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Life Goes On

July 21, 2020 | We are months into our new lifestyle in the United States as scientists work to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus while doctors and medical personnel treat the thousands who fall ill—sometimes very seriously. All the while, life goes on and we work hard to keep ourselves safe...

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Transforming 2D Materials into 3D Art

July 17, 2020 | It takes a talented artist to make a painting look three-dimensional. Marie Diehl, Garden Spot Village resident since 2009, takes it one step further—she adds dimension to already detailed works of art. With simple tools of paper and glue, Marie makes animals, plants and architecture look vivid, textured and...

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Back to School Advice

July 10, 2020 | We all have a teacher who has impacted our lives. Garden Spot has more than a few former teachers living right under our roof! Here’s some exciting stories and words of wisdom from just a handful of educators. Win Reber Subject: Art, K-12 Taught for: 40 years Craziest thing...

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Making Smart Choices During COVID-19

July 8, 2020 | Yesterday was the day my brother and I set aside for “cool brother day.” The designated time was 9am for me to arrive at his house so we could tow his boat to the Chesapeake Bay, go for a boat ride to his favorite crab house, grab a...

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Adding Beauty to the Unadorned

July 2, 2020 | When Pat Oram, Garden Spot Village resident since May 2003, received an unadorned mask to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic, she saw a need for color and design. “Because I’m a painter, I looked at it differently,” she says. Having painted designs on china for many years,...

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Working in Community

June 26, 2020 | In the past few months, numbers of latex gloves, face masks and disposable gowns have been dwindling across the nation. Shortages of these items—also known as personal protective equipment, or PPE—have challenged healthcare communities to come up with creative ways to conserve their resources. Two of...

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Being Busy & Taking Heart

June 4, 2020 | Several years ago, in my younger days, someone told me when I complained that I was too busy that I was too busy because I wanted to be busy! And only I could change that. I may have smiled but didn’t change a thing. Now years later, I...

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SCAMS? Not Me!

June 2, 2020 | Hey, I’m the Chief Marketing Officer for Garden Spot Communities. I’ve got more education than I ever thought possible, especially since I wasn’t really a big fan of high school. I continue to study and learn. Additionally, being aware of scams falls within my...

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Staying Connected

May 29, 2020 | It’s 9am on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Lancaster County’s re-open status is Red. Wherever you may live when you were in the Red Phase, how many people did you greet in the morning? In all fairness I was on the 7am–9am schedule to sanitize high-touch surfaces....

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Life Looks Different

May 20, 2020 | At Garden Spot Village, life didn’t stop when COVID-19 shut down the world. This spring, when it felt like the world stopped for many communities around the world, Garden Spot Village residents continued to serve, volunteer, learn, work and live with purpose. Living in community developed new meaning...

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Protecting Our Community

May 15, 2020 | Over the last nine weeks Garden Spot Village healthcare staff have been working hard to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep team members and residents safe through the coronavirus pandemic. Items that were relatively easy to source six months ago became challenging as once-reliable vendors could only fill partial...

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Virtual Reality Available with a Thank You to RLPS

May 11, 2020 | The people who live at Garden Spot Village continue to experience new and interesting opportunities, even during the stay-at-home order. The Garden Spot mission states: “We will enrich the lives of older adults as an expression of Christ’s love,” and regardless of the situation team members...

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The Timeless Look of Streamline Furniture

April 28, 2020 | One of the hidden benefits of being a feature writer for the media is learning about stuff you have absolutely no idea about…. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about what my editor called Quarantine Baking and what I dubbed Boredom Baking. I know nearly nothing about baking...

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10 Ways to Stay Connected and Engaged

April 24, 2020 | How are you spending your days? Living under a Stay-at-Home order requires patience and creativity! At Garden Spot Village residents are finding new ways to live with purpose, stay connected and engaged with their community all while following social distancing guidelines and wearing masks. We see our residents as heroes...

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The Screening Tent

April 23, 2020 | Driving onto the Garden Spot Village Campus Easter Sunday resident Fran Rapp and wellness team member Bonnie Becker were standing at the screening tent having a good laugh with some other residents who were out for a late Sunday afternoon walk. Everyone was wearing a mask and maintaining the proper...

