After living an exciting life in big cities like Chicago, Cathy Lenker came back home to retire in the rustic beauty of Dalmatia.
For the last 12 years, she has called Georgetown Heights, an affordable senior apartment complex, her home.
“I like living here; I just feel like I’m home. It’s cozy, nice, quiet, and really clean. And it’s very affordable. I like that I can come and go as I please and this apartment is my own. It feels like my little house,” Lenker said.
At 82, she still has the energy of when she worked at Crowell, a tape and packaging manufacturer in New Castle, Delaware, where she walked up 17 flights of steps for 30 years to her research and development and quality control lab.
“I liked things done right. My boss would always ask me to make samples to send to potential customers. I liked it, and I must say, they liked me, too!” she exclaimed.
Now, she’s part of the “Four Musketeers” that she calls herself and her three neighbor friends at Georgetown Heights.
“We laugh so much,” she said of Phyllis Kessler, Barbara Hammernick, and Betty Carl. And, she added with a twinkle, “I’m sure glad we don’t have a grump around here! But I wouldn’t let them get the upper hand; they’d have to smile or not be in our gang!”
She rapped on Kessler’s door. “Phyllis! Come out here! I want you to meet the girl who’s writing about us and taking pictures!”
Kessler, 87, came in with a large smile and they told how they love to play pranks, like scaring each other in the halls. It goes beyond just good times – when they’re sick, they bring each other food and tend to the other’s needs throughout the day.
One of 12 kids, Lenker also helps out her sister in Herndon four days a week, where they and their parents are from.
In the common areas of Georgetown Heights, she sometimes enjoys Bingo played three times a week and cards; her granddaughter once won five times – a dime a game, and she was thrilled.
The staff host dinners and parties there for all the major holidays. She also appreciates the free monthly wellness checks for blood pressure and exercise. But most nights, she enjoys her nightly news, Dr. Phil, and Dateline.
In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano in her apartment; she took lessons from her cousin for years while growing up.
“My neighbors just have one complaint – ‘you didn’t play long enough!’” she smiled. Her favorite to play is the old hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”
People 55 years and older who are income eligible can safely downsize in Georgetown Heights’ quality, affordable apartments on George Street, Dalmatia. These independent-living apartments are currently available and the first month is rent free.
They feature one and two-bedroom apartments with common areas of kitchen/dining area, living room, lounges, library, computers, and a three-season porch. Apartments are pet friendly and handicap accessible.
For more information, call SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) and ask for Rental Housing at 800-326-9310.
SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.