“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
One Spring day in 1950, a boy named Herb dared to ask a girl named Libby out to a party. Libby dared to
say yes. It was the beginning of a beautiful adventure that has yielded two daughters, three grandchildren, a rewarding teaching career and epic world travels, from Hungary and Italy to Newfoundland and beyond.
Now, 67 years later, Herb and Libby Ware recently embarked on their latest quest: saying “goodbye” to their family home of 44 years and “hello” to a cozy new apartment in the vibrant retirement community of Ashby Ponds.
Of course, like so many great adventures, this one began rather unexpectedly. After adding themselves to the Ashby Ponds waiting list, Herb and Libby thought they had plenty of time before an apartment actually opened up. They slowly began the process of downsizing in anticipation of moving “someday,” taking a trunk load of items to donation centers here and there. Then one day in late June, the phone rang: an apartment meeting their requirements had become available — and they only had five days to decide whether or not to accept it. What’s more, they would need to move in by September 6, meaning they had just 60 days to finish the process of downsizing, pack, move and get their longtime home market-ready. Being the daring adventurers they are, what else did Herb and Libby say, but, “Yes!”
Having been on numerous journeys before (from the arctic region of Sweden to the geysers of Yellowstone) they knew they would need an experienced guide to help them navigate this next voyage; someone who had traveled this road countless times before. That guide was the team at WayForth.
“Paring down from 3,000 to 1,300 square feet was enormously facilitated by Kim McMahon’s relocation firm WayForth,” says Herb.
The first leg of the journey involved determining what Herb and Libby would take with them to their new home. Through detailed floor planning, WayForth account manager Stacey Dillon helped Herb and Libby decide what furniture and belongings would fit into the new apartment.
“Over the course of four downsizing sessions, we helped Herb and Libby determine what they could and couldn’t bring,” says Stacey. “They were wonderful to work with. They took all of our advice and allowed us to support them from start to finish. That certainly helps with our efficiency. It was quite a privilege to work with them.”
Stacey was able to help them make room in their new floorplan for certain special items the Wares wanted to take, but weren’t sure if they had room for, like an antique dining room table and a special rocking chair.
“The goal was to make sure they were only surrounded by their most favorite pieces of furniture,” says Stacey.
Once they decided what to take, the next task was deciding what to do with everything they weren’t taking. They divided everything into three categories: Gift, Sell, Donate. After the Wares’ daughters and grandchildren selected the items they wanted, WayForth arranged for two different vans to deliver the items to their homes in Sterling, Va. And Frederick, Md. WayForth also arranged for a local charity to pick up items for donation.
“One of the miraculous aspects of the move was that in an hour and a half, that charity cleared out our basement so we could put the house on the market,” says Herb.
And the third and final leg of this journey was packing and settling in.
“Watching WayForth pack, unpacking and arranging things in our new, much smaller space, was impressive,” said Herb. “Stacey’s crew also consisted of Aggie Sterrett and Sandy Visco. Sandy packed and unpacked the kitchen, carefully labeling the contents of each cabinet. Aggie’s careful labeling of the box contents from the study enabled us, weeks later, to select in proper order the boxes we wished to empty to fill newly acquired bookcases.”
Stacey also hung more than 45 wall hangings, ranging from mirrors, photos, medallions and more; the finishing touches to turn their apartment into “home.” When their daughter Pam arrived the next evening to help unpack, she discovered there was nothing for her to do.
Saying good bye to their Vienna home was a bittersweet, emotional journey for the Wares.
“I have shed more tears in two months than I had in the previous 82 years,” they shared in this year’s annual Christmas card.
But like most great adventurers, the Wares are determined to just keep moving. They weren’t even in their new home for one month before embarking on their next trip: a five-day hiking adventure in the Finger Lakes of New York.
So, what’s next?
“We’re considering Iceland or the Cornwell section of England,” Herb says.
The adventure is only just beginning.