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Singular sensation

Erickson Living singles celebrate life every day

Created date

January 25th, 2011

Walt Whitman once wrote, I celebrate myself, and sing myself. It is a statement as powerful as it is simple, a reminder to embrace our own uniqueness outside of the friends and activities we surround ourselves with daily. For the single members of Erickson Living communities, the statement is also a tribute to the lives they live and share with their neighbors. I have found that a single person has the choice of being left alone or reaching out through activities they are interested in, says John Carle, who lives at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va. Other residents will engage you if they get a sense you want to be engaged. Our community is energized by all its residents singles and couples and the activities they bring and have brought to Greenspring, he adds. This sharing of talents and gifts is what makes Greenspring work. As a single male, Carle finds himself in frequent demand as a partner in ballroom dancing and as an instructor of line dancing. Line dancing, being an activity you do not need a partner to participate in, is very popular among singles, he says. I have met wonderful, outgoing people here with fascinating backgrounds as I participate in line dancing, ballroom dancing, playing in the recorder group, playing in as well as directing a chimes choir, working with the Greenspring Players as a past theater professional, and the library committee.

On the go

AtRiderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., singles join together in what they call the Singles Social Club. The purpose is to allow residents, particularly single newcomers, to meet other active-minded people, says club founder Peter Kach. We do things and go places both on campus and off. Once a month, the group dines outside of Riderwood. In addition to popular American cuisine, they have visited Israeli, Greek, Italian, Cuban, German, Burmese, and Spanish restaurants. Taking full advantage of Riderwood s location in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the group also takes a monthly trip to popular local attractions. We have visited Hillwood [Marjorie Merriweather Post s estate and gardens], set sail on a cruise in Annapolis, witnessed the Christmas lights at the Mormon Temple, enjoyed a barge trip at the C&O Canal, and picnicked at Sugar Loaf Mountain, says Jane Cyphers. I really enjoy the fact that we do so many things together. We are such a diverse group, interested in lots of different things. Our goal is always to have a good time.

Breaking bread

For Ashby Ponds Irene Boublik, being single enables her to get to know new friends in a socially relaxed environment. There is a warm and friendly atmosphere which makes it easy for singles to feel comfortable, she says. Most of the residents enjoy the company of others and look forward to meeting and spending time together without feeling obligated to be anything more than interested in the other person s company for that particular mealtime conversation. Boublik also finds the weekly happy hours an opportunity to meet her neighbors, regardless of marital status. Happy hour is a good icebreaker, she says. Couples are just as interested in you as a person as we singles are in them, either as a couple or as individuals. We all have a really good time. Embracing a diverse population, each Erickson Living community is a direct reflection of its members, who are not defined by the terms single or married, but by one word that describes them all neighbors.