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Two generations shed unused space for worry-free lifestyle

Created date

June 5th, 2015
Charlestown residents
Charlestown residents

They say two’s company and three’s a crowd, but for one family living at Charlestown, space is never a problem. Patricia (Pat) and John Gross, along with Pat’s mother Rose Landis, are happy to call a spacious two-bedroom, two-bath apartment at the Catonsville, Md., community home. 

“Our apartment is 48 feet across and 30 feet deep. It feels like a rancher,” says Pat. “We have two full bedrooms on opposite sides of the apartment, each with their own bath for plenty of privacy. In the middle, we have a large living room, dining room, great big den, and an eat-in kitchen. We love it!”

Wasted space

Pat, John, and Rose moved to Charlestown last September from a four-bedroom, two-story house they shared for more than 20 years. Empty nesters, Pat and John decided it was time to trade in their oversized house for a more worry-free lifestyle at Charlestown. 

“Our daughter was married and out of the house, and it was too big for just my mom and us,” says Pat. “We had a finished basement with a pool table, Ping-Pong table, and a bar, but we never used any of it. It was just wasted space. Unlike our house, now we use every room in our apartment.”

Like many people in the Catonsville area, Pat and John were already familiar with Charlestown. Pat’s late uncle lived at the community for nearly a decade.

“We used to visit my uncle when he lived here,” says Pat. “He used to say the only regret he had was that he didn’t move years earlier. He waited until he was in his late 70s.” 

Heeding her uncle’s advice, Pat and John, now both 67, sold their Linthicum Heights house and began planning their move to Charlestown nearly two years ago. 

“We joined the priority list and about a year and a half later decided we were ready to move,” says Pat. “We looked at several apartments before we chose this one. As soon as we saw it, we loved it.” 

The Gross’s sixth floor apartment located in the community’s Brookside neighborhood is actually two adjacent apartments that were reconstructed into one.  

“Our apartment was still under construction, so we were able to alter and suit some things to our own taste, like adding hardwood floors,” says Pat. “We liked the idea that we could personalize our home. We also have a great view facing the woods where we can watch the deer, cardinals, blue jays—it’s absolutely awesome!”

Best of both worlds

Pat, John, and Rose also enjoy the newfound freedoms and opportunities that come with living at Charlestown.

“I really love the flexibility of the meal plans they have here at Charlestown,” says Pat.  “I love to cook and entertain, but I also enjoy going out to eat. We selected a meal plan that works for us. It’s the best of both worlds. I have the flexibility to cook when I want to, and when I don’t feel like cooking, we have six wonderful restaurants on campus to choose from.”

The trio also appreciates the conveniences and safety of living in a gated, comprehensive community like Charlestown. 

“We use the campus medical center,” says Pat. “It’s so convenient. If the weather is bad and you have a health problem, you just call and walk on over. It’s so easy. The safety aspect is nice, too. When you want to go on vacation, you don’t have to worry about something going wrong back at home. They really take the worry out of everything here.” 

Now that they aren’t consumed by caring for a large house, Pat, John, and Rose can spend their time however they wish.

“The best description I can think of is that living here is like being on a permanent cruise,” says Pat. “They offer everything you can think of, and you can do as much or as little as you choose. We joined the fitness center; I started volunteering with the Charlestown pastoral office; and my mom plays poker every Wednesday evening. She will come home afterward and I’ll say, ‘How did you do, Mom?’ If she says she lost, I will ask her, ‘How much?’ And she will usually say something like, ‘57 cents.’ I get a kick out of that! She has her independence back, and my husband and I have free time to do what we want. It’s a win-win situation.”