A typical day is never a typical day at Chapel Hill active adult community

Posted May 21, 2018 5:53 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:08 p.m. EDT

A resident enjoys painting at Galloway Ridge. (Photo Courtesy of Galloway Ridge)

This story was written for our sponsor, Galloway Ridge at Fearrington.

Bob Marshall glanced at the daily calendar posted on their Internet portal at Galloway Ridge, a Life Plan Community near Chapel Hill, and counted 11 events and outings from which residents could pick and choose that day.

The variety, he said, is typical.

His day may start in the gym at the Duke Center for Living. Thanks to the spring weather, he may join other residents, or a friend from Fearrington Village, on the miles and miles of walking trails around Fearrington Village.

"What we have here is a classy bunch of people with a zillion things going on every day," he said. Marshall, 76, has lived in Galloway Ridge for three years and is delighted that he made the move.

Galloway Ridge : Spotlight : Mahjong

Among the experiences offered that day were a lecture on the changing earth, a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, Mahjong, a meeting of the environmental services committee, "classics in cinema" playing in the theater, a Bible study, a wine tasting, Weight Watchers and a lecture about memory loss.

It can be exhausting if you get yourself over-committed, Marshall said. He has assumed responsibilities on the Residents Council, the Grounds Committee, United Way and the Special Events Committee, which plans a series of more than 25 outstanding paid entertainers and speakers throughout the year.

He's also a member of the Strategic Advisory Committee to the Administration and the Board of Directors. And, like many other residents who enjoy gardening, he grows flowers and vegetables in the raised beds of the community garden.

Galloway Ridge : Spotlight : Day in the Life

Residents get involved in every aspect of the community. In fact, they're encouraged to.

For example, at Galloway Ridge, residents enjoy tackling interesting issues of this day and age. Marshall co-leads a contemporary religious thought group that includes everyone from cradle Baptists to Hindus to Jews to Catholics to agnostics.

A current events group also meets every Friday, led by a resident with an encyclopedic knowledge of history and the diplomacy to maintain civil conversations. And another resident, who is a retired physician, leads a weekly educational series of medical topics.

Susan Blaustein declares there's no such thing as a typical day at Galloway Ridge, and that’s one of its major benefits.

"My experience," she said, "once we made the downsize from the house in Chapel Hill to Galloway, is that it's so liberating because I have more discretionary time. Not cleaning or working in the yard, not driving all over because everything is so convenient right here in Fearrington."

Blaustein, 72, moved into Galloway Ridge two years ago. She hasn't entirely left her pharmaceutical career behind, serving on the Institutional Review Board at nearby UNC Chapel Hill.

"My life has expanded threefold," she said. "You keep parts of the old life and make a new life. A typical day is never a typical day – except typically full and busy."

The freedom to choose how to spend a day is a gift. Regimented schedules don't exist.

"My work life was more regimented," she said. "Lots of responsibility comes with a house on an acre. Suddenly, now it's wide open."

Blaustein can choose to attend a literary discussion or grab her camera for a walk around the expansive pastoral beauty of Fearrington Village. She likes to catch a Zumba class at the Duke Center for Living and dance along with people of all ages from the area. She has her own priorities of volunteering in the library or with community groups.

Both Blaustein and Marshall say being close to their grandchildren attracted them to Galloway Ridge, and family plays an important role in how they spend their days.

"This is a well-rounded life for a mature person," Blaustein said. While busy, it's a stress-free life among residents who have lived full lives and who enjoy sharing their knowledge and talents.

"There's no such thing as a typical day. And isn't that wonderful?" she said.

This story was written for our sponsor, Galloway Ridge at Fearrington.