They met when they were 18 years old. Margie came to Duke from Richmond and Peg came from Raleigh. Both girls were an only child and encouraged to go to Duke by their fathers. Both earned academic scholarships to pursue their degrees.
The Girl from North Carolina
Peg grew up in Raleigh, a Hugh Morson High School graduate and daughter of a Duke graduate. Her dad often said, “There’s no way I am letting you go to Chapel Hill.” So she packed her bags and left for Durham. She moved into Aycock Dorm on the East Campus, the Duke Women’s College side of campus.
The Girl from Virginia
Margie grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Her father loved Duke football and thought this would be a great place for his daughter. With her scholarship, she too headed for Durham and moved into Aycock (now East Residence Hall). And the adventure began for Margie and her new friends.
The girl’s rooms were on the same corner of the hall. Eight girls were paired with an upperclassman and each was given a large white hair bow to wear for six weeks. The bow was to be worn at all times to help designate the new freshman class. Both Margie and Peg wrinkled their noses with the memory of this initiation period at Duke. Margie recently found the bow and many other keepsakes in her scrapbook at her daughter’s house. The two girls and their roommates remained in the same dorm for the next three and half years.
Margie majored in Accounting while Peg chose English. Most girls stayed on the East Campus with their classes but Margie was often on the West Campus with her accounting, finance and statistics classes. She also spent lots of her time working in the library. She said she actually spent more time reading than working. Shelving the books often stirred her curiosity and she found herself reading a chapter or two of each new book. Peg described Margie as “very, very smart.” With a smile, Margie thanked her for the compliment and said her Duke days kept her nose in the books. Her scholarship was tied to her academics so grades were very important. Not to say that they both didn’t have fun while they were there too!
The football program was important to Margie’s dad. Yes, it was football they both said, that was the big sporting event at Duke in 1954. If you wanted to go to a Duke basketball game, you simply headed over to Cameron and walked right in. No tents, no camping out, and no tickets. Asked if they ever pulled any pranks, one of them giggled and told her story. She said her 2nd floor room was directly above the front door. Late at night, when a couple came back to the dorm and the boy turned to the girl for a goodnight kiss, they sprinkled water on them from the window above.
Fast forward, sixty plus years and the two are together again. They both graduated from Duke, got married and moved to new states. Both moved multiple times across the eastern United States, had children and pursued their careers. The two lost touch after they left the East Campus.
That is until the day that Peg saw Margie Ford’s name on the Springmoor move-in report. As she recalls, “the name sounded very familiar. I remembered a girl name Margie dating a boy named Tom Ford.” With a little digging, she put it all together and realized Margie was in her small Duke FAC group (Freshman Advisory Council).
The two both went on to pursue Master’s Degrees. After a few years of teaching English in Rye, NY, Peg received another scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Guidance Counseling. Margie, for her 65th birthday, completed her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Care. Peg was the President of Aycock Dorm and now is the President of the Springmoor Residents’ Association. Margie, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate continues to pursue her educational interest.
With their fathers’ encouragement, the girls moved to Durham. With their children’s encouragement they moved to Springmoor. The two now live on the same wing, separated only by a floor. The two Duke grads have come full circle and are back together again.
Asked what is the best memory from Duke both girls say the “adventure” of being away from home was the highlight of their college days. Yes, they are both avid fans and even with grandchildren at the other ACC schools, they would never, “not in this lifetime” ever cheer for anyone but their Blue Devils. Continue reading →
Now that you have retired, what are you doing with all of your free time? The Administration for Community Living has declared this Older American Month and is asking the same question. They are challenging us to Age Out Loud: Are you taking charge? Are you striving for wellness? Are you focusing on your independence? Are you advocating for yourself and others?
We ask these questions to one of our newest residents, Jan Hagarty. She toured the Springmoor Community with her son and her daughter-in law. They live in the area and thought it would be a great place for her to really retire. Really, meaning better weather and closer to her family. The words, slowing down are not in her vocabulary.
Jan and her husband raised two boys in the Northern Virginia area. When their youngest was only five, they decided as a family that they should have a group project to help others. As a nurse, administrator, volunteer, mother and teacher, she describes herself more as a server than a taker. Teaching their boys this lesson was important to the Hagarty family.
Their youngest son, Kevin, suggested they become a foster family. He wanted one of his classmates to come and live with them. The idea was hatched and 21 children later; the family has been a strong advocate for foster parenting and adoption. Their seventh foster child, Marvin, came to them when he was only five days old. He was adopted into their family at age two.
When Jan and her husband decided to leave the hectic life-style and traffic congestion in the DC area, they moved to the mountains of West Virginia. Her husband was quick to say, “we are going to volunteer, we are going to be involved and we are going to make a difference in our new community.”
