June 6, 2016 // 9:01 AM

“I Remember” with Shirley Wenger

Written by Trish Lauer

When Shirley Wenger signed the agreement to move to Garden Spot Village in February of 1995, it was a change for her. A country girl, Shirley was unaccustomed to a community with the closer type of fellowship that is commonplace at Garden Spot. Now, though, Shirley is firmly embedded in the lifestyle of GSV.

Initially, the move was made due to her husband, Luke’s, illness. The care that he, along with Shirley and their family, received from residents and staff – particularly the nurses of Springwood – was a needed kindness, one that still means a lot to Shirley to this day. During this period, she also experienced the growth of Garden Spot. A townhome-style cottage resident on Azalea Court, Shirley’s vantage point allowed for some striking images to make their way into her memory. “I remember huge piles of dirt where the main parking lot is now,” she recalls, “and the goldfinches flitting to and fro over them.”

The pool was an addition Shirley was most eager to be built and, as it would turn out, would be a place where she would gain more than just physical fitness. “I found my first true friend while swimming. She remains a bestie.” More friends would be made as Shirley went on to join the art guild at its inception, spend some time as a Red Hatter and in the quilting club, and volunteer at the Share & Care shop. She’s also a part of a mah-jongg group. “We play the game, but it is mostly just being friends and laughing.”

While, at 56, a change as large as the move to GSV was a necessity for her situation at the time, Shirley has grown to appreciate many aspects of life at Garden Spot Village. “I can call maintenance whenever something needs attention, go to the Harvest Table if I don’t feel like cooking and go to the library any time day or night.” Her favorite part of living at Garden Spot Village, though? “My new friends,” Shirley answers. She may have been unaccustomed when she first arrived, but now Shirley’s a terrific part of life at Garden Spot Village – happy, social and fulfilled.