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Food, location and lifestyle exceed couple’s expectations for retired life

By: Country Meadows |

Enjoying good food is part of the travel adventure for George and Marie Degenhardt. During their travels to Europe, China, Alaska, Peru, Galapagos Islands, Russia and closer to home in New York City and downtown Easton, finding great restaurants has always been part of the fun. It’s no surprise that photos of the elegant dining room planned for Country Meadows of Forks in Easton caught their attention.

George and Marie Degenhardt pose in front of their future home, Country Meadows of Forks.

“We’re looking forward to sitting down in that beautiful room each evening to be served great food. That’s going to be wonderful,” says George Degenhardt, laughing, as he adds, “Not having to cook the evening meal is a dream for Marie.”

The couple has reserved an apartment at Country Meadows’ newest location in Forks Township, currently under construction. They live in a nearby golf community, and are having fun watching the construction progress. They even know exactly where the window of their new living room is located.

Before moving to Forks Township in 2007 to be closer to family, the couple lived more than 30 years in Wayne, N.J.—an easy commute to New York City for George Degenhardt, a retired executive with Lenox China. Marie Degenhardt worked for a private school.

Fully aware of their changing needs as they grow older, the Degenhardts researched every independent living community in the Lehigh Valley. While they enjoy their current lifestyle, they realize aging is a progression, and want to ensure they chose a senior living community which allowed them to live the lifestyle they want, comfortably and independently.

When Country Meadows began building a brand new campus just a mile away from their current home, the couple stopped in to check out renderings of the planned community, and was impressed with the beauty and attention to detail in the architectural design. “It looks spectacular!” says Mr. Degenhardt. “It’s what we always had in mind as we got older.”

To understand and experience what life is like in a Country Meadows community, the couple visited Country Meadow’s Bethlehem campus. They enjoyed a meal to confirm the food was delicious and met their high expectations.

Marie Degenhardt’s dollhouse which will be on display at the Signal Museum in Easton.

With Country Meadows of Forks opening this summer, the couple is preparing for their move, navigating what they describe as their “second and final downsizing.” Finding a place for Marie Degenhardt’s dollhouse, which takes up a 30-inch table in their home, was the biggest challenge. The spectacular miniature home, complete with working interior and exterior lights, is filled with furniture and other treasures she collected during travels here and abroad. The couple is pleased to be donating the dollhouse to the Signal Museum in Easton where it will be on permanent display.

When the move is complete, the couple looks forward to making new friends and spending time with family members instead of maintaining a home, doing daily chores and cooking. “We’re tickled that [Country Meadows of Forks] is in our neighborhood and convenient to our daughter and her family,” adds George Degenhardt.

As for meals, while the couple knows they’ll enjoy dining in the community’s beautiful dining room, they continue to look forward and plan some more travel adventures, too.

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