If you see Fred at the Birchwood clubhouse, you might ask if he’s seen Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, or Martin Sheen lately.
Fred and his wife, Catherine, live at “The Townes” built by Van Metre in Birchwood, that is when he’s not on a movie or commercial set somewhere between Baltimore and Richmond. As a longtime extra, Fred occasionally rubs elbows with Hollywood’s elite. But he’ll tell you that they are “just people after all.”
Moving to Loudoun County from Springfield after 30 years, Fred and Catherine are now enjoying first floor living after selecting Birchwood and moving in last fall to their two-level townhome. “The Townes” offer residents low maintenance living within close proximity to amenities and retail. Featuring a wide range of floor plans, these models feature three-and-four bedroom options, as well as patios and balconies.
“A lot of things led us here,” Fred says, noting that their new home and community in Birchwood met everything on their list including the location, quality of the homes and the neighborhood. Probably tops on that checklist is the fact that their daughter and her family, including grandchildren ages 1, 6 and 8, live in Brambleton. Frequent babysitting is something the couple enjoys when they are not traveling, working on their new home, or when Fred is “on location.”
Catherine, a special education teacher, is now partly retired, but still working as a consultant. Working to create positive environments within schools, she can be found traveling to various cities where she trains teachers and administrators. Fred retired 10 years ago after 36 years working at the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Highway Administration, finding the time for his extra roles when he could break away from the office. “Retirement fills up your day,” he says with a laugh. “There are so many things to do and it frees you up to do spur of the moment things…your day is easily filled.”
Fred is used to short notice as a call to take an extras part from the Screen Actors Guild never provides much time to make a decision to accept the role. He has enjoyed the work for years and doesn’t mind the long hours involved. “Sometimes it’s a 16-hour day for two minutes of film time,” he adds.
A new member of the Birchwood Resident Ambassador program, Fred says he won’t have any problems introducing new residents to the community and its focal point community center. “The staff is very helpful and friendly and all the amenities at the center are very high end,” he says, “they have really thought of everything.” As an example, he points to the multiple ports for charging cell phones and the top grade utensils and party ware in the center’s demonstration kitchen.
He’s a frequent visitor to the center, as the grandchildren love the pool, the art room and fishing at the lake. “They think it’s a resort,” he adds with a laugh.
Robin has likely never met a stranger. This vivacious Birchwood resident bubbles over when she talks about her new home in the emerging 55-plus active lifestyle community within the master-planned, award-winning community of Brambleton in Ashburn.
“I am busy all the time and I love it,” says the retired real estate agent who notes she has not missed her former career in the least. An active member of Birchwood’s Resident Ambassador program, Robin takes delight in meeting and greeting new residents and introducing them to the many ways to become involved in activities at Birchwood. Robin ticked off a myriad of events that rotate continually including barbecues, football parties, progressive and pot luck dinners, lunch groups, card games, wine and cheese and beer tastings—to name but a few. “You can stay as busy as you want to be,” she notes with a laugh.
With their daughter and son grown and living on their own, Robin and her husband, Bob, decided it was time for a lifestyle change. They searched for a large community that would offer a clubhouse and numerous activities and events. After selling real estate for 17 years, Robin had an idea of what they were looking for in a new home and after searching for some time, it was Birchwood and Brambleton that perfectly fit the bill.
Their neighborhood is in close proximity to Bob’s work in Middleburg and within easy access to Dulles International Airport as he sometimes travels for his job. And, as Robin says, their Miller & Smith patio home has “the perfect floor plan” for the couple. She adds that she and Bob enjoy first floor living coupled with a loft area bed and bath if additional space is ever needed beyond their spacious first floor. And, with Robin’s mother making her home at Ashby Ponds in Ashburn, she felt Birchwood was within easy driving distance.
The couple’s checklist for their new residence is not unlike what many aging, but still quite active, Americans are seeking. The National Institute on Aging notes that as people are socially and emotionally vital later in life, they are attracted to living accommodations that provide a sense of community. With its fresh urban architecture, a new and attractive 20,000-square-foot clubhouse in the heart of the community, single-family, townhomes and condos, Birchwood offers the attractive amenities that appeal to active adults.
As an early member of Birchwood’s Resident Ambassador program, Robin finds herself right at home introducing newcomers to the community she loves. Robin enjoys organizing the Bocce ball league and working alongside her neighbors scheduling upcoming events at the clubhouse.
A dog lover, Robin recently began volunteering at Aldie’s Friends of the Homeless Animals shelter where she will begin walking dogs. She understands how important it is for dogs to find a good home and she plans to invite a friend from Birchwood to join in and perhaps help there as well.
As one Birchwood resident jokingly said of the effervescent Robin, “don’t make eye contact with her, she will make you do something!
Birchwood Clubhouse &
Grounds Coming Together
The Birchwood Clubhouse and grounds are still under construction, but we are excited to give you a sneak peek! Stay tuned for the Grand Opening details expected later this summer. The Sporting and Formal Gardens are also starting to take shape – are you ready to play?
South of Shreveport Road, crews are adding the new Stream Valley Trail system adjacent to the Broad Run Flood Plain. We are thrilled to be working with resident Richard LeRoy who is sharing his naturalist knowledge to help us create a signage plan for all to enjoy while utilizing these future trails. Take a bird’s eye tour of the new trail here.
Birchwood truly has something for everyone with 11 models now open and prices ranging from the $300s to $700s! The latest model openings include 3 new Van Metre condos,The Flats, and their single-family home, the Marlowe. Please visit our website for more information.
New residents are settling in and enjoying the Birchwood lifestyle. They have been excited to share their activities with us on social media – documenting the Birds of Birchwood and a day out with their “Birchwood Buddies,” to name a few. Are you ready to live “Life Refreshed?