Artistic Friends Find Creative Freedoms at Buena Vida

Residents Nancy, Sandy, and Pat have been friends for over 40 years.

A friendship that has spanned more than 40 years, deeply rooted in a love of the arts, has now reunited in Melbourne, Florida.

Buena Vida residents Nancy and Pat met around 1970 while living and teaching in Miami. They were both teachers and each had a creative spirit. They met mutual friend Sandy, and the three laugh robustly as they recall their days in South Florida living the boating lifestyle.

“Those were some wild days,” according to Sandy.

Nancy was an art major in college and has always had a love of fabric and textiles, which naturally translated to her talent in quilting.

“I’ve done a lot of textiles, it’s always been my bag,” Nancy said. “If you’re going to do it, do it right.”

According to her friends, her works are very unique. Nancy’s talent has won her numerous awards and she remains an active quilter.

Sandy and her husband maintained their boating lifestyle, circling the globe one-and-a-half times, which awakened her love of painting.

“I would just experiment with scenes and when we got back from our travels, I wanted to take it more seriously,” said Sandy. “I took some classes and now I focus on divine proportions and everything is in mathematical relationships. It takes a long time to do this work.”

Pat’s medium of choice is jewelry. She started with a procedure turning sculptured wax to cast to metal.

“It started with one item, I made a ring and it came out and looked good and I was surprised,” said Pat. “My husband said it was turning into an expensive hobby. I took a few items to the teacher’s lounge at the school where I was teaching and by the end of the day, they were all sold.”

Nancy was a counselor at Buena Vida first and it wasn’t long before she decided to call Buena Vida home. After a talk with Pat about both being in a similar life stage without family to care for them in the future each moved in.

Sandy and her husband Jim visited and also decided to put down a deposit and call Buena Vida home.

Now the ladies enjoy all that Buena Vida has to offer. Nancy is involved in the Buena Vida Stitchers quilting group, Sandy paints, and Pat features her jewelry at art shows.

“The greatest part is that Buena Vida is the only continuing care facility in all Brevard County,” Nancy said. “You come in as independent and remain that way as long as possible. But you have security knowing you’re going to be cared for.”

“It’s like living in a fine hotel and there’s so much to do. I didn’t expect it to be this much fun,” said Pat.

Hear for yourself what the ladies have to say about life at Buena Vida:

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