All posts filed under: Social Life

Maples Friends Are the Best

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Neighbors / Social Life

I was working in my unofficial role of homeowner-sales assistant when I asked a question of a couple here on a first visit. It was a typical question that received an atypical answer. I asked when they might be buying their new home and moving. The wife answered: When I find what I’m looking for. I asked: What is important to you?, expecting to hear about square footage, number of bedrooms, price, or other popular concerns. […]

Party Central

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Holidays / Social Life

Downsizing. It is one of the most common reasons people give for buying a home in Maples at the Sonatas. Once the children are on their own, many find there is no longer a need for as much living space. And then there is maintenance. Our buyers also come looking for less upkeep, both inside and outside the home. After they settle in, they realize they are living comfortably — luxuriously even — in less […]

Welcoming Spring

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Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

Yes, spring has sprung here at the Maples. After countless days of dark, cold skies, punctuated by driving rain, the sun returned today. And a most welcome visitor it was. This afternoon I sat at my computer, diligently working on a writing project. At one point, I glanced out the window behind my monitor and saw activity across the street. First, it was two neighbors talking near our community garden. Then a third came along […]

Connections, Maples Style

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Holidays / Neighbors / Social Life

There’s no better time of year to celebrate connections than the holiday season. Physical connections, social connections, historical connections—all seem to carry more significance as we approach Christmas. And here at Maples at the Sonatas, we have our share of celebrating to do this year. Physical connections first. Our growing community is now connected in a new way: Our last street, Verdi, has joined Handel and Schumann as officially completed streets. The view, which not […]

My Champagne Girlfriends

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Just for Fun / Social Life

It was late August, my first summer at The Maples, a hot, sunny afternoon at the pool. Two of my best friends, Marylee and Margie, were over for one of our monthly get-togethers. Because it was their first time at the pool, I wanted to make it a bit celebratory. What better way, I thought, than to share a bottle of champagne? I got the girls situated at a table, cranked up the umbrella, and […]

The Elephant(s) in the Room

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Just for Fun / Social Life

White elephant. A possession that is more of a problem than a pleasure; a useless possession (perhaps quite valuable) that one cannot easily get rid of. Legend has it that rare albino elephants in ancient Siam automatically became the property of the king. At least one such king had the custom of giving a white elephant to any courtier who had fallen out of favor. The courtier was soon ruined by the cost of keeping […]

Jan’s New Year’s Eve Letters

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Moving / Neighbors / Social Life / Wilcox People

Jan began a new tradition after moving here with her husband, Steve, in 2013. Each year since then, on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, she sits down at her computer and writes a letter to Jamie Wilcox, our builder. These letters are part thank-you notes, part accounts of her year, and part personal reflections. The letters are personal, yet not private. She shares them with others and has given me permission to quote from […]

September at the Pool

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Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

Labor Day is considered the traditional beginning of fall. But that was not the case this year at Maples at the Sonatas, where we enjoyed three-plus weeks of bonus summer. There were still several sizzling hot days for swimming. Our walking group, known for getting outside in challenging weather, took their exercise in the pool a few days. Don’t they look nice and cool here? And they can spell too. A-A-R-P… The weather has turned […]

A Hometown Fourth

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Holidays / Social Life / Woodstock

Today I offer you freedom of choice. Think of this post as a visual potluck showing how we celebrate the Fourth of July here at Maples at the Sonatas in Woodstock, Illinois. First, please enjoy some views of Maples decorations. As I sit here writing, I have a lovely view of Bonnie’s flag from my office window. Earlier this week I walked closer to it to shoot two short videos. I include two of basically […]

Water’s Great! Come on in!

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Neighbors / Social Life

Our swimming pool officially opened for the 2015 season this morning. At 10 a.m., to be exact. I walked over at 10:02, and found that Joe and Sylvia have kept their record in tact. For the third consecutive year, this couple, aka the Lake Superior dippers, are first in the water. Thanks to the brilliant sunshine today, and our trusty pool heater, the water is fine. The air temp may be only     But […]

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

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Holidays / Just for Fun / Social Life

Happy Cinco de Mayo from Maples at the Sonatas, where we observe the holiday with Mexican appetizers and margaritas in the clubhouse. And once again, thanks to our bear costumer extraordinaire, Cathie, for setting the tone with our mascot, Healy. By the way, nice mustachio, Healy!  Note to new readers: to learn more about Healy, his many costumes, and his selection as our mascot, see this post.

Dickens Carollers Return With More Seasonal Joy

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Social Life

We build traditions quickly here at Maples at the Sonatas. If we do something once, and enjoy it, we naturally want to do it again. After one repetition, the event becomes a tradition. It’s that simple. Yesterday, the Dickens Carollers became an official, established Christmas tradition. A visit from them is now a required part of our community holiday celebration. Last year I wrote a post about their visit. If you would like to see […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gearing Up for Flower Power

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Just for Fun / Social Life / Uncategorized

You know summer has arrived when we celebrate Flower Power here at Maples at the Sonatas. On Saturday, our homeowners will enjoy a potluck brunch and receive free flats of annuals to plant around our homes. Our Maples Bear and Baby Bear just can’t wait! They are all set to get planting and pollinating. Thank you, again, to Wilcox Communities for putting the flowers into Flower Power. And to Cathie for one of her best […]

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 […]

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 […]