Jan has kept these lessons with her as she has made her move to Springmoor. She arrived in mid-March. Step One: get involved! She took the Springtimes activity book and signed up for every activity that she could. She tried the lectures, she tried the outings, she tried the exercise classes, and she tried the art classes. The list was long but she knew that if she didn’t step out, she would be sitting in her chair and reading all day.
Striving for Wellness
Reading all day sounds like fun but not to a great way to stay active and healthy. She volunteered to work in the library as another way to surround herself with books. She has joined the Springmoor tai chi class and the yoga class. These additions have been great for her joints and her movement. She is feeling better than ever before!
Focusing on Independence
Not only is she jumping in to activities on campus but she is also learning her way around the city of Raleigh. Starting with the surrounding neighborhoods, she has found a church, an abundance of grocery stores and many new places to eat and shop. She hopes involvement in the church will enable her to find volunteer jobs in the community. She wants to enjoy all that her new city has to offer. Continue reading →
“As a full-body workout is optimal for all over muscle-growth, puzzle building can be considered a full-brain workout. The brain is comprised of two sides, the left and right. The right side is responsible for emotions, creativity and intuitive thought, while the left side is the logical, orderly and systematic component.
When you build puzzles, both sides are forced to communicate and work together, thus increasing cognitive function. You also give your occipital lobe a workout, which is the part of the brain that matches colors and shapes. Exercising the entire brain in this manner helps ward off future cognitive decline.” -The Alternative Daily
Puzzle building also increases visual perception and coordination of muscles. Children start early with large-piece puzzles to help with motor skills and problem solving. As we get older, puzzles become more difficult with smaller pieces and more detailed photographs. Jigsaw puzzles are a great workout for our short-term memories. Recalling the shapes and pieces as you scan through your puzzle and then to the pile of pieces, deciding which piece to try next, helps build muscle memory.
Residents of Springmoor will also tell you the puzzle table is great way to meet new friends and catch up on today’s news. On almost every floor of the campus you will find at least one, if not two, puzzles in the works. There are groups that meet in the morning after exercise class and groups that gather around the tables after dinner. There are some groups that have trays and separate pieces by color or shape and some that spread everything out on an additional table. You will find often find someone’s pet nestled under the table too.
As residents gather for “just a few minutes” they find they can’t leave the table until they find “just one more piece.” Time together is the best part about puzzle making. Everyone feels a sense of accomplishment as the last piece is put in place. And afterwards, no one wants to take it apart! Several puzzles have been glued together, framed and are hanging above the tables.
Peggy Blackburn, Eunice Bland and Pat Gessner are often found at their corner table on the first floor. The 2000 piece puzzle they recently completed of Cinque Terre, Italy was even more fun when they discovered that Eunice’s daughter and her husband had visited one of the restaurants on the mountainside. The colors were vivid and the pieces were small making the completion even more exciting when it all came together.
Ann Curren not only works flat puzzles but 3-D puzzles as well. When Leah Willis, our Residents Life Director, spotted her new style, she quickly ordered some for an afternoon activities class. They were a huge hit! A new dimensional challenge is added to your problem solving skills when you attempt this style. Not only do you need to find the pieces that fit together but also you must build the puzzle from the base up. Continue reading →
The Capital Area Greenway system in Raleigh has over 100 miles of trails. And the 3,700-acre system continues to grow! Have you walked a trail lately?
The 28 trails are located throughout Wake County and make for a great walk around the lake, through the woods or to a neighboring park. Some are short half-mile walks while others average one or two miles. The longest is the Neuse River Trail from Falls Lake Dam to the Wake-Johnston County Line. This trail is 27.5 miles long.
Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director has taken residents to parts of the Neuse River Trail many times. The bird watching, photography and hiking (leisurely strolling or power walking) are always a favorite with our group. Finding the turtles lined up on a log for a sunbath or seeing the heron in the middle of the lake is an added bonus.
The shorter trails at The North Carolina Museum of Art highlight the outdoor art exhibits and the local foliage garden, an Amphitheatre and a water exhibit. There are more than a dozen outdoor works of art in the park. Spanning over 162 acres, this is the nation’s largest outdoor museum park. And while you are there, you can enjoy more than 40 galleries inside the museum too.
The Raleigh Rose Garden is one of three accredited gardens in the Carolinas. The grounds include sixty beds with 56 varieties of roses. A walk around this park will leave you speechless. The J.C. Raulston Arboretum is another one of Raleigh’s favorite gardens. Nationally acclaimed, this garden has one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants adapted for the Southeast. J.C. Raulston started the arboretum in 1975. He came to NC State University to teach in the Department of Horticultural Science and developed the facility as a living laboratory for his students and the faculty. The gardens have grown to ten and a half acres and achieved international recognition for its plant collections. You can enjoy a different walk around the gardens each season as the plantings continue to change with the season.
Ready to tackle the longest trail? The Neuse River Greenway Trail offers everything from winding boardwalks over the water to agricultural fields. The 27.5 mile trail is completely paved, making it an easy walk or a great bike ride. There are seven bridges over the Neuse River including two beautiful suspension bridges. A part of this walk includes a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a path from the Outer Banks to the Great Smoky Mountains. Our group has enjoyed many segments of this beautiful park.
