by Jane Zimmerman, Treemont Resident
With a pretty-eyed smile and an open-heart, resident Barbara ‘Penny’ Johnson - so nick-named by her husband Kenneth - greets her new neighbors at Treemont. Penny's advice to all: meet new people, remember their names, and really get to know them. It’s the motto she has lived by all her life, and it’s served her well!
Penny was born Barbara Pennnington in Wauneta, Nebraska and grew up in a farming community. She signed up for a Methodist Youth conference in Cleveland, Ohio in the winter of her senior year in High School 1979. There were 10,000 young people attending, and it was there that she met Kenneth Johnson, her husband-to-be. After that, Penny went to college and Kenneth was teaching. In Penny's sophomore year, she and Kenneth were married at the end of May. Penny finished college and taught 4th grade for 3 years.
They later moved to Boston, where Kenneth attended seminary school, before working at the University of Evansville. The couple were married for 64 years and had a total of 12 children: 3 of their own (Sharon, Glenda and Carolyn), 5 foster children, and 4 others who briefly stayed with the couple. They turned their attic into 3 extra bedrooms to make room for everyone.
The children’s friends were always welcome also. When the kids were young and in school, Penny told everyone they could bring their friends for lunch and that they were always welcome to anything they found in the fridge.
As the children grew up, the grandchildren began to come... 18 of them, to be exact. They were followed by 23 great-grandchildren and, later, 6 great-great-grandchildren. What a family! No wonder they use a weekly e-mail newsletter to keep up-to-date on everyone.
Before retiring, Kenneth built an earth house in Zavala, Texas that they moved into upon retirement. Penny began planting gardens and was known as "The Flower Lady" in Zavala. She also began "little libraries" there in 4 different retail locations – all of which are still active. And would you believe Penny has her own garden here now? She does – on the back patio. She also arranges flowers in small vases and gives them to friends and neighbors.
Another of Penny’s passions is the game of Carrom. She brought her Carrom board with her to this senior living Houston community and put it in the downstairs library for all to enjoy. She regularly teaches people how to play and is always looking for a partner! If you see her, ask her to show you and she happily will.
Penny is friendly, bright and fascinating! A wonderful, talented woman who makes another great addition to the Treemont family. Welcome Penny!
If you enjoyed meeting your Houston assisted living neighbor, then click here to meet more residents of this dynamic independent living in Houston community. There is much documentation on the value of social interaction and friendships in keeping seniors happy and content. Active Activities Programs are key to resident happiness in senior living in Houston communities. