‘We love it here’

Dallas couple relishes freshman year at Highland Springs

Created date

April 29th, 2019
Myra and Ken Garner are at home in their two-bedroom Westin-style apartment home at Highland Springs in North Dallas.

Myra and Ken Garner are at home in their two-bedroom Westin-style apartment home at Highland Springs in North Dallas.

Like going off to college or moving to a new city, most of life’s changes yield fresh possibilities.

Choosing a retirement community is no exception. Just ask Ken and Myra Garner, who moved to Highland Springs, the Erickson Living community in North Dallas, six months ago.

“We love it here,” says Myra, who worked as an inside sales representative for Eastern Airlines for 30 years and for Continental Airlines for seven years. “We’re still discovering all that Highland Springs has to offer.”

Ken and Myra first learned of Highland Springs through their friend Kathleen Donnelly, who moved to the community a few months ahead of them.

“Kathy [Kathleen] looked at a number of retirement communities and had almost given up hope of finding the right one when she visited Highland Springs,” says Myra. “She told us about the amenities and maintenance-free lifestyle, so we decided to check it out.”

Like a college campus, Highland Springs boasts a variety of amenities, all within a short walk from residents’ apartment homes. The community’s on-site continuing care neighborhood, medical center, fitness center, restaurants, bank, salon, and libraries ensure community members have everything they need to thrive.

“It’s been a whirlwind since we moved in,” says Ken, who worked for Raytheon [formerly E-Systems Inc.] for 42 years. “We’re learning more about the community and meeting new people every day.”

As much as Highland Springs compares to a college campus, there’s one notable difference. Those who live at the community are free to set their own schedule, choosing their favorites among the myriad opportunities for social engagement, intellectual pursuits, and physical fitness.

Ken and Myra spent their first few months at Highland Springs doing just that, customizing their lifestyle to suit their needs and preferences.

A schedule of their choosing

“We prefer to have a late lunch as our main meal of the day,” says Myra. “I’ll fix a little breakfast in our apartment, we’ll enjoy a good afternoon meal in one of the restaurants, and then we’ll have a snack in the evening. It’s a routine we like, and it’s been so nice to have a variety of restaurants to choose from right here at Highland Springs.”

The couple’s also discovering new options to fill their calendars. Highland Springs boasts more than 130 resident-run clubs and activities, everything from games to gardening.

“Now that we’re past the moving phase, I’m most looking forward to spending time in the woodshop,” says Ken.

Personal touch

Ken and Myra selected a two-bedroom, two-bath Westin-style apartment in Twin Oaks Square, a new residence building that opened at Highland Springs in August 2018. They worked with Nikki Russell, custom interiors coordinator, to personalize the space.

Both polio survivors and in need of adaptive equipment to get around, Ken and Myra chose the Westin for its open layout, easily accessible rooms, and flexible layout.

“We made a few changes to accommodate our needs,” says Myra. “We worked with Nikki to choose finishes that were both stylish and functional.”

Ken uses the den, just off the main living area, as his office. A ham radio operator, Ken keeps his equipment in the space. A barn door on sliding rails allows easy access to the room, giving Ken and Myra the option to close it off when they’re entertaining.

“We also love our patio,” says Myra. “Now that it’s spring, it’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the outdoors.”