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Wearing many hats

Joan Greenberg credits Ann’s Choice as the catalyst for her creative interests

Created date

August 23rd, 2011

It s not just in summertime that the livin is easy at Ann s Choice, says Joan Greenberg. A pioneer resident, she and her late husband moved from Horsham when the Erickson Living community in Bucks County, Pa., opened in 2003. Apartment living suits her style. It s scaled down, she says. It takes me an hour to clean my apartment. That frees me to do other things that are more fun. Many of those fun things take place right on campus, so getting to them is convenient too. It removes the excuses not to do things. As a result, says Joan, you re more active and more healthy. I love that I can walk to everything I do, to yoga and tai chi and the fitness center, to line dancing, the beauty salon, and the bank, she adds. But Joan also logs time at the office she s created in her Flagstaff apartment s second bedroom. That s where she works on special projects as a producer at Channel 5, the campus TV station, and where she s writing a history of the Ann s Choice community for the resident website, She s also one of the site s webmasters. The history is a work in progress because it s pretty time-consuming, she says, but it s also fun because I ve lived that history. It s like a walk down memory lane. Readers can follow along on the website by clicking on the Ann s Choice History link.

Sharing her gifts

Like her neighbors, Joan takes to heart the Erickson Living mission: We share our gifts to create communities that celebrate life. A former librarian, she s chaired the community s library committee since day one. Prospect Hill Library has a branch in each clubhouse and is totally resident-run. Its 23 committee members, all serious readers, create their own jobs depending on library needs and personal preferences, says Joan. We each work independently, and everything gets done. Because of her expertise, she cataloged the library s early holdings, 4,000 books donated from residents personal collections. A state grant provided a computer and cataloging software to simplify the task, but the effort took well over a year. Now she only spends a few hours on Sundays cataloging new acquisitions and deleting older titles for donation to local charities. Besides her master s in library science, Joan has a master s in radio, television, and film. There was no such thing as computer [editing] when I was in school, she says, so Channel 5 is kind of a whole new world. The techniques of getting things done are all very different, and learning them has been fun. She produces an occasional What s Cooking segment for Channel 5 s Good Day, Ann s Choice show. And she s produced a number of special programs, most recently one about advance directives. The same traits that led to her library career being a generalist and relishing daily challenges motivate her participation in such diverse activities as helping plan Ann s Choice community forums and its June Jamboree and growing hydrangeas in her campus garden patch. She also volunteers off campus. As a Warminster Township board member, she helped manage the township s recent map and municipal directory project.

Clutter s not creative

According to Ann s Choice resident Joan Greenberg, once you clean out that first closet, downsizing gets easier and easier. When Joan moved to Ann s Choice eight years ago, It appealed to me to say, This goes out, that goes out. You realize it s nice to have space in the closets and to open a cabinet and not see everything stacked up all over. She doesn t like clutter. If I bring something in, something has to go out, she says. That helps keep things under control. And dealing with one item at a time is so much simpler than dealing with an accumulation. Joan recently downsized again, discarding things she hasn t used since she moved in. It s so freeing, she says. I like seeing empty shelves.