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Going places

Neighbors never idle at Maris Grove

Created date

April 23rd, 2014
Knitting squares for lap robes is one of Maris Grove resident Peggy Hoath’s many volunteer activities.
Knitting squares for lap robes is one of Maris Gro

When people visit Grove, EricksonLiving’s community in Delaware County, Pa., most are struck by its friendliness and obvious energy. The people who live there are going places and doing things.

Residents can choose among 180-plus campus clubs and activities and can also launch new ones. Alva and Al Holcombe, whose interests extend to art, crafts, and athletics, have done both.  

Forever learning and growing

They play golf with a campus league and took up billiards at Maris Grove. Alva also plays pickleball and sings in the campus choir.

Al is a lifelong bowler, so he started a bowling group that’s now expanded to several teams. 

Alva, a watercolorist and oil painter who taught classes at her home studio in Brookhaven, now teaches in Maris Grove’s creative arts studios. And her oil painting of an eagle hangs in the community’s newest residence building, Eagle Pointe.  

She’s also expanded her artistic repertoire to include intricately detailed and embellished gourds. As Alva says, “I’ve grown along with Maris Grove.”

The artful creations are prized purchases at Maris Grove’s annual craft show held to benefit the community’s resident care fund. 

“At the campus woodshop, I’m one of the guys,” Alva says. “And I have everything I need at my fingertips to do the gourds. They [can be] burned, carved, engraved, [and] inlaid with semi-precious stones or metals.” 

Al spends his woodshop time crafting maps of the United States from license plates he painstakingly cuts to conform to each state’s shape, then solders together. He has space there to make maps as large as six feet across. He donated one such map to a veteran’s hospital in Philadelphia. 

Suiting every interest

The Holcombes’ neighbor Peggy Hoath enjoys walking, Wii bowling, and inviting friends over for muffins. 

Where she truly thrives, however, is within Maris Grove’s rich variety of volunteer opportunities. 

Peggy volunteers at the campus resale shop and delivers mail to folks in Rose Court, Maris Grove’s continuing care and rehabilitation neighborhood.

During the growing season, she tends large outdoor planters for the Adopt A Pot group.

Peggy hates being idle. When she watches TV, she addresses envelopes for the campus card club to deposit in residents’ mail cubbies on their birthdays. Or she writes personal notes on recycled Christmas cards for Maris Grove’s annual Stockings for Soldiers project. Last year, she wrote 750 notes. Or she knits squares for lap robes destined for a veterans group in Media and a soup kitchen in Chester. 

Her comfortable one-bedroom, one-bathroom Brighton floor plan suits her perfectly. It takes no time to clean, and when her kids and grandkids visit, they happily bunk on her sofa or airbed.

The best thing? Instead of trudging three flights to wash and dry her sheets, she now takes them off the bed, puts them in the washer and dryer, and makes her bed without having to leave her bedroom.