When Dr. Tom Standlee partially retired from practicing dermatology 12 years ago, he looked in the mirror and made a commitment to himself to use his free time to get fit and pursue a more active lifestyle. He had an old road bike, so he decided to pick up biking in a quest to achieve his new goal for his retirement. He lost 25 pounds in the first year and steadily became more agile, toned and healthier. Four years later, his wife, Sue Standlee, would join him on his biking adventures. Since then, the couple has developed a passion for bike riding, upgraded their bikes, purchased helmets with intercoms to communicate during rides and moved from Reno, Nevada to Dallas for a new round of adventures. Why Dallas? The two were eager to live near their daughter and her family, they appreciated the active lifestyle in Dallas with recreational areas like White Rock Lake and Katy Trail, and they found the faith-based retirement community they desired to live in, Presbyterian Village North (PVN).
“Biking is one of our newly-developed shared passions, and we will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather this May as we celebrate National Bike Month,” said Tom. “One of the main draws for our relocation to Presbyterian Village North is the community’s location, a mere six blocks from the White Rock Lake bike trail. This was fantastic news to us, as we bike about 15 to 20 miles on average every week day, and sometimes go for leisurely rides on the weekends. A quaint coffee shop is within close proximity to the trail and the senior living community, and we look forward to starting or ending our rides there. The staff members at PVN are so generous, as they have offered to put in a bike rack on the ground floor so we don’t need to carry our bikes up to the second floor every day.”
Currently, the Standlees are staying with their daughter and her family in Arlington until their new home at Presbyterian Village North is complete. They sold their house in Reno and made the move into their daughter’s home last month. The senior living community is undergoing a major expansion project, parts of which are due to be completed at the end of this summer. The Standlees expect to move into their brand new, spacious apartment home in late July to early August. In addition to being close to the White Rock Lake trail, the Standlees were looking for a community that is welcoming of all faiths. Other important factors that helped them decide on PVN include a campus with a track record of success and quality service, one that offers extended care and a full continuum of care, as well as one that is close to their daughter.
“It is hotter than blazes here during the summer months, so it will be nice to have access to the lifestyle fitness center to exercise indoors when it proves to be too hot to do anything outdoors,” said Tom. “We’ll definitely utilize the indoor exercise equipment during those times, and plan to take advantage of the new pavilion with its view of the water fountain feature and the walking trails when the weather is nice. In addition to biking, my wife and I enjoy dancing the Argentine tango, which is a tad different from the tango you are used to seeing on Dancing with the Stars. Regardless of what we do, it is important for me to stay active. Beyond feeling more energized, it also helps me keep my diabetes under control. If I were to sit around watching television all the time, I would feel so sedentary, and I thrive on feeling revitalized.”
Sue shares many of the same interests, and she believes their time spent biking together is perfect for bonding. It’s a time for them to reflect and meditate, as well as a time to talk about their ride and what they are experiencing. Even if they are apart from each other on the trail the intercom system allows them to talk to each other.
“It’s nice having that time together, being able to chat while we exercise in a change of scenery,” said Sue. “We are looking forward to all the new experiences that await us. New bike trails to be explored, a new culture of people to become acquainted with, then of course there’s the close proximity of the theater, the symphony, the opera and a plethora of other cultured activities to keep us occupied and entertained. This is a new chapter for us, to be sure, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin it. Dallas is the perfect choice for our retirement.”
The Standlees decided to transition from their 5,000-square-foot home to a senior living community because they wanted to downsize for ease of upkeep. In addition, they were excited to have someone prepare meals for them daily if they did not feel like cooking, and they felt this would be a great way to meet new people and prevent loneliness. They first became acquainted with senior living communities when they provided care to a couple of friends in California. After many visits and seeing the benefits of living there, they decided it would be a good decision for them too.
“Texans are really friendly, and residents at PVN are helping us adjust and get to know the area,” said Sue. “Just last week we learned about the DART system, what it is and how to use it. One noticeable difference between seniors living at PVN versus seniors living at other communities is that everyone at PVN talks about positive experiences they have recently encountered. They have fascinating stories to share about activities or groups they have been engaged in. It has been enlightening to sit at a table with them during lunch and meet new and interesting people. We came to Texas to meet people like this, and that’s what we are going to find here.”