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June Paterson lives life on her terms at Maris Grove

Created date

November 26th, 2013

When June Paterson realized she was doing more for her house in Glen Mills, Pa., than it was doing for her, she decided to sell it and move. If a pipe leaked, I had to find a plumber. If the roof leaked, I had to find someone to fix it, she says. She moved a stone s throw away to Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County.

Perfect timing

June s timing was ideal. The following winter we had two, 18-inch snowfalls, and I didn t have to shovel my driveway, she says. Also, being a widow, I was free to make my own decision on my terms, not at the behest of children or doctors. And Maris Grove was perfect for me. It was a matter of moving from a comfortable home that was too big to a comfortable home that was just right. Her too big house began as a four-bedroom, two-story home on two acres, one of which she d planted in gardens. Later, for her parents, she and her husband built an addition that expanded the house to five bedrooms, four bathrooms, two kitchens, three living rooms, and a dining room. Now, June s Patterson-style apartment home at Maris Grove has two bedrooms and features a south-facing sunroom that s her workroom and potting shed. Because she brought plants with her to Maris Grove and is unique in having two patios, she still nurtures gardens galore. Shade-loving plants thrive on her awning-covered living room patio. Sun-lovers bloom on her sunroom patio. June tends some 175 plants inside, mainly orchids: The weirder, the better, she says. In her two community garden spaces, she grows vegetables and cotton plants. And she volunteers weekly at nearby Longwood Gardens.

Life as she likes it

June lives surrounded by things she loves in a home that resembles an antique shop. While horticulture is her passion, she also paints in oils, weaves baskets, and cherishes heritage furniture and her grandmother s Flow Blue pottery. Maris Grove suits my lifestyle because I can do my own thing, she says. June has always lived that way. Decades ago she learned to fly. Two years ago she joined Mensa to disprove the conventional wisdom that minds deteriorate with age. Mensa International has only one qualification for membership, an IQ in the top 2% of the population. Now June has set her sights on the Triple Nine Society, which has even higher requirements than Mensa. She also likes to cook, so she s on Maris Grove s 20-meals-a-month flexible dining plan. Besides saving $60 on her monthly service plan, Choosing it gave me an immediate feeling of independence, she says. Some nights, she picks up her dinner to go from one of the on-campus restaurants and enjoys it in her own eclectic environment.

Holidays at home

Maris Grove resident June Paterson loves Christmas, so her holiday spirit doesn t end on New Year s Day. Her elaborately decorated Christmas tree, which hangs upside down from her great room ceiling, stays festooned until Valentine s Day. Throughout June s apartment, another half-dozen artificial and metal trees decorated with folk ornaments and snowball-like cotton balls from her garden stand right side up. She also decorates outside, outlining the Hawthorne tree by her patio, lighting a path through her patio gardens, and creating a border of star-shaped lights that appear to have fallen to Earth. She learned about outdoor plant lighting as a volunteer with the arborists at Longwood Gardens. This year, she helped prepare 250 million lights for the arboretum s Christmas at Longwood outdoor display.