Pennswood Village residents Nancy and Henry Arnold were planning a trip to Paris last year. As former life-long New Yorkers, they thrive in an urban setting and were looking forward to seeing as much of the City of Lights as possible – on foot, like good urban dwellers. Nancy was challenged by growing health concerns that her trip to Paris would change from long strolls by the Seine and hours in museums to being unable to participate in these activities. Coffee sitting in cafes is only enjoyable up to a point. The neuropathy in her feet was getting worse and she had recently begun using a walker to help with stability and balance. Her back had begun to curve from all of the looking down that she needed to do to maintain her balance.
After talking about the challenges of bringing a walker to Paris, Henry suggested she try Nordic Poles, something they had seen all ages using throughout a lifetime of travel in Europe. Nancy got her first set of poles in June and “immediately I felt a change in my body,” she says.
By Lorraine Pasadino, Pennswood resident
It has been said that all wisdom is plagiarized; only stupidity is original. It has also been said that there are two learning paths to wisdom – great love and great suffering. Given that I’ve experienced blisters on my feet and holes in the soles of my shoes from traveling both paths, I will try to avoid too much originality in sharing my perspective.
That said, both wisdom paths teach that labeling can be, and very often is, disabling. Generalized categories like “the greatest generation,” “boomers,” and “millennials” create sweeping, oversimplified characterizations of human beings in this country who are pigeonholed into static classification by sociologists, politicians, economists, and marketers.
Despite the fact that the year I was born has labeled me as a member of the “Me Generation” and hence, they claim they know what attracts or motivates me in my decision-making, I’d like to share what actually did attract and motivate me to move to Pennswood Village.
With over 100 GB of data travelling over our campus-wide WiFi system every day, and up to 300 devices logged-on daily, residents at Pennswood Village take their technology seriously. They are ever eager to learn how to use their technology better, and how to incorporate new technology into their daily lives.
Ten years ago, two residents, Jo Gross and Barbara Sellers, came together to begin a help group for learning about technology. As a result, Pennswood Village’s resident-run Tech Center was created!
This Above All, to Thine Own Self Be True! One Resident’s Passion Becomes A Much-Loved Regular Event
At Pennswood Village, many residents gather every other Tuesday for a thought provoking Shakespeare session led by Pennswood resident John Silver. When John came to Pennswood about 3 years ago, he knew there wasn’t a Shakespeare organization, so he decided to start one, along with two other residents, Elizabeth Huberman and Claire Ludlow. Because John was not quite a resident when the sessions began, Elizabeth and Claire’s contribution was essential. The first session, held in January of 2012 brought in about 12 residents, and since then, the sessions have grown to accommodate anywhere from 35 to 50 residents.
Each week prior to the session, John places an announcement in the Pennswood Bulletin so residents know which play to brush up on. Read the full article »
By Anne Baber, Pennswood Village Flower Committee vice chair
A huge and exuberant arrangement of fresh flowers greets you when you enter the Community Building. No dusty silk flowers for us! Fresh flowers are a Pennswood hallmark.
Wander though the building and you’ll see 13 more arrangements that bring color and life and warmth to our common areas. Some 20 residents – all members of the Flower Committee – create and care for these beautiful arrangements every week.
Conversations can change lives. Even ones that start simply: “And how are you doing?” Back in 1994, a similar polite conversation with a patient who mentioned his project of sending used bicycles overseas inspired New Jersey ophthalmologist George Kurz to learn more about collecting surplus bikes to be made available to people who need them.
“In the developing world, somebody might have to walk long distances to get to work and now (with donated bikes) they can get there in a much shorter period of time. And the bikes play an important role in kids getting to school, or people accessing health services,” George explains. The bicycles are sold at a modest cost and used primarily by working poor who don’t have ready access to affordable transportation. The bikes provide an alternative to traveling in open trucks, which can be dangerous and unreliable. Bikes for the World, based in the Washington, DC area, sends shipments of more than 450 bikes at a time to partner groups in the Caribbean, Africa, Central America and the Philippines. Read the full article »
Pacifists Charley and Ruth Peterson married during World War II in sunny California, five months before Charley was sent to the European war theater to serve as a non-combatant Army medical service officer.
To celebrate the actual date of their 70th wedding anniversary, Jan. 18, they invited all of their fellow residents at Pennswood Village to a wine and cheese reception before dinner. The Petersons have lived at this continuing care retirement community for 20 years.
Lionel Ruberg moved to Pennswood Village 14 years ago because he wanted to live somewhere that would offer quality nursing care when he needed it.
“I was amazed when I got here. There were wonderful concerts, beautiful walking and biking trails, and, most of all, fabulous people,” he said.
A Philadelphia native, Ruberg found something else he never expected — talented musicians with impressive resumes. The music community at Pennswood Village includes two daughters of the great pianist Rudolf Serkin, music educators Peggy Ritter and Alice Cohen, and bassoonist Benjamin Hoyle, who is the community’s chief executive officer, among others.
“Pennswood is very nurturing of music. I’ve practiced more here than I ever had time for before,” said Ruberg, who plays the piano and flute.
Ask Betty Aptaker about her “Easing conflict in the home” session at our Peace Conference at Pennswood Village last month and she remarks first how much she enjoyed the additional expertise participants brought. One has written a book on child abuse, another was a social worker. Of course, anyone who’s flipped through our resident biographies can tell you what a fascinating and accomplished community we share!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and with recent high-profile incidents in the news, we’d like to take the opportunity to feature Betty and another resident—Nancy Morrill—who have invested decades of career and volunteer efforts to advocate for women.
For Pennswood Village resident Fred Nielsen, trees have been a way of life for more than 40 years. A former tree farmer, he spent years growing and cutting trees in Mercer County, N.J., to be used to make fine furniture.
Fred decided to give up tree farming and slow down in 2013. That’s when he and his wife, Maiken, stumbled upon Pennswood Village and decided to make it their new home. “We found out about Pennswood by accident,” he said. “We took one look at the place and signed up. We instantly took a liking to it.” Read the full article »