The Garlands Greatest Perk!

With so much to see and do and learn about The Garlands, one can easily forget to get to know more about perhaps our greatest asset of all – the neighbors! Garlands members come from far and near and a variety of life backgrounds and stories. Let us introduce you to a few of them here!

Meet The Garlands Members

COVID Accomplishment: Painting – Betty Schmidt

Garlands member Betty Schmidt, an accomplished artist and the one-time President of Oil Painters of America, accepted an important commission during the COVID-19 quarantine. The project allowed her to focus on the positive and fill her days with something she loves.   In addition, Betty checked off a project she’d skirted her entire life: she… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Painting – Betty Schmidt

COVID Accomplishment: Gone Fishin’ . . . for Love – Ron and Phyllis Goldenstern!

Ron and Phyllis have what he calls “a good run” . . . that is to say, Phyllis kept him running since they met as high school freshmen! After 65 years, she is still the love of his life.   Ron says, “We came to the Garlands three years ago when I knew Phyllis might… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Gone Fishin’ . . . for Love – Ron and Phyllis Goldenstern!

COVID Accomplishment: Choosing Gratitude (and Getting the Job Done) – Joyce Carlson

One of the maxims Garlands Member Joyce Carlson lives by – pandemic or not—is: “Be grateful for small things, big things, and everything in between. Count your blessings, not your problems.”   Upon moving into The Garlands eleven years ago, Joyce thought, “I’m starting a new phase of my life. Now I’ll have time to… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Choosing Gratitude (and Getting the Job Done) – Joyce Carlson

COVID Accomplishment: Choosing a Great Attitude – Harriet Ahr

Garlands Member, Harriet Ahr, chooses to have a wonderful day every day. A key component of her daily attitude adjustment is movement. Harriet walks outdoors and indoors, takes fitness classes, exercises in The Garlands Fitness Center, and works out virtually with The Garlands trainers. She’s at it every day and says that exercise is what… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Choosing a Great Attitude – Harriet Ahr

COVID Accomplishment: Writing Haikus – Barb Seaman

  Garlands member Barbara Seaman, who, under other circumstances performs with her acting troupe, The Garlands Playreaders, took her show off-stage during the COVID 19. Now she writes haikus in measured syllables to remember good times, cope with the pandemic, and exercise her creativity.   Take a peek, count her lined beats, and enjoy her… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Writing Haikus – Barb Seaman

Spilling the Tea on Herbs – Cathy Nardo

Garlands gardener Cathy Nardo holds a lemon verbena, “Herb of Enchantment,” that holds a wonderful lemon scent when dried for use in teas, perfumes and other scented products.   As much as she enjoys growing herbs, Garlands member Cathy Nardo’s passion really blossoms when talking about herbs.   “Every herb has a story!” says Cathy.… Continue Reading Spilling the Tea on Herbs – Cathy Nardo

COVID Accomplishment: Writing – Vivian O’Neill

With pen in hand, Garlands member, Vivian O’Neill, 93, took a leap of faith during COVID-19 and entered a poetry contest sponsored by Barrington’s White House on the topic of “House and Home.” She hadn’t written poetry before but, in the spirit of ever-growing and learning, she thought “Why not?!”   Vivian scored a spot… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Writing – Vivian O’Neill

COVID Accomplishment: Charlie Foos – Carving

Garlands member, Charlie Foos’s grandfather built a workbench to house the magnificent wood-carving tools he curated over a lifetime. Upon his passing, the workbench went to the only family member who showed the slightest interest: high-school student Charlie, whose only qualification was that he had taken a shop class once.   The workbench remained untouched… Continue Reading COVID Accomplishment: Charlie Foos – Carving

Through the Lens of Garlands Member and Professional Photographer Bill Lawton

Photographic Exhibit at The Gallery at The Garlands   Garlands member Bill Lawton got his first camera in junior high, and he hasn’t stopped taking photos since! “There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t take a photo of something,” says Bill. “If I haven’t taken a picture, it hasn’t been a… Continue Reading Through the Lens of Garlands Member and Professional Photographer Bill Lawton

