Trailblazers 2014: Jim and Rainy Husband have staked their claim
Published February 10, 2012
Emerald Heights is now taking reservations for its planned expansion. Our early investors can choose from a wide selection of new floor plans and join fellow future residents as Trailblazers 2014.
Jim and Rainy Husband have staked their claim. The apartment they have selected in the Emerald Heights planned expansion is clearly marked with a bright orange dot.
While sticking a dot on a floor plan may seem easy, it was the culmination of a long process of planning, comparison shopping and introspection. And since the planned expansion is still a work in progress, Jim and Rainy’s work isn’t over. They are actively contributing to the discussion, making suggestions and helping to build their future here.
The Tipping Point
What inspired the Husbands to choose a future at Emerald Heights?
Several significant life events contributed toward their realization that a continuing care retirement community was a smart choice. Most importantly, they witnessed their own parents struggle to remain at home past the point that they could live there independently. It was a challenging and difficult experience that Jim and Rainy didn’t want to pass on to their own children.
Then, in 1997, Rainy faced a serious health crisis and spent a lot of time thinking about what was important in her life and what she wanted for her future.
"Planning is important to us," says Rainy. When we plan and reflect on our future, we make the best decisions."
Motivated by their shared desire for a simpler life and fewer home maintenance responsibilities, the couple decided to move from their family home of 25 years and find a smaller place, with easy access to essential services.
“I wasn’t interested in home maintenance or roof cleaning anymore,” explains Jim.
Rainy, an avid gardener, agreed that maintaining the yard of their house was just too much.
So, they began early— a full decade before Jim's retirement from his engineering career at Boeing — to downsize and simplify.
A friend recommended that they look at a new condominium development in Redmond. Though it was still under construction at the time, Rainy and Jim liked what they saw and decided they could use the year-long construction period to prepare.
So, they carefully evaluated their lifestyles and started designing their new living space to be a perfect fit. They found smaller-scale furniture at DelTeet in Bellevue, where an interior designer offered additional space-saving tips. Above all else, they made sure their home was functional and fit both Jim's and Rainy's needs.
In 2000, they made their move to the condo they love.
But, in 2004, their son Troy asked them a question: "What are your plans for the future?"
That put Jim and Rainy right back into planning mode.
Always the planner, Rainy decided to treat his question "as an assignment” and start researching possible answers. They loved their condo (and still do!), but Jim and Rainy realized there could be a time when they need more support and assistance in their daily lives. And so the search began for a retirement community.
Finding a Philosophy that Fit
Jim and Rainy spent quite a lot of time researching and visiting local retirement communities. Since they love the Eastside, they were drawn to Emerald Heights, Covenant Shores and later to Timber Ridge. They joined the Emerald Heights waiting list in 2004, while they continued to evaluate their options and envision their future.
“We found that some communities really focused on end-of-life care,” explains Rainy. “But what we wanted to hear was that this was the start of an exciting journey. We wanted to talk about what we wanted our life to look like.”
“We also really wanted to move in our early 70s, so we could make the decisions for ourselves and really enjoy the community,” she continues.
Timber Ridge with its new construction was appealing, but to these Redmond residents, Issaquah seemed like a long way away.
Then CEO Lisa Hardy spoke at an event the Husbands attended, and she started to share her plan for renovating the Emerald Heights community spaces and adding some up-to-date amenities. Her plans were intriguing.
When Emerald Heights announced its planned expansion and solicited their input as Future Residents, Jim and Rainy were immediately attracted to the new ideas and energy here. It was time to move ahead.
“We really like this community, and the new building is like frosting on the cake!” adds Rainy.
Taking the First Step
Jim and Rainy attended events late last year to learn about the planned expansion and see the preliminary sketches. Once they received the updated floor plans for the Trailside building, they met with Sharon Howell and Andy Kempler at Emerald Heights to make a deposit and discuss their preferred floor plan.
“We looked at all the floor plans and, given what we know about our lifestyle and who we are we, selected several — based on our own personal formula,” explains Rainy.
“We each need our personal space,” she continues. “All this has been part of our process of self-reflection and understanding our personal needs. Some floor plans just don’t fit who we are or what we need.”
Putting the Pieces Together
Rainy has been busy playing with their selected floor plan and furniture template to design their new home.
Since they already downsized significantly to move to their condominium, the hardest work is done. Now, the focus is on finding the best fit for the small-scale furnishings they love.
“It’s been challenging and fun,” says Rainy.
Joining the Community
Now that they have reserved their new home, Jim and Rainy are beginning to become involved in the community.
“We’ve enjoyed participating in events, and we are looking forward to more chances to get together with other Trailblazers,” says Rainy.
They are both taking this time to prepare and look forward to life at Emerald Heights.
“We're looking forward to new adventures,” says Rainy.
The decision to build their future at Emerald Heights was the result of a careful, deliberate process, but the Husbands feel very good about the process and the community they’ve chosen.
“Jim and Rainy are so fun to work with,” says Sharon. “They’ve already brought so many good questions and suggestions forward that are helpful in our planning process. We are excited to have them as part of the community.”
“Now, we’re an orange dot!” adds Rainy.