This week, Bill Marley, one of Springmoor’s newest residents shares his journey to Springmoor – his new home and his new extended family.
Many thoughts come to mind as Frances and I reflect on our journey to Springmoor. This journey actually began in quiet conversation one evening a few years ago as we discussed the notion of downsizing. Many “empty-nesters” tend to do this after growing weary of rattling around in a big house, climbing stairs to the second floor, and constantly attending the responsibilities of property ownership.
We were very independent, but had a few developing health issues. This led us to consider moving to one of the fine retirement communities in Raleigh. We are blessed to have our two sons and their families living in the Raleigh area. They would gladly provide all the assistance needed as we grew older. However, Frances and I wanted to spare them of that responsibility and the effect caring for us would have on their lives.
Being Raleigh residents, we were well acquainted with Springmoor. Many friends were living here and Frances had performed for the delightful Springmoor Residents many times as a member of the Cardinal Singers.
A Springmoor Marketing Counselor became our guide along this journey. It was an easy decision to choose Springmoor as our future home. We both had a comforting feeling of relief the afternoon we sat with her and signed papers placing us on the wait list for residency. Just having our names on that list gave us an immediate sense of belonging to this community.
After moving here four months ago, the feeling of belonging has grown stronger. Everyone has welcomed us into the Springmoor Family with open arms. We enjoy seeing old friends more often now and meet new friends almost daily. Frances has benefited tremendously from the expert physical therapy sessions at the Stewart Health Center. I enjoy being a cashier at Springmoor’s Little Corner Store one morning a month. Becoming more involved in activities and volunteering our services as much as possible is something we are looking forward to in the months ahead.
I want to express the thought that “comfort” and “relief” are defining words in our lives since becoming Springmoor Residents. This is particularly true for me. Frances uses a walker and depends on me to be her “legs” and perform more than the usual “chores” expected of husbands around the house. Her safety and well-being are first and foremost. When living in our Raleigh home, I carried on my shoulders the responsibility of being first responder by calling 911 and then doing all I could awaiting the arrival of help. The weight of that responsibility has been significantly lightened now that we are Springmoor Residents.
Before Springmoor, I was always uneasy leaving Frances alone at home when I had to make an occasional day-trip out of town. I made certain she had everything needed close at hand, including medicine, a charged cell phone, and list of emergency numbers. I scheduled my trips when one or both of our sons would be in Raleigh and could come to help, if needed. I then called throughout the day to make certain she was all right. I was always uneasy there would be a certain delay in getting help to her if she had any trouble.
Now I am “comforted” and “relieved” in knowing that if Frances needs help while I am away, she can dial zero, pull the security cord, or press the pendant and help will be at our door in a brief minute. On a recent 12-hour round trip to Bryson City in the far western mountains, I knew Frances was safe in our Springmoor home. I was much more at ease driving in the heavy I-40 traffic without an urgent feeling I needed to get back home as soon as possible. That night, as I turned off Sawmill at the end of the trip, the double driveways at the lighted Springmoor entrance were like two outstretched arms welcoming me home again. I knew Frances was awaiting my return, safely inside the community. Continue reading →
Simplifying your life isn’t just about removing the physical clutter out of your cabinets; it’s meant to make us look a little bit closer at our lifestyle and eliminate the things that keep us from truly enjoying life. In today’s fast-paced world, the idea of sitting on the porch with your family or a good book without having anywhere to be can be hard to imagine, but we’re here to tell you it’s possible. (ideal-Living Magazine, Becky Eades)
Springmoor makes it possible with our long list of amenities and services. We want you to enjoy your retirement – let us do the chores and run the errands. Simplify your lifestyle with our list of extras!
Interior and Exterior Maintenance
No more worries about fixing a leaky roof, waiting for an appliance repairman, or painting your interior. Our team will take care of everything on your list with a simple phone call. You can opt to be there or not when maintenance arrives. We want to make it as easy as possible.
Tired of mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs, aerating the lawn and spreading new pine straw? No worries, we have a landscaping crew that takes care of our beautiful 42-acre campus year-round. For those who still want to dig in the dirt on a smaller scale – that’s possible too. We have a garden that is prepped by the landscaping crew each spring. Our residents are invited to plant and maintain their gardens. Water and tools are available for everyone.
No more changing the sheets. No more dusting and vacuuming. No more scrubbing the bathrooms or the kitchen. Our housekeepers will come to your apartment weekly and take these chores off your list!
Need a quick visit to the see the doctor? Need a flu shot? Have a question for the nurse? They are all here on campus. Located in North Village, the clinic is only a short walk away. Need to recuperate after a surgery? Our short-term health center and physical therapist can have you back on your feet in no time. Need to see an off-campus specialist? We will arrange for transportation too.
