An Internet Reunion
When you think of newlyweds settling into their first home together, you normally do not picture that house on the campus of a retirement community, but Anna Light and Charles Bolan are painting a new picture that it is all their own. After 45 years, Anna, a retired home economics teacher, and Charles, a retired Naval Aviator, were reunited on-line.
Anna relates, “We reconnected when I was with my daughter in Oregon. We were emailing back and forth for a few weeks and then I went to see him in State College, PA. That was in July; we were married in September.”
The couple had only just begun their married life together when they decided to make the move to a retirement community. Charles explains, “We moved probably six to eight years before we were planning to, but when we came to visit my cousin at Menno Haven, and we saw the new Northfield area, which is independent living, and we really liked it.” After that visit, they researched other retirement communities, but never found anything comparable to Menno Haven-a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located in Chambersburg, PA-in terms of value and amenities.
Although they admit that moving and downsizing was challenging, the benefits of retirement living have been myriad. For Charles, the carefree lifestyle is appealing. He relates, “The major selling point was the maintenance-free lifestyle. I don’t have to mow or clean gutters or even change a light bulb in this home. It never came down to me not being able to do the work, but why should I continue when I can enjoy being retired?”
Their new community has its own set of benefits for Anna, who recalls, “Everyone in our Phase moved in around the same time, and we have really become a close group. Menno Haven had a lot of activities planned to help us all get to know each other.” She has also been able to continue her lifelong devotion to volunteer service working in the nursing center on campus; she takes other residents to their physical therapy appointments on a weekly basis.
Both Charles and Anna take full advantage of the security of living in their new community-security that allows them to spend much of their time traveling around the country visiting their combined family of nine children and 11 grandsons. “A definite plus for us is that we can just go when we want. We drop a note at the front desk and maintenance will check on our home. It’s as easy as that,” Anna explained.
After making the decision to move, life in general has been a lot easier for this active couple. Making retirement living decisions is “inevitable” according to Charles, who continues, “I knew before that I was going to have to face this issue sometime. Now that we have done it, I actually feel relieved, and everything has worked out so well.” Anna adds, “Our time here reinforces the correctness of all of our decisions.”