The Nowicks had to hustle to find someone to fix the plumbing.
That’s exactly the kind of hassle they don’t miss about home ownership.
Paula also doesn’t miss grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, or walking down—and back up—a long flight of stairs to the kitchen to get that glass of water she forgot to carry up at bedtime.
After thirty years spent living in a grand, 120-year-old home in the McKnight Historic District in Springfield, Hank and Paula have traded home repairs and household chores for a more leisurely life. They have time to attend wine tastings, play billiards, and focus on activities that interest them. Paula is writing a self-help book about finding joy in one’s life.
“We couldn’t wait to escape all that responsibility and come here to relax and enjoy and live a very satisfying life,” Paula says.
Hank says, “I didn’t realize how enjoyable doing less would be. It’s an easy thing to get used to. We’re falling in pace with that kind of a schedule.”
Hank and Paula were the first residents to move to Glenmeadow after the COVID-19 restrictions eased. They moved in on July 2, 2020, and have been busy socializing and making new friends. Because our residents are wearing masks, Paula jokes that she knows people mainly from their glasses or hairdos.
“I’m really looking forward to the day when we won’t have those restrictions,” she says. “Glenmeadow is trying to ease back into some normality. They’re worried about keeping us safe, and we’re happy they’re keeping us safe.”
The Nowicks began the process of finding a Life Plan Community. They were eager to settle into a new home while they were still healthy and active, making the transition that much smoother.
“We looked at seven apartments at Glenmeadow, and it was fun to see all the different layouts,” Paula says, noting that she held out for all the amenities she was seeking—southern exposure, a balcony, and two bedrooms and bathrooms.
They were scheduled to move in, but COVID temporarily shut the door. “I would call every month and say, ‘Any chance we can move in?’” recalls Paula.
In the spring of 2020, they got the green light and finalized plans to sell their home.
Paula is enjoying the simplicity and convenience of community life. “I used to love to cook, kind of a Julia Child cook, and then, as the years went on, I didn’t want to chop another onion in my whole entire life,” she says. “The thought that somebody would be preparing my meals was incredibly appealing.”
At Glenmeadow, Paula and Hank enjoy taking their meals twice a week in our dining room. She says some entrees have been “exquisite, with wonderful spices and sauces.”
Before she retired, Paula was an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts, focused on creativity in education. Now, she is writing a book, called “Joy for Sad Sacks,” which she said is about helping to relieve stress. “I want to help people begin to see all the comfort and beauty and playfulness that there is in this world that you miss when you live in fear and anxiety.”
Hank was trained as a chemical engineer and worked with Monsanto for 30 years before transitioning into environmental engineering. Later in his career, he taught environmental science courses at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and ran an independent firm in which he consulted with companies that produce or use toxic chemicals. Hank only recently served his last client.
“I expected community living to be dull and commonplace with a certain pattern and way of life,” Hank says. “It’s not that way at all. We’ve made many friends—real enjoyable people. Living at Glenmeadow has opened up new ideas and new vistas.”