Unique is the location that can simultaneously be a small town, a cultural center, a restaurant mecca and a family hub. Yet many have found just that combination here in Western Wake. The diverse opportunities in the job market, education and recreation attract all types of people and increasingly, multi-generational families. The strong pull of grandchildren combines with warm weather, convenient services and world-class health care to entice newcomers to retire in Cary. Cary Magazine spoke with three families, from a great-grandmother to twin toddlers, who love calling Cary home. Keep their stories handy next time your grandma comes to visit.
Bob and Susan Hoover
After more than 20 years together in Kingsport, Tenn., Bob and Susan Hoover began to search for a community in which to retire. They were mulling over a Tennessee location, when their oldest daughter, who already lived in Cary, invited them down to tour her town. “We were tickled, first off, that she wanted us to consider moving to town close to her,” said Susan.
Interested in a continuing care retirement community, the Hoovers quickly selected Glenaire for its central Cary location and ample amenities. A library, fitness center, games and a gift shop are only a few of the services available to Glenaire residents. “It’s a land-based cruise ship, that’s what we tell people,” said Susan.
Impressed by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the Hoovers embraced their new Cary home. “It’s like moving in to an extended family,” said Bob. “When you’re moving into a community like this from out of town, it’s a wonderful way to quickly make a new support system,” said Susan.
In their 15 months in Cary, the Hoovers have been able to give daily support to their daughter and three granddaughters. Their granddaughters attend three different schools and are involved in sports, music and church activities. “If you’re a parent, you can’t support three different schools with after school activities if you’re working. Sometimes it takes all three of us,” said Bob. “We have a great time seeing them participate in these activities and having fun.”
The Hoovers share Google calendars with their daughter and granddaughters so they can keep up with each other’s activities and provide transportation when needed, which Bob claims saves a lot of texting back and forth to coordinate. “They gave us two cell phones when we moved to town because we are required to be able to text,” laughed Susan. “And they know that they can call on the spur of the moment too,” added Bob.
The Hoovers see their granddaughters between two and three times a week. “It’s been good for us,” Susan said. “It gets us out and active in the community and learning our way around.” They’ve developed a fun tradition of visiting Goodberry’s together. “That’s the treat for our family. Anytime anybody’s been to the doctor or dentist and had a shot, then the whole family gets to go to Goodberry’s,” said Susan. “And of course Granddaddy has to pay.”
Living in the towns of Cary, Chapel Hill and Holly Springs proves to be easy distance for Catherine Boram, left, and her daughter Georgia Baransky and great-grandchildren Reese and Colton Baransky.
Catherine Boram and Georgia Baranksy
Children don’t often get the opportunity to really know their great-grandparents. But in the case of twins Reese and Colton Barnasky, their great-grandmother, Catherine Boram, lives just a few minutes away. With the gradual thinning out of nearby family, Catherine decided to leave her home in Baltimore and move to Waltonwood on Cary Parkway less than a year ago. She’s now centrally located between her daughter and son-in-law and grand and great-grandchildren, who all live in the Triangle.
“It’s in the middle of my son and myself. He’s in Holly Springs and I’m in Chapel Hill. It’s very convenient to be able to pick mom up and include her,” said Georgia Baransky, Catherine’s daughter and the twins’ grandmother.
One of the first things that struck Catherine about her new home was the friendly people. “The people and the staff here are very nice,” she said. Despite leaving behind her home of 63 years, Catherine developed a new comfort zone in the welcoming community of Waltonwood. “My mom came in with a very positive attitude. She was going to make friends. And I think when you come in with that attitude, you will make friends,” said Georgia.
Georgia is also a new resident of the Triangle, moving into The Preserve at Jordan Lake less than two years ago. “Every time I would come down here and visit my son and daughter-in-law I really liked the area,” she said. An accountant whose business is based in New York, Georgia was initially concerned to make the move and leave her clients. “With email and the Internet, I can literally work from here and keep all my clients,” she said. “I’m fortunate that I have the profession that could do that.”
Catherine and Georgia both enjoy the Triangle. The proximity to the grandchildren is a huge benefit, but the quality of life appealed to them as well. “One of the major things that we considered coming here, and also with my mom, is the fact that you have wonderful hospitals,” said Georgia. “It’s a small town, but you have a lot of cosmopolitan influence here from all the colleges. They bring in such uniqueness.”
“(The move) united the family. Mom benefited from it because we’re with her on at least a weekly basis, when before I wouldn’t see her for a month or two,” said Georgia. “The best benefit is that the great grandchildren get to know her. That’s what’s really wonderful about it. When they see her they respond instantly because they’ve been around her so much.”
Lucille Bouffard and her son David Bouffard both enjoy Cary’s mild winters, convenient shopping and friendly people.
Lucille Bouffard and David Bouffard
Lucille Bouffard lived in Connecticut from the time she was 8 years old until a year ago, but she doesn’t miss it. She misses the friends and family she left behind, not her hometown. She’s embraced a new home in Cary at The Manor Village at Preston complete with warmer weather, social activities and a son nearby.
“She told me to pull the trigger. She said, ‘You pick the spot and I’m coming down,’” said Lucille’s son David Bouffard. David moved to Cary in 2010 so his wife could take a job with GlaxoSmithKline, and he immediately invited his mother to join them. “We were buying a house, and I wanted her to move in with us. But then I stumbled upon these independent living places. She’s really not ready to be cooped up in a house,” David said.
One of the greatest motivations for Lucille to move was the prospect of an active social life — one that didn’t require a car. “That’s what’s nice about this: If you want to talk to somebody all you have to do is go downstairs,” she said.
Lucille takes full advantage of the organized entertainment provided at The Manor Village as well. Prom Night, New Year’s Eve party, line dancing and exercise classes are some of the activities she’s enjoyed since moving in last June. “I’ve never seen my mother step out of the box like this my whole life,” David said.
Lucille’s enthusiasm caught the eye of The Manor Village at Preston staff, who invited her to record a radio commercial for the community. “The minute I came in, the lobby alone was so warm. Then I saw my apartment and that sold me,” said Lucille. “It feels like home.”
David and Lucille have always been close, despite not living near each other since the mid-’90s. Now they’re only separated by a short cross-town trip. “It’s great because we’re seeing much more of one another,” Lucille said. “I get to see more of my grandchildren too.” Lucille sees her two grandchildren once a month or more, a sharp contrast to the once a year visits while she lived in Connecticut. Soon it could be even more often. “I would love to get my kids here,” said David. “I think there’s a lot more opportunity in this area. Eventually I’d like to work them down here if possible.”
“I love Cary,” said Lucille. “I think it’s beautiful. I can’t get over the landscaping. I don’t know who does the hedges, but there isn’t one little leaf out of place."