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‘Living is easier’

Couple chooses maintenance-free, active lifestyle at Seabrook

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July 23rd, 2014
Mary and Paul Kliauga moved to Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., to escape the burdens of house maintenance. What they found was not only a worry-free lifestyle, but one that provides numerous social and cultural opportunities.
Mary and Paul Kliauga moved to Seabrook, an Ericks

Sales Director Julie Clary says three types of people move to Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J.: those who are tired of seemingly endless house maintenance, those who want to plan for the future, and those looking for more social interaction.

Paul and Mary Kliauga fit all three of those types, but they originally chose to move from their large single family house in New Milford because “we were ready to give up the work and expense of keeping up a house,” says Paul. “We thought it would be good to move where living is easier.”

They chose Seabrook because of its wealth of amenities—like the fitness center, swimming pool, and beautiful surroundings—and because Mary’s family lives nearby. 

“We like the whole concept of Erickson Living—active, worry-free living that promotes creative talents,” Paul says.

Picture perfect

Mary, an accomplished artist, quickly found the latter to be very true. While painting in the community’s creative arts studio soon after moving in July 2013, Mary discovered others who said they used to paint and asked to join her. 

“Now we have seven to eight people. We get together and paint and help each other. We read inspiring articles and look at inspiring paintings. It’s a wonderful creative group,” she says. 

The community hosted an art show for the group in June, and Mary will have a solo show in the fall.

Mary also paints in her apartment home, a two-bedroom Manchester floor plan with a balcony. In warmer weather, she utilizes the light and peaceful atmosphere of the balcony as her outdoor studio. “We have a wooded view; it’s very private and quiet,” she says. 

When the weather doesn’t cooperate, their second bedroom acts as her studio. Its large picture window off the balcony floods the room with natural light, perfect for painting. “Paul is a really good sport,” she says of her husband’s acceptance of her expanded art studio space. 

Since moving to Seabrook, Mary has donated her time and talents to community efforts, like painting a 24- by 15-foot backdrop for the Seabrook Performers production. 

“I had never painted anything that large, but I was brave and I tried. I painted it on the floor in the activity room,” Mary explains. 

She also painted a wintery backdrop scene for the Christmas village display of miniature houses. 

Well-rounded

For Mary, living at Seabrook isn’t all about painting. She and Paul belong to the 100 Club at the community’s fitness center, meaning they reached 100 workouts since moving in. How’d they do it? They go three times a week for an hour each time.

Paul says it has truly improved his lifestyle. “Going to the fitness center helped clear up my sciatica,” he says. He had tried physical therapy and other remedies, but he says moving to Seabrook was what made the difference. “Once I finally moved here and started doing a regular exercise routine, it cleared up.” 

It might also have to do with the stress and maintenance-free life they live. No maintaining a house and yard (“which gets to be a burden,” says Paul), or cooking dinner every night. “Meals are very balanced and very good,” he says.

Paul, an ordained clergyman and former Columbia University professor, spends his time fishing and toying with radio-controlled model airplanes. 

A long-time fisherman, Paul says, “Now that we’re by the shore, I’m trying my hand at saltwater fishing in bays and offshore.” One thing is for certain, he’s truly embracing the Seabrook lifestyle and location.

Most of all, they enjoy spending time with new friends. “We’ve made many friends!” Mary says enthusiastically. Aside from her painting group, they entertain with neighbors on their floor and enjoy meeting people at dinner. 

“If you talk to neighbors, their backgrounds are so interesting. It’s like meeting old friends; an immediate bond is established,” Mary says. 

“And what’s really impressed us,” Paul adds, “is how beautifully people have furnished their apartments.”

An artist’s lair

Their own apartment features a neutral tile floor in the kitchen and bath, granite counter tops, and additional shelves in the walk-in closet and laundry room to even more effectively utilize space. 

Flowers grace the large picture window in their family room, which fills the room with natural light along with the sliding glass door to the balcony. An ornate dining room table and caramel-colored leather sofa, overstuffed chair, and ottoman adorn the space. But the showstoppers are all of Mary’s brightly colored paintings, which cover the walls while not overcrowding them.

Now settled a year later, both Mary and Paul agree, “Seabrook is really the right place to spend your retirement.”

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