Real Life Stories: Mulberry PARC, Virginia and Bobin Active Aging
Written by PARC Retirement Living
Residents: Virginia and Bob
Married for: 69 years
He worked at: Sears
She worked as: A nurse
The secret to a long marriage: “Not getting divorced!” says Virginia.
How they met: “My sister and Virginia were nurses together at Vancouver General Hospital and Virginia came up to our house on a visit and that’s when we met,” says Bob.
Insight on their long marriage: “Like most relationships, it’s had its ups and downs. But it’s lasted,” says Virginia.
Words to live by: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” says Virginia.
You could say that Virginia and Bob have a green thumb. But call them gardening experts, and they’re immediately humble about their accomplishments, including their big win for best overall garden by the Burnaby Rhododendron and Garden Society. Accolades aside, gardening has always been a simple joy and fun challenge for this couple, married for an impressive 69 years.
When maintaining a huge yard got to be too much, Bob and Virginia decided to make the move to Mulberry PARC. But don’t think they put their love for gardening aside. They’re highly involved in tending to Mulberry PARC’s expansive garden patio, making sure plants and flowers stay healthy throughout the winter, and creating beautiful floral hanging baskets that line the patio walk. Mulberry PARC was also fortunate to inherit some of the Virginia’s prized plants and greenery that she brought along when she and Bob first moved in.
Get a glimpse into how Virginia and Bob’s retirement life blooms at Mulberry PARC.
A day in the life of Bob and Virginia
“We have an exercise room here. And there’s a woman who shows us what we should do to maintain our health, and our balance in particular. That’s three days a week.”
“I go down at about 6:30 am and I work out till at least 7 am. I’m trying to keep my weight from getting away from me due to all the good meals. I get out for walks most days, as long as it’s not raining. I have a couple of walks during the day. There are of course many other activities that are all prepared and we go to many of them.”
“There’s a great knitting group here. Another resident named Marie runs it. And it’s a good social thing and we do a lot of knitting for the needy. The knitting group has a sale once a year. We’re knitting scarves right now and we give a lot of things away to the people who can use them. It’s a good project. I always have two or three knitting projects on the go.”
“We had huge garden full of vegetables. Bob grew the vegetables and I grew the flowers. It was a joint effort.”
“We challenged ourselves when it came to gardening. You know, Bob even grew a peanut one time. It’s just the love of our life.”
“In the fall, we take cuttings from the geraniums and put them in there and try to keep them alive over winter. And we also have begonia bulbs that we’ve kept over all the years we’ve been here,” says Bob.
“We still have some of the plants that I brought from home. Some of the things from home were really quite good and so it was nice to bring them here and put them in the Mulberry garden,” says Virginia.
“We’ve always enjoyed gardening. It’s not anything we consider special or anything. It’s just something we do.”