All posts tagged: Maples at the Sonatas

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. […]

Heavy Lifting

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Construction

I woke up this morning and, as usual, looked out a window. It was a good start to the day because I didn’t see any snow. Given our recent weather, that cannot be taken for granted. But I did notice something unusual. Do you recognize the object in the circle? If not, you may not live in a community under construction. It’s the top of a crane, a sign of an interesting building day. Though […]

A Road Not Taken

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Blogging / Mostly Musings

Today my assignment is to take two published posts on a common theme, combine them, and make them into something new. The posts—For Sale: My Abbey and My Abbey, Still My Sweet Home—tell the story of my unsuccessful attempt to move to a different home in the Maples.     March 2016. When I moved into my Abbey in October 2010, I told everyone, including myself, there would be no more moves. It was my […]

Remembering My Dad, A Would-be Veteran

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Editor’s note: I usually don’t believe in rerunning posts. Perhaps I should say, it’s fine for others, but I prefer to come up with something new for my own blog. But… it’s Veteran’s Day, and I want to acknowledge it.  Because I haven’t come up with anything I like better, here is the post that I published four years ago today. I hope you’ll like it.   My father, Carl Dierksen, tried very hard to […]

Happy Halloween 2017

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Holidays / Just for Fun

Trick-or-treating is underway at the Maples. Every year that I’ve lived here, we’ve had more costumed kids stop by. And each year it has been more fun. One of the most creative groups I’ve seen tonight came over from our next-door community, The Sonatas. It’s cold, so one of the dads rigged up a heater on the golf cart that carried the parents while the kids ran door to door. Many of the costumes are […]

A Wine Lovers’ Haven

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Home Elements/Decorating

My neighbor, Sue, is too modest to allow me to call her a wine expert. So let’s just say, she has pursued an interest in the field for quite a few years and has learned a lot along the way. She and her husband, Mike, have a large collection of wines and a large library of books related to it. When they began planning their new home here at Maples at the Sonatas, they knew […]

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 […]

Welcome, Fluffy New Neighbors

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Animals / Nature

Maples at the Sonatas has welcomed two new families in the past two weeks. First, we have the Robins, living on Verdi, and then we have the Robins, living on the other end of Verdi. It is unclear whether the two families are related. But yes… we are definitely going to the birds here! One mama robin chose to build her nest in a wreath on Sue and Mike’s front door. It’s a nice, private […]

Introducing Our New Sales Manager

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Wilcox People

Two weeks ago Deb Cooper joined the Maples at the Sonatas staff as its new home sales consultant. Deb, who also answers to Coop, is new to the community and our Epcon homes, but she brings with her 15 years of experience in sales of new construction. Though she is busy learning the ins and outs of her position, she graciously took time to chat with me for this post. Here’s what I’ve learned about […]

Beginnings

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Construction / Nature

One of my favorite parts of spring is all of its new beginnings. Flowers reappear from the soil and bloom again. Or they are planted for the first time, sharing color and fragrance from their very beginning. Baby animals come into the world. Trees begin another year by putting on their loveliest blossoms. Like this one. And it’s not only nature celebrating new beginnings. The Maples is all about new beginnings too. For as long […]

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 […]

The Happiness Quotient

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Mostly Musings / Neighbors / Woodstock

I was feeling happy that morning as I began another day of retirement. And why not? I had slept until after 8, with no alarm clock or cat waking me up. Sunshine was streaming in my windows. Angie and Shadow kept me company, until they left for their own happy places in the sunroom. I had finished breakfast and was reading my print copy of the Chicago Tribune while I sipped a second mug of […]

The Turnover

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Growth/Sales / Mostly Musings / Neighbors

Tomorrow will be a red-letter day here at Maples at the Sonatas. Actually, make that a red-box day, according to my calendar. But however you highlight it, the day will be significant.     Tomorrow is Turnover Day, the moment when our community takes its next step toward completion. At a meeting tomorrow, our builder, Jamie Wilcox, will officially turn over the homeowners association to us, the homeowners. As is customary with construction, the builder […]

Tiny Expectations

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Mostly Musings

When I was young, I thought the secret to a successful new year’s resolution was choosing a grand project and then threatening and beating myself into accomplishing it. That method, predictably, led to nothing but miserable failure and self-doubt. As I grew older and wiser, I began lowering my goals and reducing the pressure on myself. And it worked. Once I traded in my GREAT EXPECTATIONS for teeny expectations, I was actually more successful and […]

What Bandit Saw

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Animals / Mostly Musings

Fable: A short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters. Once upon a time, not too long ago, Joe and Sylvia adopted their sweet dog, Bandit, a loving, trusting soul. I already had Angie, an outgoing cat who loved to play. We decided to introduce them, hoping that a friendship would develop. In the beginning, it looked like we would get our wish. The two were curious about […]

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 […]

Thanksgiving Elegance

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Holidays

We all know what Thanksgiving is really about—gratitude, family, friends, remembrance. By that definition, the holiday can be celebrated nearly anywhere, in any circumstances. Be it a family home, a restaurant, a dorm room, a homeless shelter, even a Las Vegas hotel. It matters little whether it’s a fancy spread or fast food. It’s about the intangibles. But if you ever, just once, long for an elegant dinner, prepared by someone else, in a beautifully […]

Tom’s Trail

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Nature / Neighbors / Pictures

My neighbor Tom prefers living off the beaten path—taking the road less traveled, if you will. Sometimes that even means constructing the trail himself. And that is fine with him. He and Brenda moved into their Portico a year ago. Their Phase 3 lot nestles along the treeline at the edge of the Maples. A few steps beyond their courtyard is a low stone wall marking the line between our property and undeveloped land owned […]