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The right move at the right time for these residents of Patriots Colony

Wayne and Bonnie Jefferson debated about moving away from a Wintergreen home they loved  in Charlottesville.

Yet they knew it was time to make a change.

“We were beginning to feel mortality creep up on us,” said Wayne Jefferson, a member of the first graduating class at the Air Force Academy in 1959. “We thought it was time to move to a place where we could age gracefully. Infirmities creep up on you, and they happen very quickly. You want to be ready for that.”

They decided on Patriots Colony At Williamsburg, a Riverside Health System continuing care retirement community designed for those who share the common bond of service to country. They adore their villa there, though they wouldn’t have minded living in an apartment or house on campus, either.

“I can tell you 10 good things about the villas,” Bonnie said. “I can tell you 10 good things about the houses. I can tell you 10 good things about the apartments. People just have to go with their preference.”

They knew some people when they arrived; now they have lots of friends and plenty of activities to keep them active. Bonnie enjoys a bridge and a Bible study group. Wayne tinkers with golf and has joined a painting class and German club. He also loves line dancing offered on Monday nights pre-COVID.

“When we moved in, it wasn’t five minutes before the people in our court brought us a bottle of wine,” Bonnie said.

“It’s a great community,” Wayne said. “We were quick to make friendships.”

They were pleased when a staff member at their first dinner in the formal dining room offered to make initial introductions.

“You don’t feel like you’re flailing when you first get here,” Bonnie said. “When you think of some places, you think of cliquish — one table for this group and another table for another group. It’s not like that here. Once you sit down at happy hour or dinner or anywhere, you find out there is a connection between you and somebody else.”

They discovered many perks at Patriots Colony, including one many overlook. Two of their children live a flight away. 

“We’re an hour from the Richmond airport and 45 minutes away from the Newport News one,” Bonnie said. “We like that.”

Compared to other places they’ve lived, they like to joke about the traffic or lack thereof.

“Traffic is sitting at a red light,” Wayne said. “Williamsburg traffic is very light, and everything is relatively close by.”

Added Bonnie, “We’re extremely happy here.