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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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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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Dealing With Life’s Frustrations

July 17, 2018 | We’ve all had them; that day when everything went wrong. The children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst may have become a classic because we can all relate to the unhappy little boy in the story. He wakes...

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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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Renaissance in Conservative Anabaptist Musical Worship

March 15, 2018 | If you are familiar with the Anabaptist Conservative Christian tradition, you’ll know that musical instruments are not part of their worship tradition. Conservative Christian children are taught to sing hymns at an early age and four-part harmony as teens. But if they play an instrument, it is only...

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Future Residents Learn Tips for Downsizing and Moving

March 13, 2018 | On Tuesday, March 13 Garden Spot Village offered a Future Resident Conference that included seminars by Pete Shaub of A Life Transition Service and Carol Lehman and Greg Hostetter of Hostetter Realty. About 35 future residents attended the morning and afternoon sessions as well as lunch in the Indoor Park. During his...

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The Story of “Stuff”

March 8, 2018 | All of us who have moved into Garden Spot Village faced the daunting challenge of getting rid of “Stuff” accumulated over decades, either in one or home or many. It’s called downsizing. Everyone has stories about that task as do I. But what no one talks...

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Who needs to Cook?

March 2, 2018 | It might have been the hope of Garden Spot Village administrators that the new Sycamore Springs Residents worked quickly to form a community on the other side of South Kinzer Avenue. And we did with get-togethers on the patio in early summer and events at our community building during the...

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New Holland Auto Shuttle Conversations

February 27, 2018 | At 7:00 in the morning I dropped off our car at New Holland Auto for a free oil change and checkup. The “maintenance” light was on. New Holland Auto runs a shuttle to Garden Spot Village for its customers and the driver was a guy I knew. He retired...

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My Friend Mike

February 22, 2018 | When I lived in Lancaster County in the early seventies, occasionally an Amish farmer would drive down Louise Avenue in Grandview Heights selling produce. Like most tourists, we interacted or saw members of Plain families only when we were east of Lancaster city in Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand and Paradise. When I...

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It’s a Good Time to Remember

February 15, 2018 | Lent started on Valentine’s Day…. Isn’t that ironic? First time I can ever remember that…. And Easter, the most holy day in the Christian calendar, will be on April (Fool’s Day) 1. Well at least we won’t forget the “when...

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So, You Think It’s Cold

February 8, 2018 | This 2017-2018 winter is a lot colder than last year. A year ago, during our first few months at “The Outpost” in Sycamore Springs, I was sitting in my garage rocker many afternoons enjoying the late, warm February sun and washing my little Audi TT sports car. All...

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The Metropolitan Opera

February 1, 2018 | In late January, a group of 16 Garden Spot Village residents spent a Wednesday afternoon immersed in grand opera watching and listening to Giacomo Puccini’s opera classic Tosca. It was a much-anticipated new production by Sir David McVicar replacing a maligned production that had been playing for the past...

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Coaching: A New Way Forward

January 30, 2018 | When I arrived at Garden Spot Village about a year ago I was relieved I would never have to do another performance review as long as I was employed by Garden Spot. I always faced employment reviews with the dread associated with report cards and parent-teacher conferences. Was I doing...

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Women’s College Basketball Has Come a Long Way, Baby!

January 25, 2018 | I have always been a basketball fan. My dad played college basketball in the 1930s and actually played in one of the first games where they experimented with taking the ball out of bounds after each basket to replace the center jump ball after each score the way James Naismith...

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Christmas Services in Lancaster County

January 11, 2018 | This past December I decided to write about the holiday traditions of the Plain families in Lancaster County for the Lititz Record, Ephrata Review and Elizabethtown Advocate. I thought it would be an easy story to write. I have met several Amish and Mennonite families since moving to Sycamore Springs...

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Compass Ironworks

December 28, 2017 | This fall I did a story in Destination magazine on Amish artist-in-wood Mike Fisher from New Holland. Mike crafted the beautiful tables that grace the Harvest Table restaurant and the Village Square. It got me thinking about the majestic metal tree that also greets visitors to the Village Square lobby...

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Holiday Traditions and the Plain Communities

December 21, 2017 | We’re all preparing for the Christmas season. For Christians, the holiday is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and is sacred. Among Anabaptist communities (Amish, Mennonite and Church of the Brethren), “Jesus Is The Reason For the Season” is more than a bumper sticker. For...

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Crafting a Legacy

December 19, 2017 | When Creed Coulson was 10 years old his dad purchased a Montgomery Ward lathe. After trying it out, Coulson was immediately hooked and he began transforming pieces of wood into functional art. His first project involved a piece of walnut he made into a two-tiered center place dish. Looking back, he...

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One Year In

December 14, 2017 | Late in 2016, Jennifer Lawrence starred in a movie called Passengers with Chris Pratt. They were a pair of twenty-something strangers on a 90-year journey in a luxury spacecraft to a new world. In suspended animation like all of the 2000 passengers, they, unfortunately, were awakened early because of a computer malfunction...

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Little Things Make all the Difference

December 12, 2017 | You have to love Garden Spot. It’s sort of like you can’t help it. Things aren’t perfect. They never are, but a lot of attention gets paid to the “little” things like the music that plays overhead. It’s selected to...

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A New Community: Sycamore Springs Residents Connect

December 7, 2017 | Last December when Tina and I took up residence in Sycamore Springs, it was a pretty bleak place. Contractors, trucks and mud everywhere. We actually told people we lived in the Outpost and it stuck. I still have the Outpost sign in the window. In early spring, Barbara and Dick...

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Overwhelming Generosity

December 5, 2017 | If you’re a generous person you’d fit right in at Garden Spot Village. You’d be among a community of people that are generous, gracious and service minded. Not to mention all the opportunities for collaboration and teaming up to do not only the things...

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American Legion Motorcycle Riders

November 30, 2017 | In early spring, I was scheduled to go to Lititz and photograph a fundraising, charity motorcycle ride out of the American Legion Post 56 on Route 501 just north of downtown. I missed it for some reason, not sure why, and just never had a chance to reconnect with the group&rsquo...

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Where Plain Families take Center Stage

November 24, 2017 | Since I arrived back in Lancaster County in December and started writing feature stories for the Lititz, Ephrata and Elizabethtown newspapers, I have found myself, many times, deep into the culture of plain families and really learning their unique traditions from my mistakes along the way. Although many of us...

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Turkey Farming in Lancaster County

November 16, 2017 | Bob Esbenshade, 89 years young, is the fourth generation Esbenshade to run the oldest turkey farm in the country. Established in 1858, in Ronks, Pennsylvania, Esbenshade’s is just a few miles away from Garden Spot Village. I met Bob and worked with him in late October as I was writing...

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Friendship Around the World

November 14, 2017 | Eun Hee Jang has a goal for her year in North America: to try a different kind and flavor of potato chips each Friday. She’s already decided she doesn’t like salt and vinegar chips! But, she loves whoopie pies. And she’s been enjoying her...

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The Best Chicken Corn Soup

November 9, 2017 | We all have favorites. You know, from past blogs, I love Lapp’s ice cream and maple walnut is my favorite flavor. You know from my corn blog that I favor bi-color over white or yellow. Today you will learn I have been on a hunt to find the...

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Retiree in Training

November 2, 2017 | As you read this blog, Tina and I will be approaching out one year anniversary here at the OUTPOST in Sycamore Springs, Garden Spot Village. The first few weeks in the construction zone surrounded by carpenters, plumbers and roofers and a sea of mud was interesting - and so we...

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It’s Official: It’s a Great Place to Retire

October 31, 2017 | When it comes to retirement havens, the Sunshine State has some serious competition. When U.S. News & World Report released its latest list of the 100 Best Places to Retire in the USA, it named Lancaster #2 in the nation. The magazine gives Lancaster high scores for housing affordability and health...

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The Angel Lady

October 26, 2017 | I have said many times since I started my Garden Spot weekly blog that I truly believe that I have been led since I arrived here. I believe in coincidence but not at the rate that I have found myself in situations since January. When I started writing for the...

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Field Hockey: Like Watching Grass Grow

October 19, 2017 | I worked in college athletics for several years in the 1970s-80s, including six-plus years at Dartmouth in the Ivy League. It was one of the highlights of my working career as after my high school academic career, going to Dartmouth was not in the cards! I did smarten up,...

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Delicious News From Thrillist

October 17, 2017 | The harvest season is in full swing here in Lancaster County. On my way to Garden Spot Village each day, I love watching the Amish farmers working their field, bringing in the bounty that we enjoy on our tables. Lancaster County has long been known for its fresh produce, great...

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Amish Babies: I Was Way Over My Head

October 12, 2017 | I met Garden Spot Village resident Gladys Z’s daughter in the pool earlier this summer and learned she was a retired Nurse/Midwife. My grandmother had been the first midwife in New Haven, CT in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and delivered babies until she was 80....

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Pumpkin Harvest in Lancaster County

October 5, 2017 | They used to be just orange and came in two sizes: big and small. Today pumpkins, especially here in Lancaster County, come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors with names like Cotton Candy, Amish Splendor, Gray Ghost, Blue Lakota and Long Island Cheese. Designer white pumpkins, hot in 2016,...

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Tobacco Harvest in Lancaster County

September 28, 2017 | It seems every week I happen on something new and interesting in the farms around our New Holland, Sycamore Springs, home. I have met Amish and Mennonite families who have become good friends and who I visit with every week. I have been the recipient of their largesse almost every...

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Photographing Sailing Regattas

September 21, 2017 | I spent a great week mid-summer on Lake Champlain in Vermont as the chief photographer for the Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship sailing regatta and then for the Women’s, Junior and Master’s Championships on Barnegat Bay. A Lightning is a 20-foot, one-design class racing sailboat. It is...

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Finding Purpose in Community

September 14, 2017 | Volunteering is described as an altruistic activity where an individual provides services for no financial gain to benefit another person, group or organization and is often intended to promote the quality of life.  The definition fits the volunteer community at Garden Spot Village perfectly. Here, nearly 600 people (including 500 residents)...

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Baseball Bats Get an Early Start in Pennsylvania

September 7, 2017 | In mid-July while spending a rainy Friday morning talking to Ben Shirk at his sawmill in East Earl, I learned about Alderfer Lumber in Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pa., some 40 miles north of Harrisburg. Ben said, “Art, you’ve got to meet John Alderfer, he makes bat billets for...

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Everyone Is Welcome

September 5, 2017 | It’s the Tuesday after Labor Day at 9:15 in the morning and the Refresh Coffee Bar at Garden Spot Village is hoppin’. I’d just stopped over for a fresh hot cup of Starbuck’s Veranda Blond Roast and another person at the counter says, &ldquo...

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A Yankee Fan for Life

August 31, 2017 | As the 2017 MLB season winds down, I stay a huge baseball fan. My dad was a lifelong New York Yankees fan (sorry Phillies friends) and so am I…. There are lots of reasons. In WWII, my dad was a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy stationed at the submarine...

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The Right Shot

August 24, 2017 | I am a photographer. I have been one for the past 50+ years, ever since I got paid $5 extra for every photo I turned in with a feature or news story in my first post-college newspaper job. Back in the mid-1960s, that was nice extra money and I always had...

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Intergenerational Living

August 22, 2017 | Sycamore Springs offers new construction homes with a variety of floor plans in a community-focused 55 and over neighborhood. Before launching the project, Garden Spot Village leadership explored a variety of housing models, determined to find best practices and adapt them for the unique culture of Garden Spot Village. The result...

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Parkinson’s Patients Fighting Back

August 17, 2017 | It’s a hideous disease that can strike children to seniors but puts many adults and seniors at risk from age 60 on. It robs many of their dignity and independence with increasing physical issues including balance, strength, flexibility, range of motion and tremors. No cure in sight and patients...

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Sweet Corn - Yellow or White - It Makes a Difference

August 10, 2017 | Yellow or white. It does make a difference. If you live in Idaho, it probably isn’t as important if your summer sweet corn is yellow or white. If it is fresh, cooked properly and not too starchy, it passes. But here in Lancaster County, in what might be...

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Grands & Kids Adventures

August 8, 2017 | “Tubing was on my bucket list for a long time and yesterday I got to do it,” said Jim Boose. Boose, who recently moved to Gardens North with his wife Regina, marked tubing off his bucket list earlier this summer. The best part? His granddaughter Anna, 11, joined him...

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No Reason to Fear the Dentist

August 3, 2017 | For the past several weeks I have been telling you about interesting people and places I have run into the past six months while I have been writing feature stories for the Ephrata and Lititz weekly newspapers. And as I continue to have new adventures in doing that research I...

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The Local Spots

July 27, 2017 | I am a sucker for local spots - restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, auctions, mud sales, yard sales and the like. I have been since long before I moved here at the beginning of the year. I must say my wife Tina is not nearly as enthralled as I...

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Car Show and 1950s-Inspired Lunch Creates Memories for All Ages

July 25, 2017 | In the weeks leading up to Thursday, June 15, Dining Services and Mountain View staff spent countless hours planning a menu, decorations and logistics, learning dance moves, finding antique cars and planning a party to delight participants from 17-97! The result? An outdoor, 1950s sock-hop inspired intergenerational lunch and car show,...

