When she moved into her one-bedroom apartment at Masonic Village at Lafayette HillDolores Lush immediately felt like she was on a “permanent vacation.”

Her apartment felt like home, and the hallways looked like a hotel, she said. All her neighbors were nice, and she didn’t have to maintain a house anymore.

“I cannot tell you how excited I was not to have to do weeding anymore,” Dolores said. “My apartment overlooks a giant courtyard, and I get to look at it every day, but I don’t have to do any work.”

Dolores arrived at Masonic Village with her dog, Winnie, in October 2023, a year after her husband, Dave, passed away from complications of a stroke. The couple had visited many different communities over the years, but they just didn’t feel comfortable or see themselves living there. The buildings were too large, or people didn’t seem friendly. Masonic Village seemed like a more manageable, welcoming place.

Dolores was already familiar with Masonic Village because she had visited a former neighbor several times who had moved there. After Dave died, she started seriously considering making the move herself.

“I said, ‘I’m going to look at Masonic [Village] and see if I can make it work,’ and I did,” she said. “I moved in one year to the day that Dave passed. It was a coincidence, but it was the perfect day for me and the movers. I felt like it was a sign.”

Today, Dolores is fully immersed in the Masonic Village community. She volunteers at the Gift Shop, helps with the annual bazaar and plays cornhole on Saturdays.

“It’s a very comfortable atmosphere here,” Dolores said. “I think Dave would have loved it, too. You don’t have to cook, clean or set up anything. It doesn’t get much better than that.

“My neighbors are absolutely fabulous,” she added. “Christmas was nice because I was feeling lonely, and I got little treats and welcome cards on my shelf [outside the door]. It was really nice.”

Dolores grew up in the community of Roxborough in Philadelphia and worked as a banker for 30 years. She and Dave lived next door to each other growing up and reconnected over time. They were married 60 years and had two daughters, Valerie and Dolores, both of whom live nearby and visit often.

Dolores had never lived on her own until coming to Masonic Village, and she’s still adjusting to the change. But she always keeps a positive attitude, a trait she said she inherited from her dad.

“Life doesn’t hand you good stuff all the time,” she said. “I don’t like being alone, so I’d be lost if I didn’t have this wonderful community.”