Greetings from Jenkintown

September 19, 2018

When you walk into the Rydal Park apartment of Katharine Cobbs, your eyes are immediately drawn to the desk nestled against the back wall of the living room.

The gray, ceramic desk is embellished with art supplies – pens, pencils, markers, scissors, felt, paper of all colors and sizes, jewels, etc. It’s clearly the desk of an artist with a creative mind.

But don’t you make the mistake of calling that her desk.

“That’s not my desk. That’s my den,” she said.

And that den is where Katharine’s creativity comes to life in the form of beautiful, skillfully created, handmade greeting cards that she sends to friends and family throughout the course of a year.

“For every holiday, I make 200 cards by hand and send them out,” Katharine, who hails from the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia said. “You name the holiday, I go right on down the list. I do Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, 4th of July. I’m just starting my Halloween cards right now.”

 

Katharine spent her professional days as an elementary school teacher and vice principal in Philadelphia. It was during that time the greeting card hobby sprung to life.

She and her social group, which was filled with fellow teachers, would take summer trips and Katharine would make scrapbooks with memories from the trips. She would do the same with photos from family reunions as Katharine comes from an exorbitantly large family (her mother had over 90 first cousins).

The idea morphed from scrapbooks to greeting cards when she stopped by a store and met a woman who shared the skill with her.

“I was doing the scrapbooks and thought the cards would be a nice thing to try, so I joined her card-making club,” Katharine explained. “I’ve done it ever since. And I do them all by hand. Always have. Not by the computer. Everything is by hand.”

Katharine shares her unique skill with others, and not just by sending the cards in the mail. Twice a month, she teaches a workshop on how to make the cards.

But that’s just one example of her active spirit.

Katharine, who has lived at Rydal Park for the last six years, enjoys playing pinochle, participates in a book club, and is active in her sorority. She is also the Floor Representative for the floor of her building, Brookside at Rydal.

“When new residents move in here on this floor, I give them a day or two to get themselves together and then I go to their apartment and introduce myself,” Katharine explained. “I talk with them and get to know them and give them some ideas of what Rydal Park is like.

“I also encourage them to share good things and the things they do so I can share with others here. I let them know I am available for them.”

There were many things that attracted Katharine to Rydal Park six years ago.

With the levels of service Rydal provides its residents, Katharine felt secure in the fact she could call Rydal home long into the future.

Katharine was also appreciative of the fact that Presby’s Inspired Life is a not-for-profit organization committed to their residents and is supportive of the residents should the find themselves in financial hardship.

But that’s not all that drew Katharine and her energetic spirit to Rydal.

“I am an outgoing, active person,” she said. “There are so many things here to keep you busy. If you have something you’re interested in, the residents here at Rydal Park will help you develop it. If you want to start a group to do something, they will help you do that. They are very open to all our ideas.

“Everybody is very friendly here. It’s a just been a great place to live!”