Apartment for Two
Project Info

After meeting and marrying at Erickson Living, a happy couple consolidates their belongings into one living space.

Patrick Mullins has never liked eating dinner by himself. So when he moved into his one-bedroom apartment at Erickson Living’s Charlestown community, he used dinnertime as a way to meet people and get acquainted with his new neighbors. One evening, a friendly group of women invited him to join their table.

“I sat down and we were chit chatting back and forth,” Patrick said.

At the end of their meal, one of the women invited him to drop back in anytime. Her name was Dorothy. So the next night, Patrick joined them again. They ate, talked, laughed, enjoyed each other’s company.

“I thanked them,” Patrick said, “And when I turned to leave, Dorothy lassoed me to the ground, sat on me and said, ‘If we don’t get together, I’m going to beat you up!’”

Dorothy laughed at her husband’s version of their courtship.

“It was much nicer than that,” said Dorothy. If you had asked her one year ago where she’d be today, she never in a million years would have guessed she’d be a newlywed. “Eighty-seven years behind me and I go and take a jump like this,” says Dorothy, who has never been married before. “And you know what? It was the best thing I could have ever done in my whole life.”

They started out as friends. She took care of his two cats Sampson and Delilah when he needed it. They played cards two nights a week. Then one day, Patrick invited her to run some errands at the local Walmart.

“I told her I had to buy a belated birthday present and an early Christmas gift,” he said.

Dorothy had mentioned to him that she wished she had a light below one of her countertops and that she needed a new TV. When they got to Walmart, Patrick asked her which light she thought would work best for her counter top and what TV she would buy if she had her pick. Dorothy was floored. At first, she told him she couldn’t accept his gifts, but Patrick insisted. When they got back to her house, he turned to her and said, “Oh, I forgot, there’s a third thing I wanted to do today.” He pulled out a drawstring bag and handed it to her.

“Inside was a diamond ring from back to his grandfather’s time in a Tiffany setting,” Dorothy said. “It has three perfect diamonds in it with a gold setting.”

They exchanged vows on December 5 and moved in together shortly after.

“It just seemed so natural,” said Dorothy.

Moving in together after years of living alone was somewhat nerve-wracking for both of them. But both Dorothy and Patrick had used Let’s Move when they first moved to Erickson, so when it came time to pack up and consolidate all of their belongings, they knew just who to call.

“They worked beautifully together,” said Wanda Boucher, an account manager for Let’s Move who helped support their transition. Wanda and the Let’s Move team helped them create a new floorplan and decide what pieces would work better where. The couple was moving into a larger one-bedroom apartment, so they had some serious decision-making to do. Dorothy’s taste was decidedly more feminine and on the antique side, while Patrick’s was more conservative, but the Let’s Move team worked to bring both styles together into a functional, elegant living space. They went through every single item in both apartments, deciding whose furniture would work best where. Both were willing to compromise to make sure the other was happy. Dorothy gave up her sewing machine. Patrick gave up his bed. He got to keep his La-Z-Boy recliner and she kept the bookcase her brother had given to her.

“The girls were absolutely fantastic,” Dorothy laughed. Despite donating quite a bit, the couple is still living with several duplicates they just couldn’t part with: two TVs. Two coffeemakers. Two toasters.

“It looks like a His and Hers kitchen,” Dorothy jokes. Slowly, they’re working through the duplicates, deciding whose to keep and whose to donate.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Patrick. “We have not had an argument or short words with each other.”

And the dinner table? It’s always set for two.


After meeting and marrying at Erickson Living, a happy couple consolidates their belongings into one living space.

Dorothy and Patrick
March 4, 2016
Catonsville, MD
Downsizing, Moving, Rightsizing