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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 03/25/2015

Smooth Sailing - Baywoods of Annapolis

Smooth Sailing - Baywoods of Annapolis

A first ascent of a mountain with two kids in tow. Three days anchored off a reef after los­ing a mast. An epic sail across the Atlantic. Herb and Ruth Weiss have shared quite a few adventures over the years.

After retiring, Herb and Ruth began sailing. They have sailed across the Atlantic and weathered several storms together.

After recently moving to BayWoods of Annapolis, a continuing care retirement community in the heart of Annapolis, Md., Herb and Ruth are now planning their exciting future—and sailing is certainly on the itinerary. In addition to offering life-long care and a variety of ame­nities, BayWoods also provides the couple with easy ac­cess to the water; their 42-foot sailboat is docked just a few hundred feet from their new home.

Herb and Ruth’s adven­tures started in Cam­bridge, Mass., while she was a student at Harvard Medical School and he was working at a research lab at MIT. “We met at a party, and I asked Ruth out for a date, but she was too busy,” Herb recalled with a laugh. “He was too busy too,” Ruth added with a smile.

Once they found time for a date, their relationship progressed quickly. “We finally went to her friend’s wedding together, and at the wedding I said, ‘This seems like a good idea. Let’s get married,’” Herb remembered. Ruth accepted, and the couple was married a mere two weeks after they met. They went on to have three children and now have six grandchildren.

After graduating from MIT, Herb continued to work for the university. During World War II, MIT sent him over­seas to work in a new laboratory developing radar equip­ment. Later, Herb returned to the laboratory on campus and was involved in developing the world’s largest radar, as well as the modern air traffic control system that is still in use today.

In the late 70s following the Arab Oil Embargo, Herb became interested in domestic energy sources. “I quit the laboratory at MIT and got involved in developing wind­mills because I decided 30 years ago that windmills were an important way to make new energy,” he recalled.

However, despite an initially strong start, Herb’s new company became unsustainable after energy prices plum­meted. “Thirty years ago, there just was no interest in windmills. I tried everything I could, but eventually it wasn’t going anywhere, so I retired,” he said.

One of the first women to graduate from Harvard Medi­cal School, Ruth became a pediatrician. Later in her ca­reer, she became a child psychiatrist and was in practice for decades. She retired right before Herb, giving them time to pursue a new pas­sion.

“We went off to Europe, bought a sailboat and got lost in the Mediterranean for six years—just floating around,” Herb said. “We had such busy careers, and when we were togeth­er as a family, the focus was always on the kids, so it was nice for just the two of us to be together on the boat,” added Ruth.

It was no surprise that Herb and Ruth took up sailing upon retiring. The couple has always been the adventurous sort. In fact, they were mountain climbers in their younger years—often climbing with their children. “We got a first ascent with two of our kids,” Ruth noted. “These were ex­peditions up in the snow, using roping and crampons and everything,” Herb added. The couple climbed with and without their children throughout Europe and in Canada, Costa Rica and Peru.

The couple’s adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors has become something of a family tradition. “All of our children enjoy spending time outside, and all of our grandchildren do as well,” Herb said.

Herb and Ruth started thinking about moving to a re­tirement community when their three sons broached the subject with them. “They gathered us together and wanted to talk to us about moving,” Herb recalled. “So many of their peers had one parent or another who started experi­encing problems as they aged. They wanted us to make a move now, while we were still healthy.”

After looking at retirement communities near each of their sons in Massachusetts, Colorado and Maryland, the couple easily decided that BayWoods of Annapolis was the place for them. “We came by here, and it was boating season, and it was clear pretty quickly that this was the place,” Herb said.

One of Herb and Ruth’s primary motivations for moving to a retirement community was to avoid burdening their children with future care decisions.

Now, the couple enjoys hosting all their sailing friends. “We tell all our friends with boats to come by, and we always have people over for dinner,” said Ruth. “The ma­rina is full of sailors who go to Florida or the Bahamas every day. We used to make that trek, so as they come through, we tell them to bring their laundry and have a meal,” Herb explained.

Even though they only moved six weeks ago, the cou­ple is thrilled with the choice they made. “We absolutely made the right decision. I see this as another great adven­ture,” said Ruth.

One of the many pleasures of life at BayWoods has been the delicious dining options—and the fact that they no longer have to cook. “I had no problem giving up cook­ing, and the food and the variety here is great,” noted Ruth. “She’s even been giving away all her pots and pans,” Herb said with a laugh.

Beyond the community amenities, the peace of mind that comes with lifelong care has been one of the big­gest benefits of moving. The couple openly admits that they wanted to avoid burdening their children with their future care decisions and costs. “We’ve always done our own thing,” said Ruth. “Now that we’re here at Bay­Woods, we don’t have to depend on anybody but the staff members to provide for us.”

Still independent and adventurous, Herb and Ruth Weiss continue to sail almost daily from their new homeport at BayWoods. After enjoying successful—but demanding— careers, the couple is thrilled to have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with plan­ning ahead. With no worries about their future, Herb and Ruth are ready for some smooth sailing.

By: Christy Brudin

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