Embrace Living with Terry Mulee: Charleston


I’m just back from a great tour called Southern Charm. It was a bus trip starting in Charleston and continuing on to Beaufort in South Carolina; then to Savannah, Jekyll Island, and St. Simon’s Island in Georgia; and concluding in St. Augustine and Jacksonville in Florida. Each stop allowed us just a taste of the beauty, history, and culture of the area. And each stop left us yearning for more time to explore. I think we’ll have to schedule a couple of return trips!

Fortunately, we planned a couple of extra days in Charleston, SC ahead of the tour. Neither of us (I was traveling with my best friend Lisa) had ever been there before. We knew the area was rich in history, architecture, culture, and food.

But one of the biggest highlights there for me was the chance to visit with friends. So why is this being put up as a blog for St. John’s? Because that’s where it all started. The friends that we were getting to see were Terrie and Ken Bradstreet.

I visited my mother Blanche almost daily while she was a resident on 2 Hastings back in 2007 to 2009. On one of those days, I came into the dining room to find my mother at a craft session. The recreational therapist, whom I had never seen before, looked up at me from the table and said, “Hi. I’m Terrie.” I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi. I’m Terry.” She was momentarily taken aback, thinking that I was poking fun at her, until she realized that I, too, was named Terry. That moment was the start of a beautiful and lasting friendship.

terrie and blanche

This photo of Terrie talking with my mom during a ride on the Harbor Town Belle is one of my favorites. They were in a world all their own, fully engaged with each other. It was just beautiful.

So when I knew that we were headed to Charleston, which is where Terrie now lives, I immediately contacted her to see if we could get together. It almost didn’t happen as she and Ken were scheduled to be away at the time that Lisa and I were to be in town. But fortunately for all of us, they altered their plans and we were able to have our reunion. We spent a wonderful evening together. Having lived near Charleston for a few years now, they are well versed in southern hospitality! Throughout the years, Terrie and I have stayed in touch with each other through email and Christmas letters. 

terry and terrie

We had a delicious seafood dinner overlooking the harbor. After that, Terrie and Ken gave us a wonderful overview of Mount Pleasant and the historic, downtown, and “south of Broad” areas of Charleston. That helped Lisa and I immensely as we explored the city over the next two days.

When my mother went in to St. John’s Home, we became part of a family within that community. My mother has been gone for nearly seven years now but I have the good fortune of still being connected to many of those “family” members from St. John’s Home. Those individuals enrich my life and we help each other moving forward with new challenges and opportunities in our lives.

What I cherish most in life are the special relationships that I have forged. Those are the people that support and sustain me; and some of them are friends, family really, that I met at St. John’s Home.

Terry is a lifelong resident of the 19th Ward in southwest Rochester, still living in her childhood home. She joined the St. John’s Home family in 2007 when her mother became a resident on 2 Hastings. 

Terry is an avid photographer and has exhibited annually in the Terry Gallery at St. John’s Home since 2010. You will be able to see her work there again this September.

An active volunteer, Terry worked with the St. John’s Home Auxiliary from 2010 – 2015. She is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts and spent more than thirty years volunteering for the local council. You can find her singing in the Contemporary Choir at St. Monica Church on Genesee St where she has been a member all of her life. Currently, Terry serves as the 2nd Vice President on the Executive Board for the Friends of Libraries Section, a division of the New York Library Association. She also edits the section newsletter and is their web liaison.

In her spare time, Terry enjoys travel, day-trips, doing travelogues at local libraries, gardening, throwing parties, cooking, eating good food, drinking beer and wine, and spending time with friends. She documents most of these activities with her camera in hand.

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