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Coloring books give Asheville woman rainbow of hope, motivation to start a club

As time goes by at WNC Baptist Retirement Home, they've learned to view life through a different prism. The Coloring Club invites family members or anyone else in the community to come by and color with them at the home at 213 Richmond Hill Dr. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Local women have embraced something that reminds them of childhood, turning to adult coloring books as a source of therapy.

The hobby sets the tone for what's become a special support group.

"I colored when I was a child," Elois Clegg said.

She and Doris Osterling are as colorful as they come.

"The birds to the bees to whatever's in between, you know," Clegg said, describing the patterns in her books. "It's very satisfying."

As time goes by at WNC Baptist Retirement Home, they've learned to view life through a different prism. The Coloring Club invites family members or anyone else in the community to come by and color with them at the home at 213 Richmond Hill Dr.

They meet every Saturday from 2-4 p.m.

"Well, you have to do something," said Osterling, who's rediscovered the power of the pen.

Together, the people seated at this table draw from a combined 804 years of life experience.

Polly Layman established herself as the leader of the pack.

"I decided that we'd have a coloring club," said Layman, who started the social circle.

After she became a resident here, she realized the independent life she was used to had to changed in her 80s.

"All of the sudden, my condo was gone, my car is gone, and I'm in here for the rest of my life, I guess," she said.

Her daughter gave her the coloring book that turned out to be a rainbow of hope.

"But you have to learn to be comfortable where you are, so that's why I set out to make a difference," said Layman, who provides most of the supplies used during by the Coloring Club. "Stress free. You can color and forget everything."

Elois would like to find a gallery to display some of their coloring. She also encourages more visitors to join them.

They approach their coloring with razor-sharp focus, so there's not always room for small talk.

"Doris, would you let me borrow a glitter pen?" Clegg asked.

Truth is, a little chat goes a long way.

"It's really light talk," Clegg said.

They exchange just enough to remind each other they're all in this together.

"The being together, that keeps you from being lonely," Clegg said.

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