Dear Community Members,

Thanks to WordPress Daily Prompt for this writing topic:

Community Service

Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

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Dear Retirement Community Members,

I’m glad to have this opportunity to address all of you at once. I want to thank you for making me feel so welcome when I moved here a little more than three years ago.

As you know, there’s always a waiting list for available independent-living duplexes. Our name made it to the top of the list in late March 2013. My husband wasn’t planning to retire until the end of the year, but we were afraid that, if we passed up the opportunity and let our name go back to the bottom of the list, we’d have to wait three to five years for another opening.

I made a quick trip to Tacoma in late March to see the unit. I’d never seen the inside of a duplex, only a drawing of the interior floor plan. I immediately fell in love with it. Even though all the duplexes have identical floor plans, I loved the location of this one on the corner, near the road. Without another building right next to it, this one felt bigger and more open.

When I returned home, my husband and I decided we’d take this duplex instead of waiting. So I packed my little car to the gills, taking what I’d need to set up housekeeping, and drove the 2,100 miles to Tacoma. I arrived at my new home on April 10, 2013. My husband would join me after he retired at the end of December.

It was a bit scary making this move on my own, but several of you knocked on my door and welcomed me to the community. (A few of you even gave me plants as a welcoming gift, and I didn’t have the heart to tell you that house plants come to my house to die.) Your kindness helped me adjust, and I quickly came to love my new home.

Originally I didn’t have much to unpack, so I soon began learning my way around my new home town. We had been visiting our daughter in Tacoma for about 15 years, so I knew my way around a tiny bit, but I had a lot to learn. Once again, many of you came to my aid, telling me how to get to Metropolitan Market and Trader Joe’s as well as other places. When I said I was interested in learning about the city’s history, you suggested parks, monuments, and buildings I might want to visit. You explained to me how to sign up for events held at Franke Tobey Jones and for excursions to other places, such as the monthly Lunch Bunch outing.

By the time my husband arrived to stay in December, I already felt well settled in. Again, many of you went out of your way to come meet him and welcome him to the community.

Now, after more than two years, we both continue to marvel at how friendly everyone here is. We knew we were going to retire to Tacoma because our daughter lives here, but we’re so glad that we chose Franke Tobey Jones. I think that the sign out front should be changed from “Retirement Estates” to “Retirement Community,” because community is what we’ve truly found here.

Sincerely yours,
Mary Brown

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