Residents Reflect on Their Warm Reception at Cordillera Ranch
By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen
We have talked to longtime and new residents over the years and the one thing everyone feels is welcomed! Here we share their experiences.
Barbara Parker (resident since 2004)
Though there weren’t as many activities when the Parkers moved in 15 years ago, Barbara says, “Folks were very welcoming. Because we lived in the Boerne area while we were building, I had the opportunity to begin attending events such as the Baked Potato Social and Ladies Summer Luncheon, plus I began playing Bunco during that time. As a result, I knew quite a few people before we moved in.”
Paying that warm welcoming experience forward, Barbara oversees the Welcome Committee — a team that is spread out across the community. “We provide each new neighbor we visit with a canvas Cordillera Ranch bag that includes items such as voter registration forms, Boerne area maps, flyers containing information about Boerne and the surrounding area, the latest newsletter from the Bergheim VFD (our local volunteer fire department), etc. The most recent copy of the Cordillera Ranch Neighborhood Directory is also provided in the bag as is a New Resident form for folks to complete and return to me in order to be listed in the next directory (produced and mailed annually).”
Mark and Sara Philpy (new residents of 2019)
“We participate in what we call Bear’s Ridge Gatherings. We all moved in around the same time to Bear’s Ridge. There are 12 couples and we make dinner reservations to dine together or have parties at each other’s homes. Events include a few other Cordillera residents as well. We just hosted a cocktail party at our house,” says Sara about how they connected to new friends as soon as they moved in.
The Philpys were aided in connecting with others through John Kuhry, the CR Real Estate agent who sold them their lot and introduced them to other residents. Their builder even hosted an open house before they took possession of their home. “It was a word of mouth invite and it allowed us to meet other residents. There was a giant Jenga game with individual blocks guests could sign and add their best wishes for our future at Cordillera.” Sara cherishes the game and several of the guests have become good friends.
The Philpys also enjoy the Wednesday Wine tastings at the Club, “It’s a great place to meet friends.” They plan to do The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch Napa trip and enjoyed the wine dinners and the Bubbles Champagne Evening at the Cabana.
Dennis and Karen Werner (new residents of 2019)
Karen explains how they were greeted at Cordillera Ranch, “The new experience has been all that we had heard it would be. Existing residents have consistently shared how we would love it when we moved here.” She shares her thoughts on being new to the community, “The thing that’s so nice is that Cordillera Ranch is very welcoming. Since most everyone is new to the area, they appreciate “newbies” and try to help them navigate the new environment. When visiting the Club, we regularly have met members that would reach out to introduce themselves.”
The invitations just kept coming for the Werners, “We were invited to various parties, bible studies and golf outings. Our neighbors brought by gifts to welcome us. They also included us in parties around the community. Our community has an annual Christmas party called The Back 9. We attended last year by invitation as our neighbors were hosting at their home. Friendships are formed easily as all here are eager to provide a warm welcome to newbies. Our builder also introduced us to other clients and friends.”
The ways to connect are endless. “You could get involved in a lot, or not very much, depending on your goals and activity levels. Even working out can be a social event,” says Dennis. Karen agrees, “As we become more oriented to involvement at Cordillera Ranch, we have begun seeing multiple new friends in the variety of social outreach venues . . . just the best we could have hoped for.”
Larry and Linda Smith (new residents of 2019)
“We have connected with quite a few neighbors in Cordillera Ranch immediately upon moving in,” says Linda. “A connection was made with our adjoining neighbor. He stopped and welcomed us to the neighborhood when I was taking the Recycle/Trash cans to the street. He also walked over one day to offer his cleaning lady’s services to us.”
There are even ways to connect to neighbors online, Linda says, “I reached out on ‘Goods in the Hood – Facebook’ and needed moving boxes. I met a couple that had just moved here from California and we formed an immediate bond, and we socialize with them on a regular basis. After seeing a post on the Cordillera Ranch FB page asking for volunteers, Larry and I volunteered for the Pico-Boo Halloween night (sponsored by Pico Propane) this past October. We were assigned a driveway and passed out candy. It was SO much fun! Halloween is our favorite time of year, so it was nice to know we could continue our tradition of dressing up in costumes and sharing in Halloween fun.”
Like other residents, the facilities and activities have yielded friendships. “I participate in Pickleball with a group of ladies that play at the courts. We have been to dinner with them and their spouses and visited in their homes. I also participate in the Bunco social club here, and have been warmly received, and I’ve been invited to join even more social groups from the ladies I met there. I cannot say enough about the amenities and social opportunities that Cordillera Ranch provides. It is such a special and beautiful place to us. We are thrilled that we were lucky enough to find a home that fit us and that we have quickly expanded our ‘friends’ circle’ in such a short amount of time,” says Linda, adding, “Everyone we meet is kind, ready to help, interested in where we’re from and ready to do what they can to help. We LOVE Cordillera Ranch, the family values, the ability to be involved, and know that our neighbors have our back if we need it. It’s so much more than a neighborhood — it’s home.”
