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‘An easier, different way’

Couple solves future winter woes by moving to Linden Ponds

Created date

April 16th, 2015
Linden Ponds resident Ann Marcus is a regular volunteer in the community’s in-house television studio, where she operates the camera for some shows and interviews her neighbors for a show she created with two friends.

Ann Marcus has always loved the arts. For many years, she volunteered with a theater group in Pinehills, Mass. She worked primarily on production, sets, and costumes but periodically stood in for one of the actors during rehearsal.

When Ann and her husband Jerry moved to Ponds in June, she found a vibrant community with many opportunities to explore the arts and connect with others who share her interest. 

Ann and Jerry had previously lived in a townhouse in Pinehills, but last year’s brutal winter convinced them to explore other retirement living options.

New England living without the hassles of winter

“We said if we are going to be in the Northeast, we have to do it in an easier, different way,” Ann says. “It’s been much easier at Linden Ponds because we can get everything without having to fight the snow and ice.”

Ann and Jerry moved to Linden Ponds in June, and they found the best of both worlds. They didn’t have to leave Massachusetts, where their two children and four grandchildren reside, but they no longer have to deal with cumbersome chores like shoveling snow and unfreezing pipes. 

And if they want to socialize during the winter, they don’t have to brave the elements to do it.

Art and theater lover expands horizons

Shortly after moving to Linden Ponds, Ann signed up to volunteer as a crewmember for the community’s in-house television station. The TV studio is staffed primarily by residents and produces a number of programs, from news shows to segments highlighting individual residents. 

“I’ve always liked the arts and theater, but I had never done anything with the camera,” Ann says. “So I thought, ‘Well, this will be something new and different.’”

Ann quickly learned how to operate the video cameras, and she now volunteers in the studio two days a week. 

Recently, she decided to try out her skills on the other side of the lens. Ann and two of her neighbors, Sandy Peavey and Phil Doster, launched a show called Meet Your New Neighbor. Sandy operates the camera for the new show, while Ann and Phil conduct interviews with their fellow residents.

“Working on the TV crew has been a lot of fun, and the studio is really pretty terrific,” Ann says. “I didn’t realize I’d end up in front of the camera.”

The show’s format is casual and relaxed, Ann says, while its purpose is to create a forum for residents to tell their stories and for the people living at Linden Ponds to get to know one another. 

“We have people with all of these different careers and lifestyles living here, so it’s very interesting,” Ann says.

She says the feedback about Meet Your New Neighbor has been very positive. “A lot of people have already come up to us and said it was interesting.”

A celebration of the arts

In addition to her work on the TV crew, Ann belongs to Linden Ponds’ general services committee, the movie committee, and a book discussion club. 

She also volunteers on the arts council, which manages the exhibits in a gallery outside of the community’s performing arts center. Ann says that each month a different resident artist has his or her work featured in the gallery. Previous exhibits have included photography, painting, and sculpture. 

Recently, a beautiful quilt collection was showcased. Ann says the display was so popular that the council and the artist collaborated to turn photographs of the quilts into stationery. 

In honor of Presidents Day in February, the arts council showcased portraits of presidents that were created by residents in an on-site drawing class.

“We have so much talent here; it is really incredible,” Ann says. 

Diverse community 

Aside from the arts, Ann and Jerry both enjoy attending lectures as part of the community’s continuous learning series. Jerry frequently visits Linden Ponds’ on-site fitness center.

“It’s a very relaxed, friendly community. We have met some really wonderful people,” Ann says. “And because it’s such a large community—there are 1,200 people living here—it’s a very diverse community.”

When Ann and Jerry are looking for some downtime, they retreat to their two-bedroom, two-bath, Jackson-style apartment home. The spacious corner unit features a bay window and a bright eat-in kitchen with a picture window. 

Ann says she and Jerry are happy with their move to Linden Ponds, and so are their children who have the peace of mind of knowing their parents are part of a secure and supportive community.

“We enjoyed Pinehills for ten years, but it was time to make the change while we are able to do it on our own terms,” Ann says.