If you ask Cynthia Minnich where she is from, she’s not sure what to say. She can name each place she’s lived, from Illinois, to Maryland to Virginia, moving every two years with her family. Having a father in the service afforded her the opportunity to see many places, but not a permanent home. When asked what place she feels most is her home, she can confidently say Lancaster is it. She’s lived here longer than anywhere else.
Cynthia was a home economics teacher, starting her career at Edward Hand School in 1958. She taught over the next few years until she started a family, returning to teaching in 1975 at Wheatland Middle School. A year and a half later, Cynthia moved to McCaskey High School and worked there until her retirement in 1993.
Even after 20 years, Cynthia is still enjoying her retirement, so much so that her daughter keeps telling her not to forget that she is actually retired. She’s an active member of the community, volunteering at her church, police station, and has aspirations of volunteering at the Science Factory in the future. Cynthia admits, “I don’t like having nothing to do.” Since coming to Steeple View Lofts, she’s found plenty of ways to keep herself busy.
Moving to Steeple View Lofts has been a pretty incredible journey. One First Friday in June, her daughter was walking past SVL and took a tour. Her daughter knew Cynthia didn’t want to live in a retirement home or a condo and knew as soon as the tour was finished that she had to call her mother and say, “I’ve found the perfect place for you.” They scheduled a tour and came in to view the building and knew that it “had her name written all over it.” She toured the empty apartment that is now her home, and knew “This is me.” After only a few days, Cynthia made her final decision to move.
Downsizing was no less miraculous: a week after she made her decision to move, an offer was put on her house. Cynthia now found herself with five weeks to downsize. Cynthia knew visually what items would fit in her new apartment, but the rest she knew she couldn’t do all on her own. She and her daughter called in Clutter Stoppers and they spent three days going through her belongings and helping her decide whether it was a “yes” or a “no”. Her advice: “You just have to let go”.
Cynthia is now settled and has a beautiful view of the city from her fourth floor apartment. She had a long term goal of living Downtown and now she’s doing it. She’s in the middle of everything, and that’s exactly how she likes it. She doesn’t have to drive and she enjoys walking places and she doesn’t feel confined to her apartment. She loves being active within the SVL community, sharing puzzles in the community room, exercise equipment that’s located in the second floor community room and sharing her artwork with the entire building by hanging it in the hallways at Steeple View Lofts.
Staying active within the community at SVL has been easy. Residents are encouraged to bring in activities to share and plan gathering opportunities. This past New Year’s Eve Cynthia and another resident sponsored a party. Cynthia made champagne punch, and they left the TV at midnight to view the Lancaster fireworks from a fourth floor apartment with windows facing the city.
Cynthia tells us there are “No ifs, ands, or buts about making this space my home. I feel very comfortable here. Everyone here is delightful, it’s a great community. Everyone seems to be eager to meet and do things together. We are all pretty active so it makes for a good community.” Steeple View Lofts is now her home and she plans on staying here.