By Brianna W. Hess
Reprinted with permission from Lancaster County Magazine, September 2016 issue
Don and Priscilla Ziegler, say you’re never too old to learn something new.
Don and Priscilla moved to Landis Homes from their well-loved home and gardens in Akron a little over two years ago. “It’s been a gift, a surprise gift. We thought we were giving up paradise [when leaving Akron], and here it’s paradise regained,” Priscilla exclaims.
The couple lived in Akron for approximately 40 years before health concerns prompted them to make a change. The Zieglers placed their name on a waiting list at Landis Homes years prior, and after having visited six other retirement communities, they chose Landis.
“We came here because we had for the previous couple of years been taking this photo show around to various retirement villages,” Don shares, referring to his macro photography. “… So when we came here, it was just like fire struck. It was wonderful.”
Beyond meandering walking paths lies a number of outdoor adventures that fancies Don and Priscilla, such as gardens, flower beds, natural wetlands, woods and other amenities.
Since moving to Landis Homes, Don has helped to foster some of the surrounding vegetation that grows on the 114-acre campus. He was born and raised on a peach orchard in southeast Virginia, and his claim to loving all things outdoors is attributed to his parents. “My dad had orchards along the Warwick River, and my earliest memories are sitting under a peach tree, where the peaches are ripe, and they just fall to the ground beside me,” he reminisces.
Don tends to pawpaw trees and has planted several persimmon trees. He is also part of a group called Friends of the Wetlands that helps to maintain the restored stream and its surrounding ecosystem. He and Priscilla also have a garden plot that yields zinnias, beans, tomatoes and other produce.
Among other talents, Don also helped to bring in pollinator bees to enhance the Landis Homes campus. “The reason for the bees is to pollinate the fruit and the flowers. … We’re fortunate to have these wetlands here with all of these native plants that have been reintroduced by LandStudies, Landis Homes and others who have structured this tremendous change.”
Besides taking advantage of the many outdoor activities on campus, Don and Priscilla also say that living a healthy life includes mindfulness, interacting with others and keeping a balance of healthy attitudes.
“There’s so much good energy here on this campus,” Don says. “It’s just really amazing. I see people here who just glow.”