Residents Christin Grady and her husband, Michael Grady are no strangers to adventure, having moved across the country as a young couple. That was in the 60s and 70s; they had dreams to chase. Christin, an international citizen, met her future husband, Michael while living in San Francisco to learn another language. They enjoyed their carefree life, spending as much time on the beach as much as possible.
With the encouragement of their parents, they left California and Hawaii behind and ended up making their home in Huntington. The pursuit of their education is what lead them to Marshall University where they both received advanced degrees. Those degrees lead them to their busy careers. Along the way, they also become parents. Christin is a lifelong educator teaching French and Spanish. Mike was CEO of Autism Services Center, which serves the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.
So many choices
The story of Christin and Michael Grady might sound different than some, but there is a common thread for all of us born at a time when possibilities for our futures were boundless. We are beginning to think about retirement. Work-life balance is again a possibility. The Grady’s reached that point and had many choices as they contemplated their future. It seemed that they were ready for another big adventure. Michael wanted more time to play golf, and Christin enjoyed her yard and gardening.
Christin and Michael thought about what was important and made sense to them. Their daughter lives not too far away, but they didn’t want her to bear the burden of making decisions for them. They did their due diligence and arrived at Woodlands, where they found what they were looking for, sort of. They spent a few years contemplating such a move and figuring out what choices were most important to them. Could they pack up all their belongings to relocate to a community? When would be the right time?
They attended an event at Woodlands while investigating their options called Rightsizing. An experienced designer, Linda Williams offered tips for cleaning out, organizing, and packing. That’s something that everyone making a move has to come to terms with. It’s a lot of work even when you are excited to move to a new home, no matter your age! Christin and Mike realized that they could choose a home based on things other than finding a way to fit in possessions that weren’t needed any longer. For instance, at Woodlands, many amenities, such as the Bistro, are great spaces to use for entertaining. Spaces that you don’t need in your private residence. You can save space bringing less pots and pans, serving dishes and linens, knowing that the team at Woodlands can cater private events in a variety of large spaces. No need to bring your treadmill or weights- those are available 24/7 in the fitness center at Woodlands. You also don’t have to use up closet space with a vacuum or bucket and mop because you won’t need it. The real benefit is that you don’t have to use your time to clean- unless you choose to. A full housekeeping and facilities team is on duty to keep the residences at Woodlands in tip top shape.
Most of the people that first visit Woodlands looking for a new home don’t begin the conversation asking for compromise. But the Gradys are a prime example of how to prioritize the factors in a decision to move. They found a happy medium between peace of mind for the future and the residence that they live in that gives them all the same things a larger residence at Woodlands would. The location of the residence was more important to Christin than the size. She wanted lots of light and on the first floor. Their residence has a beautiful porch. She can continue to garden in beautiful blooming pots. Michael was happy that she was happy! He had time to play golf instead of mowing his lawn. That made Christin happy, too.
Size doesn’t matter
Did they envision that after selling a larger home in Huntington they would be happily settled in a one bedroom one bath apartment at Woodlands? I don’t think that they first realized that the true benefits of life at Woodlands is being surrounded by others. Research shows that relationships and connections with others is paramount to a long healthy life. You don’t have to look far to see those benefits at Woodlands. Walk the campus, inside and out, and you find many people engaged with others- working out, dining, or playing mahjong and bridge. A myriad of social, spiritual, and educational opportunities at all times of day are available. All the residents enjoy just the same, regardless of the size of their residence. Michael, an avid San Francisco Giants fan, enjoys watching the games with fellow fans. Christin is a convert to croquet and likes the comradery of being part of the team.
Woodlands offers many size residences of all different size and location. Don’t let size be the thing that keeps you from enjoying the benefits of the region’s only not-for profit continuing care retirement community. Look at the whole picture- including being surrounded by people who will impact your quality of life far more than a few square feet ever could.
Learn more about how to go small and live a large life at Woodlands by planning your visit today. Juliette is available by calling 304-697-1620 and is happy to share how peace of mind for the future can be yours.