From Marshall to Maryland and back again
Mary Margaret and Aubrey King met while they studied at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia – the friendly college town that’s also home to Woodlands Retirement Community. After graduating and marrying, the Kings moved to Maryland and lived there for more than 50 years in various cities including Baltimore, Linthicum and Bowie.
But when it came time for them to transition to their ideal retirement lifestyle, at first they weren’t sure where to look.
“We went all over the place, from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, looking for our ideal Continuing Care Retirement Community,” Mary Margaret explained. “We just kept coming back to Woodlands! We visited multiple times and put our deposit down in 2014.”
“I’ve read many articles saying that college towns are very attractive retirement locations,” Aubrey said. “We went to school at Marshall, and Mary Margaret’s upbringing in Huntington provided us plenty of familiarity with the area.”
In the end, after a lengthy search for their next home, Huntington welcomed them back. In May 2018, the Kings moved into their residence at Woodlands.
Creating the perfect home
“We were picky when it came to the apartment home we wanted,” Mary Margaret said. “We’d get a call from Juliette [Buffington Tomlin, Woodlands’ Marketing Director] when something new was available, and we’d go visit to see if it was what we wanted.”
With their deposit in place, the Kings had priority to choose their ideal residence. When their perfect residence became available, the Kings picked a first-floor apartment home with a wraparound patio. In addition to getting their favorite residence, they loved the ability to have their new home customized to their liking.
“They took our apartment home completely down to the studs,” Mary Margaret exclaimed. “We chose our favorite flooring, paint colors, appliances and even the arrangement of the kitchen. That really helped us feel at home.”
A warm welcome back to West Virginia
The Kings recall that during their visits to Woodlands before they moved in, and especially during their first couple of months living here, the friendliness of the community really made an impression on them. The warm atmosphere at Woodlands reassured them that they made the right choice.
“Everyone was so welcoming and pleasant,” Mary Margaret shared. “We’ve made some really good friends in just a short time living here!”
“We really noticed a sense of openness,” Aubrey said. “It’s so easy to strike up a conversation with anyone here. Everyone is interested in learning about each other.”
One vibrant community inside of another
The amount of activities at Woodlands was one of the first factors that made the Kings feel welcome. Mary Margaret said that she and Aubrey are both involved in playing bridge, playing croquet and participating in a singing group. Off campus, the greater Huntington community offers everyone even more to do, such as volunteering at local attractions like Heritage Farm.
One of Aubrey’s favorite benefits of Woodlands’ location in Huntington is its proximity to the pair’s alma mater.
“Our ties to Marshall really help us enjoy our time here at Woodlands that much more,” Aubrey said. “We go to football games, I’m involved in an advisory board at the university, and we enjoy the artist series program that features all kinds of performing arts.”
While plenty of opportunities are available off campus, Mary Margaret also enjoys the convenience of Woodlands’ on-site amenities.
“You don’t even need to leave campus because there is a full wellness center, library, salon, doctor’s office and more. Anything you need is right here, and that’s so convenient.”
Comfort for now, security for the future
The Kings chose a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) not only for their own comfort, but also to benefit their family.
“Since we’ve done this, our children have thanked us vociferously,” Mary Margaret said. “It’s taking a huge weight off their shoulders, and it’s nice for them to know that we’re in one place with all the care we’ll ever need.”
Aubrey added, “We’re totally independent right now. It’s like having an apartment home at a resort property. It’s comforting to know that if something changes, we have that continuing care.”
When asked to sum up their Woodlands experience and their first few months of CCRC living, Mary playfully teased Aubrey. “When we started investigating, Aubrey was reluctant. He wasn’t completely sure he’d be happy. Now, just last week when we were getting ready to visit family in Maryland, Aubrey almost didn’t want to leave!”
To learn more about making your ideal retirement possible at Woodlands, call us at 304-697-1620, or click here to schedule a personalized tour!