These are my three favorite examples of how the people here extend themselves to newcomers, and how helpful and reassuring that has been as we began our retirement life! First, at the end of only our second visit to the main campus of Medford Leas, our Senior Life Consultant Marianne S. suggested that since our route home would take us right past the Leas’ Lumberton campus, we should drive in and look around. She gave us a community map that showed the boomerang shaped meadow in the middle of the ring of homes, the nature trails, and the Community Center, where we could check out the activities posted on the bulletin board and the other amenities. After we had walked around the campus and checked out the Community Center, we were greeted by Jim and Eileen M. who were finishing up their walk on one of the trails. They asked if we were considering moving to Medford, and when we said we were, they invited us in to their house, just a few 100 yards further on. They showed us around their home, and after we settled on their deck with welcomed glasses of ice water, they told us how they had come to Medford Leas at Lumberton (as part of the first group of residents) and the kinds of activities they had been involved in over the years. They told us how the type of homes they have at Lumberton and the opportunity to choose when to start the Life Care Plan were key factors in their decision to move here at a younger age than they had expected. They also talked about how so many things about daily life were now not primarily their responsibility, the washer, the yard, the pool maintenance, and maintaining a circle of friends in a typical suburban area. Their generosity in sharing their history was a wonderful introduction to life at Lumberton Leas. They gave us much information toward our deciding to come here and deciding when to come. And so much of their perspectives were echoed in subsequent conversations with other residents since we’ve been here! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Flash forward to late March of this year. After we had ‘closed’ on our new home here, we were visiting every couple of weeks to remind ourselves of our goal life. And to bring some things we didn’t want to leave to the movers! Whenever we visited, all the way up to moving day at the end of June, people would come up and introduce themselves, tell us their names, frequently also reassuring us that they would not be offended if we did not remember next time we met. They told us bits of their coming to the Leas and about what kinds of things they enjoyed here. They asked when we were moving in, and they wished us luck. While we dealt with decluttering, a garage sale, and selling our house, the experience of these visits certainly helped us keep our sense of hopefulness and the rightness of our decision to come here. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And then in July, there was our official visit from the Lumberton Leas Welcome Committee, residents John S. and Barbara S. They were our first neighbors to be ‘company’ in our spacious new home, which is so fresh and new feeling. They brought two kinds of homemade cookies (which Barbara had made that morning) and a gift bag of useful things for the newly arrived, including a most excellent and sturdy map of Burlington County, which is not easy to find! The bag contained a selection of note cards featuring resident photos of Leas’ flora and fauna and of the beautiful ‘tree’ quilt that hangs in the Medford Leas lobby which was created by resident Jeanette Tousley Muir. They talked about the many groups and events which help you get to know your neighbors and to find the activities of interest to you. They told us about the processes for getting help of various kinds for your new home, both from the town of Lumberton (since we live on that campus, e.g. right sizing your trash and recycle containers, registering to vote) and from the staff at Medford Leas itself (e.g. Work Orders, for things like putting your screens in or having pictures hung up). And they left information sheets on all of this! We all four talked about how we had each come to Medford Leas and what we had been looking for. John and Barbara talked about some of the highlights of their time here so far, and said to call if and whenever we had questions about any part of life here. The visit was so helpful. It all felt like the essence of community.