Emerald Heights

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My So-Called Retirement

Marilyn Farrell moved into Emerald Heights with her husband Jack in February 2008.

She has a passion for photography, quality printing and telling a good story.

At Emerald Heights, she loves taking her dog Nessie for walks on The Nature Trail and especially cherishes the support and new friendships she has discovered since joining the community.

 

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The next chapter
Published March 01, 2013

Marilyn Farrell shares what motivated her to start sharing her story through this resident blog five years ago and what she will be doing next.

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Highlights of my first five years
Published January 07, 2013

As I approach the five-year anniversary of my move to Emerald Heights, I am struck by how my life has changed... in some delightful and unexpected ways.

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The best time of the year
Published December 11, 2012

Our annual Tree Lighting is a special event that helps put me in the holiday spirit.

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What does it take to create community?
Published October 25, 2012

Resident blogger Marilyn Farrell reflects on the community's founders and all the people along the way who have helped build this community inspired by one man's vision.

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Rise and shine
Published September 13, 2012

Morning has always been my favorite time of day. Now that I am fully into retirement it is even more pleasurable.

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Independence
Published July 04, 2012

Resident blogger Marilyn Farrell ponders the spirit of independence that is alive and well within this community, and shares photos of fellow residents who have been honored for their military service.

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It took retiring to find my dream job
Published June 05, 2012

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who would give their eye tooth to be on TV and those who would prefer being shot. I fall in the first group. And at Emerald Heights, I've finally landed my dream job.

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I can tell it is spring
Published May 03, 2012

I see signs of spring all over campus, and I feel that sense of renewal in my own life too.

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It’s a small, small world
Published April 04, 2012

Life may be bigger here... but it's still a small, small world. I thought I had the ultimate "small world story" when I discovered that the woman who bought our house was actually moving in to Emerald Heights RIGHT across the hall from me! But then my friend Gen topped it with an incredible story of her own...

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My many valentines
Published February 07, 2012

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I've been thinking of the many ways my heart has been tickled recently.

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Living in community
Published January 03, 2012

Sometimes life is all fun and games. Sometimes it's far from it. That's what I am dealing with now -- a health crisis that has sent me reeling. I am dealing with both the physical and emotional ramifications of another cancer diagnosis. At times like these, friends can be lifesavers. And, lucky me, I am surrounded by them!

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A gratitude reflection
Published November 08, 2011

What are you grateful for? Thanksgiving is the natural time to stop and reflect over our lives -- what has passed and what's to come -- and try to put into words both what we're grateful for and what we're grateful to be done with. Last year, my Thanksgiving was -- by outside measures -- not one to treasure, but I have to say there were so many blessings that came out of it.

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Wanna play?
Published October 04, 2011

Do you remember going from house to house in your neighborhood as a child, asking if the kids who lived there wanted to come out and play? Or maybe you remember living in a college dorm and discovering common interests with your roomies. I'm recreating that experience right here at Emerald Heights. Anytime I am in the mood to play, I grab my friends from the neighborhood and head to the game room for a rousing game of "Hand and Foot" -- my new favorite card game. This ability to throw together a quick game with friends, to share something I love and to learn something new makes my life much fuller.

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The deciding factor
Published September 06, 2011

"What made you move here?" That's something I am asked all the time. And I suspect that most people are not just making conversation. They are on a fact-finding mission and perhaps asking themselves similar questions: "When should I move? What would it take for me to decide that moving to a retirement community was right for me?" I think that making such a life-changing decision is a fascinating process, and it seems like each of us needs to take our own path. But I asked some fellow residents to share their stories, and I came away with some insight.

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Our furry, feathered, fun-loving friends
Published August 02, 2011

They won't be the first residents you see. You won't chat with them in the dining room, or take an exercise class with them. But that doesn't mean they aren't a valuable part of the community! The pets who make their home at Emerald Heights bring a lot of joy to their "owners" and many other residents.

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Residents open their doors to more than 150 visitors
Published July 05, 2011

It was a glorious sunny Saturday for our Open House on June 4th. More than 150 guests toured five apartments, got a sample of the campus, the trail, Corwin Center and the garden railroad. Resident hosts answered questions and talked about their experience with downsizing and moving to Emerald Heights.

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So many things to do
Published June 07, 2011

"But what do you do all day?" That's the kind of question I get from friends and acquaintances who wonder what life in a retirement community might really be like. I think they imagine I am stuck in my apartment or forced to follow a prescribed schedule. Maybe they wonder what they would do all day here. If that's the true question, there's no way I can answer that. We have more than 450 residents here and more than 450 ways to fill the day. Some people do lots of scheduled activities; others pursue their own interests, such as volunteering in the community, visiting with family, or traveling the world. I grabbed my camera earlier this month to see what kind of images I could capture of resident life.

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This dog gets no respect!
Published May 03, 2011

This month, it's Nessie's turn to give you a dog's view of life at Emerald Heights. What's got her fur in a bunch this month? Burritos for breakfast... with no doggy bag! As a former service dog, Nessie knows the value of volunteering, both for the volunteer and for those being served. Still, it's nice every once in a while to get some recognition for one's efforts. And volunteers at Emerald Heights got some well-deserved recognition earlier this month. It was a wonderful celebration of our volunteers... at least the two-legged variety.

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What’s your plan, Dad?
Published April 05, 2011

That's what I need to know from my 91-year-old father. He still lives on his own, but he needs more and more help from my sister and me, and from hired caregivers. His recent fall and subsequent rehabilitation revived this long-standing question. What's the plan? I've learned there are ways to be helpful moving people forward in this decision-making process. And there are things that are distinctly unhelpful!

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My spring fling
Published February 08, 2011

It happens every year. The sun comes out, the birds start chirping and I am filled with a burning desire... to start flinging out my junk! Ah, spring cleaning. There is nothing like it. It feels so good to clean out the old, and begin anew. While I have the job of helping my father sort through years of accumulated belongings, I am determined not to pass on that legacy to the next generation.

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The best part of my day
Published January 05, 2011

Who will I dine with tonight? An old friend? A brand new resident? One thing I know for sure: The conversation will be lively and fun. Making connections with other residents and sharing highlights of the day over a wonderful meal is the best part of my day. And it's often full of surprises!

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