The long-awaited move into our 11th floor home took place on the last day of February 2017. As with our previous moves, Susan Kent of Moving by Design was again present to oversee, soothe, and assist.
Today, we’re fully settled and absolutely delighted with our new home. We have lived in many places, and a few of them have been memorable, but never before did we have the pleasure of helping to design, customize, and live in, a brand new place.
In case you’re new to our story, below I’ve summarized our journey that culminated in our February 28th move to a beautifully renovated apartment on the 11th Floor of Judson Manor.
In 2015, my wife Donna and I began to think about our future living arrangements. We were both in excellent health, but being in our early 80’s, we realized that this could change, if not suddenly, then inevitably as we got older.
We loved our Beachwood home, but the routine chores (garden, lawn, snow removal, window cleaning) and the substantial expenses of major maintenance and upgrades were becoming burdensome, not to say onerous.
We considered several options, including programs that would enable us to remain in our home, as well as moving to an apartment or condo, but each lacked a clear path for our future as we grew older. The best solution seemed to be a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or Life Plan Community like Judson Manor.
Over the years, we’ve known several Manor residents, so it was familiar to us. After touring a couple of times, we were impressed with both the facility and the residents. On a third visit in the middle of winter, Donna and I, wearing hard hats and winter coats, toured the gutted 11th floor, and fell in love with the view and future floor plan of Apartment #1104.
Things started to move rapidly after our application was approved in early spring of 2016. Lee-Ann Spacek, the real estate consultant provided by Judson, visited our home in Beachwood, and declared it ready to sell. The only “staging” that she suggested was to remove the toaster from the kitchen countertop! All the money we had invested in the Beachwood home paid off as our house sold in two days for the asking price, without any pesky final repairs.
With our apartment still under construction, Judson offered us temporary housing on the Manor’s 10th floor. With windows facing south and west, it was the brightest naturally-illuminated place we have ever lived in, and a welcome temporary living arrangement.
The marvelous views provided opportunities for several great photos of downtown Cleveland at sunset and sunrise. Another bonus of our elevated view: for 37 years I had taught my astronomy students that the Sun’s rise- and set-points on the horizon change throughout the year. However, I had never personally seen this phenomenon, since we always lived at ground level and were surrounded by houses and trees so never had a clear view of the horizon. Well, I can now verify from personal observation that what I taught all those years is absolutely correct!
Living at Judson until #1104 was finished enabled us to integrate ourselves into the Judson Community, and we both were soon involved in volunteer and committee work. Donna and I went up to the 11th floor almost every evening to check on the progress of our dream suite. These sneak-previews proved useful, as we discovered a few unwanted changes which we were able to correct, and also made several additional changes which enhanced the final result.
It is worth noting, however, that our “tout nouveau, tout beau” apartment is not the most important ingredient of our happiness here at Judson Manor. First and foremost are the daily interactions with the diverse and remarkable residents and the dedicated staff. We love that we are within walking distance of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History where we both volunteer, and have easy access to the Case Western Reserve University campus, which Peter still visits regularly. We cannot say enough about the amazing array of programs and amenities offered at Judson.
We hope you’ve enjoyed following our journey. We are certainly looking forward to continuing our adventure here in University Circle!