Tired of cooking? Tired of grocery shopping? We can simplify that task too! Our dining services offer a nutritious menu with four different dining options. You may choose to dine-in or carryout a meal at lunch or dinner. Formal dining is available for both as is a more casual dining option in our cafes. Our buses will take you to the Farmer’s Market or your favorite grocery store on a weekly basis so you can still enjoy a home-cooked meal whenever you have time.
Traffic in Raleigh can be difficult to maneuver especially during the peak hours. Would you prefer to have someone else drive? Do you have an evening event or an outing in an unfamiliar place? Our drivers can be reserved to take you to doctors or business appointments. We offer activities via our tour buses for shopping trips, theatre and musical events, museum tours and educational outings on a daily basis. And a trip is always more fun when you have a friend and neighbor joining you!
Is your drive to the gym, especially on a rainy day, getting in the way of exercising regularly? Why not start your mornings with a lap swim or a water aerobics class in your building? Yes, both sides of our campus offer exercise classes and the newest gym equipment available. We offer over forty class options each week. Our campus has walking paths outside and is surrounded by a wonderful neighborhood with sidewalks and greenways. Springmoor will make your exercise routine easy.
Entertainment and Activities
Are you a season ticket-holder at Durham Performing Arts Center or the North Carolina Symphony, Raleigh Little Theatre or The North Carolina Ballet? Would you like to participate in an Osher Life Long Learning (OLLI) Class at NC State? Would you like to tour a museum or listen to a lecture, visit one of the triangle’s newest restaurants or volunteer to help with an English as a Second Language (ESL) program? We have all of these and so much more on the calendar. All you need to do is sign-up and we will take care of the rest! Continue reading →
Most mornings you will find the Springmoor Garden Club, a group of almost thirty gardeners: pulling weeds, watering plants or picking their vegetables. They are early risers and up and out before it is too hot each day. The season starts in April and will run through October. While the deer and the bunnies have had a healthy feast this year so have the residents at Springmoor. It’s an added benefit to live next door to one of the garden club members!
This week we asked them to write our garden story.
In preparation for planting, what did you do to prepare your section of the garden?
Everyone is extremely thankful for Thom Morgan, Springmoor’s Ground Manager, as he and his crew till the soil for each garden plot. After this step, everyone varies in their garden preparations. Because of the heavy mulch from years past, everyone has ample weeding to do. Some start in the late winter pulling weeds. Some use a weed-block. And others keep the weeds away, without using chemicals, by adding wood-chip mulch and newspaper (in abundance) to cover the ground. Lots of hoes and pole diggers were used to prepare the soil and plant.
What are you growing in your garden this year?
- The most popular plants this season were: tomatoes and peppers (sweet peppers and Tabasco peppers).
- Others vegetables included: cucumbers, squash, zucchini, okra, eggplant, and corn.
- Herbs on the list: basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, thyme, and rosemary.
- There were a few fruits: cantaloupe (hopefully writes the gardener) and watermelon (to cover the ground, decrease weed growth and keep the bunnies away).
- Flowers included: zinnias, snapdragons and marigolds. One gardener planted a pokeberry for the birds to enjoy!
Before you moved to Springmoor, did you have a garden? How long have you been gardening?
The answers for this questions range from “this is my first year” to “in my youth, my gardening was with my mother and dad.” She then added, “I can dig any problems, griefs, or hard feelings right into the soil.”
What’s different here than in your previous gardens?
These answers will make you smile. All of them were written with explanation marks (so be sure to read them that way too!)
- “Someone else tills the soil!”
- “There is loads of sunshine in the garden!”
- “I can’t shoot the bunnies here!”
- “Down East the soil is sand!”
Is there one vegetable, herb, flower or fruit that is more successful than another?
Most everyone agrees it’s the tomatoes. One gardener says, “The tomatoes make it all worthwhile.” From another gardener, “The cucumbers have done great. I harvest at least three a day. They put the tomatoes to shame!”
What have you done to keep the bunnies and deer from eating your crops?
A few helpful hints from our garden group: sprinkle cayenne pepper, plant marigolds, rosemary and hot peppers, add hair from your hairbrush, add a fence and/or pray! “Next year, I’ll plant melons too.” One gardener says that he’s had a bunny stretch out on the grass beside his plot as he worked and just waited for him to leave. “They are quite at home in this big garden!” And some write that they just “like to share. Well, the bunnies aren’t too good with sharing the parsley. They like to keep it all to themselves.”
What helpful hint can you pass along to new gardeners?
- Get a good helper!
- Don’t plant anything that won’t be used. Remember we don’t cook at Springmoor.
