Rose Villa is a vibrant community where the culture—from food to activities to landscaping-- reflects the dynamic residents who live here. In this edition of “Meet Our Residents,” we’re sitting down with Evelyn Carlson, a Rose Villa fashionista who refuses to let her limited vision restrict her ability to live a life full of adventure and style.
Evelyn is known for her colorful hat collection – a variety of funky, stylish hats that she rotates every day according to her outfit. Evelyn has always had a fondness for accessories and enjoys Rose Villa’s onsite jewelry making class, where she has crafted unique bracelets, necklaces and earrings to compliment her ever-growing assortment of hats. Her signature red hat is more than just a materialistic pop of color; it symbolizes Evelyn’s approach to life: regardless of the obstacles life might throw your way, anyone can find color and positivity (or their “red hat”) on a dreary day.
Evelyn is almost completely blind, though nobody would expect it from her active lifestyle. In spite of losing her eye sight, Evelyn continues to live by her motto that everyone should try everything at least once, and frequently takes advantage of Rose Villa’s onsite gym, art and theater performances, educational activities, dance classes, and group excursions. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Evelyn memorized the majority of the Rose Villa grounds and independently maneuvers around the campus, using the familiarity of sound, smell, and touch to get around.
Though there is comfort in the familiarity of a known environment, Evelyn doesn’t stop there and continues to pursue her love of travel through Rose Villa’s hosted offsite trips and group activities, in addition to her own private vacations. She says “yes!” to nearly every group outing. In fact, since joining the Rose Villa community, Evelyn has traveled to Seattle and British Columbia, taken trips to the coast and the Gorge, participated in bird watching hikes, visited local museums and art galleries, cheered on performers at the Drag Queen Shows, and even took an Alaskan cruise of her own to explore the sounds, smells, and people of a different culture outside of her own.
When she’s not conversing with friends, swimming at the Rose Villa pool, or enjoying the serenity by the river and community garden, Evelyn enjoys spending time with her grandson and two great grandchildren who live nearby. Though she can’t physically read the text of this particular book, you will likely find her reciting her favorite childhood story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, completely by memory, to her great grandchildren.