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Creative outlets close to home

Maris Grove a magnet for artistic people

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October 14th, 2016
Artistic talent runs in the Strugala family. Janet is a painter, and Ed, who designed and made this impressive wall unit, is an accomplished woodworker.

Artistic talent runs in the Strugala family. Janet is a painter, and Ed, who designed and made this impressive wall unit, is an accomplished woodworker.

Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa., attracts painters, fiber artists, photographers, woodworkers, and quilters. There’s even a resident playwright.

Telling talents

Janet Strugala has been painting for most of her life, having studied in high school and college. When her children were grown, she took watercolor lessons in night school. She’s even taught watercolor.

When she and her husband Ed moved to a lovely two-bedroom apartment home at Maris Grove from nearby Aston, Pa., she returned to oil painting. Their second bedroom serves as an office and Janet’s in-home studio.

Once a week, she paints at Maris Grove’s Brinton Creative Arts Studio, one of two studios on campus. She also displays her work there. 

Whenever her multitalented Maris Grove neighbor, Alva Holcombe, teaches an art class, Janet takes it. 

Ed has found creative outlets for his talents at Maris Grove too. He belongs to the woodshop and the model railroad club.

An accomplished woodworker, Ed designed and built an impressively large and beautiful wall unit in the Strugalas’ great room. He also designed and built an intricate small-scale locomotive that they display.

In addition to their art, the Strugalas play cards, and Janet belongs to the computer club. A former computer programmer, she joined to stay current with computer technology.

Away from campus, the couple maintains their membership in the Aston Seniors groups. Janet goes to lunch with the Delaware County Newcomers and Neighbors group and knits with its offshoot group, the Knit Wits. Interestingly, the knitters meet at Maris Grove because most of its members live there.

Secure and carefree lifestyle

The Strugalas learned about Maris Grove’s on-site amenities and maintenance-free lifestyle from friends who’d moved there. 

“Then the people we always called to fix things at our house started retiring, and it was a problem to find new people,” Janet says. It motivated her and Ed to move.

They also switched their doctors to Maris Grove physicians who practice in the campus’s full-service medical center. 

“That the doctors are here every day is an advantage,” Janet says. “And the security team of EMTs come so fast and perform so well that you feel secure.”  

Also, every apartment home is equipped with pull cords and an exterior door latch that drops when a community member opens the door. Maris Grove’s security team sets the latch each night and checks it each morning. If the latch hasn’t dropped, the team contacts the resident to make sure everything is okay.

Those amenities mean a lot to the Strugalas’ children. They live at some distance but never worry about their parents.

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