening month of summer than with a meal that is so closely tied to family outings, and the gatherings of friends. In addition, it is an excellent way to entertain grandchildren and great grandchildren visiting for the day.

If the start of summer weather has you feeling like staying indoors, then why not take a moment to check out a book from the library, or find the perfect movie playing in the movie theater. You can also enjoy playing cards or bingo, or just sitting back and relaxing to various musical entertainment available to you this month in the PAC. Living at a life-care retirement community such Kirby Pines, offers so much more than simply living in comfort. Living here provides you with more time to spend doing the things you enjoy, including volunteering.

Volunteering brings benefits to both the community at large and the residents who volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It also contributes to making a more cohesive community by building trust and reciprocity among the residents. Call Allison or Rachel in Resident Programs to find the perfect place for you to volunteer. 

As we gather to celebrate Independence Day, take a moment to think about all we have come through together these past few years; and join with me in thanking our employees and workers for their tireless hours of service to you and Kirby Pines.


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Celebrating Our Fathers at Kirby Pines

Father’s Day is the perfect occasion to express feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to every dad, both living and deceased. Though the day is celebrated with enthusiasm in present times, it wasn’t always that way. Father’s Day celebrations had a very modest beginning. In fact, the idea is said to have come from Sonora Dodd who while listening to a sermon on “Mother’s Day” in church, wondered why there wasn’t a special day to celebrate dad. So to pay tribute to her father, Sonora held the first Father’s Day celebration on the 19th of June 1910, on the birthday of her father.

In 1913 a bill was officially introduced and the idea approved by President Woodrow Wilson three years later in 1916. In 1924 a National Father’s Day Committee was formed, however, it took Congress thirty years to give recognition to Father’s Day; and another 16 years passed before President Richard Nixon established the third Sunday of June, as a permanent observance day.

Therefore, in recognition of all fathers throughout the world please enjoy the word of Nicolas Gordon: 

Fathers are forever. Even death, 
Although a distancing, does not divide 
The child from a parent, nor does time, 
However long, nor space, however wide, 
Enduring beyond silence, beyond breath, 
Resonant where hours cease to chime, 
Some yearning inconsolable abide.


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Celebrating Our Mother’s at Kirby Pines

It’s that time of the year when we stop and honor those who many say has been the most influential person in their life, their mothers. These women not only raised us to be who we are today, but along the way they taught us many things about being good citizens in the community in which we live. There were times when our mothers taught us by example, and other times when they told us about others who were doing something extra to make their community a better place to live. We are who we are today because of what our mothers instilled in us as children, nurtured in us as young adults, and for which they praised us as we grew. 

This May in our large display cabinet opposite the Blossom Shop, we pay tribute to our mothers who taught us how to be who we are today. And while the cabinet is certainly not large enough to have a photo or momentum of everyone’s mother, it certainly can give us a glimpse of dozens of women who help shaped the future by raising children with empathy, work ethics, and the spirit of community. 

So on May 7, when Kirby Pines holds its annual Mother’s Day Cookout on our beautiful park-like grounds, remember that we, too, are doing our part to better the community. The cookout is, after all, not just about food and fun, but about honoring the people in our lives who raised us to be good citizens, and to give something back to the community in which we live. 

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month

Donald Grear

Transportation Driver

Describe your family: Wife Sheri, kids Ben & Betsy, grandchildren Sophie, Huxley, Harrison & Miles.  

Describe yourself in five words: Loving, funny, inquisitive, passionate, dependable.

What do you do for fun: Follow my grandchildren, listen to music, watch documentaries, workout. 

Do you have any hobbies or interests: Researching my genealogy and writing.

What is your favorite food: Tacos.  Favorite song: Rhapsody In Blue by George Gershwin. 

What is your favorite thing about your job: Talking to the residents. I never knew my grandparents, so they are the next best thing. 

What is something you are proud of:  Helping raise exceptional children who are loving, helpful and good friends to their friends. 

What would you like people to know about you:  During my 35 years producing television programs and custom videos, I have traveled to every state except North Dakota and Alaska.

Donald has been taking on the added duties and responsibilities of Transportation Supervisor since the position has been vacant. He is very friendly and always has a good attitude. Don has been making the schedules, assisting with the delivery of packages to residents and taking care of the transportation needs for residents and employees. We are proud to have him. 

– Michael Escamilla, Executive Director

Spring Is Finally Here at Kirby Pines

Spring is finally here! At least it will be here officially on March 20, 2022. It will be a true joy to have warmer weather, a nice breeze on a bright sunny day, and to see the budding of trees on our beautiful Kirby Pines campus. In fact, the beauty of our campus will make the additional six weeks of winter Punxsutawney Phil predicted seem worth it. The sight of daffodils, irises, and azaleas in bloom will be a treat for all of us to enjoy. In fact, one of the first nice warm days of spring will be the perfect time to take a stroll outside along the many walkways as new blades of green grass come up.

Speaking of green and purple, the first day of March is Fat Tuesday, so get ready for a fun filled day. Followed by another fun filled day on the 17th as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with good Irish food in the dining room, and the “wearing of the green” by residents and staff.

Maybe one of us will even be lucky enough to find the elusive “pot of gold”, that one of the little people has hidden at the end of the rainbow after one of the spring rainfalls.

Spring is also a good time to clear out your closets of stuff no longer used or needed, and to give those items to a local charity. Kirby has been collecting unwanted eye glasses for several years now, and these always go to use as they are repurposed and given to individuals in need. If you have any eye glasses you want to donate, there is a donation box for them in the mail room.

When doing your spring-cleaning, don’t forget to check your storage bins for those items packed away and forgotten. After all, Easter will be here the third week in April and you will need that extra space in your closet for your entry into our annual Easter Hat Contest.

Spring is definitely here! So get your green clothes out of the closet and get ready for a joyful month of springtime festivities at Kirby Pines.

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Happy Christmas to all at Kirby Pines

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a Mouse…”

The sentence above is familiar to us as the opening of one of America’s most beloved Christmas stories, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” attributed to Clement C. Moore. It is the tale of what happened to one family on Christmas Eve that has been embraced by individuals around the world. In fact, for many, the story is told and retold throughout the Christmas season. The story paints a vivid picture of peace and happiness within a household that is pleasantly disrupted by a visit from jolly old St. Nicholas. So well written is this poem, that we can visualize the snow outside, the gifts under the tree, and most importantly the ending blessing. 

Much like the household in this Christmas story, Kirby Pines is filled with warmth and love for one another. Employees, much like Santa’s elves, go about their duties quietly so that you can enjoy their gifts of housekeeping, transportation, nursing, yard work, building maintenance and food. Residents snuggle into their beds with the comfort of knowing their safety and well-being are first in the minds and hearts of our employees. 

Although the story of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” is a holiday tradition, let us not forget this holiday celebrates the birth of Christ. His life and teachings are the basis for the values incorporated into our mission statement.

To all of you I wish a blessed holiday season, and remind you “… I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night”

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines