By: Garlands Member Phyllis Baber
As they say, “It’s funny how time flies, especially when you are having fun.”
It is hard to believe that I have lived at The Garlands for 16 years now–I have enjoyed every moment! In fact, this might even sound like an ad for The Garlands, however, I thought that maybe some people might like to learn how an “old timer,” who has lived here nearly from the start, feels about being a Garlands member.
I lost my husband, Jim, my best friend and the love of my life, 20 years ago. I couldn’t believe that, as someone who got married at the young age of 20, I never got to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary, but we had 43 good years instead. We raised four great kids, who fortunately grew up to be responsible adults. I am proud to say I’ve had a wonderful life.
Jim and I bought a nice home in 1955 in Fairhaven, which is located just around the corner from The Garlands. Among my Fairhaven neighbors was fellow Garlands member, Helen Jantz. In 2002, she too was alone, so she decided to move to The Garlands. Other Fairhaven neighbors also moved to The Garlands.
After Helen was settled, she called me and invited me for lunch. I even remember what I ordered during our lunch at the Winslow–a Ruben sandwich! It was tasty then and is still a favorite today.
After lunch, Helen gave me a tour of the building. All that existed at that time was building 1000 and 2000 and a couple of Villas, yet it was a striking interior. The landscape was just as beautiful as it is today, though less mature. There was no building 3000, no pool and no fitness center as members received passes to go to the Good Shepherd Fitness Center nearby. There was also no Timbers Lounge and no Grill. We just had the Winslow, the Café and the Roycroft for dining. Happy Hour was offered in the Robie Lounge, once a week.
Following the tour, Helen took me to see her own pretty accommodations, which I agreed were lovely. Next, we toured the models. Before I knew it, I was signing my name on a bunch of papers and went home to tell my children I was moving to The Garlands.
My darling children were appalled. “You are not moving to The Garlands,” they told me (at the time my kids felt they were too young to have a parent live here). After I informed them that I was truly serious, I also added that I was giving them the best gift they would ever get. After all, they will never have to say, as Joan Lunden often does, “What are we going to do about Mom?!” After that sunk in, they finally all agreed that it was a smart plan. And now, 16 years later, I feel that of all the decisions I had to make when I lost my husband 20 years ago, deciding to move here was among the best.
It was love at first sight! I continue to love my Garlands apartment. It’s amazing how all my furniture fit in so well and a blessing to be able to have all my favorite things here with me.
I never anticipated having so many new friends at this stage of my life. When I think about it, I am flooded with fond memories of the people who I’ve met through the years and the fun parties quite a few of us hosted. There are so many good times to recall through the years here at The Garlands.
The Garlands staff are always respectful and accommodating. They too have become my friends, and it’s such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces throughout the building each day. This would not be the case if I had stayed in my Fairhaven home.
“Congratulations” to The Garlands team on your 17th anniversary and “lucky me” on my sweet 16th!