Living Well by Living Simple

Dorothy Larson was the youngest of 4 children, raised in Brooklyn, NY. She married at 21 and had 3 beautiful children – each of whom occupies a window full of photos in her apartment at Piper Shores lifecare retirement community.

“I have a window for each child and their family,” says Dorothy as she picks up a framed magazine cover featuring her son in a football uniform. “I’m surrounded by all the things I love.”

Dorothy’s studio apartment studio at Piper Shores has three large windows, almost 10-foot high ceilings and 500 square feet of space. It also has a door to Dorothy’s personal patio – a selling feature she wasn’t willing to compromise on. The apartment may be small, but it brings Dorothy incredible happiness.

“I was offered a one bedroom apartment by Piper Shores a few years back,” Dorothy recalls. “But I really wanted a studio, because I’m only one person, and I just don’t need that much space.”

Dorothy’s desire for a small space may seem counterintuitive, given the well-known and often-feared difficulties that come with downsizing – but she’s confident that she made the right choice.

“Emptying a house can be sad,” Dorothy recalls, thinking of her move from the home her late husband built with his own hands in North Waldoboro, Maine, and her most recent move from a golf community in Florida. “Leaving our family home was a heartbreaker, but having only what you need and love the most is liberating.”

Not to mention simpler.

“For someone who has always done everything herself – not owning a vacuum is really wonderful,” Dorothy says. “I finally have time to read.”

Dorothy made the move to Piper Shores just a few short months ago. But already she has made close friends, and she is expanding her social circles through activities like the bridge club, as well as daily exercise at the pool. She plans on weathering her first New England winter in more than 30 years with frequent visits to her grandchildren’s home in Yarmouth, and a holiday meal for the entire family cooked in her small but highly utilitarian kitchen.

“Living at Piper Shores, it revives you,” Dorothy says. “It renews your spirit.”

Dorothy’s apartment at Piper Shores may be small, but her positivity and appreciation for the little things in life are immense and infectious. She is at once modest and outgoing, simple and multidimensional, eager and content. She is the epitome of having what you love and loving what you have: an example for all of us on how to truly live well.