Three years ago on the 1st of July, Peggy Read and I moved into The Woodlands, shortly after the “Independent Living” facility opened. We have enjoyed our residency here, even though by some standards we are too mobile and energetic for this sort of residence.
Peggy and I made that decision because we reasoned that while we are, for our ages, in good physical and mental shape, we wanted to make the move before we became too decrepit to make a big , downsizing, move without huge stress. I have no children, and Peggy’s live in the far West, so access to help from the younger generation is significantly limited. We just felt that accomplishing the big move and getting used to the new environment would be a whole lot easier if we acted sooner rather than later.
Neither of us thought much about the sociological aspects of the communal living that characterizes a place like The Woodlands. There are wine and cheese parties, cribbage and bridge. We eat together in a beautiful dining room where the food is excellent and it’s wonderful to visit with different eating companions with whom we trade stories and make jokes. Funny how we seem to find humor in our various frailties. We have both gotten involved in volunteer activity : library, health care committee, newsletter, trails and weeding. We saved a lot of time when we gave up condo living: less maintenance, less cooking, fewer day to day chores, so I guess it’s natural that we would find other stuff to do in addition to our crossword puzzles and Scrabble.
I need to add that the Upper Valley, especially Hanover, Lebanon and White River Junction is an astounding cultural milieu with art, drama, dance, lectures and music. Oh, and add to this the matter of following and watching Dartmouth athletics and you really have a rounding out of a nearly perfect retirement environment. The quality and availability of these make our life far richer than we imagined back when we were busy with our careers.
I guess I can sum up by observing that life is still sweet in spite of the inevitable slow-downs that go with our generation.
Class of 1947