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A Team Effort to Disinfect our Community

April 20, 2020 | A blue cart, bucket of disinfectant, stack of towels, gloves, mask and a page full of instructions set the stage for another new experience. Everyone, including the senior leadership and management team is embracing new experiences. Many of us have staffed and expect to continue to staff the screening station...

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Staying Connected at Garden Spot Village

April 16, 2020 | This morning, Thursday April 16, 2020 at 9am I walked into an empty Chapel at Garden Spot Village. Steve Lindsey, CEO, Steve Muller, COO, Christy Turner, Director of Dining Services and Deborah Fast, Director of Volunteer Services were sitting on the stage with microphones. Coffee & Conversation is held the first and...

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Serving Over a Lifetime

April 14, 2020 | In November 2019 Paul Hutton, a Garden Spot Village resident since September 2009, picked up a brochure in the foyer of the Garden Spot Village Chapel. Least of These Ministries was gathering a team to travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to install solar panels on the roof at Radio Lumière. They...

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Boredom Baking

April 9, 2020 | Sometimes stories (and blogs) just happen from ideas that pop into your head from recent experiences, reading news articles or hearing comments from friends. That’s just what happened to me this past week and it turned into a rush to the finish research and writing weekend to talk...

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Keeping our Environment Healthy and Clean

April 2, 2020 | Garden Spot Village Environmental Services Team is on the front lines of keeping our community clean, safe and healthy every day—but especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before COVID-19 was breaking news, the Environmental Services team carefully cleaned public areas every day by wiping tables, dusting surfaces and...

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It Is What It Is. Dealing With the Coronavirus

March 31, 2020 | If you read my somewhat sporadic blogs on the Garden Spot Village website, you know that being retired is just a phrase for me. Since moving to the Sycamore Springs neighborhood at Christmas in 2016, I have been as busy and, at times, busier than I was working fulltime but don...

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Kansas State Students Offer Post Occupancy Evaluation

March 18, 2020 | “Garden Spot Village is the most welcoming place I’ve ever been,” says Kansas State University Interior Design student Hannah Richardson. “The culture of the community is so different than anywhere else in the world.” Experiencing Garden Spot Village Hannah, along with classmates Brett LaFleur,...

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Who’da Guessed? The Amish and Mennonites Take Vacation Cruises

February 25, 2020 | I met Ryan Bomgardner by accident when an Amish friend told me about this conservative Christian ventriloquist who hosted cruise vacations for the Plain Community. “Come on,” I said… “stop teasing me!” He assured me it was true, so what could I do but take...

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Where’s the Beef?

February 6, 2020 | Every time I think I have seen it all here in Lancaster County, I get surprised… sometimes overwhelmed… It was the case again in late January as I spent a couple of hours on an Old Order Mennonite Farm while the family butchered and processed two hogs and...

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Tips to Downsizing

January 7, 2020 | One of the difficulties you're bound to encounter as you make the transition to an active retirement lifestyle is whether or not you should downsize beforehand. That's why, at Garden Spot Village, we actively strive to help future residents with tips and tricks on downsizing, including offering ...

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Finding Community in the Arts

December 19, 2019 | In 2017 after returning from a tour sponsored by the Fulton Theatre Fran Rapp stopped in to see me with a sponsor pack wondering if Garden Spot would consider sponsoring the Fulton Theatre. Knowing that Garden Spot provides opportunities to live with purpose in community and many, many people find purpose...

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For Italian-Americans, It’s All About Christmas Eve

December 19, 2019 | Recently, my editor of the Ephrata Review asked me what I was going to write about for Christmas. She was thinking cookies and I told her it was too late for me to start researching Christmas cookies but as a third generation Italian-American, I could write about our Christmas Eve...

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How a Community Turned Walnut Trees Into Good Wood

November 26, 2019 | When Garden Spot Village began to prepare the land for the Sycamore Springs neighborhood expansion in early 2019, Campus Services staff coordinated the harvesting of walnut trees that lined the creek on the property. Bob Winegardner, Garden Spot Village resident since August 2004, was in the Wood Shop when John Moore, Garden...

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Executive Chef Mathew Plank Honored by Sodexo

November 5, 2019 | Executive Chef Mathew Plank loves to create delightful surprises for diners who frequent The Harvest Table. His creativity and innovation will be recognized by Sodexo through the month of November. Specifically, Chef Mathew’s Nashville Style Hot Chicken Sandwich will be featured through Sodexo’s Love of Food...

