Tribune Print Share Text

From retired to rejuvenated

Maris Grove lifestyle invigorates women’s club founder Becky Diamond

Created date

March 15th, 2018
Becky Diamond is on her way to a get-together of the women’s club at Maris Grove.

Becky Diamond is on her way to a get-together of the women’s club at Maris Grove.

Because Becky Diamond’s mother lives an active and engaged life in a retirement community near Lancaster, Pa., Becky and her husband Hugh decided seven years ago they’d eventually move to one too.

“I saw how a retirement community would benefit me,” Becky says.

At the time, the Diamonds lived in Kennett Square, and Becky was still working. She had few involvements because she either didn’t have time to join things, or activities she was interested in weren’t available.

Things changed last summer after she retired and the Diamonds moved to Maris Grove in Delaware County.

Becky is busier than ever doing things she really wants to do. “I love it here,” she says. “You don’t cook, and it takes half an hour to clean your entire apartment.”

And because all the buildings are connected internally, “You can walk inside for everything—here for one club, there for another, and it doesn’t matter what the weather is,” she says.

Becky has hit the ground running in terms of joining those clubs and special-interest groups, and each group has welcomed her with open arms.

Warm welcome

The Diamonds live in the Oakleaf Terrace residences within Redwood Commons, Maris Grove’s newest neighborhood, it opened just last summer. But Becky has found that the warm welcomes exist across the campus.

She and Hugh had just moved when Maris Grove held its annual club fair. “I wanted to join everything,” Becky says, and she just might manage to do that.

So far she’s joined the chorus, the tennis group, one of the photo clubs, and the resident-produced monthly paper NeighborNews.

With help from Kim Basile, Redwood Commons’ resident services coordinator, Becky even started a group, the Maris Grove Women’s Club. Strictly social, every woman on campus is invited. Camaraderie and vibrancy could be its bywords.

To break the ice and get women to know one another, early on the club held hour-long speed-meeting events. Paired off two by two, the women talked to one another for just five minutes before moving to a different person.

When women join the club now, they fill out a form with their name, contact numbers, and interests. Everyone gets that list.

“So,” says Becky, “if I want to go to the movies and have no one to go with, I look on the list and find someone who also likes movies, and I call or email them.”

High demand

Membership has grown by leaps and bounds; nearly a hundred women belong now.

The club has a website featuring tips about living at Maris Grove. It’s also birthed some spinoffs—card groups, a book group, and a trips group.

The club’s success underscores what Becky loves about her new, expanded life. As one of Maris Grove’s younger residents, its energy suits her perfectly.

“I really like the people I’m meeting, the things to do that I’m interested in and can do right on campus, and no cooking dinner!” she says. “Maris Grove is such a welcoming place.”