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‘I came to have fun’

A 60-something seal of approval

Created date

May 29th, 2014
As Barbara Gobrecht lines up her shot in Maris Grove’s Brinton Clubhouse billiards room, her neighbor Sharon Buffaloe scans the table.
As Barbara Gobrecht lines up her shot in Maris Gro

Grove, EricksonLiving’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa., offers a vibrant, active, and carefree lifestyle. It also provides peace of mind through its round-the-clock security team and full-service, on-site medical center.

That combination has convinced more than 1,400 people age 62 and up to live there. 

Like any small town, the campus is a community of individuals. Members can take part in some 180 clubs and activities, but they aren’t required to participate in any.

Take baby boomers Barbara Gobrecht, who is single, and Sharon Buffaloe, who is married, for example: they live distinctly different lives at Maris Grove. 

Together time

Sharon and Ted Buffaloe moved from Vineland, N.J., as soon as she reached her 62nd birthday. 

They have no children. When they both worked (Ted at two different jobs) they kept opposite schedules. Much of their time together consisted of caring for their three-and-a-half-acre property. 

After Ted retired and developed shoulder problems, Sharon wanted him to stop doing yard care. Ted said it was unfair for her to care for the yard while she still worked. So they moved to Maris Grove to make life easier for one another. 

Sharon later quit her job and gained time to read. She also quit cooking in favor of chef-prepared meals with Ted each evening in the campus restaurants. 

Sharon and Ted like to stay up late and sleep in, stroll Maris Grove’s beautiful grounds, and attend campus musicals and performances. 

“It’s a nice change from the hectic life we had before,” she says. “Maris Grove has given us together time.”

‘Like a flashing billboard’

After Barbara Goebrecht retired early from her management job at Campbell Soup Company, she spent several years doing volunteer work.

Then, after deciding to retire from 35 years of homeowner responsibilities in Stratford, N.J., she had an epiphany.

Barbara is a fan of all things cultural. One evening as she left a Philadelphia Pops concert to walk to the train and her ride home, there at the curb sat the Maris Grove shuttle.

“Seeing that was like a flashing billboard,” she says.

She quickly joined Maris Grove’s priority list and started attending its special events. One event, a club fair, highlighted Maris Grove’s vast array of groups and activities, including lifelong learning programs and trips to cultural venues. 

“Those opportunities so impressed me,” she says. “I thought, ‘The boomers will like this. I’m a boomer, and I’m going to get there ahead of the crowd.’”

Barbara and her dog Dozer moved this February. She immediately gave up cooking, joined the computer and women’s beginning billiards groups, and began going to movies and entertainment programs in the campus theater. “I came to have fun,” she says.

“I’ve even lost weight because I’m eating healthy, well-balanced meals. And I can walk all over the 87-acre campus.”

Barbara has no family in the area. “But there are people here who would care for me should I ever need care,” she says. 

She expects only good years ahead, though, because she’s discovered that her 80-something neighbors at Maris Grove are younger in spirit than were her 60-something neighbors in Stratford. 

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