Tag Archives: assisted living facility

Old Dogs and New Tricks

 Before I started volunteering at the Spring Hills assisted living facility, I had taught students as young as three, and as old as 23, but I’d never instructed seniors.  I was a little nervous, but I hoped the passion I felt for art would be contagious.  Most of my students on that first day hadn’t drawn anything since elementary school.  They seemed nervous, too.  I heard them chatting to each other as I was setting up. “I can’t draw.”  “I don’t have any talent.”  “This is going to be awful.”  You can’t create in an environment of negativity.  Those seniors, much like my younger students, needed encouragement and a feeling of safety in order to move forward.  We began with a few warm-up exercises.  I watched awkward attempts at putting pencil to paper, but after a few minutes and a little motivation, something magical happened.  Creativity began to flow, and when it did, my budding artists began to loosen up and have fun.  They were letting go, making art, and learning.  Then I realized that I was learning, too—learning that I could adapt my teaching style to a new demographic.  I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

“Sit”–Watercolor Pencil

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That is Love

Every time I visit the assisted living facility where I volunteer, I see an elderly couple sitting on a bench just inside the lobby.  They don’t talk or look at each other.  They simply sit and hold hands.   Love is not always loud and showy.  It doesn’t require grand gestures to be true.  Sometimes, love is still and quiet.  I don’t know their story, but I do know the love that radiates from that couple takes my breath away.  How lucky are they to have found that kind of love.  It’s a love that doesn’t need words, or glances, or validation.  That is love.

“That is Love”–Watercolor Pencil

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It’s on my list

My life runs according to lists.  There are lists on my calendar, lists on my note pad, and lists on post-its all over the house.  If I write it down, I will do it—eventually.  If a task has to rely on my memory for completion, chances are good that it simply won’t happen.  For months now, I’ve been thinking that I should volunteer at the assisted living facility in my community.  My plan is to offer a watercolor pencil workshop so I can teach the residents to use art as a vehicle to find peace and passion.  I knew I would need to stop by the facility, fill out an application, and talk with the Activities Director.  I didn’t put that visit on a list, so I never went.  Yesterday, I went back to my dusty mental filing cabinet and transferred that thought to a post-it.  The next thing I knew, I was in my car and on my way.  I picked up an application, and today, the number one task on my list is to return that application.  This teacher is ready to get back in the classroom.  I’ve written it down, so I’m bound to make it happen.

“Apples for the Teacher”–Colored Pencil

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