A new king and queen of Highland Springs

Created date

September 22nd, 2009
Howard Van and Charlotte Chatsey Vandevender recently moved toHighland Springs, theErickson communityin Dallas, Tex. The decision to move took them over three years. Van wasn t much for it, Mrs. Vandevender says. I had trepidation for so long because I had this notion in my head that moving into a retirement community meant taking a step back. I couldn t have been more wrong, Mr. Vandevender says. Van worked all his life, starting at the age of seven when he was a farmhand on his family s New Mexico ranch. Since then, he s been a frontman for Ray Price, for whom he cowrote the top-ten song Crazy Arms. He was in the band before he met Charlotte, and he calls those times BC (before Charlotte). As soon as he met her, he knew he wanted to settle down. He still sings though and plans on belting out some tunes for the folks at Highland Springs.

Done with grunt work

By the time they received the keys to their new apartment home, the Vandevenders were more than ready to go. Their house had become a burden to maintain, and while Mr. Vandevender loves work, he was ready to be free from working on the house. Erickson Realty & Moving Servicesremoved some of the onus before they even got to Highland Springs. The couple took advantage of the program s staging services. Although Mrs. Vandevender is a retired interior decorator, the Erickson Realty & Moving Services-recommended stager, coming from an objective viewpoint, made suggestions about removing furniture and minimizing clutter. The house already looked like a model home, Mrs. Vandevender says, but when [they were] finished with it, it looked that much better.

Doing what they love

The move brings the couple closer to their two daughters and six grandchildren, and they re both looking forward to getting involved in the Highland Springs community. Mr. Vandevender wants to sing, of course, but he s also excited about spending time in the woodshop and expanding his computer skills in the lab; meanwhile, Mrs. Vandevender can t wait to start water aerobics again. Both agree they couldn t be happier. While they are certainly at home, the couple admits feeling a little overwhelmed by the attention, courtesy, and kindness they have received from all the folks at Erickson. Everybody we ve met has bent over backwards to help us, Mrs. Vandevender says. We feel like a king and queen.