One Summer in Caracas
Collington’s Featured Residents of the Month:
Marion and Edward Robbins
One of the great beauties in life is to, unexpectedly, find something wonderful that lasts…and lasts! Right here at Collington, we are witness to a tale of two worlds colliding for a 56-year love story…that ventures through all parts of the globe.
Allow me to take you back to a simpler time. A time when Marion Robbins, a 15-year old Venezuelan, would spend the school-year learning in Connecticut only to return home to her family in Caracas every summer while growing up…
As fortune would have it, one particular summer back home in Caracas, Marion experienced one of those unexpected great beauties in life, when a friendly neighbor introduced Marion to her future husband, who happened to be vacationing in South America for the summer. Ed Robbins was born and raised in New York City, studied in New England and received his B.A. from Yale University. Marion completed her studies with a B.A. from Connecticut College.
After marriage and a tour of military duty on Okinawa, Ed and Marion moved back to the New York area and, then, to Montgomery County, Maryland, where their two children grew up.
Ed received a Master’s in Urban Planning from George Washington University, and spent most of his career under contract to the U.S. Foreign Aid program dealing with housing and housing finance projects.
A work opportunity took Ed and Marion to Portugal. What was so enticing about Portugal that landed the Robbins’ there over 30 years? “We love the Latin culture”, said Ed. And, enjoying their deep appreciation for art. They lived in the capital of Lisbon for 15 years and back half of their time near the west coast of the Lisbon metropolitan area and the Sintra township.
Located about 20 miles northwest of central Lisbon, Sintra’s praises have been sung in literature by the likes of British poet Lord Byron and Portuguese poet Luis Vaz de Camões; Byron described it as a “glorious Eden.”
A veritable heaven on earth, with beautiful palaces and castles…a small city with rolling hills, vibrant vegetation and fairy tale-like villas separated by cobblestone streets.
The lack of Medicare coverage and desire to be closer to their growing grandchildren were the principal motivators for their return to the United States. Having heard of Collington through friends that live in Crosslands, A Kendal Affiliate, the couple loved the ease of downsizing and the idea of having maintenance in the hands of others.
With family in Annapolis and New York City, the diverse culture throughout the community and, of course, the nature and wildlife surrounding the grounds of our picturesque campus, Marion and Ed fell in love with Collington from the start…
Of all the tough decisions one makes over the course of his/her lifetime, and Ed and Marion say moving to Collington “was an easy decision”. “We drove into Collington and knew instantly this is where we wanted to be. No other places appealed to us”, said Ed.
The free flow of jazz and the art of yoga…what makes us unique is what gives us our individuality. To be an artist, a painter or jazz musician, you must have a free-flowing stroke, a laissez faire approach that lets the instruments do the talking. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”, according to Helen Keller.
Multi-cultural and diverse residents continue to shine at Collington. Culture is everything! If you ever lived in different cultures, you know and appreciate the diversity. “That’s what we love about our friends at Collington”, says Marion Robbins. “There are a lot of seniors here that have worked overseas or lived overseas so there is a lot of diversity!”
Today, Ed and Marion are living life to the fullest. The opportunity to contribute to the well-being of others is what drives Marion leading yoga classes with the residents. “I love making people feel better about themselves”, Marion says, who is a huge fan of healthy living and the Wellness Committee. Ed is involved with the Jazz Band and Drama Committee.
“We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two”. This quote from a television commercial for a non-descript insurance company resonates clear when you think of the experiences of Marion and Edward Robbins. Congratulations on 3 wonderful years at Collington…Here’s to many more!