Prefer to stay in the neighborhood? Springmoor has paved sidewalks throughout our 42-acre campus that make walking easy. The community’s landscaping continues to change with the seasons – the cherry trees, azaleas and dogwoods will soon be in full bloom. The vegetable gardens on the South Village campus were mulched and tilled just yesterday. If walking around your own garden and digging in the dirt is more your style, you can enjoy a day in the sunshine a few simple steps away from home. Continue reading →
This week we celebrate our employees – our long-term employees. We have several that have been here since we opened our doors in 1984. Their dedication in making Springmoor a great place to live and work is applauded by all of the residents and by their co-workers. You will find them in various positions throughout the community.
In our Administrative offices you will find our Human Resource Director, Jim Cox and our Chaplain, Phyllis Mayo. And in the Housekeeping Department, you will find two very special sisters, Sandra Harris and Barbara Venson. These four employees have each been at their jobs for over 32 years. They all say, “it’s the residents” that keep them coming back every day. The residents have become an extended family to many of our employees.
We asked the ten employees that have been here over 28 years a few questions about their jobs. And their responses, though different, all had a similar theme. Helping others is what they like to do best.
What was your first job as a teenager?
A grocery store cashier, “puttin’ in tobacco” on the farm, a summer camp counselor, a babysitter, and a cook.
How many positions have you had since you’ve been here?
The ten long-term employees have worked in as many as four positions each and as few as one. Those that have had multiple jobs have moved around in their departments to manage other employees or try their hand in a new area of their department.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
These responses were the best! “I’m there.” And “just myself, helping as many people as I can.” And. “the person that does their job to the best of my abilities and takes pride in whatever I do.”
Where were you born?
Half of the group said Raleigh or the surrounding area. The other half came to Springmoor from Florida, Maryland, Georgia and Alabama. We have a very southern group!
What time do you wake up every day?
We have a group of early-risers, most telling us they are up by 5:30 each day.
If you were sitting on an airplane next to a celebrity, who would you like it to be?
Oprah, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Diana Ross, Pope Francis, Halle Berry, Michelle or Barack Obama, Tom Hanks or Gilda Radner. What a great plane ride that would be!
What are you going to do when you retire?
Staying busy is what this group plans to keep doing: traveling or volunteering in a community service project is where you will find them when they retire.
What job at Springmoor would you like to do for one day?
The answer to this question was overwhelmingly “I’m doing it!”
Do you sing to the car radio?
“Oh, YES”, and most everyone says “loudly” with a smile on their face and a tune in their head. Continue reading →
This week, we asked the residents to write our story. It’s February, so we are sharing the love with you.
Julie & Alex Lewis
They say,” The more you focus on the good stuff, the more good stuff you will find”. We came to Springmoor to focus on the good that is before us in this stage of our lives and that’s just what we have found!
We are thrilled to be surrounded with “young minds” and positive attitudes. As we walk around the Springmoor campus it’s as if we have a book of knowledge under our arm. Each resident has a story of travel or life-learned lesson that is always interesting and intriguing.
We hope to live the rest of our days laughing, caring and sharing with our newfound family at Springmoor.
I first visited friends at Springmoor almost twenty years ago. I thought at that time and the years since that it must be a wonderful place to live. Now that I have lived here myself for almost three years, I know that my instincts were absolutely correct. I love my wonderful friends, the caring staff, the enjoyable activities, and my spacious apartment with its large porch overlooking the beautiful landscape. Happiness for me is synonymous with living at Springmoor!
I think it would be very hard NOT to love Springmoor. When my husband Hank and I came to Raleigh to look for a place to spend the winter of our lives, we visited two places and after touring Springmoor, we knew it was going to be home for us. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else???
Wanda and Larry Smith
Since our first meetings with the Marketing Department last August, the Springmoor staff and our neighbors have showered us with love, food, gifts, and dinner invitations. Each dinner has given us a series of Life Stories, which makes us want to hear more from our extended family. It is a wonderful feeling to know that we are “in place” for the balance of our life. Everyone has a happy smile and a warm greeting; we are blessed to be here.
I love Springmoor because of the people, both residents and staff.
PS: The pool doesn’t hurt either!
Peggy and Bill Blackburn
Springmoor is its people. The staff and the residents are warm and courteous and helpful. We love Springmoor because we love the people.
Springmoor is our happy place! We are most appreciative of the dream plus a lot of work that brought this place into being. It is home. We “love” getting to know the residents who provide such wide ranges of experiences and interests. We “love” the caring staff in all areas that graciously meet our needs and concerns with smiles.
Springmoor offers many social opportunities and yet you are allowed personal space too. There are many friendly faces from both residents and staff! It is a wonderful place to live. Continue reading →