Watch Out Branson, Here We Come!


Each year Branson transforms into a holiday wonderland featuring spectacular lighting, shows celebrating the season and a holiday spirit like none other.

Several SJV residents have booked with Gotta Go Tours by Patti for the December 7th-10th bus tour to Branson and the Ozark Mountains. Among the highlights of the trip, they will enjoy shows featuring the Lennon Sisters, Tony Orlando, Clay Cooper and the Rankin Brothers. Special events will include a holiday lights tour and Sunday Brunch at the Keeter Center.  Gotta Go Tours owner, Patti Harrell, has been in business for 21 years, offering  comprehensive package tours from just day excursions to ten day trips. She has established her company as the premier tour operator for seniors, age 55 or better, with an emphasis on the destination interests of retirees who have the time and wherewithal to travel. Many of our residents over the past eight years have signed up for numerous tours within Texas and out of state, and are repeat clients of Gotta Go Tours.

New SJV resident, C.E., says “I’m really excited to be going on this tour to Branson….it’s my first one with other residents and I’m leaving my husband at home! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!”  I’m guessing that the travel bug will take hold and that the Branson trip will just be the first of many for C.E.!!

One of the best things about the tours is the camaraderie and being with friends as you experience new places (or even familiar places), making memories and well, just having fun! I know our SJV travelers will return from Branson filled with the holiday spirit and eager to share their adventures with us!

For more travel information visit:  Gotta Go Tours by Patti

Dancing Queen

Dancing is an integral part of what makes up Carol Pearson, a resident here at St. Joseph Village. Like many little girls, she took tap and ballet as a child growing up in Michigan. A neighbor lady of theirs was a former Radio City Rockette.  Years later, this woman influenced Carol to achieve her dream of becoming a professional dancer. At the age of eighteen, Carol gave up the idea of becoming a nurse and moved to New York to audition for chorus line dancing in Lou Walter’s shows in the Latin Quarter. Her first big chorus line show was in 1949, dancing in Havana, Cuba.

 After marrying, Carol and her husband moved to Dallas where she joined the Joan Frank Dancers, and later the Class Act company. In 1999, she worked as bookkeeper for dance instructor, Buster Cooper, as well as holding the position of Treasurer of the Dance Council. Carol honed her skills in tap dancing so she could substitute for Buster (now 89 yrs old), at the Preston Center Dance studio in Dallas, where she still works out twice a week and mentors other tap students.

Carol moved into a cottage at St. Joseph Village in 2009 to pursue an independent and active lifestyle. She just loves her cottage and says “the best thing about my life here at the village is that I’m independent, secure & worry free.”

No one who meets Carol would guess her true age….her figure is a testament to that of a dancer. She is very trim, about 110 lbs, energetic and optimistic. Carol asserts that her dance routines and Jazzercise classes are “great stress relievers, as I feel so good afterwards”.

This year she is serving on the Resident Council at the village.  She enjoys a wide circle of friends within our village, her Episcopal church in Farmers Branch, and the Dallas dance community. Everyone has a personal story to tell and Carol’s story is inspiring and affirming to all of us!

St. Francis of Assisi Blessing of our Pets

Greetings in the form of tail wagging, yipping & barking abound as our village pets meet one another (and their people), as we gather for the annual Blessing of the Animals.  This ritual blessing takes place each year in honor of St. Francis of Assisi & is offered in many churches & communities around the world. Here at St. Joseph Village, the blessing is performed by Rev. Msgr. Robert Rehkemper and Ed Dessert.

This early October morning we have 18 dogs & a photo of one cat (he being too skittish to attend), who will be sprinkled with holy water and receive the Lord’s blessing.

They are mostly well behaved, although we owners are on guard for any tension or snarling signals of impending trouble!

Happily there is very little of that! Maybe our pets know to be on their best behavior today of all days. Residents & family members bring a variety of breeds including: 3 golden retrievers, 3 dachshunds, 3 poodles, a cocker, & a husky mix.

However the terrier group has the most representatives: 2 yorkies, a schnauzer, a cairn, a border terrier & a terrier mix.

Some of these beloved pets were adopted from local rescue groups or organizations, giving these fortunate dogs a loving forever home. Carlene is holding an 8×10 photo of her cat as she turns to ask me if I think it’s okay to bless the photo since her cat is in hiding under a bed in their apartment. I assure her that I think her cat will receive the same blessing as those who are in attendance. The Blessing of the Animals is also a blessing for us pet parents. We gratefully acknowledge the unconditional love & companionship that our pets  give us & how blessed we are to call them “family”.

Age Is No Barrier

As regular as clockwork, resident Peter Evans, can be found riding his seven-speed mountain bike around the village every morning between 9am – 10am. He takes a circular route of a mile, repeating ten times to yield ten miles. While Peter is very active & an avid exerciser, he claims that he rides

“more for fun than exercise. The exercise aspect is just the added benefit.”

He’s biked all of his life & has participated in a couple of marathons. The “Hotter than Hell” marathon, near Abilene, is an annual 100 mile endurance race which he finished in eight hours. He also rode a marathon in Hill country which he finished in nine hours.

“That race was much harder for me because I wasn’t used to the inclines. I’m accustomed to biking on flat terrain.”

When asked if he follows the Tour de France every summer, the answer is

“well, yes, of course I do!”

He marvels at the strength, both physical & mental, of the athletes who complete in the world’s most famous riding event. Peter also enjoys the Coppell YMCA & Aquatics Center which is free for city residents. Five days a week he swims laps in the pool & avails himself of the outstanding fitness center.

“They have an outstanding variety of machines, weights & training equipment….everything you could possibly want”  he explains. “And the people there are just so nice to me.”

Whether you enjoy bike riding, walking, water aerobics in our indoor exercise pool or fitness classes, there’s something for everyone at St. Joseph Village.