ACTIVE RETIREMENT LIVING – MADELINE HILL & FRIENDSHave you ever wondered what it might be like for your younger relatives to visit you, after you move to a “senior” community? Will they drag their feet at the prospect? Last April, a neighbor of ours named Katherine had a visit from Stephanie, her 16 year-old granddaughter. Here, with the ladies’ permission, are some excerpts from an essay Stephanie wrote about her trip. Enjoy!

What a week! The plan was to spend some quality time with my grandparents, and take a look at Southern Oregon University. When I arrived in Ashland, my first impression was that it was… quaint. “Oh dear,” I thought, “we’ll run out of things to do by the second day!” Boy, was I wrong!

I was quick to discover that Ashland, though small, is a very active town—and I’m not only referring to the people jogging and playing sports every day. Ashland is home to many actors and filmmakers, whose work I beheld in both the Independent Film Festival and the Shakespeare Festival. Grandma and I even sat in on a “talk” between five film directors and screenwriters, and then we explored the campus at Southern Oregon University, two miles from her condo–and went to a presentation on theatre there.

When we weren’t out at a event or dining in one of Ashland’s fine restaurants, Grandma and I liked to stay close to home. Now, before I made the trip up to Oregon, “staying close to home” translated as “sitting in front of the TV and eating my weight in junk food.” Well, when you live in a town like Ashland, you find that there are more productive things to do with your time than letting your brain turn to mush! Whether we were going on nature walks or participating in poetry readings with her neighbors, Grandma and I were always having a good time. The people of Ashland are some of the friendliest folks I have ever met.

For several days I went to events, became familiar with SOU, and met lots of people–but most importantly I got to spend time with my grandma. My home in Fremont isn’t exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away from hers in Ashland, but it’s a trip I’d make again in a heartbeat.   


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