Spring Newsletter

New Beginnings Await in Our Spring Newsletter!

With the arrival of spring comes a sense of renewal and possibility – and our newsletter is no exception!

Welcome to Our Blossoming Newsletter!

As the season changes and nature comes to life, so does our newsletter! We're excited to bring you all the latest updates and news to help you make the most of this vibrant season.

Crafting Corner

The residents were sticking together like tiles with glue, creating mosaic masterpieces that bonded them closer than grout on a board, proving that teamwork makes the art work!

Birthday Bash

The resident birthday parties were filled with laughter, cake and cherished memories, proving that no matter the number of candles on the cake, joy knows no age limit.


The singing cowgirl moseyed into Auburn, strumming her guitar, leaving the residents "udderly" delighted with her toe-tapping tunes!

St. Patrick's Day Festivities

The residents had a sham-rockin' good time celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

Hoppy Easter

The residents were 'egg-static' as they hopped into action, coloring Easter eggs to help the Easter Bunny prepare for the big day!

Ageless Connections

The children from First Years Academy are like "little rays" of sunshine, brightening our residents' day with their infectious enthusiasm and genuine curiosity.

107 Trips Around The Sun!

Laverna Rohwer, a resident at Auburn Home in Waconia, celebrated her 107th birthday on February 26.

Laverna was born in Appleton, Wisconsin and later moved to Minnesota. She grew up on a farm and went to school in a one-room schoolhouse in Bertha, Minnesota. Laverna said, “those were the good ole days.” She continued her education attending business college in St. Cloud.

Laverna married her husband in 1942 and they had 3 children. She resided in Watertown, Minnesota and worked for Tonka Toys and Green Giant. At the age of 100, Laverna won a champion ribbon at the Carver County Fair for her work on an afghan.

Laverna appreciates a good caramel, and Werther's are her favorite. “Caramels are a girl’s best friend.” She said. When asked the secret to living to 107, She said, “I am just lucky.”

Laverna's advice, “Take one day at a time.”, “Mind your own business.” and “Live while you can.”

The 28th Annual Golf Tournament Save The Date

Why are flowers so popular?

They have a lot of buds.

Should I plant flowers in April?

May as well!

Why was the broom late?

It over-swept.

Family Council Meetings

If you are a family member of Auburn Manor in Chaska and are interested in forming a family council, please reach out to Peggy Sullivan at 952.361.0312. These meetings are family led groups that provide support with the goal of improving communication, quality of care and supporting one another.

Reminder monthly activity calendars can be found on our website.

Nata Lux: Born of Light

By: Dr. Barbara R. Cameron


I never saw her face. I still don’t know her name. She was lost in many ways, but my little Golden Retriever, Nata Lux, found her.


While at a senior, memory care center in Ohio, my North Star Therapy Dog and I were assigned to visit a nonverbal farmer, who greatly missed his animals. In the busy gathering area, the gentleman was calmly petting my girl, when abruptly, Nata stood; her visit completed. On a mission, Nata almost pulled me to the far corner of the room, where I found a large wheelchair, holding a slumped, small person.


Extremely thin, she was much younger than the others. Her uncombed, deep, brown tangles covered her bowed, jerking head, her body moving in accompaniment. The closer we came, the more we could hear her weak soprano voice, but there were neither words nor music, as the young woman could only emit an incessant, unintelligible babble.


Nata did not hesitate, but marched directly to her designee. Nata gently rested her soft, platinum chin on the tiny one’s knee, looked up and smiled the love-smile only a Golden can bestow. Unevenly, the young woman began to stroke Nata. I tried to imagine the illuminated eyes only Nata could see. With the her face shrouded, the frail one’s shrill, squeaky sounds continued. Suddenly, all in the room were quiet, as though the curtain had parted, the conductor’s baton had been raised, and we, the audience, were waiting with great anticipation for what was to come. 


And come it did. The barely audible, most beautiful performance ensued. As clearly as the sound of a piccolo on a cold winter night, all nearby heard, “She’s so pretty. She’s so pretty.” Twice. The tiny one and the golden pup were in their own world. 