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A Real Eye-Opener

October 31, 2019 | It has been several weeks since I have had something to blog about. Tina and I were on vacation in Canada for a few weeks and I have been busy catching up on stories and photos for the local newspapers including a piece for Lancaster Farming on the corn maze ...

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The Many Benefits of Living in an Active Retirement Community

October 29, 2019 | As you approach the age of retirement, many different considerations will pop up. When should I start researching different options? Will I want to work? What will I do with my free time? Should I stay in my family home or move into something a bit more manageable? More and...

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Purpose-Filled Work in a Life-Giving Community

October 22, 2019 | What It’s Really Like to Live Here If you’ve visited Garden Spot, you know we connect you with residents who will show you around the community because we think you should have the opportunity to freely ask questions and get authentic answers. While the sales team...

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Garden Spot Village – A Community Where People Connect and Care for Each Other

October 15, 2019 | Community is a word that has lost its meaning in our world of self-interest. There’s nothing wrong with self-interest unless, like anything else, it’s taken to the extreme. Unfortunately, the use of the word community has become so common place that few stop to think what...

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Learning How to Can Peaches

September 11, 2019 | A few weeks ago, I spent several days researching a story on food preservation and canning, which is a huge tradition here in farm country for Lancaster Farming. I was fascinated by how many English, Amish and Mennonite moms can fruits and vegetables for their family to enjoy all year. ...

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Finding Joy in Work and Community

August 13, 2019 | The "Lucky Straw" Today was one of the two days a year when I say I "drew the lucky straw" and worked the weekend at Garden Spot Village as Manager on Duty (MOD). Talking with my wife last night I commented that I was off to Garden Spot again tomorrow,...

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We’re All In The Marketing Business - The Video Day

August 6, 2019 | All of us who are fortunate to live here at Garden Spot Village (and in Tina and my case, the Sycamore Springs neighborhood) can remember one or two instances when we began researching retirement communities and suddenly were attracted to this community. It might be as simple as friendly greetings...

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In the Wood Shop: Building the Connell Mansion

August 1, 2019 | How do we build community? By serving in ways that enhance our connections and showcase our talents. Larry Knepper and Bill George, members of the Garden Spot Village Wood Shop, recently worked together to create a replica of the Connell Mansion, the home of the Historical Society of the Cocalico...

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Loneliness

July 23, 2019 | Last week a woman named Brenda bought my 2005 Toyota Corolla. We met at the local notary office to transfer the title. Her son, Jim, who is in his mid-to-late 30s was with her. Jim had recently bought a house in the same development where I live. He offered to give...

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Let’s Talk Basketball

July 18, 2019 | I am a college basketball fan. I have been since grammar school in the late 1950s when my dad took me to Boston to watch the New England High School Championships and then a year later to the old Madison Square Garden in New York City to see the prestigious...

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A Prediction

July 9, 2019 | I’ve got a prediction. This is a bit unusual for me because, as a classic boomer, I tend to look over my own personal horizon, a mindset that rarely translates into attempts to predict future trends. I study trends but don’t predict them. This prediction has...

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Creating Art With Purpose

June 25, 2019 | When Bonnie Lord, Garden Spot Village resident since December 2008, received a phone call from Bill Offutt, she was intrigued. In their conversation Bill shared that he and his wife, Ruth Anne, were preparing to move from their home in Lancaster to Wheaton, Illinois. They were downsizing and looking for someone...

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Honor to Meet & Privilege to Write About

June 13, 2019 | As you know, one of the things that has kept me busy in my more than two years in residence at Garden Spot Village (Sycamore Springs) is writing for the local weekly papers owned by Lancaster Newspapers as well as photographing and writing too for Lancaster Farming. I had a...

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Aeroponic Experiment

May 7, 2019 | In January 2019, Jordis Patterson, 8th grader at Hinkletown Mennonite School, reached out to Garden Spot Village resident Barbara Slothower for help on her academic fair project. The question? Would Barbara help her with an experiment with seeds? The experiment: Will lettuce seeds planted in aeroponic pods grow at the same...

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Sycamore Springs Expansion Officially Underway

April 30, 2019 | The day finally arrived! Thursday, April 25—the official start of the Sycamore Springs Expansion! The site plan was complete, the floor plans assigned and the sales team was ready. Over the course of two hours 40 people stopped by the Sycamore Commons community building to learn more about the expansion,...

