What is it like to live in a place surrounded by natural beauty, within a community that values health, well-being and active living front and center? Just ask the residents at Timber Ridge who take part in a variety of activities and enjoy five-star amenities every day – from afternoon hikes along Timber Ridge’s world-famous trails and walks, to gourmet chef-prepared cuisine at every meal.
Mr. Tomato, the Master Gardener of Timber Ridge
Growing up on a five-acre land in Spokane, Washington, Wally Prestbo was surrounded by tomato gardens, which sparked his initial interest in gardening. It became a hobby of his that he would keep throughout his life, only to actively pursue his passion about 20 years ago when he became a Master Gardener.
King County, Washington offers an 11-week course in horticulture, where attendees become classified as a Master Gardener upon completion of the course. Wally excitedly took the course to learn more about gardening and to sharpen his planting skills. He eventually became well-known around Seattle after a horticultural expert in the Seattle Times labeled him as “Mr. Tomato.” He then began giving gardening talks around the city and shared his knowledge and expertise with the residents of Seattle.
After moving to Timber Ridge seven months ago, he quickly became friends with other residents who share the same interest in gardening. Wally, along with other community residents, has a raised-bed planter where he can continue his passion. While there isn’t a formal gardening club, the residents who have a green thumb occasionally meet to discuss tips and prepare for the upcoming seasons.
While he’s only been a resident for seven months, Wally had been looking forward to moving to Timber Ridge with his wife for about five years. Before moving in, they took several classes at Timber Ridge University. Now that they are residents, they’ve become part of the education committee and enjoy continuing their lifelong learning.
A Labor of Love and Relocation
Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Bill Brown could not be happier to be living at Timber Ridge at Talus. It wasn’t until his daughter, a Washington resident, convinced him to move closer, that he found himself living on the east side of Cougar Mountain. As a widower, Bill had been living by himself in New Mexico, when he realized it was time to be near his daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons. He has not looked back since.
Prior to life at Timber Ridge, Bill was an engineer for a telephone company. Little did he know that his engineering skills would come in handy in retirement as he is now an important community resident resource, assisting other residents with their telephone and computer issues. “I usually get about three calls a week from residents asking for help with their computer, which I enjoy, because it gives me the opportunity to get to know more of the residents around the community.”
Bill is also a proud member of the Timber Ridge Sawdusters, the official wood-working club of Timber Ridge. He is especially proud to be involved with the annual holiday project, building wooden toys to donate to the Children’s Hospital of Seattle. This past holiday, they donated 375 hand-built wooden toys, which included toy airplanes, a truck, and four different car models. In addition, the Sawdusters assist with a variety of projects, including helping fellow residents with building bookcases to furniture repair and restoration.
In his “spare time,” Bill is an active HAM radio operator, a valuable and potentially life-saving skill in the event of a significant natural disaster. While he obtained his operating license in college, he’s maintained it through the years and enjoys his involvement in a local HAM radio club in Issaquah. The club offers classes a few times throughout the year for people to learn the basics of HAM radio. Currently, Bill is the only licensed HAM radio operator at the community, but hopes to one day teach other residents, and would like to explore setting up an active station at the community to serve as a lifeline of communication in an emergency.
Bill never imagined how busy he would be after retirement. “You have to go to work to get a day off,” he laughs. He explains that while he’s involved in many aspects of the community, he wouldn’t have it any other way. However, Bill still makes time for attending lectures, bible study, reading his daily newspaper, and the best part; “meeting lifelong friends.”
Meet Jim and Kate.
Jim and Kate have worked hard to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Jim is a retired physician and Kate is a retired nurse. Like many couples, they’ve raised a family, traveled the world and, until very recently, enjoyed their family home and vacation home. Their decision to move to Timber Ridge at Talus came about as part of their plan to remain independent and be well positioned for the future.
With less to worry about, Jim and Kate now have more time to do what they really enjoy. They remain avid travelers and love the ease and freedom of coming and going from their new home base at Timber Ridge.
“We love the fact that we can just pack up and go. We don’t worry about home security, our roof or the plumbing. It’s just lock and leave,” explains Kate.
Kate can’t even imagine a time before weekly housekeeping and linen service, as well as the delicious and convenient food and beverage service. She admits that she’s feeling spoiled living at Timber Ridge.
Kate enjoys cozying up with a good book, admiring the world-class views from her 6th-floor apartment home, or being a tourist in her own backyard. “We’re just minutes from Seattle and Bellevue,” says Kate. “And Issaquah is a charming and unique small town with plenty to enjoy.”
Set against a dramatic backdrop of the Cascades, it’s hard to find a place more special to call home.
“We find the natural beauty of the surrounding area a perfect match for the lodge-like architecture of Timber Ridge at Talus.”
Timber Ridge residents are proud of where they live and love to share their stories about daily life amid mountains, fresh air and good friends. Hear what other residents are saying about living at Timber Ridge.