Who knew that moving to Valparaiso could rekindle a romance and bring two people back together? That’s exactly what happened to The Lakes of Valparaiso residents, Rick & Lori Andres. Welcoming me into their beautiful apartment home, Rick & Lori shared their story.
Rick & Lori’s journey begins in the Sunflower fields of Kansas. Lori’s family moved to the Topeka, KS area when she was 11, where she spent the rest of her youth. Rick’s family moved around the country and world as his father served with the Air Force. When his father retired from the Air Force, they found themselves back in Topeka, where the family roots were.
During a summer in high school, while working as a counselor at a local church camp, Lori met Rick. He had recently left the Air Force himself and was there to speak to the youth at the camp. The two began dating. Once Lori was finished with high school, they married and settled down to domestic life. Rick worked as a minister while Lori worked as a stay-at-home Mom to their three children.
After 23 years of marriage, Rick and Lori went their separate ways. Lori eventually remarried and moved to the Chicago area while Rick moved to Atlanta, GA. For 23 more years their lives continued on separate paths, but they remained friends.
During those years apart, Lori’s career-life moved forward. She worked in banking and eventually as a marketing director at Sears Holding Company. In Atlanta, Rick enjoyed his time managing a Barnes & Noble store. Those 23 years were a time of growth and learning for both Rick and Lori.
“We grew exponentially. We both went through a lot of hard times but it’s all turned around now,” Lori said.
During their time apart, their son married a Region native and moved to the area with this family. With the economic downturn in 2016, Lori was laid-off from her job at Sears. She was now divorced from her second husband and she came to stay with her son while figuring out what her next step should be. Rick had already moved to Valparaiso to be near his son, as Atlanta held no family connections for him.
It had been 23 years and many things had changed, but Rick and Lori found the spark was still there. It was only natural that they should reconnect and the rest, as they say, is history. The two quickly rekindled their romance and remarried, much to their children’s joy.
“We realized we were meant to be together and here we are,” Lori said. “As you age, you get wiser and as you deal more with the world and people you realize, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This was totally a God thing. Who would have thought I’d have been laid off and that Rick would come up here and we would reconnect?”
Making Valparaiso their home was an easy transition for the couple. They recognized the appeal of the small-town city feel. The downtown plaza’s attraction for family activities and nights outs was a bonus to these former big-city dwellers.
“I love the area. It’s such a great and wholesome place,” Lori said. “It’s a wonderful place to raise families or retire.”
“It has a small-town atmosphere but it’s got everything you want,” said Rick. “We’ve enjoyed going down to the square and eating at the little cafes. It’s fun and they have very good food.”
When their son and daughter-in-law told them about the new apartment development, The Lakes of Valparaiso, they agreed to go check it out. It took one viewing for them to decide that this was where they wanted to settle. From the gorgeous surrounding grounds, the high-class pool and amenities, to the direct entry to their apartment, the perks were endless.
“The amenities are phenomenal,” Lori said.
In her spacious kitchen, Lori enjoys cooking meals for her family. Her son and daughter-in-law each own businesses and lead a very busy life, so Lori finds joy in preparing meals for their family. Living at The Lakes of Valparaiso has given them the opportunity to host family get-togethers at the gorgeous pool. Rick appreciates working out at the top-notch fitness center.
The Andres are enjoying their retirement years at the Lakes at Valparaiso and in the Valparaiso community. They love watching their neighbors walk their dogs, and seeing families settle in around them. The Lakes at Valparaiso offer many opportunities for residents to partake in and the community feel is strong.
“The people here are all so nice,” Lori said. “There are people making their homes here. It’s not a transient place.”
The Andres are family driven and, while they love spending time with their son’s family here in the area, they also enjoy visiting their other two children and grandchildren who live in Colorado and Kansas. Devoted grandparents, they would love to visit more often, but they recognize the blessings of modern technology, which helps them to stay in touch.
When they’re not spending time with family, you can find Lori cooking or crocheting. Her large walk-in closet is full of various hues of yarn, ready to be turned into something creative. Rick works part-time as a cashier at Home-Depot, where he has been for the past three years.
Rick and Lori are happy to be reunited and making their home in Valparaiso at The Lakes of Valparaiso. Their love story, almost 50 years in the making, is one full of growth and faith.
If you’re looking for quality neighbors with interesting stories, like Rick and Lori Andres, check out the The Lakes of Valparaiso for your next apartment home.