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Being Patient for Impatiens

April 25, 2019 | If you have been or are a flower person, you’ll recognize the name Impatiens. The official name is Impatiens walleriana and it had been one of the top three colorful, reliable shade bedding plants for more than a half century until - here in the East - until...

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The Emergence of the Wisdom GenerationTM: Baby Boomers, we’re just getting started.

April 15, 2019 | How old were you when the Beatles came to America on February 7, 1964?  I was seven. As if it happened yesterday I remember grabbing a black, mop top wig from a bin at the Silco store next door to our apartment in Manheim, PA. putting it on my head and...

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Back in the Day

April 4, 2019 | I recently returned from a European river cruise with my wife Tina….that’s another story for another blog. But shortly after I returned, the editor of Lancaster Farming asked me to illustrate a story for their March 31st edition on tobacco.  The tobacco harvest is still...

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Experiencing Life in Community

April 1, 2019 | Judy Rettew’s adventurous spirit leads her to amazing places. Judy, who has been blind since birth, accepts any challenge she thinks may have a hint of fun in it. She’s traveled all over the United States and the world. In the 1970s she traveled to Israel,...

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Cooking with Purpose

March 19, 2019 | Every Tuesday afternoon about 1pm Linda Ebert hosts a cooking club in Laurel View, the memory support household at Garden Spot Village. Linda, who moved to Sycamore Springs in October 2017, brings a different, simple recipe each Tuesday for the club to make. One week the group bakes cookies. The next...

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It’s Spring (Well Almost)?

March 14, 2019 | This is my third spring in New Holland since arriving at Sycamore Springs with Tina in late December 2016. It had been 40 years since I had lived in Lancaster when we returned and I had no idea of what spring would bring in 2017. Our first spring here, we were mud city...

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It’s More Than Just a Train

March 7, 2019 | My work as a feature writer for the Lancaster Newspapers’ weeklies in Lititz, Ephrata and Elizabethtown as well as Lancaster Farming and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette bring me in contact with some interesting people and allow me to write about some cool stuff. And, in the process, I pick up...

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Understanding the Waste Stream

March 5, 2019 | In July of 2018, recycling as we knew it changed for Lancaster County. Things that we used to recycle, like newspapers and take-out food containers, became no longer recyclable due to a new policy in China. But what caused this change in Lancaster? What happens to all the things that we...

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The Tooth Fairy, Unveiled

February 19, 2019 | Several weeks ago we told the story of Gladys Ziegenfus and her visit from the Tooth Fairy. Today we tell the story from the perspective of the Tooth Fairy! On Saturday, December 29, about 9pm, Gladys Ziegenfus’s daughter, Jane Martin, called the Mountain View staff desk. Libbi Carcamo, licensed...

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Kready’s Store: A General Store Time Capsule

February 14, 2019 | If you’ve lived in Lancaster County for a while—40 years or more—you’ll remember the Kready General Store in Manheim. It opened in 1865, and served Manheim area residents for nearly 100 years. For its last four decades (through 1999), the store was sealed tight and filled...

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Showing Hospitality with Trains

February 12, 2019 | If you’ve been down to the GSV Train Room recently, you’ve probably seen some new engines chugging along the tracks or maybe some new buildings or scenery in the train room display. Where did these pieces come from? New Honorary Train Club member Shaun Seymour is...

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Are You a Discount Grocery Shopper?

February 7, 2019 | For the past several weeks, I have been researching the discount grocery phenomenon in Lancaster County, which means visiting, talking to the owners, browsing and shopping. I visited national discount grocers like Aldi's as well as a neighbor-to-neighbor "barn" store that my Plain Community friend almost made me drive...

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Staycationing at Garden Spot Village

January 22, 2019 | When Bonnie Brown’s husband Duane headed to El Salvador for a mission trip with Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) on Saturday, January 12, she had two options. First, she could stay at home and work on various cleaning and clearing out projects to prepare for their move to...

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Local FFA Teens Show Lambs and Goats At 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show

January 10, 2019 | Garden Spot Village Resident Art Petrosemolo met Danielle Oberholtzer and Jeremiah Snyder through a series he wrote for the local newspaper about local Future Farmers’ of America (FFA) teens who raise lambs and goats to compete in the 103 annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. He wrote this article after their final...

