Distinguished Residents: Treasured Hobbies

Distinguished Resident

Distinguished Residents: Treasured Hobbies

Distinguished Resident

These residents embrace the pleasure derived from their passions — both past and present.

Lois Larson

Palmilla Senior Living 
Albuquerque, Mexico

Lois Larson was born in Nebraska and raised on a farm in Aurora, Colorado. Her father was a farmer, and her mom, a city girl.

Lois started riding horses at a young age, and in her teens, she was given her own horse, named Pleasure Bit. Lois took care of the horse — she cleaned the horse stables and groomed her. She rode her every day and, for a while, did not have a horse saddle so she rode her bareback. She occasionally fell off but was never injured. Pleasure Bit was such a great horse. She would wait for Lois to get up and get back on so they could continue their ride.

Lois married and moved away from the family farm. Although she still owned Pleasure Bit, she didn’t have anywhere to keep her, so she took her horse to stay with a friend. During that time, Pleasure Bit became a racehorse and gave birth to several foals who also became racehorses. After many years, Lois had to give up her beloved Pleasure Bit, so she passed her on to a friend but continued to visit her from time to time.

Lois’ husband, Bernard, from Omaha, Nebraska, was a pilot in the Air Force. He had orders to deploy during WWII, but the war ended three days before he was supposed to leave.

Lois was a secretary to the general at Lowry Air Force Base for seven years before retiring.

Nancy HaralsonDistinguished Resident

Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby Senior Living 
Shelby Township, Michigan

Nancy Haralson is 
quite the crafty lady. She has been doing crafts almost her entire life. About 30 years ago, she was introduced to counted cross stitch and decided to give it a go. She taught herself how to do the tiny and tedious workings of the needle and embroidery floss. Nancy made many unbelievable art pieces that she has framed and displayed all over her apartment. She competed at the Michigan State Fair, earning her “Best in Show” several times over. Her work is so detailed that she uses a large magnifying glass that rests against her chest, allowing her to see the tiny stitches she creates.

In 2001, when homemade cards were becoming popular, she came upon a pattern book for counted cross stitch Christmas ornaments. Nancy thought to put two and two together and make counted cross stitch homemade Christmas cards. The first year, she used two different patterns and produced 10 cards to give out to family only. Today, she makes 50 cards each year, out of 25 rotating patterns. Every card takes approximately four to five evenings to complete. It has grown into a full-time hobby and tradition. Nancy begins working on her Christmas cards in January in order to have them all complete by the holidays. Relatives and friends collect and display her cards. To ensure everyone receives a different design each year, Nancy set up a spreadsheet listing each name and the pattern they received by year. When asked how one might get on her list, she laughed and said it’s capped at 50 recipients — that is all time allows for. Nancy hopes to continue with this homemade card tradition until she physically can’t continue making them any longer — but that won’t be anytime soon!

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