The first time that Mary Phillips saw her new home, The Merion, was the day she moved in, and it was love at first sight. Mary and her husband John of 52 years, were living in a co-op in Chicago when they decided to make a change. “I thought I wanted a place that was smaller and easier to manage,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect.” Her family discovered The Merion while she was in Colorado, and they knew that the newly renovated, upscale rental senior living community would be a perfect fit. .
What Mary found, when moving in, was a pleasant surprise. “I wasn’t looking to make a whole lot of new friends or for activities to keep me busy. But within the very first few days, I met many men and women and was so pleased that everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I fit in very fast and felt very much at home,” she said. “Now I have a nice place to live with a lot of new friends and activities and fabulous food. Fabulous food! I’m very happy and grateful.”
Mary said she thought she was active before moving to The Merion, but now is busier than ever. Living there, she said, has opened up opportunities that she hadn’t before pursued. “I never thought I was artistic. I like and appreciate art but have never actually done artwork myself. There’s a beautiful art studio here and my daughter encouraged me to try one of the classes. I love it, and have attended every week since. I paint, work with clay…I really love it. If my friends could see me now,” Mary said. “I have arthritic knees and hips and thought that would prevent me from attending exercise classes. But I’ve found that I can do chair yoga and really enjoy that too.”
Mary attends all of the presentations and performances at The Merion. One of her favorite programs is Museums of the World, in which a speaker takes residents on a virtual tour of world-class museums. “I don’t love actually going to museums but she brings the museums to us, and I do love that. I can see a lot more than if I went on my own. It’s fabulous and I’ve learned so much,” she said. Mary also enjoys the frequent live musical performances at The Merion.
Mary was happy to be able to move into an apartment that was already beautifully furnished. The upscale kitchen is lovely she said, and affords the opportunity to cook. ‘But with the chefs and restaurants I have no reason to cook. Been there, done that…” she said.
Perhaps the best part of her new home in the heart of downtown Evanston Mary said, is “location, location, location. It’s so fabulous. It’s close to everything and it’s fabulous.”
Mary’s husband John, who suffers from severe arthritis, spends much of the year in Mexico and has not yet seen the couple’s new apartment. Much like Mary seeing it for the first time on the day she moved in, when he comes home for the summer, he’s sure to be thrilled.
“I am very happy here. It’s great. Everybody is so friendly and welcoming. I definitely feel at home. If feels like I have a new family. I haven’t found a single thing that I don’t like about it here. There are so many positives!” Mary said.
As Read in the Evanston Patch