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A Visit from the Tooth Fairy

January 8, 2019 | At 7:35 one morning Gladys Ziegenfus was at the front desk talking with Megan. Gladys, who moved to Garden Spot Village in July 2010, gets up early every morning to start her day. She regularly stops by the computer station in Refresh to check her e-mails. If you’re in Village...

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The Week That Felt like a Month

December 20, 2018 | Sycamore Springs Resident Art Petrosemolo is a Type A personality, always on the go. If he isn’t writing a story and photographing for one of the Lancaster area newspapers, he is photographing sailing regattas up and down the East Coast. Art and his wife, Tina, have traveled extensively...

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A Great Surprise

December 18, 2018 | A great surprise arrived Wednesday, December 12. Senior Housing News announced the 2018 Architecture & Design Awards. Out of 98 submissions from 90 different communities across the United States, Garden Spot received two 1st Place Awards in the eight possible categories. First, Thistledown Co-Living House received first place in the Affordable Housing Category. (Of...

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Fulton Theatre and Garden Spot Village: A Natural Partnership

December 4, 2018 | A little over two years ago Fran Rapp, a leader of the Garden Spot Village acting guild, suggested that we consider becoming a sponsor of the Fulton Theatre in downtown Lancaster. Garden Spot has always believed in the arts and supports a variety of local performing and musical groups. There...

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Enneagram Enlightenment

November 27, 2018 | On a crisp Friday morning in mid-October I joined about 60 Garden Spot Communities team members and leaders as they gathered at Refreshing Mountain in Stevens, Pa. We immediately signed release forms and split into groups. One group headed to Refreshing Mountain’s adrenaline-inducing zip line course, a second group...

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What Can You Do for an Encore?

November 22, 2018 | I have not been blogging lately as I am writing like crazy to finish up several stories for the Lititz Record, Ephrata Review and Lancaster Farming before Tina and I leave for Europe December 1, where we start in Rome and then cruise the Mediterranean and then go trans-Atlantic arriving home...

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Lancaster is the Best Place to Retire

November 20, 2018 | Dave and Liz Givens moved to Garden Spot Village from Michigan in early-October 2018. A week later U.S. News & World Report named Lancaster the #1 place to retire. Their Michigan friends immediately reached out to say, “You made the right choice!” U.S. News & World Report simply...

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Garden Spot Village: A Vital Member of the New Holland Community

November 12, 2018 | The people who live and work at Garden Spot Village continuously explore the abundant opportunities they have to live with purpose in community. At times, community centers around 433 S Kinzer Avenue. At other times, community extends to New Holland, Lancaster County and the world. Garden Spot Village partners with like-minded...

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Building a Community Christmas Card

November 6, 2018 | Mid-afternoon on Saturday, December 9, 2017 Erma Nolt tied her horse Jewel to the hitching post in Parking Lot #1. The snow was just starting to fall as she and her nieces and nephews hurried into the Village Square. They quickly walked down to the Train Room to enjoy the holiday open house....

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My First Amish Wedding

November 1, 2018 | For most of us, the closest we'll ever get to a Lancaster County Old Order Amish wedding is to see dozens of buggies parked at a country farm on a fall day or to taste an "Amish wedding meal" at a local tourist restaurant. After just 18 months as a...

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Receiving A National Award

October 29, 2018 | The Journey Begins On Sunday, October 28 at 7am, Ruth Dunlap and I backed out of the driveway at the Thistledown Co-Living House, headed for the LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Ruth is an integral pioneer in this new concept of living. Drawing upon a fairly recent trend among millennials who...

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Pumpkin Carving at Sycamore Springs

October 23, 2018 | On an October Saturday at 4pm, on a gorgeous fall afternoon 20 plus people gathered at the Mulberry Commons Building to demonstrate their pumpkin carving skills. After all, it is that time of year. The air was fresh and crisp. The sun darted in-and-out from behind the clouds. It was a...

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Exploring the Aeroponic Greenhouse

October 9, 2018 | If you had a peppery minty piece of fresh basil, what would you make with it? That’s what Mountain View residents asked among themselves in the aeroponic greenhouse one sunny morning. When the Mountain View Dining Committee wanted to know where their food was coming from and learn...

