Sunday, June 10, 2012

Garden Tour Surprise

I was invited to a garden tour at White Horse village, a local retirement community.  I had been stuck in the house for so long sewing away, that I decided it would be a good thing to get me out of the house.  Maybe I would get some good photos for future quilts.  (Quilting is always on my mind.)  I was truly inspired and amazingly surprised by what I saw and I walked away with a new outlook.

It was a beautiful day and my friend Frances, also a quilter, was our resident tour guide.  Many of the residents participated with small and beautiful gardens around their places.  I have a black thumb, so I was mightily impressed.

You don't have to be a kid to have a sense of humor!

Some of the residents invited you inside their places.  We were treated to this lovely Victorian crazy quilt.  Unfortunately it's a little blurry :(

The quilt was in almost pristine condition.  Can you see the date of 1885?
 It was a gift from a friend!

The obligatory spider for good luck.

I took many photos of this quilt, but I am embarrassed to say that most of them were blurry.  It is time for me to buy a new camera with that stabilization feature.

This made me giggle.

I was blown over when I met Frances' friend Helen.  Helen eagerly invited us into her apartment.  My eyes lit up as I looked around her living room that was filled with sculptures.  "Did you do these?"  The questions just popped out of my mouth.  This tiny frail woman had a huge smile on her face when she said "yes".  She used to sculpt with clay, but after moving to White Horse Village, she was convinced to try sculpting with stone - yes STONE.  She had sculptures from marble and alabaster and who knows what other types of stone.  How does an 80 something year old woman carve stone??? I was truly awestruck.

"Spirit Rising" by Helen Hucker

"Preening" by Helen Hucker

"The Odd Couple"  by Helen Hucker

In the clubhouse there was an exhibition of sculptures, one more amazing than the next.  I was so taken with this sculpture:

"Proud Guide And Protector"
I found it so sweet and poignant.  It was done by Lou de Moll, another resident.  He was a painter, but he could no longer paint because he lost his eyesight.  So he took up sculpting and created this   sculpture of another resident, complete with her dog and walker - by feel alone!

This whole experience made me think about a topic on the Quiltart list.  Quilters are chatting about milestones and the dread of turning 50 or 60 or 70.  I am not too far from turning 60 and I do understand the feeling of getting old.  In those photos of our parents or grandparents they were in their 60's and they looked so old.  My mother died when she was 74.  I want to be around to see my yet to be born grandchildren grow up.  I think I'll be a fun and wonderful grandmother. 

So my garden visit turned into so much more.  These warm and wonderful people were CREATIVE!  They embraced life and new challenges. Age is only a number.  The one thing I heard over and over were that they were too busy to fit one more thing into their day. 

Who's retired??


  1. Cheryl, Thanks so much for sharing this! The sculpture is phenomenal! All of the resident's work is wonderful. It does make me feel less sad about growing older. In fact, I'd like to move into one of these residences now! Janet Jo

  2. What a wonderful tour and how sweet the residents were to share with you. Thank you for sharing the tour with us.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I am very impressed with the last sculpture. Residents and dogs are two of my favorite things!

  4. The flowers are gorgeous!
    How amazing is that sculpture!!! I love that she still wants to create. Makes me think it will never go away!

  5. Thank you for sharing this. How good to know that the best is yet to come.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts about life. Looking down the road can be scary but these examples show how good it can be. What amazing flowers, humor and sculptures! My mother ( almost 91) always says 'use it or lose it'. These people are definitely using their creativity and talents.

  7. I've spent my evening trying to catch up on blog posts. This was truly my favorite. I think I'll just shut the computer right here, because it should lead to inspiring dreams! Thanks for sharing this experience with us!

  8. Wow! Cheryl, what a treat! I am amazed at that woman's talent!


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