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Faces of the Valley: Gerry and Maureen
By: Stephanie Park

In their quaint home tucked in the heart of Beaver Valley, Gerry and Maureen Ryan have created the epitome of tranquility. The happy couple truly have the best of both worlds as they have designed their abode to emphasize all of the elements they treasure most about their rural lifestyle.

Maureen adores being outside and has managed to bring a bit of her outdoorsy lifestyle indoors with her magnificent sun room. This room is not only exquisite because it allows them to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors during a heavy rainfall without getting soggy, but also provides a gateway to their most cherished aspect of life here – the view.

Words can hardly describe what one sees when perched upon the Ryan's porch. Beautiful, bountiful trees overwhelm your entire view as hints of flowers peep through. After spending many years of their lives as teachers in the Oakville area, Gerry and Maureen sought to find a summer residence to enjoy their retirement in peace and quiet.

When asked what major factors contributed to their decision to relocate to Kimberley, Maureen pointed to the forest outside of her large windows and said "what we came here for was the view and…I wanted peace and quiet." After spending many weekends searching for the perfect place to retire in, the Ryans were taken back by the tranquility and scenery of this area.

Upon planning their retirement, Gerry and Maureen discussed the many possible ways to spend these calm years of their lives. Gerry claimed "I don't want to retire in Oakville, there is nothing to do. Anything we want to do we have to go somewhere, so why don't we go and find a place where we actually can do things." That is exactly what they did when they purchased their property on Wodehouse Court. Maureen now admits that "I don't think I could have retired in the city…I think I would find it tiring and challenging and that I would have been looking for things to do. Whereas here, I don't need to look, there is always something." 

Among the many activities that fill their days, Maureen and Gerry have taken full advantage of all that the outdoors has to offer. Maureen is an avid swimmer that brought a piece of Oakville to Beaver Valley when she installed a pool in her back yard. This is a very special aspect of Maureen's life here as she spends a great deal of time swimming in a pool that is shaded by magnificent trees and surrounded by breathtaking flowers. Maureen also enjoys gardening, hiking, reading and playing tennis. Gerry enjoys the wondrous cycling experience in this area and has become an enthusiastic cyclist since moving here in 2001.

When they are not busy embracing the outdoors, the Ryans love to go out for brunch, visit the village at Blue Mountain or browse through neighbouring museums. They have also been quite captivated by investigating their ancestry through visiting local cemeteries that have traced Gerry's relatives back to this area. They keep themselves busy with the many social activities that this area has to offer. Maureen speaks highly of their proximity to all that they need in stating that "we are here because the access to all of this is so easy. It doesn't take very long to get anywhere that is nice and if you don't want to go anywhere, you can sit right here."

Although Gerry and Maureen only spend half of their time in the Beaver Valley area and travel south for the winters, they have experienced a noticeable improvement in their life since moving here. Maureen describes her retirement here by stating that "our life has improved more so than if I had stayed in the city…because of the beauty of the area and also the people we've met." The couple belongs to many organizations in the area, including the Grey Highland Probus. Maureen is thrilled with the array of activities available, but also enjoys the freedom to decide how she will spend her day now that she is retired.

When asked what they love most about living in this area, it didn't taken Maureen long to reply "the valley, the view, the spectacular roads…any route you take is breathtaking." Maureen and Gerry truly value the lifestyle that they can enjoy here as a retired couple. From hiking and cycling, to scenic drives and exploring the falls, spending the calm years of their lives in such a tranquil setting has greatly enhanced their lives and made their retirement perfect.

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