For the two weeks we were in The Villages, Florida, we had guest passes to every activity that a resident might enjoy. While Dan was inclined to participate in physical activities, I leaned toward more leisurely, familiar activities like quilting and needlework.
Because 12 quilting groups in The Villages meet weekly, on Tuesdays only, I was able to attend only two of them: a morning Laurel Manor quilting group, and an afternoon Allamanda quilting group. Each group is named for the recreational center in which they meet. This is the beautiful Laurel Manor recreational center.
I can't tell you how pleasant it was to make the scenic, 15 minute golf cart drive to this recreational center. This is how I left my golf cart in the parking lot. I can't get over how charming this seems!
Once inside, I was directed to the room where the quilters meet, and had no qualms about walking into a room full of strangers. With the commonality of quilting, there's nothing to fear. I was welcomed by the group president and then sat next to a friendly woman who kept me apprised of some of the group's recent activities. They had just come from a weekend retreat and had these stack and whack table runners to show for their time together.
Another lifestyle visitor like me, showed this quilt. She was visiting from Alabama and had made this quilt top for a niece attending Oklahoma State University - school colors, orange and black.
Here are three of the quilters I became acquainted with. All of them are permanent residents of The Villages. Pat (in the visor) is from Michigan; Kristen (wearing pink) is from Wisconsin; and Jeannie, the president is from Delaware.
Laurel Manor quilters have secret sisters. They opened gifts and this bath towel/washcloth reindeer was one of the presents given. Isn't it cute? It's meant to be hung across the back of a chair as decoration. I've never seen anything like it.
I also attended Allamanda quilters, but might not have done so if it weren't for Karen (I don't have a picture of her!) who waited on me when I stopped at the Peterbrooke Chocolates in Market Square. Karen inquired about our lifestyle visit and in an open, friendly way told me about being from Minneapolis and involved in several groups, including Allamanda quilters. As soon as I learned that, I wanted to attend myself. Karen quickly said, "See? It's just that easy to make friends in The Villages."
She couldn't have been nicer. As soon as I arrived - by golf cart, of course! - at Allamanda, she was waving and beckoning me to sit near her. Dan and I also ran into Karen and her husband at the December 1 Christmas tree lighting event. We spent considerable time discussing how one decides whether to take a leap and move to The Villages. They were very helpful.
|December 1 tree lighting|
Janice, from Mississippi, was needleturn appliqueing a Hawaiian quilt block. She and I made a couple connections - her grandchildren live in Waukee, Iowa, one suburb away from me; and she drives a Volkswagen Bug, just as I do!
|Sorry about the tipped picture!|
After such good times with quilters, I unhesitatingly attended a Thursday morning needlework group. All types of needleworkers are welcome. I saw lots of counted cross-stitch, wool applique, crocheting and knitting. I got such a kick out of this piece - a knitted alligator scarf!
The two grapefruit were from a backyard tree. They were brought by one needleworker for another needleworker who makes them into grapefruit pie! Have you ever heard of such a thing? After I inquired about the pie ingredients - cream cheese, grapefruit, and a cooked sugar/grapefruit glaze - it didn't sound half bad!
Thank you ladies, every one of you, for making me feel welcome.
We were very sad to leave The Villages on Monday, December 5. However we did make a very pleasant overnight stop in Kansas City before returning to Des Moines. I never miss the chance to see these little boys.
Thirteen month old Aesa has a mischievous, toothy grin. Other than saying "mama" he isn't speaking yet, but he does use sign language to make his wishes known.
Tay, at 26 months, talks up a storm. For his age, the thoughts and compound sentences that come out of his mouth boggle my mind. He offered me his best smile for this picture. LOL
And he can sing. Take 37 seconds to enjoy this classic nursery hit, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."