Touching Lives Stories
Darlene’s Story: A Rewarding Passion for Baking
Evergreen Village had our first ever signature cookie contest during Assisted Living Week 2019. The winner of that contest was Darlene Pendill. Now, Darlene has had a lifetime enjoyment of baking, which started with watching her father bake. Darlene’s father was a professional baker, and she said she picked up his baking skills and also the artistic way in which he lived life. Darlene stated that over the years, her health has taken a toll on her. When she was just in her thirties, she had to live in a germ-free, man-made bubble inside her home due to her immune system shutting down. She couldn’t come out of the bubble, and her children could not come into the bubble. She said what got her through those tough years was a positive attitude, her children and painting. Even during those tough times, it did not take away from her passion for baking.
Darlene said that the cookie competition was one of the first competitions that she had ever been in. She never got to participate in competitions as a child and was excited to showcase her passion for baking. She said that winning the competition made her excited to bake again. Darlene will now be baking Evergreen Signature Cookies at least once a month, and that also makes her excited. The cookie competition had really restarted a fire in her and gave her, as a newer resident, the opportunity to meet people. She said she met so many new faces, and other residents started to talk to her more. It truly opened up more ways to connect with her neighbors.
Darlene also stated that by just participating in the competition, it sparked new ideas in her for ways she could use her talents or passions to help or connect with others. Darlene had heard some of her neighbors talk about not always knowing what day of the week it was. She, now, has started making daily decorated cards that tell people the day of the week and month. She puts these out every day on the dining room tables so that everyone knows what day it is without question. She hopes that by others seeing her use her talents, they will be inspired to share their talents with the community.