All posts filed under: Neighbors

Happy New Year 2015

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Holidays / Mostly Musings / Neighbors

No one can say that 2014 was an uneventful year for Maples at the Sonatas. We had more than our share of ups and downs. Fortunately, most of the downs were accompanied by ups. Our list of injuries and serious illnesses was longer than anyone would have predicted at this time last year. The positive to come from the situation, of course, is the way we volunteered to help those in need. Certainly, none of […]

Schumann on Schumann Street

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Neighbors

My neighbor, Ann Downing, came to Maples at the Sonatas with a seven-foot grand piano and a lifelong passion for classical music. I don’t think she chose her new community because its streets are named for composers—Schumann, Handel, and Verdi. But she did choose her Canterbury because her piano fit well in the living room. Though modest about her talent, Ann is happy to oblige when neighbors ask her to play. Her piano is a […]

Our Amazing Volunteers

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Neighbors

My community is blessed with a large number of volunteers.  These generous souls, in countless ways, add to the richness and variety of our lives here at Maples at the Sonatas. They work hard, and they work with smiles on their faces. Here is a sampling of photos of our volunteers in action. Thanks also to those who help out in major ways but don’t happen to appear in any of these pictures. Our social […]

Ladies’ Tea?

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Neighbors / Social Life

It wasn’t that we were looking to add another social activity. September is a typical month in our community, with 16 events scheduled during the 30 available days. So we have plenty to do. Actually, it was the men who started the whole thing. Our book club has grown to 25 or so members, all of whom happen to be women. We have invited the guys to participate but they won’t come. So someone—I’m not […]

A Maples Labor Day

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Neighbors / Social Life

You can have a Christmas party, but it has to be held in mid-December or you won’t get anyone to show up. You can plan the annual Halloween Chili Fest — for any day but Oct. 31. A St. Patrick’s Day party won’t work on March 17. And don’t even think about planning a New Year’s Eve party. That seemed to be our conventional thinking when I served on the Maples at the Sonatas social […]

Lovely on the Lake

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Neighbors / Social Life

Nothing soothes my soul like time spent on the water. River, lake, ocean—they’re all good. And sharing that experience makes it all the sweeter. Our social committee outdid themselves when they planned a sightseeing cruise on Lake Geneva, followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant. Twelve of us thoroughly enjoyed our time together last evening in Lake Geneva, Wis. Maples at the Sonatas is just under 10 miles from the Wisconsin state line. It is […]

So Long, Steve

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Neighbors / Wilcox People

Yesterday we said good-by to a good neighbor who didn’t happen to live here. Steve Downey worked as assistant superintendent at Maples at the Sonatas for three years, which means he was here longer than more than half of our homeowners. With 43 years experience in construction, he knew every step of the process of building a home. He also knew how to install and repair just about anything in a home. He was a […]

Branching Out

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Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

There aren’t any petunias this year. Word began spreading yesterday, shortly after the flats of flowers were delivered for today’s Flower Power event. It was against the rules to take a flat ahead of time, or to stake a claim in any way. But no one said we couldn’t go look over the selection of flowers. Those who did came back with the surprising news. There aren’t any petunias this year. Like everything else in […]

Maples Resident Participates in Area’s Largest Craft Show

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Neighbors / Woodstock

This is arguably the busiest weekend that Woodstock will see all year. Orson Welles, who began his career here, is being honored in the 80th anniversary of the Todd Theater Festival at the Woodstock Opera House. Both of our local high schools held their graduation ceremonies. Girls on the Run sponsored a race. There was a motorcycle rally this morning. That would be more than enough for one weekend. But none of these is the […]

Conversation and Coffee

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Neighbors / Social Life

I’m probably like most Wilcox homeowners. The first social event I attended in my new community was Coffee & Conversation. Back in those simpler times, our monthly Saturday morning get-together in the clubhouse was one of the few organized activities. Pretty much everyone went. In the past four years, we have grown from 20 or so residents to nearly 100. Along the way, we have added lots of social activities. Now there are so many […]