- Layer your plot with newspapers for control of weeds. It also helps hold the moisture in the soil. Cover with cypress mulch.
- Place a half bag of rich topsoil around each plant when you first plant it.
- Use an arbor to keep cucumbers off the ground.
- Keep flowers cut to keep them coming!
- Give tomatoes one inch of water per week.
- Plant early!!! You can always replant, but the early jump seemed to work well for others.
- Don’t give up! It’s fun and if things don’t pan out – there’s always next year!
- Be optimistic, water often, and ask advice from other gardeners.
- Don’t over fertilize and try to turn soil as deep as possible before planting.
- This one is the best: with a wink in her eye and a sly smile, she writes, “Get a BB gun, set up a tent by your plot, get comfortable and shoot the rabbits! Also, preparing the soil helps too.”
- How often do you work in your garden? What time of day?
Most of our gardeners are early risers and in the garden every two or three days. Before it’s hot they are out pulling on the weeds and watering. A few prefer the evening hours when there is more shade.
What happens to all of the items in your garden? Do you share with neighbors, cook them, can them, donate to the food bank or just eat them everyday?
Best advice from the blog writer – make friends with a gardener. They love to share their harvest.
What’s your favorite way to prepare you vegetables?
- Wash and eat!
- Tomato aspic
- Gazpacho – tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers (Vidalia onions and celery too)
- Cucumbers and vinegar
- Caprese salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar
- But the all time favorite is the tomato sandwich – white bread and mayo!
Your first visit to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) involves research and planning. Where to go, what to look for and what questions to ask will require researching as well as visiting different communities in the area. With each phone call and visit, you will become more familiar with the questions to ask and the things on your list that are the most important.
Asking questions of friends and family will help narrow your search too. What have they seen? What do they recommend? What experiences have their friends and family had in area communities? What activities and amenities does each property offer? How long is the waiting list? What type of fee schedule is offered? What types of floor plans are available? Taking time to research your questions will help with your planning. And planning the search process at least five to seven years prior to a move is important too.
The Waiting List
After you have made a decision on the perfect place, the waiting list will be the next step. This wait time at Springmoor can be from a few months to five to seven years depending on your preferences. A down payment will be required to put your name on the list but you can then enjoy all the amenities and activities offered. Gardening with soon-to-be neighbors and dining in The Bistro; attending a musical event and a lecture; or using the Wellness Center Pool and Exercise facilities are all available to our waiting list residents. This will also be the time to begin downsizing.
We suggest you start working on this in stages: room by room and months ahead of your expected move date. It helps to go through your items in several steps. Start small with a drawer and then a closet. Move from room to room. From small pieces of furniture to larger ones, from photo albums to clothing, from kitchen accessories to items in your garage – the project can be overwhelming. Once you start, it becomes an easy task. Just starting is usually the hardest part.
Your name has been on the waiting list. You’ve looked at lots of apartments and locations and today the phone rings. It’s Springmoor. Your name has come to the top and the next apartment is yours! The location is perfect and the floor plan is just what you requested. It’s time to schedule a Selections Meeting and choose a mover. You will be given floor plans and templates to help you arrange your furniture. We will provide you with a list of movers and Senior Move Specialists that can help with the next steps.
Once you’ve said, “Yes” to the apartment, it is time to make it your own. During the first design meeting you will choose paint colors and flooring. Cabinets, countertops, appliances, and flooring might be chosen too if the apartment is scheduled for a complete renovation. You may also add a few personal touches: ceiling fans for the patio, bookshelves in the office or living room, closet shelving and rods, can lights or any other special features that will make your new house feel like home.
The Springmoor Residents’ Welcome Committee will be here to greet you the day you move in. There will be orientation meetings prior to your arrival with a member of the Marketing Department. The Welcome Committee will have dinner with you and introduce you to a few new neighbors. They will let you get settled and be back to help answer questions in a few days. Finding your way to the mailboxes, the Garden Cafe or an exercise class can be daunting when you are in a new place. Your neighbors have been through this first week of newness too. The Springmoor Staff as well as your neighbors will reach out to make you feel welcome. We are all glad you have chosen Springmoor to call home! Continue reading →
It’s time for an All-American Independence Day. What’s better than apple pie or juicy slice of watermelon, a hot dog with all the fixin’s or a delicious hamburger with fresh lettuce and tomatoes? Top it all off with fireworks and baseball and you have the perfect summer day!
Art Ernteman, Springmoor’s General Manager of Dining Services, was asked what’s on the menu for our July 4th Celebration. Of course, he is serving everyone’s favorites and adding a touch of stars and stripes to the dining rooms too. Along with the burgers and apple pie, he’s added okra and tomatoes, grilled zucchini, potato salad, sweet potato fries, rotisserie chicken and baked beans to the menu.
