Cultivating a Good Life

344I have called this column “Looking Ahead with Laura” because I think it is important to have something to look forward to. It gives some idea of where we are going. At least for me, looking ahead, brings focus. Since this is the beginning of gardening season I’ll share an insight  that I read recently about landscapes. The person speaking was a landscape architect . She said architects of buildings have little to look forward to, once the building is built. That is because wear and tear set in immediately. Whereas when you create a garden you create something that is always becoming something new  because it is growing. That is how I feel about Homewoods, we are always becoming something new and continuing to grow.

Along those lines, I am delighted to share a new discovery with you. One of our Homewoods residents has offered to contribute to our newsletter under a pseudonym! Meanwhile Zee, our new life enrichment coordinator, has shown great ability with our publishing program. I am hopeful that we will soon have a newsletter again. To celebrate these new and hopeful things as well as the hopeful things that you are celebrating this spring, I thought I would include this little column from our mystery writer. She signs her name “Sundi”, her nickname since childhood.

By golly I made it! For about three years I’ve been envious of the folks that live at Homewoods. What a beautiful place to retire. No more yard work!

Lately I’ve noticed little signs and sayings that put a smile on my face, and some give me something to ponder. For example, above my brother’s work bench in his garage a sign says, “To err is human. To continue is stupid.” Here’s another good one: “Whatever scares you, do it. Now. Escaping your comfort zone can make you happier, smarter, more confident, more grateful, and more satisfied with life, while strengthening ties to the people you love.”

Lastly, always remember! If you don’t think you’re special, no one else will.


I know you are a special bunch of people who live here at Homewoods, so according to Sundi’s wisdom, that means you must know it too! One thing is sure, everyone who lives here has mastered the ability to cultivate a great life in much the same way that a gardener cultivates a garden, and we are living well.


Laura Engle is the Executive Director of Homewoods on the Willamette.