Volume LIXMay 2012Number 2

Ready for THAT!

With five locations, thousands of people, unique architecture and countless activities, it's easy to get wrapped up in the allure of the Masonic Villages. But from all the excitement emerges one focus: impacting lives.

Mary Ellen Tarman, Hershey Chapter No. 509, O.E.S., and her husband, Jim, moved to the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown in January 2012. As she explores Masonic Village, Mary Ellen has volunteered to share her experiences in a weekly blog so others can discover what real life looks like at Masonic Village.

When my husband, Jim, and I told friends and family we were moving to Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, the reaction was typically, "I'm not ready for THAT!" The word, "that," sounded as if we were looking forward to a painful medical procedure.

My impression after a month of living here is that I am ready for THAT, and the change is welcome and wonderful. ...

I joke that Masonic Village is like Penn State for mature adults. The countryside and buildings remind me of my University Park days and how I viewed its campus as a freshman. There was no other place to "retire," and a determination to live at Masonic Village never wavered.

Our "game plan" had four major requirements: being able to garden, keeping our dogs, having adequate swimming facilities and continuing our Internet book business.

Green Thumb

We didn't move until Jan. 11, 2012, but a need to begin planting garlic, rhubarb and heirloom iris was not going to wait until spring. We were assigned a large garden plot in October 2011, when we began planting early crops and readying the bed for spring. It was joyous to be in the fresh air putting in our crops and turning over the soil!

Man's Best Friend

After our move-in date was set, one of our dogs died, and we moved here with our Chinese Shar Pei, Charlotte. Our dogs were used to a fenced yard, and Masonic Village would have allowed an invisible, underground fence, but we opted for a leash.

A Fish Takes to Water

I am used to swimming seven days a week. Here, we have the Patton Pool which is open in the afternoon and evening for lap swimming. That was an adjustment, as I am used to a 6:30 a.m. swim and a heated sauna! But the pool is large and the water is at a comfortable temperature. The smaller Flohr Pool is for water exercises and soaking, and I'm excited to try the outdoor Brossman Pool this summer.

Down to Business

We were fortunate to get a Garfield Drive cottage with a basement we outfitted with our book shelves holding 4,000+ books and mailing supplies. We have been selling books since the 1980s, when we started with catalog sales. In the 1990s, we expanded to selling books at local antique co-ops, and from 1994 to 2000, we operated a used book shop in Hummelstown. By the time we closed, Internet sales had overtaken the amount of shop business. Books have been an important component of our lives, and we were pleased and grateful that the needs of our book business were more than admirably met.

Services and amenities offered here definitely make it possible for us to maintain our lifestyle without the burden of tasks and responsibilities we don't mind leaving behind. ... Perhaps you will agree you are "ready for that!"

Learn more about retirement living at the Masonic Village straight from a resident who is living it by visiting www.facebook.com/masonicvillages and following Mary Ellen's blog in the notes section. The blog is also on the Masonic Village's website, www.masonicvillagespa.org, on the Elizabethtown page, for those who do not use Facebook. From moving tips to puppy problems and a Saint Patrick's Day experience, Mary Ellen touches on all aspects of life at Masonic Village.

Masonic Village at Dallas

Located in the hills of the Northeast Mountains, Masonic Village at Dallas provides retirement living apartments and villas in a quaint community. Touring the upgraded model home can give you ideas for your own villa, whether it be granite counter tops, crown molding, hardwood flooring or so much more! Connections with local colleges and universities expand residents' lifelong learning, fitness, recreational and social opportunities to provide a fulfilling lifestyle.
For information about upcoming events, call 570-675-1866.
Villa Open House: Sunday, May 6 from 1 - 3 p.m.
Evening Open House: Wednesday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m.

Masonic Village at Elizabethtown

With its location amidst an award-winning farm, within walking distance of the center of town and next to the railroad station - which provides easy access to local cities - Masonic Village at Elizabethtown provides the prime location for every lifestyle. Whether you like to travel or stay close to home, enjoy peace of mind and security in a spacious apartment, suite or cottage. A variety of accommodations are available for immediate reservation, including brand new cottages.
For information about upcoming events, call 800-676-6452.
Walking Tour & Open House: Thursday, May 10 at 1 p.m.
Annual Open House: Wednesday, June 6 at 10 a.m.
Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill

As a close-knit community, residents at Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill see friends everywhere they go. Amenities, such as a bowling alley, wood shop, library, computer lab, wellness center and frequent events provide bountiful recreational opportunities. Located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, residents also can explore the city's cultural appeal, while returning home to a tree-lined campus.
For information about upcoming events, call 610-828-5760.
Open House Presentation: Wednesday, May 16 at 10 a.m.
Cello Concert & Tours: Tuesday, June 12 from 6 - 8 p.m.
Open House Presentation: Thursday, July 12 at 10 a.m.
Masonic Village at Sewickley

As a Lifecare community, Masonic Village at Sewickley protects your hard-earned assets after retirement. Even more, this community's culture exudes friendship; neighbors gather regularly, and strangers come together over dinner. Nearby Pittsburgh provides opportunities to enjoy the arts and recreation of the city, while the on-campus apartments and villas in various floor plans provide options for everyone.
For information about upcoming events, call 866-872-0664.
Flower Forum: Wednesday, May 23 at 10 a.m.
Antique Roadshow: Wednesday, June 27 at 10 a.m.
Lifecare Seminar: Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m.
Masonic Villages' Admissions Policy

Admissions to the Masonic Villages are governed by the Committee on Masonic Homes, members of which are elected by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The Committee on Masonic Homes approves or disapproves applications for admission primarily on the basis of need. Decisions concerning admission, the provision of services and referrals of residents are not based upon the applicant's race, color, religion, disability, ancestry, national origin, familial status, age, sex, limited English proficiency (LEP) or any other protected status.

Regardless of your financial situation, you can afford to move to a Masonic Village! When you choose to live at the Masonic Villages, you are not required to turn over your assets; you maintain complete control of them. Fraternal support enables the Masonic Villages to serve all eligible individuals as part of our Mission of Love.

Please contact the Admissions or Marketing Office at the Masonic Village of your preference for information on the living area desired. For more information, visit www.masonicvillagespa.org.

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