Engineering Peace of Mind

A guy like Garlands Member, Sam Jeffers, who, for example, designed warheads for the Pershing II and Trident weapon systems, is unlikely to sit around watching movies all day during a global pandemic. As soon as he saw PPE shortages on the horizon, Sam set about engineering effective, comfortable, cool, and good-looking face masks for… Continue Reading Engineering Peace of Mind

Be FREE

Karen Stathakis is moving in a healthy direction at a pace of 4,000 steps a day – as tracked by her Fitbit!     Be FREE After years of caregiving, raising two sons, maintaining a home and juggling a career, Garlands member Karen is free at last to pursue her passions and step into the spotlight: on… Continue Reading Be FREE

Be FAMILY

“Always my sister, forever my friend.”   Be FAMILY Garlands members and sisters Nancy and Sally grew up side by side on the northwest side of Chicago near the famed Riverview amusement park and Wrigley Field. Nancy, the older by two years, attended Alvernia, an all-girls high school. Sally opted for the co-ed St. Benedicts “because it was more… Continue Reading Be FAMILY

Be CREATIVE

Marlene Peterson is a priceless original.   Be CREATIVE When a Garlands friend asked Marlene if she painted, she replied, “I don’t ‘do’ art.” The friend’s response, “How do you know?” sparked Marlene’s curiosity and creativity. Dozens of masterpieces later, Marlene exhibits her work at The Gallery at The Garlands and around town, but her true gift is… Continue Reading Be CREATIVE

Be ADVENTUROUS

The sky is the limit for Fred and Natalie Sponsler.   Be ADVENTUROUS Garlands members American Airlines pilot Fred and tax accountant Natalie were “fixed up” later in life by their fraternity brother teenage sons. Taking a risk on love again, the adventuresome Fred and Natalie began dating. A trained Air Force pilot and owner of his own Cirrus… Continue Reading Be ADVENTUROUS

Be THRILLING

Sharing breathtaking views atop a snowy Colorado mountain is a real thrill for Gary and Sue Ellen Griffin.   Be THRILLING Family ski trips that started when their three boys were in grammar school continue today…with the addition of seven grandchildren on the slopes! They’ve been risk-takers and adventurers from the get-go. Sue Ellen took the first… Continue Reading Be THRILLING

Be YOURSELF

His and her offices are the perfect fit for Richard and Dorothy Winsor, two scholars with doctorate degrees in their respective fields.   Be YOURSELF In their Garlands home, each spouse has space – in the home as well as in their relationship – to be him or herself and follow their own individual passions – along… Continue Reading Be YOURSELF

Sixteen Years, WOW!

As they say, “It’s funny how time flies, especially when you are having fun.”

It is hard to believe that I have lived at The Garlands for 16 years now–I have enjoyed every moment! In fact, this might even sound like an ad for The Garlands, however, I thought that maybe some people might like to learn how an “old timer,” who has lived here nearly from the start, feels about being a Garlands member
Continue Reading Sixteen Years, WOW!

Be GRACIOUS

The Garlands is home-sweet-home to Dick and Alice Van Egeren.   Be GRACIOUS When these Garlands Members returned to Barrington, where they raised their five children, it was a happy homecoming after 15 golden years in Arizona. Once settled, they welcomed a new four-legged family member, Callie, affectionately known as their “Velcro dog.” Ever perched on a… Continue Reading Be GRACIOUS

Be SMART

The Zilkowski classroom knows no boundaries.       Be SMART For these Garlands members Red is the color of love and Bob Zilkowski’s beloved alma mater, Indiana University. “I bleed crimson,” says Bob, a Hoosier fan through and through. Bob and Janet met on a blind date at IU, fell in love and married on the beautiful… Continue Reading Be SMART

Be FRIENDS

Bonnie Gekler is organized, Chris Kotarba is a wee bit loosey-goosey.   Be FRIENDS These Garlands members and lifelong friends are like two distinct peas in the same pod. Whale watching, hiking, retirement parties, a wedding and divorce, a few medical challenges, birthday celebrations―the two pals cruise through life’s ups and downs together. Workmates at First National Bank,… Continue Reading Be FRIENDS