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Treasure Island at the Fulton Theatre

September 21, 2018 | Thursday, September 20 featured a cool beautiful evening as a bustling crowd engulfed the sidewalk in front of the Fulton Theatre in downtown Lancaster City. From a Red Carpet rose a backdrop in front of which a photographer busily arranged guests for Red Carpet photos. Through the front doors on Prince...

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Garden Gala Engages the Community

September 18, 2018 | Photo by Bob Morrison, Garden Spot Village resident. On Saturday, September 15, 2018 just after six o’clock in the evening, after days of tenuous weather forecasts, the New Holland Community began to arrive at the Garden Spot Village Legacy Garden for the 3rd Annual CrossNet Garden Gala. With perfect weather...

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Baking Pies for Smiles

September 11, 2018 | Tyler Varnes, 17, pours his passion for cooking and baking into his work in the East Kitchen at Garden Spot Village. Through his work preparing food, helping with general kitchen duties and baking pies, he connects with residents and staff. He baked two lemon sponge pies for “Eat, Pie, Love,...

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Mountain View raises funds for Walk to End Alzheimer’s

August 28, 2018 | In Mountain View, a small team of residents and staff are engaging the broader New Holland community as well as their neighbors in Mountain View and other residents here at Garden Spot Village to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Clinical Care Coordinator Janie Martin, with the help...

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Just Listen

August 16, 2018 | It was mid-afternoon on a Tuesday in August and I was told a unique story about why a couple chose Garden Spot Village. We hear many incredible stories about how people discovered Garden Spot Village and why they decided it was their community of choice. Many involve word of mouth...

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Scott Weaver Named Design Champion

August 2, 2018 | Scott Weaver, director of campus services, was named a Design Champion in July 2018 by Environments for Aging Magazine. He was recognized for the remarkable landscape and outdoor spaces he has created at Garden Spot Village over the past 22 years. The article that profiles Scott and the other winners in Environments...

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Finding A Tomato That Tastes Good and Looks Good

August 2, 2018 | At this time of year, a day doesn’t go by that I am not finding a way to put a tomato on something. It’s either my ham and cheese sandwich, in a salad or maybe grilled with my chicken or steak. We live in a state...

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My Lancaster County Education Continues

July 19, 2018 | Friends. I haven’t been on vacation the past few weeks. I just haven’t had anything interesting to write about. Well that changed fast recently. Just after Independence Day, Tina and I made the long trip (265 miles) to the Finger Lakes and Skaneateles. In my other life,...

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Grands and Kids Make Memories

July 3, 2018 | “Will you take a picture of our family?” asked a grandfather at the opening reception and picnic. He was standing beside his wife and their two grand-daughters. Families at Grands & Kids Camp are excited to create lifelong memories with their loved-ones and want all moments to be...

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Jacquie and Frank Ingrassia: Veterans of Standardbred Racing

June 28, 2018 | Age may indeed be a state of mind. At least it is for 71-year old Standardbred trainer and driver Jacquie Ingrassia and her 85-year old husband-trainer Frank. Hey, the couple admits they are a little bit slower than they were at age 60 with a few more bumps and bruises from...

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Thinking of Friends

June 21, 2018 | It’s been hot this mid-June…unusually hot and muggy. I guess this is typical of farm country in the heat of summer. Well this is only my second year living here and I miss the breeze from the ocean and bays in New Jersey. I miss it...

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Restaurant Review: Amorette

June 19, 2018 | Foodie Fay Strickler has traveled the world, tasting exotic cuisines. She recently started to use her training as a foods judge to review local restaurants and offer insight on the best entrees and offerings at local fine and casual dining establishments. In this story she shares a recent experience she...

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Hunchback of Notre Dame

June 8, 2018 | Wow! Just wow! Wow! Just wow! You need to go see The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Fulton Theater in downtown Lancaster City.  This performance now ranks as one of my favorite top 2 shows that I’ve ever seen in my life! The other is Phantom of...

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Spring has Sprung

June 7, 2018 | Well, spring has sprung, finally! This year, right up until leaving on a vacation to Iceland at the end of April, I really wondered if indeed we were even going to get spring or, for that matter, summer. Hey, just having turned 75 Memorial Day Weekend, I am not sure how...

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Food Explorer

June 7, 2018 | Foodie Fay Strickler has traveled the world, tasting exotic cuisines. Through her career as a Penn State Extension Family and Consumer Science Educator she is a recognized source of practical, research-based educational information. As a member of national and international professional organizations, Fay visited every state in the U.S.,...

