From Bleeker Street to Bucks County: Meet Henry & Nancy Arnold!
Until moving to Pennswood Village in early 2015, Henry and Nancy Arnold had lived in cities for decades, and most recently, New York. The Arnolds discovered Pennswood Village through a friend, and once they decided to move from NYC, they made another visit to Newtown. Within hours of coming back to Pennswood, they knew it was the right place for them to call home. During their move-in appointment, though, the Arnolds requested something . . . atypical.
Minimalists, maximizing their lifestyle
“We wanted a studio apartment, and they told us that in years past studio apartments were only for singles,” Nancy said. “But our friend Susan, whose mother was a resident here, chimed in to make sure the team knew we were specially suited for a small space. Luckily Pennswood was happy to work with us.”
“We live a minimalist lifestyle and have learned that living with fewer things is easy,” Henry added. “Our previous apartments were 325 square feet [in Princeton] and 450 square feet [in Manhattan’s East Village], so the 500 square-foot studio here is perfect.”
Henry noted that the size of their apartment at Pennswood lets he and Nancy live simply, and it really fits the aesthetic of the lifestyle that they’ve enjoyed for decades. Nancy shared how when they moved in, the movers were finished in a couple hours, and the pair was completely unpacked and ready for dinner on their first night at the community. They both enjoy how well all their furnishings fit into their new space and how it was a seamless transition, thanks to their mastery of the “art of living small.”
For Nancy, when she spoke with her son about moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community, she was unsure how she would adjust to living with so many people who are close to her in age. Nancy’s son provided some valuable perspective.
“My son told me to keep in mind that every one of our neighbors at Pennswood is bringing with them some amazing life experiences,” Nancy said. “He was right! There’s an incredibly powerful sense of community and it brings everyone’s life experiences together. It took us less than a day to feel like this place was absolutely the right fit.”
Henry explained that one attractive element of living at Pennswood is the diversity of residents. The Arnolds enjoy how their neighbors come from many backgrounds, which leads to engaging conversations.
“With so many different and diverse people here, that leads to neighbors having differing views,” Henry noted. “But that’s a good thing for all of us. We benefit socially, by having a lot of things to share and having engaging discussions.”
More involved than ever
Coming from a bustling place like Manhattan, Henry and Nancy were curious to find out how active the community at Pennswood would be. They found a “tremendous range of things to do,” both at and around their new home.
Nancy said, “We take part in some really interesting things. We’ve gone to the Philadelphia Orchestra, seen the Lenape Chamber Ensemble, taken trips to NYC, done a lot of biking, and there’s always something to do. We’re more involved here than we were in New York!”
Artistic opportunities at Pennswood abound, and the Arnolds are some of the most active residents on campus. While Henry has enjoyed transitioning from his career as a landscape architect to his current endeavors as a professional watercolor painter, Nancy also advocates for art at Pennswood. Nancy helps manage the Resident Art Gallery, which features residents’ artwork and hosts several juried art shows each year for the many serious artists who live there.
One of the Arnolds’ favorite aspects about the activities at Pennswood is that they’re all resident-driven. The community has no dedicated activities director, which Nancy said is “remarkable” because it inspires residents to be driven by their passions and share them with others. All of that is related to the unique energy of Pennswood, which Nancy notices every day.
“Something about being here makes everyone vibrant,” Nancy noted. “The community makes it so that what made you vibrant your whole life – a career, a hobby, a talent – Pennswood keeps you vibrant as a senior.”
A “phenomenal” staff, and a place to thrive
Nancy has taken up Nordic walking to stay fit and stay mobile, and she and Henry take their health seriously. Pennswood’s Fitness and Aquatics Manager, Becky Popik, saw Nancy’s success with Nordic walking, and saw an opportunity to help others at the community.
Becky implemented a test program for residents who could benefit from Nordic walking sticks, and now more than 90 residents are using them! Nancy remarked how that anecdote is just one example of the “generosity of the community,” and how the staff is “phenomenal in all departments.”
Pennswood also takes pride in its park-like campus, which Henry appreciates. Henry enjoyed bringing part of his landscape architect career to the new home, as he designed the garden beyond the couple’s first-floor patio.
“We have a wonderful view out into the courtyard,” Henry said. “Our garden is designed to be a platform for viewing nature, and we frequently see hummingbirds and other wildlife.”
Nancy shared her favorite spot: “I love sitting and looking out at our garden. It’s designed for nature and it’s constantly interesting.”
Whether they’re traveling, enjoying art, exercising, or just enjoying time looking out at their garden, Henry and Nancy Arnold have enjoyed making Pennswood their home.
“We came from a different world, and I can’t even tell you how we got from A to Z because it was all so seamless!” Nancy said. “We’re building a life at Pennswood, and it’s been a blessing to live here.”
When Henry and Nancy visited Pennswood, they knew our community would be a great fit for them. We think you’ll enjoy visiting us, too! To get in touch, simply click here or call 215-968-9110!