You’ve Got Mail
Their love story began at the mailbox. The Springmoor mailboxes, that is.
Archie lived in the Creedmoor building and Charlie lived in the Valley building. A common area connects these two Springmoor buildings. They both had moved to the community with their first spouses but were now widowed. Enjoying a single’s life with their neighbors and Raleigh friends, the two had not met one another until that special day at the mailboxes.
Archie said she had spent the morning cleaning her apartment, not realizing yet that this was something Springmoor would do for her. She was dressed for cleaning, her hair was a mess and she doesn’t remember if she even had on any make-up. As she opened her mailbox, Charlie, standing close by, was checking his too. The southern gentleman that he is, introduced himself and asked her two quick questions. He asked her name and where she was from.
She introduced herself and told him that she was from a small town near Lumberton that he had probably never heard of. It was called Fairmont. This of course, began the conversation that brought the two of them together.
As it turns out, Charlie’s mother was raised in Lumberton so he was very familiar with Fairmont. At the time the local news was covering an investigation in the same area. Charlie, Springmoor’s Current Event Facilitator, was most interested in this case and the two became great friends discussing this and many other national and international stories. Together they formed a small group that met weekly to discuss stories, articles and events around the globe.
Charlie was quick to add that he had noticed her before that special day, and even with her hair a mess and being dressed for day of cleaning, she was quite pretty. Their first official date was to see the movie The Queen with Helen Mirren. The relationship began to blossom from there. When asked about the proposal, they both laughed. With a grin, he said, she asked him. She smiled and said they both just knew it was the meant to be!
The wedding service was held at their church with a large reception at Springmoor. Charlie, a Raleigh native, “knows everyone” Archie says. Scheduling the wedding and a reception proved to be quite difficult with their busy lives. A trip to Maine with a friend had been planned prior to choosing a wedding date. So the reception was scheduled first and the wedding was held a few days before their Maine departure. A honeymoon was then planned for Ocracoke upon their return.
The two have introduced their groups of friends and now enjoy an even larger discussion group and many other activities at Springmoor. Their first current events group is now a monthly Forum that Charlie facilitates with about 30 residents. The discussions are lively and quite educational. They enjoy using the Wellness Center located just a floor below the mailboxes. You can usually find them riding the exercise bikes, taking a stretching class and listening to the latest breaking news events. Of course, now checking their mail together!
Love is in the Air
Ron’s Barn, the best country cooking and the finest Southern Gospel singing are what brought Charles and Barbara together. Standing in line with other church members, Charles struck up a conversation with Barbara. The two were there with their church group but had never met. Barbara, a widow for many years, was friends with most of the singles at her church. Charles had always been in the couples groups.
The two of them are both long time Raleigh residents. Charles moved to Springmoor with his first wife. She passed away two short years later. Barbara was still living in her Raleigh home of 48 years. She said she had never even considered looking at a retirement community. She was independent and hard to please. Her children and grandchildren loved her house and the creek that ran behind the property. “But love can do funny things,” she said.
After that first encounter at Ron’s Barn, Charles asked her to go to a movie and dinner. With two happy first marriages they began a quiet courtship. For many months it was kept a secret from everyone except their families. Charles was busy with many Springmoor committees: transportation, security, archives and food services. All done while serving as an active volunteer at their church. Barbara was enjoying activities with her friends, children and grandchildren.
Many movies and dinners later, Charles proposed. Down on one knee, with a beautiful ring, he asked Barbara to join him at Springmoor. The ring was designed with diamonds from their first marriages. They never want to forget how happy their lives had been with their first spouses. They speak of them often and cherish the memories. Keeping them close makes their new life together very special for their children and grandchildren too.
The small family wedding was held in the chapel at Springmoor with chaplain, Phyllis Mayo conducting the ceremony. Barbara’s daughter felt a celebration reception was a must. So as a surprise for her mother, she planned the reception complete with flowers, a wedding cake, a groom’s cake and a large luncheon buffet. Charles’ son planned the surprise honeymoon trip for the two of them to The Grove Park Inn.
It’s taken over a year to clean out Barbara’s house and move things to Springmoor but now that they are settled she looks back and wonders why she had never considered a retirement community earlier in her life. The Springmoor activities calendar keeps the two of them on the go all the time!
Springmoor is happy to add matchmaking to their list of celebrations. You just never know whom you might meet at dinner or at the mailbox!