Celebrating Earth Day

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Nature / Neighbors / Uncategorized / Wilcox People

Happy Earth Day to everyone! And especially to Kathy Downing, our sales assistant. Mother Earth has no better friend than Kathy, who observes Earth Day every day of the year. She even dresses for the occasion! It was Kathy who instituted the recycling program in our clubhouse. It is Kathy who organizes a community event each year on or near Earth Day. One year she presented a program on recycling. For the past two years, […]

The Larger Wilcox Community

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Neighbors / Wilcox People

As a homeowner in Maples at the Sonatas, I am, of course, a member of this Wilcox community in Woodstock, Illinois. But I am also part of a larger group of homeowners comprising all of the Wilcox communities scattered throughout the Midwest and Southeast. With 20 active communities in the fold, that adds up to a whole lot of neighbors. I’ve met only a handful of people from the other communities, but the ones I […]

Fat Tuesday Fun

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Neighbors / Social Life

Mardi Gras. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll, indeed. Mardi Gras, as you probably know, is French for Fat Tuesday.      And that is the day to observe the tradition of eating rich, fatty foods the last night before the fasting of the Lenten season, which begins today on Ash Wednesday. Here at Maples at the Sonatas, we have another tradition—that of turning minor holidays into major celebrations. So it was that a couple […]

Our Antidote to Cabin Fever

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Growth/Sales / Neighbors / Social Life

It’s a new month today, but it’s the same old weather. More snow falling. Another cold, sun-deprived day. Slippery surfaces waiting to trick you into falling. Yes, the winter that began in November — even before the first official day of winter — shows no signs of letting up on us. Most of our days are still the hunkering-down kind that I’ve already described in two posts on this blog. And yet— Our neighborhood is […]

Neighbors, Friends, Family

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Neighbors

I ended a recent post with this phrase: my neighbors, who also happen to be my friends. That statement remains true, even more so. In the past few days, I’ve learned that my neighbors are also my family. Here’s how that happened. A friend and I stepped out of a movie theater Friday afternoon into a hard, driving rain. But there was no noticeable ice, and the forecast had been for temperatures to rise. Three […]

Happy New Year from Home Sweet Abbey

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Mostly Musings / Neighbors

I wish we could “pause” time like we can a video, or even live TV. If it were possible, I’d be hitting and holding that pause button today, on January 1, 2014. To me, there is nothing more full of hope than a fresh start, a blank page, an opportunity for a do-over. New Year’s Day gives us those gifts. If the day fell in any season other than winter, it would be perfect. But […]

Dickens Carollers Share Seasonal Joy

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Neighbors / Social Life

The Christmas spirit descended on our community yesterday in a most delightful way. Forty-five Maples at the Sonatas neighbors had gathered in our clubhouse by 2 pm, when the Dickens Carollers arrived to perform a concert of Christmas songs. This is just part of the audience before the music began. The Dickens Carollers is a professional group from the Woodstock area that has been performing since 1982. I have enjoyed their music many times and […]

A Tree-huggin’ Kinda Day

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Home Elements/Decorating / Neighbors / Social Life

No, it’s not Arbor Day. Nor is it Earth Day. But it is definitely a tree-mendous day here at Maples at the Sonatas. It’s a perfect day to hug a tree, as Dave demonstrates. •••••• When I got up this morning and looked out a window, I couldn’t believe what I saw. “OK, who ordered the forest?” I asked my cat. She just stared at me. Of course, it was our builder, Wilcox Communities, who […]

Bears-Packers–Oh, My!

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Neighbors / Social Life

Maples at the Sonatas is located in northern Illinois, just 10 miles from the Wisconsin border. We are right smack at the intersection where Bears territory and Packers territory overlap. If you can picture a Venn diagram, we are at dead center. So it is no surprise that our neighborhood is split in loyalty to the two teams that played last night. Nearly 25 of us met in the neutral territory of our clubhouse to […]