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Senior Correspondent

At one time or another during our lives, the town where we lived had a "Main Street U.S.A.," which we frequented, knowing that it was the place to be if you wanted to be a part of the latest happenings. Those wonderful memories are as fresh in our minds today as they were decades ago. The popular theme of the day then was, "Let the good times roll."

There are those who act as though living in the "fast lane" is the only way to go, looking at it as the chief requirement for a happy life. In the case of my wife, Rita, and I, the decision to sell our home and move into Havenwood-Heritage Heights Retirement Community was a quantum leap forward. We had resided in a charming cape home in Franklin, N.H., that had a "feel good" aura about it. And yet we knew the time had come for us to turn the page and embark upon a new chapter in our lives. Our health was good, our spirits high, and we led a full life with wonderful memories.

We quickly discovered that moving to Havenwood-Heritage Heights Retirement was the wisest decision we ever made. At any given time you can see the residents enthusiastically joining together in special activities. For those who enjoy the peace and tranquility of a slower pace, the libraries on both campuses beckon one to spend some time in solitude.

The management team and staff are stalwart in the manner they go about performing their daily duties, always with the residents first and foremost in mind. Their core values, principles, and work ethics can be attributed to the inspiring leadership of Michael Palmieri, president and CEO. Michael came here over a decade ago, a visionary with a dream to make a difference in the lives of the residents for decades to come.

Follow me as we vicariously journey down "Main Street" at Havenwood, where the good times can be found. Our first stop, the Great Room, a place to congregate with your peers. Its welcoming decor makes you want to return time and time again where many special activities take place every day.

Our next stop – Happeninz Restaurant, where gourmet dining is unsurpassed. Scott Danico, director of dining services, and Johnna Langella, assistant director, offer a four-course exquisite dinner one evening per month. It's always a full house with a waiting list.

If you feel like just "hanging out," The Lounge is the residents' choice. It's a place where in an informal atmosphere, with soft comfortable lounge chairs and a dry bar, you can do your thing. It simply doesn't get any better.

For those who love to go to the movies, we have Flicks, our own unique movie theater showcasing the classics and latest movies. Each month the community features "Pizza and a Movie," a huge hit with the residents.

For the sports-minded individual, we have a wonderful Billiard Parlor where some of the best players challenge their peers in this game of skill. They enthusiastically welcome new beginners and are more than willing to teach them the finer points of the game.

As you walk down "Main Street" you come upon Scoops, the place to enjoy your favorite flavored ice cream cone. It brings you back in time to the days of yesteryear where the young soda jerk would make your favorite dish.

The Boutique Shop and Annie's Treasures are both great places to find that special item you have been looking for.

Resident volunteers are the heart and soul of our community. They are the unsung heroes who love what they do and do it with love.

Recreational and social activities abound at both campuses. They literally nourish the mind, body, and spirit. Two of the many committees that are exemplary in their missions are "Programs" and "Wellness," offering a variety of daily events, ranging from the theater and the arts, to educational programs. Literally your calendar will never be empty.

The Wellness Committee is what it implies — ways and means to improve the physical well-being of one's life. We sponsor an annual Wellness Expo that is nothing short of phenomenal, as we invite some of the finest health care professionals in the area to participate, showcasing the newest technology and advances in modern medicine.

The end result: Havenwood-Heritage Heights allows the individual or couple to live in peace, comfort, and harmony, secure in the knowledge that life can be very special in their golden years. To live here is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

Helen Keller, famed author and lecturer, once said, with you and I in mind, "I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do."

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

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