Tribune Print Share Text

‘So many different things you can do’

Wellsville woman enjoys amenities-rich Tallgrass Creek

Created date

February 21st, 2012

Bettye Coughenhour enjoys all the perks of living in a large home. She gardens, has friends over for lunch, and even has a studio where she paints. But Bettye doesn t have to deal with the hassles like shoveling snow or cleaning gutters that inevitably come with living in a big house. Last October, Bettye decided to sell her house in Wellsville, Kans. She says the extreme summer heat made tending to her large garden difficult. It was just awful; I just couldn t do it. I thought, If I can t garden, there is no point in staying here, Bettye says. She put her Wellsville house on the market and looked into nearby retirement communities. When she visited Tallgrass Creek, an Erickson Living Community in Overland Park, Kans., she knew she had found her new home. I picked Tallgrass Creek because it has a pool where I can do water aerobics and an art studio where I can paint, and I can even garden, Bettye says.

Keeping up with hobbies

In fact, Bettye brought lilies, peonies, and irises from her old house and transplanted them into her 10 by 10 garden lot at Tallgrass Creek s community garden. She also brought her own garden bench, wind chime, and a garden sign that had belonged to her mother to make her new garden feel just like home. During the winter months when Bettye isn t outdoors tending to her garden, she s found plenty of ways to enjoy herself with her new neighbors at Tallgrass Creek. Bettye has been painting as a hobby for about 30 years, and she specializes in still life paintings and landscapes. Now that she lives at Tallgrass Creek, she has access to the community s sun-filled art studio located on campus. One of the best parts about the art studio, Bettye says, is that she s been able to connect with other artists who also work in the space. There are lots of other painters who live here, she says. It s nice because I like being with other people when I m painting. Even though she s painted for several decades, Bettye has also taken advantage of Tallgrass Creek s art class, where she has picked up some new techniques and inspiration from her fellow artists. During the winter, Bettye, who has seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren with a sixth on the way, was working on a set of paintings to hang in her newest great-grandson s nursery.

All the space she needs

Bettye chose a Glenwood-style apartment home. It measures about 900 square feet and features one bedroom and a den, which she uses as an office. Bettye says she brought a lot of her furniture from her old house to her new home, and her apartment home has plenty of living space. Bettye says she enjoys entertaining friends in her home, and she hasn t had to give that up since moving to Tallgrass Creek. In fact, Bettye quickly connected with several of her neighbors and started hosting six ladies for lunch on Saturday afternoons. Her specialties are hearty soups like chicken tortilla, chili and lentil perfect meals to stay warm during cold winter days. A retired school teacher and principal, Betty has always lived an active lifestyle. Living at Tallgrass Creek makes it easy for her to continue to stay involved and connect with people who share her interests. In addition to gardening, painting, and hosting luncheons, Bettye has joined Tallgrass Creek s choir, book club, and Bible study group. She s also thinking about joining the newspaper committee. That is why I chose Tallgrass Creek because there are so many different things you can do here, Bettye says.