Be THE LIGHT

Be THE LIGHT Garlands member Bonnie Smith Smiley’s friendliness, outgoing personality, and yes, smile, consistently exceed even the highest of those expectations. Bonnie’s life journey began in California and led her and her husband, Don, to serve in Guam and then return to California, Washington, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida. With their son’s encouragement, they eventually moved… Continue Reading Be THE LIGHT

Be VALUED

Be VALUED Joyce Carlson comes from a long line of do-it-yourselfers. An assistant in a third-generation, family-owned paint contracting business, Joyce was a “working mother” long before the term was coined. When the business line rang in her family’s Chicago three-flat, she would whip into multi-tasking mode, corral the three kids and book the next… Continue Reading Be VALUED

From the Desk of
Dorothy Winsor

Dorothy Winsor holding a book she wrote.

A longtime English Professor who taught technical writing at Iowa State University, Garlands member Dorothy Winsor, 72, pursued her desire to write fiction in retirement. “Although I read plenty of fiction, I never thought of myself as being creative enough to write it,” Winsor said. “Turns out I was wrong!” Winsor’s fifth young adult fantasy novel is currently with her publisher, and she’s eyeing a sixth.

Her advice to others who are considering pursuing their dreams in retirement: “Don’t doubt yourself! Be brave enough to try new things no matter what your age.”

Dorothy is a guest blogger for The Garlands. We are delighted to share her thoughts on writing . . . and just about anything else that crosses her creative mind!

On the Need for a Project

On the Need for a Project I am working on the theory that having a project makes people happier. By “project,” I mean something that requires a person to make plans and carry them out. The plans are for something they do freely rather than being assigned or forced to do.   I first thought… Continue Reading On the Need for a Project

A reading from The Wysman by Dorothy Winsor

A Sneak Peek Garlands of Barrington Author, Dorothy Winsor, shared a reading of the first chapter of her soon-to-be-released fourth young adult novel, The Wysman, virtually via Zoom with her friends and peers at The Garlands. The book is about a street kid turned advisor of a king who is determined to hunt down the person… Continue Reading A reading from The Wysman by Dorothy Winsor

Dorothy Winsor Publishes Her 4th Novel – The Wysman

Garlands of Barrington Author, Dorothy Winsor, Publishes Fourth Young Adult Novel   Barrington, IL . . . At age 72, Dorothy Winsor moved to The Garlands and took up a second career as an author writing young adult fiction. She has published three books and is releasing a new young adult novel, The Wysman, this… Continue Reading Dorothy Winsor Publishes Her 4th Novel – The Wysman

OVERCOMING WRITER’S BLOCK

Dorothy A. Winsor Sometimes writing is easy. You’re in the zone. The words pour out. Good words! But sometimes, writing is so difficult it feels impossible. You have the dreaded writer’s block. There can be different reasons for writer’s block, and overcoming it depends on why you have it. Fear, boredom, and unarticulated problems with… Continue Reading OVERCOMING WRITER’S BLOCK

SHOULD I REVIEW THIS BOOK?

Dorothy A. Winsor In February, I went to a Chicagoland SFF conference called Capricon. Among the engaging panels, I attended was one called “Book Reviews vs. Literary Criticism: But is it good?” Panelists included a publicist, a couple of writers, and a book reviewer for a newspaper. The topic they started with was the difference… Continue Reading SHOULD I REVIEW THIS BOOK?

Be BRAVE

THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT Dorothy A. Winsor Back when I was writing academic books and articles, I conducted a five-year ethnographic project at an engineering center. My area is professional communication, so I hung around the center watching engineers try to communicate in their natural habitat. It was a lot of fun, and… Continue Reading Be BRAVE

WRITING DURING A PANDEMIC

You want to know what I’ve learned about writing during a pandemic? It’s hard. And for me at least, maybe impossible in any sustained way. That’s what I’ve learned. For the first couple of weeks, I felt guilty because I had all this extra time while I was locked down at home, and yet I… Continue Reading WRITING DURING A PANDEMIC