For the past 25 years, Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda has altered the status quo for what it means to live in a senior living community near Washington DC. From our unique home ownership and resident governance structure to the recently renovated community spaces and chef-directed restaurants, Maplewood simply provides more ways to thrive.
How we’re unceasingly redefining retirement extends to our owner residents as well. The people who make Maplewood their home bring rich life experiences, vigor for involvement, and personalities that color every room and every conversation. We recently caught up with two members of our community who exemplify the community’s energy in every way. Let’s meet Steve and Bunny Huebner!
Not your grandparents’ retirement home
Steve and Bunny spent nearly 50 years in a Bethesda house they describe as “very vertical,” with stairs not suitable for an aging couple. Fortunately, due to experience with their own families, they knew early on that they wanted to move to an independent living community like Maplewood.
“We had dealt with moving both my parents and Bunny’s parents to retirement communities outside of Philadelphia,” Steve explained. “My parents wanted to move but had not prepared for the actual move, so Bunny and I had to handle all of the logistics, making it a tough task. That cemented the idea in my mind that the greatest gift we could give our children was to prepare properly and do it ourselves, and to choose a place where we would need to move only once.”
That place, for the Huebners, was Maplewood Park Place.
“There weren’t places like Maplewood when my grandparents got old,” Steve added. “People would live in their house until they had to move to a nursing home, where they soon passed. My grandmother remarked about how lonely she got at home after outliving many of her friends, and we didn’t want to put ourselves in a situation like that.”
“Here, we could start to make new friends and actually broaden our friendships in our 70s, which many people don’t get the chance to do,” Bunny said. “At Maplewood, we keep our lifelong friends and make new ones. Maplewood feels more like a community than the other places we visited during our search.”
Upon meeting some of Maplewood’s owner residents, seeing the activities, and sampling the on-site dining, Steve and Bunny knew that this simply wasn’t their grandparents’ retirement home.
“We attended a cocktail party reception with excellent hors d’oeuvres, and that signaled to me that Maplewood is a high-quality community with an excellent chef. We met current residents, who we could tell have led interesting lives just like us and were interested in being part of a true community. Those two things really sealed the deal,” Bunny said.
And once the Huebners joined us at Maplewood, they’ve had a place to thrive ever since.
Still sailing, still gardening, still growing
Just because Steve and Bunny made the move to Maplewood does not mean that their world is any smaller. In fact, the lifestyle they lead is as independent as ever, and Maplewood has opened the doors for them to enjoy myriad rich experiences.
For example, Steve and Bunny still pilot a 30-foot sailboat that they use to venture the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. In the warmer months, they also spend a couple days each week at their cottage in Annapolis, ready to set sail, simply “looking for good winds,” Steve said.
Back on terra firma at Maplewood, the Huebners have also grown—literally—an impressive reputation for gardening! They tend a large garden plot and cultivate healthy yields of vegetables and herbs: zucchinis, cucumbers, okra, lima beans, string beans, tomatoes and more. And of course, living at a community like Maplewood makes it easy for them to share the harvest.
“About 50 different people at Maplewood receive some of our produce,” Bunny said.
“Normally, we go out each morning and pick what is ripe,” Steve noted. “I pick the produce; Bunny picks flowers and herbs to make individual arrangements which she delivers to residents. We distribute produce ‘care packages’ throughout the community.”
Beyond the gardening, Steve and Bunny have found plenty of ways to connect and grow with others here on campus. And because members of our community are true homeowners, everyone is invested in doing their part to make sure the community is the best that it can be.
For example, Steve serves on the landscaping committee as well as chairing the building and facilities committee, which taps into his experience as an accomplished geologist. Bunny, for her part, has used her skills from a successful career in adult professional education to chair the Maplewood budget committee and serve on the library committee.
Plus, having a great home base at Maplewood has allowed Steve and Bunny to continue making an impact in the greater community. Steve has been involved with the leadership of the Cosmos Club, and Bunny has held leadership roles for the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.
A great home base indeed
Speaking of their home base, the Huebners have made their home within a Wildwood floor plan, which spans over 1,400 square feet and is comparable to the space they enjoyed in their previous house. They’re particularly fond of the home’s size, orientation, and amount of natural light that flows into the living spaces.
“Every piece of furniture that we wanted to bring fit beautifully,” Bunny said. “Plus, with the way our home is situated, we can see the sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening, and we can see our garden plot!”
“When we have guests, they’re all impressed at how bright the home is,” Steve added. “The windows are big and beautiful.”
Perhaps their favorite feature about their home, though, is that they have a home for life.
“At other options for senior living near DC, you may have condo living but you need to move elsewhere if your needs change; and by then you’ve lost control. That’s not the case at Maplewood. With the LifeCare arrangement, future health care needs are covered, and your monthly fees remain stable—for life,” Steve noted.
“I wanted to be in one place where we are already familiar with the staff and services,” Bunny added. “That gives us peace of mind. It’s rejuvenating to be free of the baggage of worrying about the future.”
Maplewood Park Place gives Steve and Bunny Huebner the opportunity to live the lifestyle they’ve earned, truly redefining what’s possible in retirement. We’re glad to have them!
To learn more about how Maplewood Park Place can empower you to break boundaries and conceptions of what’s possible for senior living near Bethesda, simply click here or call 301-571-7444 today.