Wendy and Vicki are from a small town in South Dakota, the type of place where everyone knows your business. It’s also a town that holds a lot of great memories for the Thompsons: it’s where they first met over cotton candy and mini donuts at Art in the Park, it’s where their family is. But it was also not the type of town where they wanted to build their life. They needed a fresh start. Wendy and Vicki are true believers that you can guide your destiny, so they started looking for a new place to call home. They never expected to end up in Northern Colorado, but after Vicki visited Fort Collins for a psychology club trip, they decided it was the perfect place for their family. It was bigger, had more job opportunities and more importantly, it was new. They started sending their resumes and a few months later they were in Fort Collins.
Moving to Fort Collins was a huge adjustment for Wendy, Vicki and their two children Cassie and Jacob who were 12 and 10 at the time. They had no family or friends in the area and it was entirely different from what they were used to in South Dakota. In some ways, different was great; they loved the diversity of people, the accepting culture and the freedom to be who they are. But in a way, they also missed the small-town feel and the sense of community. Then they found Centerra.
When the Thompsons found Centerra, development of the first residential community, High Plains Village, was just beginning. McWhinney had built a few homes and they were looking for people to rent them. Wendy and Vicki went on a tour of the homes before they were even finished, after touring the corner-lot house they immediately saw the potential. They never intended to stay long-term, they weren’t even looking to buy a home, but after three years they had fallen in love with the house and the community, so they took the plunge. They bought the house and now it’s their forever home.
Wendy and Vicki have been part of Centerra since the beginning. It’s been fun for them to watch as houses were built around them and their neighbors moved in. Vicki is a self-proclaimed “banana bread woman,” she loves taking a loaf of bread to her new neighbors and getting to know everyone. Their social connection with the neighbors is one of their favorite things about the community. Everyone in their neighborhood is very close. It’s the type of community where you look out for each other and actually care about people. Wendy and Vicki had never lived in the kind of a neighborhood where people make sure you get home safely in a storm, help dig your car out of the snow or watch your house when you’re out-of-town. It’s that type of incredible community that made them fall in love with Centerra.
In addition to watching their immediate neighborhood grow, they’ve also enjoyed watching as Centerra has grown. Being there for the start of so many businesses, restaurants, coffee shops and more has connected them to Centerra. They were new to the neighborhood, so they took the opportunity to try new things as they opened. Many of which they still visit today for Friday night date nights. They especially like going to dinner at Mimi’s Café then catching a movie at the Metropolitan MetroLux theater. They also enjoy going to Movies on the Main on Friday nights in the summer. Even though they mostly show children’s movies, Wendy and Vicki were sold when they heard there would be free popcorn and cotton candy. They do love cotton candy after all.
Wendy and Vicki love that everything they need is right in Centerra. They don’t find a need to leave very often, except when it comes to one of their favorite things to do together: concerts. One year Wendy and Vicki went to 20 concerts! Now they try to keep it around five or six shows per year and the accessibility to Denver, Boulder and Red Rocks is perfect. Their favorite artist? Melissa Etheridge. Wendy and Vicki are huge fans, you might even call them groupies. One year they went on a week-long Melissa Etheridge travel tour to New Hampshire and Massachusetts with 31 other fans. For their 23rd anniversary, they went on a Melissa Etheridge cruise. When they got married in San Diego, they even tacked on a Melissa Etheridge concert.
Besides their love for Melissa Etheridge, honestly, the most important thing to Wendy and Vicki is their family. Their children are now grown and live in South Dakota with their two grandchildren. Wendy and Vicki Face Time with them every Sunday and try to visit every two to three months. Their favorite time of year is when their 8-year-old granddaughter, Gretchen, comes to visit for a week in the summer, and this year their 3-year-old grandson, Micah, will also be old enough to stay with them. Gretchen and Micah think of their summer visit like going to Disney World. They love riding their bikes around the neighborhood, going to the playground every day and Gretchen loves going to the rock park. It’s definitely a week full of fun and Wendy and Vicki soak up every minute of it. They love that their home and the Centerra community are flexible enough to accommodate their everyday life, as well as their life when their grandchildren visit.
Moving to Colorado 18 years ago, was one of the best decisions Wendy and Vicki made. It has allowed them to live the life they always wanted. Like we all do, every once and a while they start to think about making a change, maybe moving closer to family, then 30 seconds later they realize they could never leave Centerra. They could never leave the view of the Rocky Mountains and Boyd Lake, the incredibly supportive community they’ve found at their long-time church, being so close to everything in Centerra and their perfect corner-lot house. Wendy and Vicki love everything about their life at Centerra – except the bunnies that are eating their lawn – but other than the bunnies, everything is just right for them.