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Den of creativity

Local seamstress produces magic with her machine

Created date

November 22nd, 2011

Who says older generations aren t tech-savvy? Tina and Henri Patoir discovered their new home, Ann s Choice, on the Internet. We decided to find a very nice retirement community sooner rather than later, Tina says. Cleaning the large high windows in their 2,000-square-foot house in the Poconos would eventually become an unmanageable task. There was also the mowing and the shoveling. It gets [really] snowy in the mountains, she adds. They toured the Bucks County Erickson Living community in 2005 and expected to move in 2010. But in 2007, Ann s Choice had an ideal and affordable apartment home available. We sold and in six weeks we were here, Tina says.

Dance and d cor

Tina immediately joined a line dancing class. It s good exercise and a lot of fun, she says. It s a regular part of my routine. She also plays mahjong. But Tina spends much more time in her sewing room. The couple s extra-large, one-bedroom Gibson-style home has a private den tucked behind the kitchen. I wanted the den for my sewing, she says, and things get messy when you sew. A lifelong seamstress, Tina has sewn her own and her children s clothes, made prom dresses and wedding gowns, and whipped up home d cor. At Ann s Choice she s created decorations for the community s annual galas. For one year s Morrocan theme, she fashioned tents from luxurious fabric. She also volunteers with the campus Sew and Sews group, guiding members through their individual projects. And now she s in the alterations business. When another resident stopped doing alterations for her neighbors, the requests came to Tina. And, of course, it snowballed, she says. This is a service people need. It s something I love to do, and it provides a little spending money.

Flexible schedule

While Tina s busy on campus, Henri works full-time at Home Depot. It s his post-retirement job. His schedule varies, but the dining options at Ann s Choice let the Patoirs always enjoy chef-prepared meals together. One meal a day is part of their monthly service package, which also includes home maintenance, use of all community amenities, and all utilities except telephone. When Henri gets home early, they dine with friends in one of the community s five restaurants. When he works till evening, Tina picks up dinners at Banners Caf , and they eat at home. If he arrives at 5:30 p.m., we join friends down in the clubhouse bar, she says. It s so nice to get together with people here before dinner. It s like a social evening every night. Then I bring our dinners upstairs, and we eat at home.

No more winter worries

As winter approaches, they appreciate their freedom from house upkeep. Year-round they value the ability to go away and not worry about anything. And when you return it s like coming back to family, Tina says. When she visits their daughter in Connecticut, People will ask where I m going, when I m going, and when I ll be back. I like that a lot being missed and being welcomed home.