The Norman Transcript


December 25, 2012

Clara Dumas still creating art at 94



As for now and the future, Clara is still laying out in her mind the next three-dimensional tapestry project. So where did this full faced approach to life come from? She did share that her mom tried to teach her knitting which was too confining for her at the time but obviously had some impact on her direction in art. She also shared that her dad taught her about being open to try anything. She remembered that he was not afraid to tackle fixing a car or building a house.

So you might ask, what does all this mean about aging in place? Everyone I talk to over, say 55, seems to end up discussing all kinds of less than exciting health issues and surgeries or anticipated surgeries. I am beginning to see why the old folks — grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, and parents — used the holiday get-togethers to talk about all those things to which us kids would just shake our heads at and go play, only understanding the now, only seeing the now as all that counts. We didn’t understand the then, which, as I grow older, seems to be a good part of my life as well as the now and the future, which now doesn’t seem to be that far away.

Although health problems are a fact of aging it seems, that isn’t the most important thing. Keeping engaged and active in the things you love seems to be very important to aging in place successfully.

So there you have it. To me the connection of Clara’s story in successful aging in place shows itself in the life of this 94 year old artist that has a life history of hard work, a lack of fear of trying and in experimenting in new forms of art. The aging process is just another life experience and another time to experiment and learn. With Clara I got the feeling life is still in the now.

Architect and OU professor Dave Boeck writes on Aging in Place for The Transcript.

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