Coming to Wesley Homes, Part 2

Finding the Right Fit for Smokey and Me at Wesley Homes, Part 2 I took Bill’s advice and called Wesley Homes Des Moines, which I have lived near since 1973. I also researched two other retirement communities: Catholic because I’m Catholic and Baptist because it was close by. Both of them were way too much money. My phone call to Wesley was returned by Lynn, a marketing representative. She would be happy to meet with me ten o’clock on Tuesday. There – I’d taken the first step. Wesley Homes Des Moines, which is 75% Methodist, has three large hotel-like main buildings. The oldest one in Des Moines is 60 years old, updated half a dozen times and is called The Gardens. Across the road is The Terrace, an updated 52-year-old building next to the Wesley Homes Health Center. The third residential building containing 15 condos is Wesley View. There are also approximately 60 single-family homes called Cottages on both sides of the street. The most recent addition is Wesley Homes Lea Hill in Auburn, which is about 20 miles from Des Moines. Lea Hill has a few more amenities but no view of Puget Sound. I met Lynn, who was sparkly, young and pretty, at The Terrace lobby amidst its charming old world davenports, polished tables and brass lamps. I was so tense; I don’t remember a single thing we discussed, but Lynn led me across the street to The Gardens to view three apartments. Two did not face the Sound. They were out. The third, called an alcove, was one and a half rooms with a super view. “I’ll have to call Mary Therese.” Mary Therese joined Lynn and me the next week. If Mary Therese thought it was a good place for me, I thought I’d ask her to board Smokey. Even thinking that, I didn’t know if I could leave him in a place where coyotes roam. But Mary Therese was not impressed with the alcove. “Is there anything larger with a view?” Lynn shook her head. “The waiting list is long.” Wesley Homes was turning out to not be a good idea after all. “It’s just as well,” I said to Lynn, “since I have a cat.” Lynn brightened. “Only two weeks ago Wesley changed their policy. Cats are now welcomed in the retirement buildings.” “Then you’ve got a place for Smokey,” Mary Therese grinned. Had she guessed I might ask her to take him? But none of the apartments that I was to see in The Gardens had decks. Would Smokey be happy cooped up inside? We said good bye to Lynn with the issue of Wesley something of a disappointment. Two weeks later Lynn called. “I know you want a super view, but something has come up that you might want to see.” She showed me a two room apartment on the fifth floor of The Terrace that had two rooms, a bath and kitchenette. Beyond the trees, Puget Sound sparkled. Sliding doors in both rooms led to a Smokey-friendly deck. So happy, I called Mary Therese to come and see it. She wasn’t thrilled. “It looks down on the roof of the library. No, I don’t think so.” “Well, I have another one,” Lynn said. She took us to a larger apartment with less of a view of Puget Sound, but to the southeast was a partial view of Mt. Rainier. “This is it,” Mary Therese exclaimed. “You have to get this one. You have to have a view of Mt. Rainier.” She added, “The view of Mt. Rainier was the best part of Anne’s (her sister) and my teenage years.” “Neither of you have ever said that,” I said. “We didn’t try to be agreeable in those days,” Mary Therese revealed. I still liked the other apartment better, but I had promised myself I would take my children’s advice and not be an I-want-my-own-way old lady. With an open mind I went out on the deck. It extended 42 feet. “Oh, my, wait ‘til Smokey sees this!” Next Thursday, Too good to be true?

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