Dianne Herrick has always known that someday she would live at Kendal at Lexington. She was part of the group of community leaders that went to work on building a retirement living community here in the mid-1990’s, and she and her husband Bruce joined the Priority Waitlist in 1997 – three years before the community opened in July of 2000.
When Bruce died unexpectedly in 2012, Dianne decided to sell their big house and move to an apartment at Kendal a few years sooner than she originally expected, in March of 2013. “I was just 76 when I moved in, and I’m really glad I moved in when I was younger. I’ve been able to enjoy all the amenities and experiences, and make many new friends.”
“I view this as a new chapter in my life,” says Dianne. “Not my last chapter, but a new chapter. And I have a role to play in this (post-retirement living). This isn’t Kendal’s job; this is my job.”
During the nine years since becoming a Kendal at Lexington independent living resident, Dianne has served as convener of the Culture and Entertainment Committee and, most recently, served two years as President of the Residents Association. Some might say it was an eventful two years, with highlights including the gloabl outbreak of Covid-19, major construction projects on the Kendal campus, and welcoming a new CEO, as Jan Bigelow took over leading the professional staff upon the retirement of previous KaLex Executive Director Mina Tepper.
A typical day for Dianne…
Mornings: “I get up in the morning, and I always love going through my morning routine!” says Dianne. “What I call my on-ramp time. On-ramp time means that I’m getting up to speed. To do that I have my coffee, very important. And then I like to play a few games, and then I’m ready to look at the news of the day. And then I’ll look at emails, and then I’m ready for the day.”
Dianne says when she was president of the Residents’ Association, she had many meetings to attend. Even now, “I usually have one or two meetings per day. I like to exercise and stretch in the pool, hopefully three times a week. Other days I will go out for a walk. Having the wonderful views and sights on the campus really helped me during Covid. To see the evolution of the mountains and the changing of the seasons. And I realized that yes, life was going to go on. Often my companion, John South, will come up for coffee.”
Afternoons: “For lunch, I like to have a light lunch. And right now, I like to watch a cooking show. I’m not sure why I like to watch a cooking show when I’m not cooking, but I do. Then in the afternoon, there’s always a variety of things. I like to have some quiet, down time during the day. Sometimes I might try to have lunch with a good friend downtown. I might run errands.”
Evenings: “Around 5:30, John will come up and we’ll have a libation, as he calls it. And then dinner.”
Dianne says dinner in the Kendal at Lexington dining room is always interesting. “To learn about life’s experiences or insights that other residents have, and getting to know them. One of the things that I’ve really enjoyed, and John has enjoyed, are the new friends that we’ve made here.”
Dianne says she and John also enjoy traveling together. John and Dianne have made several trips abroad together, and she just returned from a trip to California. “I saw my family. I hadn’t been there for two years. I have two children out there, and we did a side trip to Death Valley. That was wonderfully stimulating to see that.”
“I love traveling, but love coming home.” Dianne says the sense of community here is what’s important to her. “This is my home. Being away, I’m able to look from afar and realize – again – what a comfortable, comforting, stimulating, beautiful place Kendal is.
“I’m very happy that I’m living where I live in this chapter of my life.”