Mike and Patsy Birchfield (residents since 2017)
Patsy knew the fit was right, “The many activities and the friendly people set Cordillera Ranch apart from the other places we considered. It seemed like the perfect place to spend the next phase of our lives.”
For the Birchfields, the welcome started before becoming residents. “We’ve met some great people in the short time we’ve lived in Cordillera Ranch. After attending a Christmas party in 2016, we were introduced to many wonderful people a year before our house was finished, which made it an easy transition once we arrived here,” says the couple. Mike adds, “We love that most of the residents of Cordillera Ranch also moved here from somewhere else so there is an abundant desire and willingness to foster new friendships. We feel like we’ve come home in a way because most of our international life took place in company camps, where our communities were very close. We shared our lives and created lifelong friendships and we can see that living in Cordillera Ranch will do the same.”
Todd and Catherine Gerch (residents since 2015)
The Gerches are a family of faith and soon after moving in they got an invitation to dinner from next door neighbors Randy and Rozanne Frazee. “It was an answered prayer,” says Catherine. They also invited them to attend the church were Randy served as Senior Minister.
The couple have developed many other connections in the neighborhood. Todd says, “We’ve found lots of families in their 30’s to 50’s with young children. The Kid’s Club is amazing and it allows us to order food for the kids, they get to play with their friends and have fun while we enjoy dinner with the other parents at the Club.” Those friendships are celebrated often with informal and impromptu entertaining in the Gerch home. “At the last minute, we like to have friends over for dinner while the kids run around and play,” says Todd. “Cordillera Ranch residents are the most giving people; everyone brings things,” marvels Catherine. “This community! It leaves me speechless. We love it!”
David and Madeline Cottrell (residents since 2015)
“We love the Hill Country and the beautiful views offered in the Di Lusso Villas. The ready-made community has helped us meet new friends quickly and some of our long-time best friends built next door,” says Madeline. David adds, “We’ve met a lot of wonderful people through the Club and our Di Lusso neighbors. Di Lusso is like a village where we’re all connected. Most of the residents travel frequently and we look out for each other when someone is away from home.”
Aside from the Villas, the Cottrells have found connections, “Cordillera Ranch management does an excellent job with new residents like us, hosting events like golf tournaments, Gold Rush nights, wine dinners, new member socials, etc.,” says Madeline. David calls out the professionals who make the experience special citing the Club as one of the best features they didn’t realize they’d enjoy so much. “From the moment Phil Sloan greets us, we feel at home. The way we are treated is a wonderful gift. There are a lot of great people that have helped us blend in.”
Larry and Cindy Taylor (residents since 2002)
“We moved to Cordillera Ranch not knowing anyone in Boerne or even San Antonio — unlike some who move here now because they have friends here or knew people that they’d worked with overseas that lived here, or know people in the SA area. It was a different feeling for those of us who’d lived someplace a long time or in a neighborhood where, like the ‘Cheers’ song, ‘everybody knows your name.’ It was also different for those of us who no longer had children at home. We had lost that contact with others because of school activities,” says Cindy.
It would be an event that got the Taylors connected. Cindy explains, “The annual Baked Potato Social is always held in January. I was finally going to be able to meet people! The next big event would be the Summer Social in August — at that time you could sign up on the list to participate.” Cindy says the Social Club sponsors a variety of activities during the year that are open to all residents.
These sorts of opportunities led Cindy to become the Ladies Social Board President, helping others connect through new activities. “Now we have all sizes of groups for men, women and couples which make it great to get to know and enjoy your neighbors — participating as much or as little as you’d like.”
To further celebrate the diversity of Cordillera Ranch residents who have come from different parts of Texas, the country and even the world, in 2010 a recipe exchange evolved into a community cookbook, This is Cooking – Pure & Simple. In an excerpt from the cookbook, Cindy says, “We brought with us the foods that made us who we are and we enjoy sharing these with our friends and neighbors.” To grab a copy, reach out through the website below.
Social Club Groups:
Book Club • Cooking Club • Canasta • Dance Group • Garden Club • Horse Group • Ladies Bible Study • Nature Club • Bridge • Dinner Group • Mah-Jongg • Men’s Bible Study • Men’s Group • Potluck Movie Group • Progressive Dinner • Shanghai • Sit-N-Stitch • Wine Group • Women’s Faith and Fellowship
For more information about any of these groups, visit www.lifeattheranch.com. Private Facebook Group for residents and property owners only (with approval) – Cordillera Ranch Goods in the Hood