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Ideal lifestyle Ideal location

Florida couple now enjoys artistic life at Maris Grove

Created date

December 20th, 2011

John and Pat Hills decided late last summer to move from Florida to Pennsylvania. They wanted to be close to children and grandchildren near Pottstown. Expecting a drawn-out process because of Florida s depressed housing market, what actually happened amazed them. We signed the contract in six days, says John, well before they d decided on their next address.

Selecting a home for life

A former Naval officer, John asked a friend from the service for an opinion about communities for retired military. My friend said, Forget that. I m in an Erickson Living community, and I love it. John s friend sent the Hills information about Erickson Living and its network of 16 communities around the country and arranged for Maris Grove, the company s community in Delaware County, Pa., to do the same. They liked everything they read. In November their son toured Maris Grove and gave it an excellent review. At Christmastime the Hills made their own visit, were equally impressed, and selected their future home, a two-bedroom-plus-den Parkton floor plan. They moved early last year.

A world of opportunities

Maris Grove is rich with artistic talent so the Hills, both artists, felt right at home. Their second bedroom holds their computer and their paintings; Pat s first love is watercolor. Their den accommodates her electric piano. John began spending Monday mornings in the Brinton Clubhouse creative arts studio. He works in acrylics and watercolor, and also creates uniquely textured paintings on aluminum foil. But he soon discovered a wealth of interests he d never explored. The things you can do and learn here are just unlimited, he says. You re never bored. He toured Philadelphia art museums last fall with a group from Maris Grove; he and Pat play tennis; and they re taking a cruise next month, planned and arranged by the community. John also joined the camera club. I want to be able to take neat pictures of things I want to paint, he says. It s a great adjunct to what I want to do. John s latest venture began last fall. When neighbor Joan Costello ended her four-year stint as Maris Grove s art instructor, John took up the mantle. To not do that, he says, would be like abandoning ship. He lectures a bit, but mostly he guides and advises class participants on their individual paintings. And he encourages beginning artists to take part. The idea is for people to enjoy themselves, he says. To take a chance and do what they want to do. I m there to help them do their best. The Hills feel they ve found the ideal lifestyle in the ideal location. The people are great, our kids are close, the countryside is beautiful, and there s so much available, says John.