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Orchid Man' plants new roots

Couple discovers greener pastures—and an easy way to get there

Created date

August 25th, 2009

"The concept of moving and doing everything that goes along with that was very traumatic for us," Mr. Holcomb says. "We accumulated a lot of stuff over 41 years," Mrs. Holcomb says.

But the idea of living at Highland Springs had piqued their interest from the time when the campus was "still just dusty ground," Mrs. Holcomb says. After attending a recent open house where they learned about Erickson Realty & Moving Services, the Holcombs decided to turn the possibility of moving into a reality. At the open house, they were presented with options, and the fact that they wouldn t have to do anything on their own made all the difference to the couple.

Down to a science

"We got to interview moving companies, painting companies, even real estate agents," Mr. Holcomb says. "Two real estate agents came to our house, and we got to choose the one that was best for us."

The Holcombs were introduced to the concept of "senior movers," one of the services offered through the Erickson Realty & Moving Services, and they were pleased to discover that the movers did everything for the couple: They packed them, they moved them, and they unpacked them. All in three days. "We really bonded with the movers over the course of the three days," Mrs. Holcomb says. Since getting settled at Highland Springs, the couple has seen the same movers on campus helping other residents; one of the men said that he had moved 75 residents into the community!

Before the movers came, however, there was a house to sell. And with the help of Personal Moving Consultant Jan Schollenberger and an Erickson Realty & Moving Services-recommended real estate agent, the Holcombs house was staged. It sold within eight days! Schollenberger even helped them lay out their new apartment home so they could determine which furniture to keep and which to put in the estate sale.

"I m not sure we d have ever made it without their help," Mr. Holcomb says.

Leaving worry behind

The last few weeks they were in the house, there were problems with the air-conditioning and the plumbing, and both Mr. and Mrs. Holcomb agreed they no longer needed the stress, worry, or expense of major home repairs. "If something goes wrong here [at Highland Springs], we make a call and they fix it," Mr. Holcomb says.

Initially, the Holcombs weren t sure how they felt about community living because they didn t know anyone at Highland Springs. They were used to it being just the two of them. "It didn t take long for people to invite us to their table to share a meal," Mrs. Holcomb says. Meeting nice people on a daily basis has made living at Highland Springs a special experience for them.

One of the incentives for the Holcombs to move to the community was the on-campus greenhouse. Mr. Holcomb had a greenhouse at his home where he raised 70 orchids. He brought 30 with him and has given 12 to friends. "He s known as The Orchid Man. All the ladies stop him in the hall and ask him for advice," Mrs. Holcomb says. She has also been able to reignite a former interest; she s taken up needlepoint again since the move.

After 41 years of living in the same house, the Holcombs uprooted themselves to join a community. Even though they were uncertain of what lay ahead, they had faith and took a chance, one that turned out to be for the greatest good. Today, Mrs. Holcomb reports, "We couldn t be happier."