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Holly Pickett | The Spokesman-Review | Spokane, Wa
Bryan Van Der Beek
• VIEW STORY:The Folks Next Door: Growing Old in Louisiana •
Sunlight spills onto the white plastic chairs stacked between two bedroom windows, and another day at Field Village has begun. Nina and Glenn Holland's flowers to the right of the chairs are already taking on an early-morning brightness. A mystery plant that marks the beginning of widower Champ Sippely's garden is still a bluish tint from the shade.
This is a story about people trying to fulfill basic needs, when their health is no longer what it was and many loved ones have already passed away. It's about living life to the fullest and building a community and, of course, it's about love. Within the brick walls of the government-subsidized senior housing complex are the apartments of Champ, 90, and Glenn and Nina, a married couple in their 70's preparing to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Champ, who lost his wife only last year, is practically deaf and his arthritis prevents him from driving, or from walking too far. However, he has maintained some independence with the help of his family and friends like the Hollands. Champ's sweet disposition and gifts of garden-ripened tomatoes also help. They make up for the times he can't call his own cab or carry all of his groceries inside.
The Hollands busy themselves with knitting and reading, taking Champ to the store or pharmacy and the monthly potluck dinner. Champ won't go to the dinner, but Nina will make him a to-go plate to be delivered by Glenn. Neighbors sit outside in the white plastic chairs, as life passes by quietly at Field Village.
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