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Active & Healthy Lifestyle Charlottesville Colonnades Senior Living Community Essays Lifelong Learning PLACE UVa

Prompt: Do We Live Longer and Happier at The Colonnades?

I certainly hope so!

I would say that it depends a lot on attitude and intention. I know that I have been very fortunate in life – and not because I have earned it or somehow am entitled to it. I am also aware that the “fickle hand of fate” can pull everything away in an instant, but I have always been convinced that that planning and good choices can help to swing events one way or another. As an optimist, I plan to live here for 30 years or more – NOT so remarkable because many people are living well into their 100s these days. If it does happen, I certainly want to be as healthy and happy as possible. I do not think that it will happen, however, unless I put my full effort into it.

Colonnades Priority Number

Walt and I chose the Colonnades in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a retirement community after reading articles in the Washington Post discussing the exciting new concept of prolonging the healthy and happy years of retirement by joining a Continuing Care Community. Our first home together was here in Charlottesville in 1965, and we knew that we both really liked this area. Thus the advertisement in the UVa Alumni Magazine was VERY persuasive. After a lot of discussion, we sent off our check, and when we received the card with our priority number, we considered it a form of insurance. As the years went by, we received the monthly calendar and news every month. We were delighted to see that one of our chemistry professors had moved to the community, and when we saw that he gave a weekly chemistry class at the Colonnades until well into his 90s, we were sure that the Colonnades was the place for us. What an interesting group of people to grow old with!

After our retirement jobs as college teachers, we retired again, downsized, and moved back to Charlottesville. On arriving we visited the Colonnades and were told that we would probably have a two to three year wait for one of the cottages, so we settled into our new townhouse in the vibrant and creative Fry’s Spring area in the southern part of the City of Charlottesville, and the years flew by. We so enjoyed all the things that this city has to offer that we put off moving until the decline of Walt’s health made it impossible.

I am so happy that I am finally here! It is everything that I have been looking forward to all these years – and a whole lot more. Because I am planning to live here for a long time, I chose the smallest apartment so that I can afford it for the foreseeable future. I am going to try to do everything I can to make wise choices in my diet, exercise, and activities in order to preserve my good health, and, I assure you, these will be some of the happiest, most content years of my life. My only regret is that I did not have a chance to enjoy these years with my late husband. He would have loved it so much!