Those six words, uttered to a six-year-old dog, were a symphony. A nurse and I blinked tears as my little girl and the young woman became one. I sensed we had witnessed a miracle, and quickly learned why. Nata’s new friend had not spoken since arriving at the center. The staff had assumed that, because she was mercilessly trapped in an unforgiving body, she could not comprehend. But, because she had referred to Nata as “she,” we knew the isolated girl had been watching and listening, aware all along. Loving, caring, little dog and feeling, lonely, little lady had blended their hearts through the musical language of love.


Nata and I returned to the center the next year, hoping to find her, but she was gone. The new staff didn’t know her. The old staff couldn’t recall her. The director guessed she had passed. I know her spirit now moves freely and joyfully in God’s heaven and plays with her own loving Golden Retriever. It’s comforting to know that Nata had shared, that her lost, little lady was a real, loving person who could hear, think, give and connect. 


I know that my little therapy dog brought her special friend joy, because Miss Lux uplifts me daily. It’s what my girl does, who she is. I believe that Nata Lux, her name in Latin, “Born of Light,” is walking, breathing, smiling, unconditional love. As such, Nata (pronounced, NAH tah) will sometimes give a friend or a stranger a “trust hug,” where she puts her head between that person’s knees, hoping for a little squeeze, so she can return the hug, doggie style. 


One Sunday following the service, Pastor Kyle joined us, as Nata was giving her “trust hug” to the sister of one of our Mount Calvary family. Nata did not want to return to me. By continuing to comfort our visitor, Nata gave me the message, which I conveyed in a whisper, “Nata is telling me that you are very worried about something. We are sorry and we hope it gets better. We will pray for you.”


The sweet lady raised her tear-filled eyes and said, “Both of my children were just diagnosed with cancer. Right now I can feel Nata praying for me, from my toes to my head and back again.” Pastor Kyle leaned forward and gently, but firmly, laid one hand on either side of Nata’s back. Looking up, Pastor Kyle, in his strong, soft voice, simply said, “Nata is the hand of God. She is all goodness. Nata is filled with God’s love.” 


Yes, like us, Nata Lux is born of God’s light, the illuminating light of Christ Jesus.


When life gets tough, as it sometimes does, I feel a bit lost, so I ask Nata to pray with me. As Nata puts her paws into my hands, I see the devotion in her eyes. Our bowed heads touch and we thank God for our blessings. At “Amen,” I am more grounded and I see solutions more clearly. Goals in life are easy to say, but sometimes challenging to meet. For me, I hope to be the person Nata believes I am. I want to be like my Golden Retriever, who shares the bright light of God with great joy and pure love.


Nata Lux was recognized by NAMI, the National Association for Mental Illness, for helping her young friend speak for the first time in the two years she had been in that memory care home in Ohio.


Named for the Christmas anthem, “O Nata Lux,”* beautiful Nata (NA-tah) is my service dog for balance. As this little Golden Retriever, with 25 years of breeding for calm, intelligence and problem solving, was so happy and loving, I knew I had to share my gift from God with others; therefore, we tested with Pet Partners International and joined North Star Therapy Animals. In addition to therapy visits, Nata and I also serve as an examining team for Pet Partners, International.


My parents were residents at Auburn in Chaska. Consequently, we are grateful to be able to visit Ken K. at Auburn Meadows in Waconia, where we are always happily welcomed by The Meadows’ energetic, kind, loving staff.  In that third floor room, the magic happens. Nata rushes to her Ken, and man and dog both lock eyes, and grin, radiating the love they share.  Yes, with every visit we receive far more than we give.


If you would like a North Star Therapy Animal visit, you may go to: https://northstartherapyanimals.org/request-a-visit/. Most importantly, please understand that North Star Therapy Animals needs more teams, as we cannot fill all requests. In your family, if you have a dog, cat, guinea pig, llama or miniature horse and would like to share the light by becoming a therapy team, I invite you to visit Pet Partners, Int’l, and North Star Therapy Animals** on line. In addition, Nata and I will be most happy to guide you through the process; therefore, we warmly welcome your call at 612.388.7765. You won’t be alone, as Nata is training my husband, Dan Hollinger, to join North Star Therapy Animals as well! 


Porter, T. “O Nata Lux,” 2005, Heritage Music Press. “O Nata Lux” is available on You Tube.

petpartnersinternational.org and northstartherapyanimals.org

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Auburn Homes & Services  |  501 N. Oak Street, Chaska MN

952-448-9303 | AUBURNHOMES.ORG