By Resident Steve Katz —
Last week was a busy week for me, and so was the week before. How did I ever have time to work before I came here? Sure, you can retire to a life of leisure and become a couch potato, but why would you want to, when the alternative is to be active in a vibrant and lively community of really nice and caring people?
Some background: My wife, Connie, and I moved to Kendal 5 years ago when I was 66 and she was 70. Everyone said, “You’re too young to move here!” But we felt it was the right thing to do, and we have no regrets. We love it here!
Just to give you an example of my past week, on Monday I had breakfast at the local coffee shop with a friend of mine. I had an appointment later in the morning, then spent the afternoon catching up with email. I also found 45 minutes in Kendal’s well-equipped fitness center, to ride a stationary bike.
On Tuesday my cousin Deb from St. Louis came to visit with her friend, Paul. They had been here in August to set up Paul’s art exhibit in our Art Gallery. Paul is a printmaker and displayed over two dozen fascinating prints. They returned at the end of October to take the exhibit down.
On Wednesday we met for breakfast in our Bistro, then proceeded to the Amelia Gathering Room to rehearse Deb’s presentation. She had agreed to give a lecture with slides on her experience walking the 500-mile-long Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path in northern Spain. We ate lunch in the dining room and rehearsed a little more, and she felt ready. I spent 45 minutes on the stationary bike. That evening, after happy hour in the pub and supper in the dining room, Deb gave her talk, attended by 35-40 residents. They were very interested and asked lots of questions. And the sound system and projector worked flawlessly, as usual.
On Thursday morning, after breakfast in the Bistro, we took Paul’s exhibit down, wrapped the framed prints carefully in bubble wrap, and took them to Paul’s car in the spacious underground parking garage. It was raining heavily that day, but we were dry in the garage, thankfully! After time on the stationary bike and then lunch we rested for a while then reconvened for a talk in the smaller O’Neill Gathering Room, given by world-renowned choreographer Olivier Tarpaga, a very entertaining speaker. We adjourned to the pub for drinks and socializing, then on to the dining room for a delicious supper.
On Friday morning, after breakfast in the Bistro, Paul and I helped Art Gallery members Larry, Lyn and Bob, set up the new exhibit for November and December, which features the nature photography of one of our very own residents, Christie, who is an extremely talented artist. With many hands helping, the exhibit was ready for display in two hours. After lunch in the dining room, we rested, and met at 5 p.m. for a wine and cheese reception in the Gallery, where residents and visitors could talk to Christie about her fabulous photographs.
We ate dinner in the dining room and then caught the buses to Denison University’s campus in Granville. Taking the buses saves driving and parking, minimizes the carbon footprint, and allows us to chat with other residents on the bus while the driver does the work. He also does the heavy lifting, as the bus is equipped with a wheelchair lift and we had one resident that night who needed to use it. We saw the world-class dance program that the choreographer told us about the day before, and it was spectacular in Denison’s new theater. The packed house roared with approval as it burst into a spontaneous standing ovation!
On Saturday we held a birthday party for my wife’s 75th birthday. Parties at Kendal are popular, and about 70-80 residents and friends attended. Kendal did all the work of making it happen. All I had to do was decide how it was to be done. It was a blast and we enjoyed the afternoon immensely.
On Sunday, after breakfast at the local coffee shop, my cousin Deb and friend Paul left to drive back to St. Louis, and I spent the day resting, reading, exercising and catching up with email. That evening in the pub, I hosted a pizza party. The main dining room is closed on Sunday night so that the staff can have time with their own families. Every couple of months we have a BYOB pizza party for those who would rather socialize than spend Sunday evening alone. About 35 people attended and enjoyed the pizza and camaraderie!
So that’s my week. It was a busy one. It could have been even busier, if I’d wanted to attend classes at Denison, join the Yoga group at the nearby Senior Center, participate in the balance class at Kendal, or join the Fiber Arts group, for instance.
There is always a lot going on at Kendal. Some people think that just because there are older adults here, we are all sedentary, as if it were “God’s waiting room.” Wrong! It’s such a busy, vibrant community with so much to do, it’s amazingly active.
Of course, if you want to be a couch potato, you’re welcome to it, but I’d much rather keep my body active and keep my mind challenged! Moving to Kendal in my late 60s was the best decision I ever made! Don’t wait to move to a retirement community when you need to. The time to come is now, while you still have energy and lots of life left to enjoy!
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