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Ten Thousand Villages

May 31, 2018 | I literally back into good stories to write for the local newspapers in Lancaster County…literally fall into them. Let me explain. In January I bought a new Apple iPad mini. (I know, you are asking what does that have to do with a newspaper story?) Well, I had...

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Read Them While You Can - The Disappearing Newspaper

May 24, 2018 | I was in Rhode Island last week photographing the Volvo Ocean Race boats in Newport. I have had a nautical photography business for several years and it is a labor of love. One of my photos from the race appears at the bottom of the blog. Anyway, this week was...

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Series of Fortunate Events

May 22, 2018 | Last Tuesday a series of fortunate events came together. The annual Discover Lancaster member's coupon book included a BOGO at Refreshing Mountain so my daughter Jen and I decided to go ziplining. Lauren, the Garden Spot Village Wellness Director, mentioned she was organizing an Adventure Trip to Refreshing Mountain...

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Traveling with Purpose

May 15, 2018 | Carina Sauder, wife of Gavin Sauder, Garden Spot Communities web designer, photographer and videographer, traveled with purpose with Garden Spot Village to Tarboro, North Carolina, April 28-May 5. The intergenerational team included participants in their 20s and their 80s! Carina, who is in her 20s, shares her perspective on the trip...

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Finishing Well

May 1, 2018 | After a snowy and abnormally cold winter and spring, Saturday, April 14 dawned bright and clear, with a warm forecast. The incredible sunrise created an exquisite backdrop as Stan Hess and the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team flew balloons over Garden Spot Village, tethered the Garden Spot Village balloon just...

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Discover(ing) Lancaster

April 26, 2018 | Several years ago, the Lancaster Tourist Bureau office changed its name to Discover Lancaster. How appropriate. There is so much to discover in this county whether you are a “newbie” or someone who grew up here. Tina and my association with Lancaster dates back to 1973 when, after a...

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Dawn Nolt Knows Her Way Around the Kitchen

April 19, 2018 | I met Dawn Nolt by one of those freaky coincidences that happen to me all the time. Regardless of how I met her, I’m glad I did. This spring I discovered a conservative Christian group called Lyrica Sacra. They were founded by an immigrant from the Soviet Ukraine,...

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Embracing Tax Season

April 17, 2018 | Most people dread tax season, but at Garden Spot Village a small group of volunteers looks forward to it. For them, tax season offers an opportunity to live with purpose and serve their community. They provide free tax return preparation through the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, supported...

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Spring is Coming! Just Ask any Gardener

April 12, 2018 | T. S. Eliot, in the first stanza of The Waste Land (1922), a poem many consider one of the most important of the 20th century, wrote: “April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land……” Considering our recent weather, maybe Eliot was onto something. ...

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Bible Quizzing - “Who’da known?”

April 5, 2018 | For the past three weeks, I have been researching the Lancaster County tradition of Bible Quizzing and talking to coaches and quizzers. “Who’da known” how big a deal it is here. Hundreds of teenagers from some 21 churches in 53 teams learning the lessons from the Bible and...

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It’s Easter: Time For the Petrosemolo Italian Ham Pie

March 29, 2018 | Easter is a special time for Christians and we all celebrate according to our religious and ethnic traditions. Family was always important to the Petrosemolos and most holidays we gathered together as an extended group right into adulthood. Sadly, my immediate family consists now only of a sister and brother-in-law...

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Tips to Downsizing

March 27, 2018 | Pete Shaub, owner of A Life Transition Service, says, “When you have lived in the same home for 30, 40, or even 50 years, it can be very overwhelming and stressful for you and your family. Shendy and I have been helping people work through the downsizing and transition process for years....

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A Life of Service

March 27, 2018 | Walking through Bill & Hilda Bradney’s home gives visitors a glimpse of their life experiences. A small cart decorated with inlaid wood representing the native woods of Costa Rica sits in the living room; a Paraguayan harp rests in the corner next to the piano, waiting to be...

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Anabaptists Embrace Marriage Encounter

March 22, 2018 | Seventy years ago, the Catholic Church created Marriage Encounter to help couples promote an open and honest relationship and to rekindle the love that brought them together. Over the years, the program has been adopted by other Christian denominations and has been part of the Anabaptist community in Lancaster County...

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