While Carol and Philip Peter survived Hurricane Harvey without a scratch, their former house was another story. Not wanting to remodel or rebuild, the Peters were thrilled when they found Eagle's Trace, an Erickson Senior Living community in West Houston, Tex., five years ago.
Seeing the hurricane as a blessing instead of a curse, they were excited to start their new maintenance-free lifestyle. And to the couple's surprise, the community's social, active environment had an equally positive impact on them.
"The day we moved in at Eagle's Trace, a couple down the hall - Cathy and Dennis McKeever - had also just moved in," says Carol. "We have become such good friends, the four of us! We share a real knack for traveling, so now we schedule trips together."
As travel partners, the two couples have visited Carol and Philip's Florida timeshare, seen parts of the Atlantic coast, and taken two cruises.
"You must take advantage of all the great opportunities to meet new people here," she says. "There's so much value in making friends!"
Time to wine and dine
Kristin Malejan, resident life director at Eagle's Trace, has witnessed this engagement firsthand. "We have new residents that move in and make fast friends. And the excitement when someone rekindles an old friendship here is palpable!"
One of the best ways to meet new faces, Malejan emphasizes, is through the community's on-site restaurants. "A couple may come down, alone, and ask to be seated with another couple. It's a great way for residents to identify commonalities and shared experiences with their neighbors."
The couple also enjoys their neighborhood's dinner gatherings - what Carol calls "stack parties." Apartment homes that are on top of each other, such as numbers 115, 215, and 315, get together and share homemade dishes.
With home repairs and upkeep a thing of the past, Philip and Carol use their free time to pursue their interests across the 100-plus different clubs and programs at Eagle's Trace. With everything from team sports and fitness classes to continuing education and Bible study, there's plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded residents.
Philip and another gentleman walk together twice a week, and Carol walks with a neighbor every morning for about two-and-a-half miles.
"We also go to exercise classes and meet people there," says Carol. "I've even run into someone at an exercise class who used to babysit my first grandson. It's so fun making new friendships and reestablishing previous ones."
Philip previously chaired the scholarship committee, while Carol has served on the philanthropy committee and is now chairman of the welcoming committee.
"Some people are hesitant to get involved at first, or they overextend themselves since there are so many options," explains Carol. "Once you get into a groove, deciding on which activities to choose, it's easy to meet people and form lasting relationships.”
Looking ahead, Carol and Philip are excited to welcome and befriend those who join the tight-knit community at Eagle's Trace. And, with future travel plans already in the works, the couple is sure to make more memories with the McKeevers.
Learn more about Eagle’s Trace by visiting eaglestrace.com or calling 281-496-7676.