Hello Friends, my name is Pam, and I’m a fairly new resident of Manteca and Del Webb Woodbridge (5 ½ years now). I thought I would share with you the experience, through my eyes, of how I came to be part of this wondrous community, our charming city, and the deep impact this city has had on my life.
Almost nine years ago, my dear husband passed away, and I found myself suddenly very lost and very alone (may sound all too familiar to some of you). This is not to say that I did not have support, because I did have the support of the most extraordinary family imaginable. Be that as it may, I found that now all of the maintenance and upkeep of my large home was suddenly, and completely, on my shoulders alone. How can I do this? Do I want to keep doing this? When the dust finally settled, there were many serious decisions to be made and they had to be made by me!
I tried my best to make a go of the situation but soon realized that the house seemed like it was getting larger, the stairs were getting steeper, I certainly was not getting any younger and neither was my home! So, after 35 years, (Yikes! now I’m really dating myself!) it was time to downsize my housing and finances…..so I began the hunt to find “just the right new home.” I looked for almost three years in the Bay Area, because it was all I’ve known all of my life. But later, it became pointed clear that I would not be able to afford anything I’d value over time there. So, I started searching the internet. And, after many searches and responses, I got an invite from Del Webb Woodbridge to attend a “meet and greet” there in April of 2012.
Exhausted, and reaching for a life line, I responded with a “yes” to the invitation thinking to myself, “Well, Pam, you’ve got more time than money….. just go already!” So, with the help of a Google map and directions, off I went from San Jose to a place really yet unknown to me.
I have to admit, part of me was very nervous and unsure, and part of me felt like Magellan going off to explore a new land. This may sound dramatic, but my emotions were very fragile at this point.
I arrived at the appointed time and place, and, from the time I parked and started the walk up to the Club House for the event, I was greeted and embraced with the most surprising and welcoming spirit I could have ever imagined. It may sound funny, but it was like I had been wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy blanket by new people I didn’t even know. The meeting went extremely well with valued information provided by both the sales staff and resident ambassadors who were kind enough to sit at our tables and take my tough questions head on. There was NO pressure from anyone…what a lovely surprise! Then, I was off to see the models as suggested. I walked, paused, considered, and dreamed. Within an hour, I heard my little inner voice say, “If this is Manteca, “I’m hooked!” The rest is history. Of course, I purchased the home that would take me into my future in the community and city many could only dream of as being part of their lives.
Waiting for my little bungalow (now known as “Casa de Pam) to be built, I stayed in temporary housing while exploring the surrounding areas as often as possible. Something awakened the ‘brave’ in me, and I found myself jumping daily into my car with a new excitement about finding out more about the Valley that was now to be my new home. So many interesting areas, so many charming sites if you just take the time to look and investigate. I’ve seen acres of lush vineyards, almond orchards, and magnificent wild flowers. I visited a winery I did not even know existed previously. I quickly discovered the welcome, slower pace of life here; that people take the time to wave and smile, to hold the door open for you, to actually let you cross the street safely, and greet you with genuine warmth when you enter their establishments. I visited and supported “mom & pop” businesses that are thriving because of locals who believe they should. These were heart-warming and very fulfilling road trips to be sure! At times, I feel like I’ve been transported back into the days of “American Graffiti.” Just look at our charming Main Street and all the historic, beautiful murals. Each mural is unique to a time and location. Alone or together, they tell quite a story.
And now, here I am…..part of the “Northwest Territory” on my huge, four house street in my little portion of Del Webb Woodbridge in Manteca. I love where I am, and I’m still discovering new things and meeting some of the best new people imaginable. And, my neighbors? I think that they are all angels! They have quickly become extended family as far as I’m concerned. They are so warm, loving, caring and involved. One of my brothers (and there are many) said, “Sis, you’ve moved into Disneyland for adults!” Yes, that may be true, but I really think that I have moved into “Ozzie and Harriett Land” here in Manteca.
How fortunate are we to be within this beautiful bubble dropped out of Heaven on a verrry good day??? I think, extremely fortunate indeed!
Editor’s note: if you’d like to share what you like about Manteca during the city’s centennial celebration of incorporation, contact Dennis Wyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org