Pride at Kissing Tree - Celebrating Pride Month at Kissing Tree
Jun 07th, 2024

Pride at Kissing Tree

Ann Rathbun had a plan. When she turned 60, Ann and her partner came to look at Kissing Tree, thinking they would move to the community when they turned 65. “We lived in the Dallas area at the time, and my sister lived in Austin,” Ann says. “We knew someone who owned a home here, and there were 3 or 4 of us friends who came to a Meet the Neighbors cocktail party here at Kissing Tree. 

Talking to the locals

Ann asked a few people at the party what they loved best about Kissing Tree, and she got a bunch of positive responses. “One person said, ‘Oh, 5 people brought soup when I had Covid.’” Ann says. “Another person said, ‘I love pickleball so much, and I get to play until I’m silly.’” Ann even talked to some fellow Aggies. “There’s an Aggie community at Kissing Tree, which can be hard to find among all the burnt orange people,” she says. “I took the opportunity to connect, and I really loved what I was seeing.”

Then plans changed…

Fast forward a few years, and Ann’s partner got sick and needed to move back to Ohio so that her granddaughter could take care of her. “My timeline moved up by about 2 years,” Ann says, “But out of tragedy and sadness and illness came Kissing Tree.”

No more mowing

Ann looked at the Traditional homes, but they seemed like too much work. “My New Home Consultant Tricia explained the Cottages versus Villas versus Traditional homes,” Ann says. “I have mowed a lot of grass in my life – I have done my fair share of lawn keeping. The Cottages are designed for the person who wants the freedom to have so much fun here – you don’t have to fool with yard work. You can go listen to the music at The Mix on Tuesday night. You can go play pickleball. They’re very low maintenance, just like me.”

Love at first sight

Then Ann walked into the Trevino. “That model was just like, I‘m home – it was the perfect square footage. I don’t like to clean house, and there’s not a lot of housekeeping to do with 1800 sq ft. I still work part time – I work online – and it’s the perfect set up in the study. I fell in love.”

Nachos & hugs

Now that Ann’s at home in Bonnell, she can’t imagine living anywhere else. “I do tons of entertaining,” Ann says. “We have game nights. We watch football. I did a “make your own nachos” night. I love having people over, and this set up fits my lifestyle so well. People here look out for each other and care about each other – in the last 2 days, people have randomly stopped by the house and said, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen you in a minute.’ If you need a hug, there’s always hugs.”

Peace of mind

The included lawn maintenance and neighborhood security also give Ann peace of mind. “I went to Kentucky to visit friends, and I felt so good about pulling down my garage door,” Ann says. “I knew my house would be fine the whole time I was gone. I knew they would mow and water the grass. My neighbors are always keenly aware if I don’t put out my trash can, so I tell them when I travel so they don’t worry.” 

Know your neighbors

Ann enjoys walking her dog Ziggy in the neighborhood, and taking the dog out usually turns into a social event. “People here know each other, so going for a walk is never a short thing,” Ann laughs. “You run into neighbors, they want to check on you and gossip a little bit, and exchange dog stories. There’s no such thing as taking the dog out really quick!”

Be yourself, whomever you are

That welcoming spirit of the community is what truly makes Ann feel at home here at Kissing Tree. “It’s possible to be yourself here,100%,” Ann says. “I’m gay, and I can show up exactly as who I am and people still love me. There are gay couples here, there are singles, and there are so many allies. There are people who have children who are gay, and they wrap us up and love us. I have friends who are conservative and friends who are liberal, and it doesn’t matter. We don’t have Pride parades, but we’re here, and we’re welcome.”

Activities for everyone

When it comes to activities, Ann is definitely staying busy. “I play bunco, golf, darts, and bocce,” she says. “I love going to the pool – you can always find me there. And I love Tarbox & Brown for dinner – they have a fabulous porch. I do some volunteer work for Empowering Women as Leaders – it’s part of the Austin Chapter, but we work with students from Texas State. It’s also important to read a book or watch a movie some days. I went hard the first year, and now I try to be more balanced!” 

Want to find your own home at Kissing Tree? Check out our Cottage homes for sale, or find a home that’s ready for move in

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