Read notecards from be.group residents who have powerful outlooks on life.
Think of that one goal you’ve always wanted to accomplish. Maybe you hoped to travel overseas, but you couldn’t get away from work long enough to even plan it. Or you wanted to volunteer with a charity, but caring for your family took priority. Maybe you just wanted to do something good for someone but you haven't yet figured out how to make a difference.
Senior living communities remove daily task lists and home maintenance burdens so you can go after those things you've always wanted to do. The lifestyle has freed up many be.group residents to chase their missions in life.
Marge McBride, 87, resident of White Sands La Jolla in La Jolla, California
During a recent trip to New Zealand, Marge McBride was voted “Most Admired” by the members of her private tour group, who were in awe of the world traveler. Since moving to White Sands La Jolla in 2007, McBride has visited destinations including India and Alaska, and she takes advantage of community-organized trips as well, to local events like the Rose Parade.
Why such zeal to explore the world? The former educator wants to finally see the places she long taught about in the classroom but never experienced, such as Machu Picchu. McBride plans to cross the ancient ruins off her bucket list in 2014—and hopes to inspire others in the process.
Shirley McCulloch, 81, resident of Westminster Gardens in Duarte, California
Life at Westminster Gardens has been filled with opportunities for retired registered nurse and pastor’s wife Shirley McCulloch. After serving as a missionary in Pakistan from 1957 to 1960 and helping her husband serve his congregation, McCulloch now sings in a choir, plays violin and volunteers with the community fellowship. She says she’s always looking for new ways to “be and to do.” Inspired by seeing other residents complete their memoirs, McCulloch plans to pen her own autobiography to share her life’s story with her two children.
Mary Ann Prelock, 81, resident of Royal Oaks in Bradbury, California
By maintaining a philosophy of “saying yes to life,” Royal Oaks resident Mary Ann Prelock hasn’t had time to create a bucket list—opportunities always seem to find her first. Her goal for retirement is to continue to say yes to whatever comes her way, whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment trip to a local landmark like the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles or serving as both the residents’ association president and convenience store co-manager at Royal Oaks. Most recently, Prelock’s “just say yes” attitude landed her the opportunity to act as an extra in an upcoming movie that filmed scenes at the senior living community.
Doreen Villars, 90, resident of Regents Point in Irvine, California
If Regents Point is organizing an overnight trip, it’s a sure bet that resident and trip committee member Doreen Villars will be in attendance. “I’ll go anywhere,” says Villars. “I travel as much as I can while I can. Just pack your suitcase, and let’s go.”
Recently, she enjoyed the sights of the California coast and Hearst Castle with fellow residents during a trip to Cambria and Big Sur. Villars also has found a travel buddy in Royal Oaks Activity Director Janice Masters, with whom she recently cruised from Nuremburg to Budapest. Even after trekking across the globe, this lifelong traveler still has one experience she hopes to cross off her bucket list: a cruise to Hawaii.
Hilde Mitchell, 90, resident of Redwood Terrace in Escondido, California
Redwood Terrace resident Hilde Mitchell began drawing and painting as a child. Today, she uses her passion to support Free Wheelchair Mission, an organization that provides wheelchairs to those in need in developing countries. In 1994, Mitchell’s daughter asked her to make a donation to the nonprofit as a birthday present. Ever since, Mitchell has sold her watercolor paintings—many based on scenery observed in her and her late husband’s 16 years teaching in Japan—to continue supporting the organization.
“I found that many people like my paintings, so I took them to Kinkos and reduced them to greeting-card size,” Mitchell says, noting that her work to help others comes from her religios beliefs. “For me, it’s a blessing to share the paintings in a different light and to help those in need.”
Mitchell’s donations have funded eight wheelchairs thus far.
Edeltraut Schober, 75, resident of Windsor in Glendale, California
Edeltraut Schober knows joy is contagious, which is why she published an uplifting collection of poetry entitled “Joys and Laments of Getting Older” in 2012. Today, her greatest goal is to continue to find ways to spread the gift of joy to her fellow residents. Life at Windsor offers Schober the opportunity to remind other residents that there is someone who cares, whether it’s through lending an open ear, sharing a kind word or offering her favorite merrymaker: a heartfelt hug.
“Find ways to make others feel better and be content
Make peace with myself so life can come to a happy end.”
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE: August 11, 2014