By: Pat Winter

Last March Karen was living in Danville, VA, a town on the border with North Carolina which had been home to her for most of her life. Karen, who retired from her career in elementary education in 2013, was then working in adult education, helping adults prepare for their GEDs. This included teaching a GED class to incarcerated women twice a week. But she was ready to move closer to her son, daughter-in-law, and two grand-daughters who lived in Chesapeake, Virginia. The only thing holding her back was her home. Although it had been on the market for three years, there had not been a sale.
During the beginning of our pandemic year, Karen took her house off the market for safety reasons. But the housing market in the area was showing some promising activity despite the pandemic restrictions. So, in May 2020 she put the house back on the market. It sold in three days.

Now a search began in earnest as Karen looked for a place to live in the Chesapeake area. However, she found the real estate to be very pricey. Her son found the Plantation on the Internet and suggested that living a reasonable distance away might be a good alternative. So, Karen made an appointment to come down to visit with our realty team for the day. She looked at homes, but was more intrigued by the idea of condo living. So, Karen did the one thing she’s sure is the most courageous of her lifetime: she wrote a check and put a deposit on a condo right on the spot.

Why was Karen so sure this was the right thing to do? She said she felt safe here and loved all the amenities. Although she knew no one, she felt sure that with all the activities, it would be easy to make new friends. And she found the community to be beautiful, well-maintained, and affordable. Karen totally agreed with the billboard on Route 17; the Plantation really did offer her “gracious living.”

Karen reports that since her move here in August, she has been able to participate in several activities and begun to develop new friendships. Karen is already a monthly volunteer at Open Door Food Pantry and has learned to play Mahjong. She en-joys walking and would like to learn to play pickleball when our courts are installed. She is a huge Virginia Tech supporter and hopes to meet other residents who share her team spirit. Karen also spends at least one day per week babysitting her granddaughters at her son’s home in Chesapeake.

Although Karen thought that buying her condo here after a day’s visit was the most courageous thing she has ever done, she did leave Danville for two years to work for Princess Cruises in Alaska. There Karen worked selling land tours to Princess Cruise guests at the Princess Lodge near Denali National Park. Perhaps some of you who have cruised with Princess and stayed at their Denali Lodge may have seen Karen at the tour desk or on the train welcoming guests to Denali. She does agree that was the biggest adventure of her life. Hopefully, some new AP adventures for Karen are waiting just around the corner!