All posts tagged: Wilcox Communities

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. […]

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 […]

Watch Us Grow!

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Construction / Growth/Sales / Pictures

This isn’t the end, but you can see it from here. Work has begun on Phase 4, the final phase, of Maples at the Sonatas. I know it’s too soon to get all nostalgic about this. So I will spare you those posts until later in the journey. For now, I’ll just share a visual progress report. Here we are—Maples at the Sonatas—from the air. Three pictures taken from three small airplanes in three different […]

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 […]

The School Bell Tolls

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Mostly Musings

Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee. —John Donne Nope, sorry, John Donne. You’ve written a nice poem, but you’re wrong. The school bell does NOT toll for me. Not anymore. I am R-E-T-I-R-E-D. Mr. Donne, I am done. ••• Tomorrow is the first day of the new school year in Woodstock. It will mark the 15th time that school has started without me. How does that make […]

Household Lions

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Animals / Just for Fun / Pictures

According to Twitter, today is World Lion Day. If there’s any animal deserving of its own day, surely it would be king of the beasts. Aren’t they gorgeous? I would have loved to visit these guys today, but my schedule didn’t allow for a trip to Brookfield Zoo. And it really wasn’t necessary to drive a couple of hours anyway. I have two of their smaller cousins, household-size lions, living with me. So I called […]

Caryl Dierksen: A retired teacher gives lessons in happy living

Awards/recognitions

Note: Thank you to Epcon Communities for posting this homeowner profile of me on their blog. Special thanks to franchise marketing manager Rob Krohn, for believing someone might want to read about me, and to Sue Publicover, who wrote the article. They make me sound better than I am!   Retired English teacher discovered a new life when she moved to Maples at Sonata, an Epcon community in Woodstock, Illinois. Source: Caryl Dierksen: A retired […]

May Thunderstorm

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Nature

First comes the thunderstorm watch notice scrolling along the bottom of the TV screen. Then ominous clouds roll in, darkening the sky when it should have yet been light. Then the winds gust. In the distance, thunder rumbles and lightning streaks through the black clouds. And then it is here. Sheets of wind-driven rain send me hurrying indoors to protect my camera, and myself. The storm is Mother Nature’s display of drama, beauty, danger. It […]

Happy May!

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Holidays / Nature

I wanted to wish you a Happy May Day yesterday, but Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating. And what’s May Day without some flower pictures? With an entire weekend of fog, rain, and wind, with a little thunder thrown in, I couldn’t get the photos of Connie’s tulips that I wanted. But this morning the sun returned to lift our spirits and brighten our lives. So, though it’s too late for May Day, it’s not for the […]

My Abbey, Still My Sweet Home

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Mostly Musings / Moving

Yesterday I signed a sheet of paper, and one of my biggest adventures came to an end. A new buyer had fallen in love with my Palazzo, one whose cash trumped my contingency. So I had no choice but to officially void my contract. Certainly, I knew all along it could happen. The problem is, for four months I have allowed myself to live in a bubble of false security. Do I regret those four […]

My Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Move-in Ready Home

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Construction / Home Elements/Decorating

If something happens once, it just happens. But if the same thing happens again, you may be establishing a pattern. I have now undergone the same experience twice in less than six years. My pattern appears to be purchasing brand new, move-in ready homes. It’s becoming a compelling, expensive habit. In 2010,  I stumbled upon the Abbey that would become my home. Then last December, I accidentally found the Palazzo that I hope to soon […]

For Sale: My Abbey, part 2

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Moving

Thank you to everyone who responded to my news of listing my Abbey. Your “likes,” comments, questions, and suggestions have been very encouraging. Some of you requested more information, which I am happy to provide. First, here is the listing, in case you read the earlier post before I added it. It includes lots of current photos of the home. Mine is the only Abbey available — either new or resale — for purchase for […]

For Sale: My Abbey

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Blogging / Moving

When I moved into my Abbey in October 2010, I told everyone, including myself, there would be no more moves. It was my dream home. I planned to stay until I died or was carried out. And I meant it. I meant it so much, I would have staked my life on it. When I created this blog three years ago, it was so simple coming up with the name Home Sweet Abbey. Since then […]

Vintage Valentines

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Holidays

Love is unchanging. Isn’t it? The eternal feeling may be constant, but the way we express it changes over time. Ninety years ago, when my mother was a child in a one-room, eight-grade school, the kids exchanged Valentines like these. They are lovingly preserved in one of her scrapbooks.   Now jump to 2015, when the same sentiment may be expressed something like this: 💕❤️😍👄 However you choose to say it, make someone’s day. Spread […]

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 […]

A Wonderland of Trains

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Home Elements/Decorating / Just for Fun / Neighbors

Six years ago, Bob and Linda arrived at the Maples at the Sonatas sales office with a specific wish list for their new home. At the top of the list—in fact, a deal-breaker—was a basement. Bob really needed a basement. When our sales consultant, Jon, broke the news that these homes do not come with basements, Bob thanked him for his time, and he and Linda started for the door. Just as they reached it, […]

A Great New Neighbor

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Animals / Neighbors

Meet Tak (pronounced Tuck). Tak is a 6-year-old Great Dane with a Swedish name — Tak means thanks. He moved into the Maples last week, along with his humans, Tom and Brenda. By far the largest of the many dogs who live here, Tak commands attention when he and his owners walk through Phase 3, where they live. For longer trips, he rides in the backseat of a car purchased especially for him. Tak is […]