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To the adventure

Couple continues their zest for life at Linden Ponds

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June 1st, 2017
Audrey and Michael Straight have had many adventures together. Recently, they took a trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Audrey and Michael Straight have had many adventures together. Recently, they took a trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Audrey and Michael Straight’s life together has been adventurous, to say the least. 

They first met as children (he was 10, and she was 7) when Michael’s family rented Audrey’s grandparents’ house on Martha’s Vineyard. But then they went their separate ways only to be reunited later in life.

The early years

After graduating from Connecticut College, Audrey married, moved to Martha’s Vineyard, and had two children. 

Meanwhile, Michael studied at Yale and then served in the Navy, in the Pacific and Saigon, during the Vietnam War. When he returned to the U.S., Michael went to law school at Georgetown and became an aide for Ohio Congressman John Seiberling. Michael helped Seiberling with his work on the House Judiciary Committee during Richard Nixon’s impeachment, and he helped to draft the Alaska Lands Act.

Audrey later moved to Washington, D.C., and attended law school at American University. After graduation, she worked for the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland. Michael was also in Washington, working as a staff attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. Audrey, who was divorced by that time, then married Michael in 1980. 

Following their passions

The couple lived on a sailboat near Annapolis, Md., on and off for about 14 years. Monday through Friday, they commuted to Washington, D.C., and both worked as lawyers. But on the weekends they would escape the hustle and bustle of city life and go sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. Twice, they sailed all the way up to Martha’s Vineyard. 

Eager to live in a warm, sunny climate, Audrey and Michael decided to take their legal careers in a different direction. They moved to Micronesia, an island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean. 

“We were both assistant attorneys general to their government,” Michael says. 

By 1990, Audrey and Michael returned to Washington, D.C. Audrey worked in public policy for ARRP and Michael did consulting work for the government. 

Ready for a career change, Michael then got into photography and worked as a successful digital artist for about a decade. Audrey retired in 2006, and she has since turned her attention to tapestry weaving. 

The next adventure

A little over a year ago, Audrey and Michael embarked on their next adventure. Eager to live closer to their children and grandchildren in Massachusetts, they moved to Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Hingham. 

They looked at different continuing care retirement communities in the area, and Linden Ponds appealed to them because of its large and diverse resident population.

“There are 1,300 people living here, so you are going to find people you want to spend time with,” Audrey says. 

Indeed, she and Michael have found many people they enjoy spending time with. Michael belongs to the photography club, where he shares his photos of sunrises and sunsets, landscapes and, of course, grandchildren. 

Both Audrey and Michael volunteer their time to help Linden Ponds employees who are seeking U.S. citizenship to prepare for their exams.

Audrey continues to spend a lot of time working on her tapestry weaving and even converted one of the bedrooms in their Linden Ponds apartment home into a studio that houses six looms. She recently joined the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is also a member of the quilting group.

“It’s a wonderful group,” Audrey says of the quilters. “They have all become great friends, and there are some amazing talents in the group—it’s inspiring to be with them.”

Perfect home space

Audrey and Michael chose a Williamsburg-style apartment home at Linden Ponds. The spacious unit has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an office space.

“We love having the space, and we have a view out to the woods behind us,” Audrey says. “We are on the first floor, so I get to watch all of our neighbors do wonderful gardening.”

“But when it snows, we don’t have to shovel,” Michael adds. 

Travel is a priority for this active couple. Last winter, they spent time in the U.S. Virgin Islands on  St. John and were joined for part of the time by Audrey’s children and grandchildren.

“We did a lot of snorkeling, and it was amazing” Michael says. “I do snorkel photography with an underwater camera.”

This summer, they will travel to Hawaii with Audrey’s brother and sister-in-law. And Michael says next winter they’d like to visit Australia and New Zealand.

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