Parkville Couple Discovers More Room to Do What They Love at Oak Crest

Maintenance-free living gives Ruth Ann and Wayne Robust more time and space to explore their favorite hobbies

Although Ruth Ann and Wayne Robust moved just a short distance from their former house to Oak Crest, an Erickson Senior Living community in Parkville, Md., their move opened up a world of opportunity to do more of what they love.

“I’ve always been the type of person who likes to be busy. I don’t like to sit still,” says Ruth Ann. “One of the things we liked about Oak Crest is that there is so much to do! Plus, we were able to tailor our apartment home to fit our active lifestyle and interests.”

Ruth Ann, an avid quilter, and Wayne, known for his stunning photography, were looking for a flexible space that could be used for their creative endeavors.

The Lancaster, a spacious two-bedroom, two-bath floor plan, was the perfect fit.

“I sewed in the basement of our house for 30-plus years. It wasn’t until we moved to Oak Crest that I finally got a dedicated sewing room,” says Ruth Ann. “That’s one of the great things about living here–you don’t have to give up your hobbies!

Room to spare

Their multiuse room is everything Ruth Ann dreamed of. Repurposed storage pieces from their old house now hold fabric and craft supplies, and a 4-by-6-foot island is the perfect place for Ruth Ann to quilt.

“I love to quilt! It’s one of my favorite things to do. I also make purses, pouches, quilted Easter baskets, and fabric wreaths,” says Ruth Ann. “The island gives me a huge work area and the space I need to spread out. It’s great for laying out quilts, doing puzzles, and just about anything else!”

One of Ruth Ann’s particular passions is making memory quilts from fabric cut from someone’s clothing. These meaningful pieces are often gifted to celebrate milestones and anniversaries or to honor the life of a lost loved one.

She has made over 300 memory quilts, each a unique work of art that tells a story. Focused on every detail from the fabric to the stitching, Ruth Ann invests countless hours conceptualizing, planning, and creating each quilt.

“If someone just gives me the material, I will figure out what to do with it. Sometimes, people may request specific colors. Even though I put a lot of work into the quilts, it’s not hard to let them go because I know how much people appreciate them,” explains Ruth Ann.

One of her masterpieces was a quilt depicting the historic Baltimore County courthouse.

“It was a king-size quilt for someone who was retiring. I included everything from the iron gate, the courthouse and the steps leading up to it, the county seal, and even the crooked pine tree,” says Ruth Ann, who also sells her items at craft sales on and off campus.

A newfound hobby

While Ruth Ann spends much of her time quilting, Wayne has taken to photography, a hobby he picked up when they traveled out west to Yellowstone. His beautiful photographs adorn the walls of their Oak Crest apartment home.

“I started taking photos with my phone and I really enjoyed it,” says Wayne. “After we moved to Oak Crest, I found out they had a photo club and I decided to buy a camera.”

His favorite subject is landscapes, but he captures everything from animals and old cars to events for the Oak Crest Sales and Information Office. In 2022, Wayne entered his photographs at the Maryland State Fair, winning two first-place blue ribbons.

“Thanks to digital photography, you can immediately see what your photos look like. You can take thousands of photos until you get the right one and simply delete the rest,” says Wayne.

Tooling around

When he’s not taking photos, Wayne enjoys tooling around at Oak Crest’s on-site woodshop, creating his own pieces–like the car that won him first place in the community Pinewood Derby.

“One of the great things about living in a community like Oak Crest is the opportunity to explore things that maybe you didn’t get to do in your childhood or even while you were working,” says Wayne.

For Ruth Ann, that includes practicing yoga and playing bocce, pickleball, and shuffleboard. Together, the couple volunteers as Resident Ambassadors at sales events, exercises at the fitness center, and hosts game nights with friends in their apartment home.

‘My happy place’

After returning home from taking photos or working in the woodshop, there’s a pretty good chance Wayne will find Ruth Ann working on her next quilt.

“When he hears the sewing machine running, he knows I am in my happy place,” says Ruth Ann. “It’s just one of those things that brings me joy.”

To learn more about senior living at Oak Crest, request your free brochure to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more.

 Written by Danielle Rexrode