“Growing up, we always planned to be together again in our retirement. We are each other’s best friends.”
The brothers and sisters are together again at Springmoor – dining together like they did when they lived under the same roof, exercising together, volunteering in community activities and filling in as a bridge partner every now and then. They talk daily and see each other often!
Jim and Bob
Brothers, Jim and Bob Spencer retired together in Raleigh after raising their families in separate North Carolina cities. The career paths kept them apart for years. Their large family with nine siblings brought them together only for holidays. Today, they enjoy each other’s company every day for lunch.
Jim’s daughter, Jill, has worked at Springmoor for more than twenty years as an Activities Coordinator. She told her dad, when his retirement was approaching, that she would take two weeks off to help them pack and move if they would come to Springmoor. She did and they all say it was the best advice a daughter could ever have given her parents. Bob’s wife knowing that they would always be well fed, entertained, and surrounded by friends encouraged a move too. Three years later, Bob and his wife joined them.
The Spencer brothers don’t look alike. They say one looks like their mother and the other looks like their dad. One is tall. One has curly hair. One likes to read and the other likes to take things apart. Both love seafood. Both love music. With a large family, there were often sing-a-longs with all the brothers and sisters. Today, they are frequently found in the auditorium for Springmoor Presents!, our evening theatre and musical event programs.
When asked, who was the noisy child, they laughed! They describe themselves as quiet, adding that their five sisters made enough noise for all of them! Who do they cheer for when it comes to sports in The Triangle? Jim attended NC State. Bob attended Carolina. They always cheer for one another’s teams unless they are playing each other. Who do they think will win the NCAA Championship this weekend? Bob says it’s time for UNC to bring the banner home again. He was in Chapel Hill when they won the very first time. He remembers the game well, three overtimes!
Elsie and Elizabeth
The sisters, Elsie Eads and Elizabeth Crawford, made Springmoor their home about the same time as the Spencer brothers. They always had planned to find the perfect place to retire together. Each family with three daughters spread from coast to coast, North Carolina was home for Elizabeth after her long teaching career at NC State. Elsie’s husband was at Meredith College. They moved in within a year of each other.
The two together finish each other sentences, laugh and praise one another. Growing up, they were competitive in tons of activities at school, not with each other but with fellow classmates. If one did it, the other one certainly had to try too! Elsie says even though Elizabeth was younger, she always did everything first. Both continue to be active volunteers in the community as well as at Springmoor. They are so busy that even eating a meal together only happens once a week.
Elizabeth is the baker. If you are lucky enough to play bridge with her, have a birthday this month or be a neighbor, you will be the lucky recipient of a slice of cake or a piece of pie from her kitchen. Each week, she rotates between baking six pies or four cakes and the flavors vary depending on the season. Cookies are on the schedule for next week, “just to mix things up a little.” She cooks for the Helen Wright Center, Habitat for Humanity or any group that her church circle may be involved with that month. Last week, she delivered sixty-six hot cross buns to her friends and neighbors.
Elsie didn’t hear about the hot cross buns. She was out that day, maybe at Lake Lynn or Shelley Lake on a nature walk. “Always take the stairs instead of the elevator” is her personal rule at Springmoor. She credits this activity to keeping her healthy. Next month, she’s off to Spain with a group from Meredith. Travels with NC State’s OLLI program to Cuba and previous excursions to England and Ireland have kept her moving. Ping-Pong round robins and the exercise classes are part of her daily routine too.
They both said that their mother raised them to “be responsible for the whole world.” Elsie was a tutor for many years with the Loaves and Fishes Ministry and Communities in Schools but now directs her efforts toward volunteer duties within Springmoor. She is happy to help wherever she is most needed. Elizabeth’s sewing machine is set up in her apartment with a stack of brightly colored print fabrics ready to cut and sew. “Little Dresses for Africa” is one of her favorite projects. She makes sundresses lined with exciting prints and trimmed with ric rac in sizes 2 to 12 (preferring to make the larger sizes because she knows that’s where the greatest need has always been). And in her spare time (if you can call it that) she is the editor of The Springmoor Herald, a monthly newsletter for residents.
The brothers and the sisters are together again. Now they can enjoy each other’s company, share experiences, meet new friends and laugh at their family stories all with a larger Springmoor family! All four will tell you, it is “exactly where they were meant to be.”