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If Dr. Mary Frances Luckey looks familiar to you, it’s because you’ve probably seen her around in her navy polo teaching Tai Chi at The Chateau. As a resident of The Chateau, Dr. Luckey is very invested in her community, bringing Tai Chi to her fellow residents once a week.

Dr. Luckey was certified to teach Tai Chi in 2008; she found that it was helpful for both her body and soul, and she wanted to share the art with others. When she first introduced Tai Chi to The Chateau community, she laughed when a resident said to her, “I didn’t come to The Chateau to go to school!” but Dr. Luckey is dedicated to making her class as involved as it can be. After months of going through the motions with her, her students are each talented enough to probably teach, according to Dr. Luckey. She admits that to be involved in Tai Chi at The Chateau is a tremendous investment of time, but assures everyone that it’s very worth it to keep your mind, body, and soul happy and healthy.

Besides Tai Chi, Dr. Luckey loves being a part of book club, taking care of her irises, and acting as a caregiver to her late mother’s best friend. But the thing she loves doing most of all is playing Bridge. Her mother and all her friends had been playing every Tuesday since the 50s, but “I never learned to play!” she laughed. When her mother arrived at The Chateau, a few years before Dr. Luckey, she knew no one. Starting from the ground up, she used Bridge as a way to get into the community. And Dr. Luckey followed in her footsteps. Dr. Luckey plays Bridge with a regular group weekly, and once a month she plays Duplicate Bridge, which is much more serious. “There is no talking during the hand,” she emphasized. “But we spend the whole day playing and we talk in between hands and at lunch,” she smiled.

Dr. Luckey’s favorite thing about The Chateau is being surrounded by friends. She says, gesturing to the lobby, “Oh, I’m down here all the time, talking to people.” The Chateau gave her the safety and the security she needed, as well as the opportunity to socialize. Because of her arthritis, getting around to places and going to events was more difficult when she was alone. But she credits the community to greater health all around. “Something binds us together but I don’t know what that something is,” she said. “We never have to miss out, even if we’ve been gone. We all give each other a lot more energy!”

Dr. Mary Frances Luckey has been a resident of The Chateau for 8 years.

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Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again! Time to come out of the hibernation of winter and say hello to beautiful, green days. The fresh air in our lungs inspires people to start their spring cleaning, so open your windows, grab your rubber gloves, and check out these tips on the most effective way to get your home in tip-top shape this season.

Make a plan.

The easiest way to attack a big job is by breaking it down. Like the old saying goes, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So pick one room to focus on first. Once you’re in that room, decide what your main goal for the room is. Is it to declutter, reorganize, redecorate, or deep clean? Different rooms will need different levels of attention.

For instance, a bathroom may need a deep clean but depending on the size, there may not be much reorganizing or redecorating to be done!

Set the stage.

Before you jump into cleaning, you need to get prepared so you have nothing else to focus on but the task at hand. Grab three baskets or bins--one for things to put away, one for things to give away, and one for things to throw away. This set-up eliminates the need to run about from room to room. It’s easy to get off track when you return an item to another room and suddenly see 10 other items that need attending in the second room!

After you have three baskets ready to go, get your cleaning supplies. Some good basics are gloves, a vacuum, some rags, and some multi-purpose cleaner. What else does focus mean for you? For some people, it means turning on loud music to drown out distractions; and for others, loud music IS the distraction. Whatever works for you, set your stage and get ready to start.

Follow the Rule of Thumb.

If you’re on the fence about what to with an item, ask yourself, “Does this have sentimental value?” If the answer is yes, keep it for now. If the answer is no, ask this follow-up, “Have I used this in the last year?” If the answer is no to this question, too, then it’s time to get rid of it. And of course, if you have a sock with no pair, a screw that has no home, or a lid that fits nothing--throw them out!

Remember, if things don’t bring you joy or use, then they’re just taking up space in your home and your head.

Finish the job.

After the baskets are full and the room is clean, don’t just move the baskets around to another room. Take the “giveaway” basket to your church, or a local charity; toss everything in the trash basket into the garbage bin; and finally, walk around and put everything in the remaining basket back in its rightful home.

After you’re all done cleaning, give yourself a break--you’ve earned it! Kick back with a cool glass of lemonade and enjoy the clean spring breeze.

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