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IRC Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2016
By: IRC Blog

Retirement community resident puts her talents to use writing new newsletter

“I thought that when somebody retired, they sat and read,” says Ingleside at Rock Creek resident Louise. “That would not be a satisfactory life for me.”

Louise has taken on what could become a time-consuming job—writing the residents’ newsletter. For some time, the retirement community has had a small newsletter called The Twitter, which primarily conveyed news about meetings. But residents wanted more information about goings-on in the community and around town.

“Some people knew I’d been a writer, so they asked me to put it together,” Louise says. The first issue, written by Louise and designed by Activity Director Patty Butler-Burkhart, was published in September.

Recent articles described “some of the nice things that took place in December,” Louise says. She wrote about a wonderful Italian dinner and a farewell party for a director who was leaving the community, as well as lots of smaller stories in a column called “This and That.”

One of the most popular columns is called “Ask Ginger.” Ginger is Louise’s dog, and a star in her own right. Several times a week, Ginger and Louise visit the Health Center, where people love to pet the dog.

“Lots of times people will start talking about their pets,” Louise says. “It opens up conversation.”

Ginger’s column covers “anything that she decides to write about,” Louise says with a laugh. Just for fun, another resident submitted a column about Zoe the cat, and that got a little exchange going. Louise also is delighted that people have been submitting book reviews for the newsletter.

Louise plans to keep the newsletter fresh and innovative. She wants to add a column called “About Town,” listing restaurants on Connecticut Avenue, books to read, plays that are coming to town and other things to do. She also will spotlight residents who volunteer off campus.

“I keep adding ideas,” she says. “At first it was all out of my head. Now people are coming to me with ideas. Hopefully, the newsletter will cover the things that are important or of interest to the residents.

Louise brings a background in nonfiction writing, mostly in education and the social sciences, to her work as editor of the newsletter. She is the author of three books, including a biography of Ima Hogg, the daughter of a governor who became a philanthropist and patron of the arts and one of the most respected 20th century women in Texas. She’s also written books about integration at the University of Texas and about how to raise children, as well as many brochures and other publications.

Louise and her husband moved from Austin, Texas to Ingleside at Rock Creek about a year ago after they decided it was time to downsize. They chose the retirement community because it was close to two of their three children.

“It’s a great location,” she says. “It’s very pretty right by Rock Creek, very convenient, and it’s fun to be near our kids and five grandchildren. We have a lovely apartment with a big, sunny window.”

They also found the community to be very welcoming and inclusive. Louise’s husband unfortunately passed away six months ago, but “he was happy to be here,” she says.

Residents are loving the newsletter, which is distributed in cubbies in the mailroom, by staff at the Health Center, and at the front desk. Putting it together is just one thing Louise does. She’s also a mosaic artist—a passion she discovered at Ingleside at Rock Creek.

“People here are really doing something with their lives,” Louise says. “It’s the next step in living.”

 

 



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