Retirement Living: Having One Adventure After Another

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resident at westminster at lake ridge virginiaWhen bombs rained down on Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth McIntosh was at ground zero. The young reporter had recently landed a job with the Scripps Howard News Services, and covered the tragedy in an up close and personal way.

“The smoke was everywhere, you saw ships with their bottoms facing up,” she recalled of the gruesome scene. “Oil was all over the place, and there were dead birds everywhere from the concussion of bombs.”

That catastrophic day engendered her with a deep interest in the affairs of Far Eastern countries, and led her on a series of travels all over Japan, China and other parts of Asia for the rest of her life.

After Elizabeth’s Pearl Harbor reporting had been completed, she relocated to the District as Scripps Howard News Service’s Washington correspondent, covering Eleanor Roosevelt. She also worked in Japan for the Office of Strategic Services, disseminating leaflets and radio stories behind the lines to encourage the Japanese to surrender during the Second World War.

When she married her husband, an undersecretary of defense for overseas affairs, Elizabeth spent even more time traveling. She worked for the Voice of America, Glamour Magazine and wrote two books about her adventures with the O.S.S.

When her first husband passed away, she got a job with a CIA and relocated back to Japan. After several years, she met her second husband, with whom she settled down in Leesburg.

The couple had decided that their farmhouse was getting too much to maintain, so they sold it and sought out a retirement community. They decided on Westminster at Lake Ridge, a continuing care retirement community in Lake Ridge, Va., just thirty minutes outside of the nation’s capital.

Her husband’s unexpected death saddened her immensely, but she knew she had to move forward with their plans to come to the community.

“I just wanted to get somewhere safe,” Elizabeth recalled. “I could have it all here-it feels like I never moved.”

These days, Elizabeth lives in a cottage on the Westminster at Lake Ridge grounds, with a lovely garden and view of a nearby stream. Though her days of working overseas and covering exciting stories are long over, she still has a little piece of her past.

“My dog Cody, as in the alert, ‘Code Red,” Elizabeth said with a laugh. “He reminds me every day of the eventful life I’ve had.”

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