Thursday, January 27, 2011

Execising in the Community Room

We had our first exercise class this morning. Nikki, the Wellness Coordinator, put us through a series of stretches which we all agreed felt good. At least, many of the stretches were challenging, and I guess that was good for us!

We sat in chairs to do the stretches today, but next week, we'll do some while lying on the floor, also. My old yoga mat will come in handy for those exercises. I must remember to bring my water bottle next time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting Acquainted

A group of residents thought it would be fun to meet in the library at Beacon Hill with our needlework projects. We did this today and pictured here are some of the women who showed up with needles and threads of various sorts.

We got acquainted as we visited while "needling". Everyone enjoyed the time together, so we decided to make it a weekly event, every Tuesday afternoon from 2-4 pm. It will be a casual gathering, just bring your needle work and prepare to make new friends as we get acquainted here at Beacon Hill.

I guess we need a name for the group. How about "The Beacon Hill Needlers"? If you have a suggestion for a better name, please leave a comment on this blog post. Maybe we'll actually get organized next Tuesday and take a vote on a name for the group!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meeting our Neighbors at Beacon Hill

Shortly after we moved into Beacon Hill at Eastgate, Dave and Judy Carpenter moved into the apartment next door to us. I recently sat down with them to get acquainted and learned that they have two kids who must have gone to East Grand Schools at the time that our kids were there. While they have lived in the Grand Rapids area since 1965, they actually met in kindergarten in the Upper Peninsula town of Iron Mountain. When I asked Judy if Dave used to pull her pigtails, Dave said Judy chased him. I didn’t ask if she kept chasing him through the years, but evidently she caught him!
Dave started out as an attorney in the trust department of a bank and soon established a law office with a partner. Together they had a general law practice, and Dave says he did a lot of estate planning.
Judy told me that she worked as a nurse at Blodgett Hospital. Having experienced the loss of a baby before its birth, she wanted to help others through that loss. So, she founded the Resolve Through Sharing program which still exists at Blodgett Hospital. Judy is also a Master Gardener. It was perhaps Judy’s interest in gardening that led the two of them to volunteer at Meijer Gardens where Dave learned to love sculpture as well as the gardens.
Dave and Judy say they played bridge “long ago” and are hoping to take up the game again with a group of casual, forgiving bridge players. While they looked at many Retirement Communities, they chose Beacon Hill because they felt it was the most welcoming. Now that they are here, it feels like family to them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meeting our Neighbors at Beacon Hill

When I sat down to dinner with George Anne and Dick recently, she told me that they had moved to Beacon Hill from Greensboro, North Carolina. Since they lived so far away they were not able to attend any of the seminars and social gatherings that were held during the time that this community was being built. They had decided to move here because they have a daughter in the area. I happened to meet their daughter at one of the Beacon Hill seminars. She told her mother about my blog. George Anne said that reading this Blog helped her feel connected to Beacon Hill.

Dick retired after a 35 year career as an engineer with Dow Corning. That job took him all over the world and I imagine he has lots of stories to share. Incidentally, he is looking for a partner to play the golf simulator here at Beacon Hill. George Anne is a seamstress who used to make all of her own clothes. She came by this skill naturally as her grandfather was a tailor. She and Dick are looking forward to having the Beacon Hill bus take them to cultural events in this city.

George Anne and Dick will spend May through September at their cottage on Bass Lake near Traverse City where Dick will be on the water most of the time, fishing. I imagine that is when George Anne will enjoy reading and being Up North.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Keeping Fit at Beacon Hill

It may be cold and wintry outside, but inside Beacon Hill at Eastgate we can keep fit while using the exercise machines. Stan and I have never used fitness machines, so we met with the wellness director who showed us how to use the various machines and made a note of the settings that were right for each of us. I'm using the machines three days a week and taking 25 minute walks in the hallways on alternate days.

Here's a photo of Carol Garey, one of the residents, on the treadmill. Beyond the windows in front of her is the swimming pool. The other photo shows Stan putting in some time on a machine.

Each time that we exercise we record how many "reps" we did and the time spent on the cardio machines. After a few weeks of this, we'll be increasing the weights on the strengthening machines as well as the time spent.

Have I mentioned that the food here is really good? I justified eating tonight's yummy brownie because I did my walking this morning!