During her days as an elementary school teacher, Eunice Litchfield maintained control of her classroom. Now in her retirement years, Eunice continues to take charge of her life.
In 1998, Eunice made one of her best decisions. She packed her belongings and moved to Lakeview Village.
“I didn’t want my kids to worry about me and I didn’t want the troubles of maintaining a home,” says Eunice. “I’m glad I made the decision on my own.”
Eunice also made a decision to be a participant in everything available to her.
“I involve myself in as much as I can,” says Eunice. “I feel if you’re bored, it’s your own fault.”
An active calendar
Eunice is busier in her retirement years than she was when she was working.
She’s quick to refer to her calendar before taking on a commitment. A snapshot of Eunice’s monthly agenda includes volunteering at the on-campus What Not Shop, driving neighbors to church, playing bridge, attending aquatic classes and participating in trips offered by Lakeview Village. She has also been a regular story time reader at the Child Development Center.
“I want to be as busy as I can. The rocking chair doesn’t do it for me,” says Eunice.
And there’s baking. Known throughout the community as the “cookie lady,” Eunice brings baked goods to events, meetings, neighbors, Lakeview Village staffers and anyone needing a bit of cheer. On average, Eunice bakes six dozen cookies a week. She considers baking her hobby and therapy.
Cookies have become Eunice’s calling card. “I bring a batch to new neighbors, to the care center or to someone who has been ill,” says Eunice. “If a cookie can make a person happy, so be it.” Far from packaged baked goods, Eunice’s home-made cookies convey her warmth and Midwestern hospitality. Her signature recipe, “brownie supreme,” involves a can of Hershey’s syrup.
“It’s not a cookie unless it includes chocolate,” says Eunice.
Although Lakeview Village’s committees and events keep Eunice active, she enjoys an occasional antiquing excursion with friends. Eunice proudly displays a collection of 125 tea cups and saucers in her Northpointe apartment. A nod to more genteel times, Eunice says sipping a hot beverage from a china cup makes everything taste better.
The key to happiness and health
For Eunice, Lakeview Village offers her an opportunity to stay active, reach out to friends and neighbors and maintain a positive outlook on life.
“I love the sociability of this place—the dining room, the committees and councils,” explains Eunice. “To me, it’s rewarding to meet new people and share common interests. It doesn’t do any good to shut yourself out.”
Eunice is right. A research project conducted by the University of California, Irvine found that people who remained physically active and social lived longer, healthier lives.
In the months ahead, Eunice intends to make room in her busy calendar for a water aerobics class, a book club, the many Lakeview Village 50th anniversary celebrations—and of course, the baking of more cookies.