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Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Grow old with me, the best is yet to be, the last for which the first was made"

Hi folks!  I love that quote from Browning.  Yesterday, a Canterbury resident and friend gave me an article reprinted from the Detroit Sunday News, in Foward Movement Publications (Cincinnati, Ohio).  As our van driver battles the rain and pulls up to the back door to take Canterbury residents shopping, and our housekeepers pick up the garbage from each resident apartment, let me entertain you with some thoughts from this article.  If you were here you could join the residents who are together in the dining room sharing coffee and conversation about the election.

By the way, we had three residents move in just last week!!  There is "much excitement and ... promise.  Each age...has its special gifts and joys....the rule is to look back with gratitude and forward with hope".   Canterbury residents are 55 years or older.  Some work, some are retired.  Most have in common their downsizing into a smaller space.  Many were hesitant to move but once they did they wondered why they hadn't sooner.  It's easy living, and the energy spent with burdensome chores is now used for enjoyable pursuits!

This article my friend shared with me yesterday said some important things I relay to you today as I have watched people wait too long to make the move to Retirement living, and then need a nursing home by the time they are ready and really needing to move. I truly believe Canterbury is set up to help people stay younger longer, partly because of this well designed easier and safer lifestyle.  "In our youth culture, some persons dread retirement because it is a clear sign that age is upon them.  What our culture {sometimes} fails to recognize  is that youth is not at all the happiest time of life; indeed, because the young often have not found themselves and often lack perspective and inner resources to deal with life's problems, youth may be the unhappiest time".

"Browning was nearer to the truth when he said: "Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be, the last for which the first was made".

"One of the greatest things about growing olde{er} is the simplicity it can give to life.  We no longer are the prisoners of many desires; we know what we like and no longer try to keep up with the Joneses; we are content to find our joy in simple things.  There is outer simplicity as we learn to live on a reduced income and an inner simplicity of desire as we begin to "center down" on life's essentials".

"While retirement is an open door to many of the things we always have wanted to do (deepened personal relationships, travel-although it may be simply to see the sights in our own city-hobbies, and reading), we must not forget...many who seem to have retired in a creative fashion and have made their retirement "the last for which the first was made".

Our residents Gladys and June are two examples of these creative retirees.  Gladys is always busy with what she enjoys: gardening, cooking and most importantly to me, helping people.  She was at the office door with a plate of home-made muffins yesterday, making sure I "share them with housekeeping".  There were plenty for any resident who happened by the coffee maker area.  She often consults with our chefs, helps them chop, and more!

June started a bible study.  She puts what we will be focusing on up on the bulletin board early so those who choose to participate may plan and study and ponder ahead of time.  Our residents Eleanor and Bernice have become friendly visitors to those shut-in.

I noticed residents talking about IDEAS the other day.  The subject I believe, was jealousy, and the topic came up in the scripture they were reading in the bible study the day before.  A whole group of residents, many of whom who chose not to participate in the bible study, participated in a lively discussion about the concept of jealousy.

One of my Favorite quotes is "Great minds discuss ideas; avarage minds discuss events; small minds discuss people" (Eleanor Roosevelt).  When the residents were sitting in the dining room conversing the other afternoon, this quote came to mind and I was proud of our residents.  Of course there are discussions about people we care about and events that are coming up, but it is wonderful to hear Canterbury residents discuss ideas!  They are doing this because they are living life to the fullest here.

I just found a "Gladys muffin" left over from yesterday and had it for lunch  :-)

"The secret of good retirement is, after all, no different than the secret of life at any other time.  The advice to seek happiness directly always has been a fraud; happiness is a mysterious by-product of good battles, of having the wind in our faces, of getting out of bed because there is something God wants us to do...if we have talents we ought to use them..."

What are your joys and talents?  Bring them here and we will celebrate them!
Our Activities Director routinely puts the quote about happiness being like the elusive butterfly.  Chase it and it eludes, but sit quietly and enjoy what you are doing and it will land on your lap.  Just bring yourself, happiness will find you here.

We don't advertise much, for twenty five years we have thrived mostly by word-of mouth referrals.  We were one of the original retirement homes in West Hartford.  Now you have so many to choose from!  We like our size.  It helps our residents blossom and yes, just be themselves.

Speaking of blossom, there is a teeny-tiny dog living here now as of last week, named blossom!  Canterbury accepts pets!  Since I've been here we have yet to have a rabbit move in, but guess what!  Last week Timothy the clean, white red-eyed bunny arrived!  "I gotta go meet this rabbit"! our A.D. just stated.
Our new residents were able to bring their beloved pets with them to Canterbury.  Isn't that nice?!
Well, after some time away I have made up with a LONG blog!  I'll try to come here more often, and give you a little less to read at a sitting!

Take good care of YOU, and try to come over before the snow flies!  If you can't get to us, you can view us at


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