The July 4th menu will include one of everyone’s Springmoor favorites – Strawberry Fields Salad. He says it’s easy to make and can be served as an entrée salad.
Strawberry Fields Salad
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
- Spring Mix Lettuce
- Sliced Red Onion
- Fresh Sliced Strawberries
- Walnut Pieces
- Topped with a Honey Poppy Seed Balsamic Dressing (serves 8)
- ½ cup of Balsamic Dressing
- Add honey and poppy seed to taste
We look forward to an afternoon get-together in the Garden Grill and The Terrace Room for a fresh slice of juicy watermelon before your evening activities.
Are you entertaining family and friends this week too? Raleigh has a long list of local farms. Lyon Farms offers two choices: you can pick your own bucket of berries or drop by their neighborhood produce stand. A Creedmoor Farm since 1861, they bring their fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood during the growing season. They are located only a few blocks away on Creedmoor Road! For the best blackberries – and a day on the farm – you can pick your own from mid-June to the end of July. They have a large of assortment of fruits and veggies at the stand and also sell a few speciality items that you won’t want to miss: pickled items, strawberry lemonade, jams, cider and corn on the cob.
Page Farms is located only a few miles away too. If your family is in town and you want to explore “a little bit of country”, they suggest you come for a visit. Blackberry season is in full swing now on their farm too. You can pick your own or buy them by the pound.
What’s more All-American than apple pie? How about a little minor-league baseball while your family is here? The Durham Bulls and The Carolina Mudcats have stadiums that are only thirty minutes away. Both teams are in town this week and have special firework events scheduled for their 4th of July celebrations after the game. The Durham Bulls take on The Charlotte Knights at the DPAP in downtown Durham. And at Five County Stadium, in Zebulon, you will find the Mudcats and The Salem Red Sox.
After a burger and a slice of apple pie, you and your family might want to head downtown to join in the Raleigh festivities. The ‘Works! begins at noon. There will be live music, Aerial Performances, Cirque de Vol street performers and more. The fireworks begin about 9:30pm. This great show always lights up the Raleigh skyline.
The young dancer laces up her pointe shoes for the first time and the magic of the ballet begins. In her lifetime, as she advances through many lessons, auditions, performances and professional debuts she will go through hundreds of pairs of pointe shoes. A professional ballerina wears a new pair for each performance and a different pair for each rehearsal. In one season, she will wear 100 to 120 pairs of shoes at a cost of $80 each.
No two pairs are alike. No two dancers are alike. The process of finding the correct shoe for her foot and finding her manufacturer can be a long process for each dancer. The shoes are molded to fit a dancer’s foot, from the toe box to the satin heel; each shoe is created for an individual ballerina.
LaVerne and Bob Wells were living in Washington, DC during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Bolshoi Ballet was performing at The National Theatre and La Verne had two tickets. Bob remembers the story well. He had never been to a ballet and really didn’t think this would interest him. LaVerne talked him into going with her and the magic of the ballet – the dancers, the music and the performance – was amazing. He was hooked! When asked to describe the feeling, he simply asks with a smile, “Oh, have you ever been?”
When the Wells moved to Raleigh the local ballet company was still in their developmental stage. The two traveled through the south to many competitions to see International and National performances. In 1998, they became season ticket holders to The Carolina Ballet. They have since become sponsors of the pointe shoe program.
Elice McKinley was their first point shoe recipient. After many years of dancing, she has recently retired at the age of 30. The Wells had not only watched her career but become personal friends as well. Meeting her often before or after a performance. The couple was recently paired with McKenzie Van Oss, who joined the company in 2015. She began her training when she was only a toddler, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. And has officially become part of the Carolina Ballet at the age of 21. She has also studied classical piano.
The Wells have been fans of the Carolina Ballet for the past twenty years. They rave about the addition of Robert Weiss, former Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet and principal dancer at New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. He was hired in 1997 to move the regional dance company, Raleigh Dance Theatre, Inc. to a professional company status. The Wells agree that the company is now one of the Top 10 in the nation. The North Carolina Symphony often accompanies the Carolina Ballet. There is an artistic staff of the thirteen; an administrative staff of twenty-seven and numerous volunteers all supporting the forty-four dancers.
Since their move to Springmoor, the Wells have changed their season tickets to the Sunday matinee performances. Joining their neighbors, they can travel together on the bus, arrive at the door and never worry about parking, traffic or the weather. Springmoor takes them from door to door for each performance. They often go on their own to watch a dress rehearsal or to a social event sponsored by the volunteer supporters. Continue reading →