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An Adventure: Ben Shirk’s Sawmill

July 20, 2017 | Bob Collins from Rose Court is a good friend. His wife Bernie was my wife Tina’s first friend here at Garden Spot Village and they remain close. We socialize together, go out to dinner and because Bob is a LOT handier than I am, when I am stuck...

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A New Community Takes Shape

July 13, 2017 | The last days of the Outpost…..It took a while but as the weather heats up this 2017 summer, a new community has formed at Garden Spot’s Sycamore Springs.  Twelve homes (as I write this blog) in the community opposite Garden Spot Village’s main entrance...

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Planning For The Future

July 11, 2017 | How are you creative? How are you innovative? These opening questions jump-started a day-long brainstorming session during the annual Garden Spot Communities Management Team Retreat in early June. Once a year, leaders of Garden Spot Communities, Garden Spot Village and Maple Farm take a break from the office and daily...

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Share The Road

July 5, 2017 | I knew there were still buggies transporting Amish and Mennonite families in and around New Holland when I moved to Sycamore Springs in January. I just didn’t know there were so many. Early on, writing for the Ephrata and Lititz newspapers, I said I wanted to write a ...

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Visual Memories

June 29, 2017 | Do you own a camera? Do you use it? If you are as old as I am (and I’m probably speaking to the choir here), you remember the small Kodak Brownie film cameras of our youth. You may even remember the Polaroid craze, when a camera developed its...

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Returning to Garden Spot Village

June 27, 2017 | As a student at Garden Spot High School, Kimberly Doutrich worked for Garden Spot Village in the Central Kitchen after school. After a couple of years, and because she wanted to pursue nursing school, she picked up some extra hours as a resident assistant in Mountain View and began to...

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Renaissance Faires

June 22, 2017 | On cool and drizzly mid-May morning, I found myself driving to a horse farm in Christiana, well south of Garden Spot Village and New Holland.  Rob Earhart (brother-in-law of Garden Spot Village’s Scott Miller) and his partner Kate Hopkins had invited me to watch as they put...

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I Scream for Ice Cream

June 15, 2017 | “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” is a novelty song written in 1927 that became a traditional jazz standard but the words and song remain part of popular culture even without the rest of the song… So, what gives Art? you say.  A...

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Community that Transcends Age

June 13, 2017 | At Garden Spot Village relationships and community transcend age. Jen Miller, 22, began volunteering at Garden Spot Village in the summer of 2011 at age 17 when the Wellness Department needed some extra help at the pool. In January 2012 she began working nights and weekends at the pool. After graduating from Warwick High...

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Sweet Pickings

June 8, 2017 | In the first several weeks on my blogging for the Garden Spot website, I have told you that I was a coffee nut and an ice cream fanatic and they were subjects of feature stories for the Ephrata Review and the Lititz Record.  But heck, this is June and...

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Family And Connections

June 1, 2017 | Many of you know my wife, Tina, who has jumped into community activities with two feet. We moved to Sycamore Springs December 28. We lived through and continue to live with construction all around us. You actually get used to it and it certainly will be different when we don&rsquo...

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Volunteers Shine their Light

May 30, 2017 | Garden Spot Village holds service as a core value and the theme of service flows through every facet of the community as residents volunteer in a variety of ways to keep Garden Spot Village running smoothly. Approximately 500 residents volunteer regularly on campus. In total, these volunteers served 59,674 hours in 2016. Since 1996...

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More Fun Than The Circus

May 25, 2017 | In mid-January, I was in the midst of a search for a vehicle to replace my VW Jetta with something a little “sportier.” I was in Manheim on a cold, rainy day, test-driving an Audi TT (that I eventually purchased) with an XL rep from a small, family...

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Smell The Coffee

May 18, 2017 | I am a coffee nut… I like good coffee. I am not a Starbucks fan as I think they over-roast their beans but my search for good coffee is ongoing. I recently finished a story for the Lititz Record on local coffee roasters and coffee shops which will be...

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Beginning Life at Garden Spot Village

May 11, 2017 | My wife Tina and I are “newbies” at Garden Spot Village. We were the first residents (December 28) of Sycamore Springs and affectionately named our home “The Outpost” as we were the only residents for some 10 weeks. Tina jumped into the community with both feet and joined...

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A Day at the Ballpark

May 10, 2017 | On Wednesday, May 10 baseball fans from Garden Spot Village and Maple Farm enjoyed a picture perfect sky and warm spring sunshine while watching America’s favorite pastime at Clipper Stadium. The Lancaster Barnstormers played the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, but the experience was more about enjoying the game of...

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