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List of must-haves

Missouri couple’s research leads them straight to Tallgrass Creek

Created date

February 23rd, 2015
new residents in their apartment home

Though new Creek residents Bonnie and Conk Buckley moved just a few miles from their former home in Kansas City, Mo., everything was different.

“We were longtime Kansas citians, had lived in our home for 47 years, and I had enjoyed about a 50-year career in the area,” says Conk, a former vice president and regional sales director in the insurance industry. “We wanted this move to be right.” 

So the Buckleys did what most people do who are thinking of downsizing and moving: they looked around. Their choice of moving to Meadowlark Terrace, Tallgrass Creek’s newest residence building, was a clear decision.

“We had a list of what we were looking for,” says Conk. “And we found it here.” 

An important list

The Buckleys’ list contained several must-haves. Number one—a positive culture with upbeat, active people.

“This is such a positive, friendly community,” says Bonnie. “People here are still having fun fulfilling their bucket lists.”

Conk agrees and says an organization’s culture is always defined by its leaders.  

“People join people; they don’t join companies,” he notes.  

As a former executive, Conk was very interested in the biographies of both Erickson Living’s board of directors as well as Tallgrass Creek’s local leadership. 

“I actually read the biographies of those in charge,” says Conk. “I found high-quality, diverse backgrounds in finance, medicine, engineering, and more at both Erickson Living and here at Tallgrass Creek.”

Location and ease of living were also on the Buckleys’ list. 

“We are less than six blocks in every direction from anything you want to do,” says Bonnie. “Upscale restaurants, shopping, museums—it’s all here.”

While the couple wanted an attractive home, they also looked closely at ease of living in each of the places they visited. 

“Among other things, we were very impressed with the climate-controlled walkways at Tallgrass Creek,” says Conk. “You can walk from one residence building to another without ever going outside.” 

The Buckleys were very impressed with the quality of Tallgrass Creek’s security, medical, dining, and maintenance services.

“It all sounded great, but you really don’t know until you’ve moved if people deliver what they say,” says Conk. “The people here truly seem to care and continue to deliver on promises.” 

“They actually go overboard doing so,” adds Bonnie. 

‘Team Tallgrass’

The Buckleys utilized Erickson Living-recommended downsizing expert Linda Scardino, movers C & C Relocation, and real estate agents Joan and Ron Yaffe—all members of Erickson Realty and Moving Services. Conk refers to the group as “Team Tallgrass.”

“We knew very little about anything having to do with relocation,” says Conk. “What a relief we didn’t have to act as our own general contractor to organize this move.”

Bonnie notes that five women, including Scardino, were there on moving day to arrange furniture, cabinets, and personal belongings for the couple.

“It was just the easiest move,” says Bonnie. “I can’t imagine not using these great people.”

Home at last

Bonnie and Conk chose a spacious Thurmont-style, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home at Meadowlark Terrace. 

One concern they had was whether they would have enough room for Conk’s piano, but it fit right into a sunny alcove in the couple’s large living room. Conk has played the piano since he was a child and particularly enjoys tunes from the ’40s and ’50s, as well as from movies and Broadway shows. 

Bonnie enjoys Tallgrass Creek’s monthly book club and the community’s slow yoga, sit and fit, and stretch and tone exercise classes. She also meets new residents who are moving into Meadowlark Terrace daily.

“It’s fun being among the first to live here but equally fun to meet Tallgrass Creek residents,” says Bonnie. “People ask us to sit with them at dinner, stop in the hallways to welcome us, and are so encouraging. We just love that.” 

Conk is semiretired and is on the road occasionally mentoring young executives for the General Agents and Managers Association. 

He has also written a book Coach Conk’s Pearls of Wisdom. Conk comes by his “Coach” title honestly, as he played football for the University of Iowa while in college and then coached football for ten years.

The Buckleys typically leave for the month of May to gather with their children and families in North Carolina. This year, they can leave without worrying about their home, weather, yard, and mail. 

To say the Buckleys are pleased with their move to Meadowlark Terrace would be an understatement. 

“From everyone we’ve met and worked with to the food, services, our apartment, and everything else, there have been no unpleasant surprises,” says Conk. “It is so gratifying to be associated with an organization that actually does what it says it will do.”