In December 2010, in between two large snowstorms, Ed Petcavage and his wife Laura sold their house in Weston, Mass., in favor of a new adventure at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Senior Living developed and managed retirement community in Hingham, MA.
“The storms didn’t stop us then, and nothing stops us now,” says Ed, a retired landscape architect. “Moving to Linden Ponds has opened doors to more experiences, and opportunities, than either of us ever imagined.”
Almost from the moment the couple set foot on the beautiful campus, Ed hit the ground running, diving into new activities, starting a host of new clubs, and meeting new friends.
“Life is an exciting adventure,” he says. “Linden Ponds provides so many opportunities to expand your horizons and try new things. We are very, very happy.”
When considering a move to a continuing care community, Ed and Laura took several important factors into account.
“Our house was demanding more and more maintenance,” says Ed. “Leaving that behind was very appealing. Laura was very interested in the continuing care community. Knowing that level of care is available, should we ever need it, provides great peace of mind. We also liked the location. Linden Ponds is closer to Cape Cod and the ocean than our previous home.”
A diverse community
Ed also understood that in moving to a large community, the couple would enjoy meeting diverse community members while engaging in new activities.
“I’m happy to report that since moving I’ve started ten new clubs, some more successful than others, while also engaging in new activities,” he says. “I never went to a gym before our move. Now, I work out regularly.”
Soon after the Petcavages' move, Ed formed the Linden Ponds nature club.
“As a landscape architect who enjoys the outdoors, it happened naturally,” he says. “Linden Ponds has a lot of open land, including wetlands and different populations of plants and animals. That was a big draw for me.”
Weekly nature walk
In addition to meeting as a group, Ed currently leads a weekly nature walk around campus each Wednesday. The group also enjoys bird watching, maintaining a comprehensive list of the various birds observed on campus.
“There is a three-mile loop around our campus that I walk with a buddy,” he says. “Linden Ponds also has a half-mile nature trail, through the woods, along the Plymouth River. It’s beautiful and provides a nice opportunity to see birds and other animals.”
Ed is also the president of Linden Ponds’ National Park Explorers Club. “Although our travels slowed down last year, we typically travel around the country visiting National Parks,” he says. “We also make several local trips, including the islands in the Boston Harbor and the Cape Cod National Seashore. Our last trip big trip was to Zion and Bryce [national parks in Utah]. We hope to travel again later this year.”
Bocce and billiards
Ed’s numerous interests also expand beyond exploring the outdoors. “I started playing bocce and billiards, two things I had never done before our move,” he says. “I’m very open to exploring new things. I joined a stamp collecting group, started the short-lived cartooning club, and even tried painting with water colors.”
Ed also enjoys a variety of activities outside of Linden Ponds including horseshoes with a club in Quincy, candlepin bowling, and golf.
While exploring new activities, Ed surprised himself, uncovering a talent for race walking.
“I enjoy walking and at Linden Ponds I can walk five to nine miles a day, regardless of the weather,” he says. “When I moved here I began visiting the fitness center. That was new to me. I had never joined a gym. But now there was one right down the hall. I discovered that I’m very good at walking fast.”
For the last several years Ed has competed alongside other Linden Ponds community members at the local Senior Olympics. He’s won numerous medals in a variety of events from race walking to javelin throwing to freestyle swimming. But it is the race walking that has earned him invitations to compete on the national level.
“I’m now the eighth fastest 70-year-old in the 5K race, based on the results of the National Senior Olympics held in Minnesota in 2019. “I’m hoping to improve on that when I compete at the next national games, now scheduled in Ft. Lauderdale next year. I visit the fitness center regularly to work out and get stronger. And believe it or not, I’m getting faster and faster.”
In the meantime, Ed continues to enjoy life as a Linden Ponds community member. “I’m very happy with our decision to move to Linden Ponds,” he says. “Not only do I enjoy interesting activities, but I’ve expanded my mind and improved my health. Life is wonderful.”
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