Experiencing a stroke a few years ago, Carolie’s active lifestyle may have been altered considerably, but it did not keep her from remaining active.

“So that kind of hampered my style,” she said. “In Florida, I played tennis three to five days a week. I was active in the church, things like that, and then I moved up here.”

Her stroke occurred while flying back after a three-week vacation to Europe. “They turned the plane around and we wound up in Dublin, Ireland,” Carolie said. After some time there, she went through rehabilitation near Flint, where two of her daughters reside.

Eventually, she came across Oakmont Rochester Independent — and instantly knew it would be the ideal location for her, especially since it was close to two more of her daughters, who live in nearby Troy.

An instant love of her new home

“It was a good move, I’m glad I moved here,” she said. She explained the community offers so much, ranging from the activities to the brightness of the building. Occupying an apartment on the east end of the building, she enjoys the morning sunlight; her cat also enjoys bird-watching from up on the third floor.

“The thing is, I always want to do things. I hate the idea of sitting around and doing nothing. Otherwise, I read and fall asleep, and that’s ridiculous,” she said.

“She’s such an amazing person,” said Charlotte Collins, activities director for Oakmont Rochester. “Nothing stops her and she puts me in a good mood, too.”

This wasn’t the first place she lived after rehab. But right away, she knew she needed something that offered much more than simply four walls. That explains the desire to jump at Oakmont Rochester once she toured it.

“Where I was living before here, I just got depressed,” Carolie said. “And as soon as I got here, there’s so much going on and I love it all. We have the greatest group now. It’s a small group, but when we get more, we will just assimilate them into the group.”

She enjoys playing card games and Rummikub, among many other things. And, she’s always on the move. “Char takes us on little jaunts around,” Carolie said. “We just go, go, go. Every time we have something to do, I just go do it.”

Growing up as a ‘farm girl’

Carolie grew up on the outskirts of Flint, on a farm in the town of Corunna.

“Learned to drive on the farm,” she said. “I drove the tractor; if they were picking up hay bales, I just drove it slow so they could pick them up.”

After graduating from Michigan State University (as a medical technologist), she and her husband (also an MSU grad) moved to Flushing. He worked as a superintendent for General Motors. Together, they were married 52 years. They retired to Florida, where he died in 2013.

“We had a good life, and the best of it was when we were in Florida,” she said. “He wasn’t working and wasn’t under pressure, and we enjoyed our time.”

While in Florida, Carolie and a friend then went on 12 cruises in three years, which included South Pacific trips to Bora Bora and Tahiti. Although travel became more difficult after her stroke, Carolie is still finding plenty to keep herself busy.

“You just gotta move on. There’s nothing I can do about this,” she said. “You just have to keep working and keep trying.”