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‘What are you waiting for?’

Fox Hill Farm couple makes good on self-promise to shed homeowner responsibilities

Created date

March 15th, 2018
Maris Grove community member Betty Barrett displays some of the painting on glass she did years ago. The pieces were also displayed in the Redwood Commons Clubhouse at Maris Grove.

Betty Barrett displays some of the painting on glass she did years ago.

When Betty and Joe Barrett moved to Fox Hill Farm in Delaware County, Pa., 20 years ago, the 55-plus community had just opened. The Barretts loved moving into a place where everyone was new together and eager to make friends.

So that’s what they did when they moved to Maris Grove, just a stone’s throw from Fox Hill Farm. Moving to the Erickson Living retirement community allowed them to shed the responsibilities of home ownership while staying in the same familiar area.

Waiting until last summer when Maris Grove opened its third neighborhood, Redwood Commons, let them move in with a host of other new residents.

“We’re very happy we did it this way,” Betty says. “We all mingle with one another, and everything we need is right [here on campus].”

Everything under one roof

Among other amenities, Redwood Commons’ clubhouse features a restaurant, a tavern, a multimedia room, a fitness room, and a multipurpose arts and crafts room.

Because the clubhouses and residence buildings in Maris Grove’s three neighborhoods are connected internally via climate-controlled hallways and bridges, the Barretts readily walk from one neighborhood to the next.

Brinton Clubhouse comprises two restaurants, a full-service medical center, a pharmacy/market, and a fitness and aquatics center. The Barretts often eat lunch in Brinton’s newly remodeled Coebourn Café.

Cardinal Clubhouse is home to two restaurants, a beautiful interfaith chapel, and a large performing arts theater.

As members of Maris Grove’s priority list and having friends who lived at Maris Grove, the Barretts had visited the community fairly often. But seeing and hearing about the community is different from actually living there, says Betty.

“Now we know what people meant when they asked us, ‘What are you waiting for?’” she says. “Everything they told us about Maris Grove is true.”

Living the good life

The Barretts’ Keswick-style floor plan is a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath apartment home with a family room and a balcony. “We have our morning coffee and evening wine on our balcony as long as the weather is nice,” says Betty. “And our closets are all a good size, especially our entry closet.”

Her orchid collection sits on deep windowsills in the couple’s family room.

While Joe’s activities, such as his fitness center workouts, card playing, and movie night attendance, take place at Maris Grove, Betty often returns to Fox Hill Farm to visit friends there.

She’s also made scores of friends at her new address. She’s even teaching mah-jongg. Come spring, the Barretts will join the campus bocce group.

Betty rarely grocery shops because she doesn’t cook. But she and Joe gathered their whole family for Christmas dinner in the Barrett’s apartment, all five kids and the grandkids.

Because the Barretts wanted to leave a legacy for their children, Maris Grove’s 90% refundable entrance deposit was an important advantage to moving there (Maris Grove’s Residence and Care Agreement has all the details).

“But we also have maintenance staff, [on-site] health care, friendships, and lots of activities,” says Betty. “And if something happens, we can pull the emergency cords in our apartment, and the EMTs are here immediately.

“That peace of mind, knowing where our future is, is the most valuable thing about living at Maris Grove.”