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A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

October 9, 2023

Have you ever visited a park and thought to yourself, “this would be such a beautiful place to live?” The gardens, a beautiful well-kept lawn, mature trees, and flowers everywhere you look make Ridgecrest Village feel like a park. I’m reminded of this each day as I walk to my office by way of the gazebo that rests in the middle of the green space between several cottages and the main campus. It is common to encounter folks taking their morning walks, walking a pet, or doing a little early morning gardening. The founders of Ridgecrest clearly had a vision which has withstood years of fads that have come and gone. They invested in timeless materials and style which to this day grace the 22-acre campus. I’m reminded of my college days…albeit quite a bit older now, but the nostalgia is everywhere I look. The brick and mortar and lovely grounds have a way of making a person just feel good. When choosing a retirement community, it is important to ponder what makes you feel good.

Ridgecrest CEO, Patrick McDonald, has his own vision for Ridgecrest Village. “I want to build on what our founders created. We want our residents and their families to have an ‘experience’ at Ridgecrest…to be able to gather outside around a fire, have a barbeque in the courtyard or simply enjoy a walk in the park.” He has other plans in store for Ridgecrest, so stay tuned.

It is important that there is a provision for residents to have the opportunity for spontaneous hobbies, work, or volunteer-related activities. We have a great grounds team at Ridgecrest, but many of the residents themselves like to get in on the action. A few weeks ago, one morning as I was walking from my car, I came upon one such resident, Dick Sebeniecher, digging up multiple Hosta plants near the main entrance and replanting them across the sidewalk. Recently we had a tree cut down and they had lost their shady spot, so he moved them. As we were standing there, our CEO stopped by, as he too was curious. There was no concern; however, as Dick being a master gardener, knows his plants and even spends time caring for the Ridgecrest Butterfly Garden. When asked if I could take his picture he laughed and said, “Sure, but you had better be careful with that photo, someone may get the idea you put us residents to work here.” This was not an isolated incidence, nor is he alone in his efforts. Residents who live at Ridgecrest have pride in their home and many of them continue to apply their time and talents in various ways.

Dick’s joking comment resonated with me long after our conversation. He hit upon something that is so very fundamental. Retirement living has many facets. It’s not just about great food and planned activities, but to have opportunities to work and contribute if that is something that you enjoy. We have such rich talent amongst those who live here. They have a hand in many things. I’ve written about the café and the resale shop in previous articles, all solid examples of how the residents themselves are fundamental to the richness that exists at Ridgecrest.

Ridgecrest is the type of retirement living that if you find pleasure in gardening, you can contribute your time and talent to the grounds, adding to the beauty. For others, who simply want to enjoy walking in a park-like setting, it’s all right here. I appreciate those who founded Ridgecrest Village with their vision and taste, as well as the many hands who have built it into what it is today. Everyone needs to be needed and to live in a place that simply makes them feel good.

Julie Arndt is a licensed social worker and Director of Marketing at Ridgecrest Village with over 30 years’ experience working in the field of geriatrics and senior advocacy.

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