Chris Galligan: Putting Down New Roots at Noble
Five years ago, Chris Galligan and his wife Mim were thinking about the next phase of their lives and a new beginning beyond the Hudson Valley, where they lived. After a long career as an arborist and gardener, it was time to retire.
Searching online for retirement communities in this area, they stumbled across Noble Horizons. They were surprised to find out there was a community in the town they had been visiting each summer for decades. “We knew Mt. Riga because a friend from high school spent her summers there. We came up here every year. We couldn’t figure out how we had missed Noble.”
Their tour of the cottages ended with the resident guide confiding, “You know, they take good care of you here.” That statement, the beauty of the grounds, and the bronze statue of a dog at the entry of the community sealed the deal.
It’s been over four years since that time and Chris, with his boundless energy, positivity, and can-do attitude, has never been happier. “We feel so lucky. We just love it here.” Living in the rear of the Noble campus, in one of the larger cottages, Chris and Mim value the privacy they have--and the connections they’ve made. “The monthly cottage social has connected the front and rear cottagers. They’ve made me the designated bartender. It’s a wonderful, active group of people,” he describes.
When Chris is not flexing his mixologist skills, he’s putting his talents as an arborist to work as a volunteer on the Noble grounds. “I prune 25 to 30 crab apple trees to keep them in shape. I trim and cut shrubs. I do whatever they need. In the winters, I help shovel snow in exchange for a good breakfast. That’s worked out really well.”
Chris studied forestry at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. After three years in the U.S. Army serving in Panama, he went to work for the National Park Service and certified as an arborist, a career that he practiced the rest of his working days. However, retirement has proved elusive for Chris. Like most people who are good at what they do and with a surplus of energy--people find them. “I have a few clients I do things for. There always seems to be someone who needs work done,” laughs Chris.
Other pursuits that keep Chris active are baking five loaves of wholewheat oatmeal bread a week. “It’s a recipe from Yankee Magazine that I’ve adapted along the way,” he confides, “Mim and I love cooking, but it’s nice to know that we can order from the dining room at Noble any time we want. The food is darn good too!”
To work off his carbs, Chris takes to the Appalachian Trail accessed in the rear of the Noble campus, and runs his six miles on the trail. “I’ve been running since I was 10. I figured out that over my lifetime I’ve run 52,000 miles,” he admits with much-deserved pride.
He also keeps his weights, his pick-up truck, and a copious amount of firewood that he’s chopped near their two-bedroom cottage. “We installed a wood stove in our cottage. Gotta keep it fed.” Although they take some ribbing about his mountainous log pile, he and Mim are quite happy with their decision to outfit their cottage with one. “I’m also clearing a woodland garden near the cottage. We love being able to make this cottage our own and rent it at the same time. It’s so private and quiet but we feel part of this community. It’s been the best move for us,” Chris happily admits.
For Chris and Mim, their roots at Noble have gone deep quickly.