For Bonnie, Durham Booth Manor Feels Like Home
As the wife of an Air Force cartographer, Iowa native Bonnie Worley relocated more than a dozen times over the course of her life and learned to adapt to a variety of cultures along the way. Her oldest daughter was born in Germany, her son was born in Japan, her youngest daughter was born in Virginia, and the family called a number of states home, including Hawaii, New Mexico, Minnesota, Texas and California.
For the last year, Bonnie, 77, has made her home at Durham Booth Manor, which offers affordable apartments to adults age 62 and older with very low incomes. Bonnie became acquainted with Durham Booth Manor when both her mother and sister were residents there many years ago. “I never dreamed I would live here myself one day,” she said. That changed last summer when her Council Bluffs apartment building closed for renovations. “My mother was happy here for ten years,” she said. “I was glad to come back.”
After a lifetime of moving from place to place, forging new friendships and learning the nuances of new cultures, Bonnie values the community at Durham Booth Manor. “I like being with people my own age,” she said. “This many people who have lived this long have a lot of stories to swap.”
She particularly appreciates congregating with friends in Durham Booth Manor’s great room and enjoying home-cooked meals in the adjacent Dora Bingel Senior Center, which provides 4,500 fresh lunches to low-income seniors each year, along with activities like ceramics, Bingo, computer classes, Tai Chi, Bible study and group outings. Last summer, for instance, Bonnie traveled with ten other residents to Hallam to witness the solar eclipse.
Bonnie also values the built-in spiritual component of Durham Booth Manor. With the Omaha Citadel right next door, attending worship services is easy and convenient, and she appreciates the small but meaningful details, like saying grace before meals, that are woven into everyday life.
Renovations on Bonnie’s previous apartment building in Council Bluffs are not yet complete, but even when the work is finished, she’s not sure she’ll move back. “The staff here is wonderful and very caring,” she said.
After living all over the world, Durham Booth Manor feels like home.
To learn more about Bonnie's story, watch the video below.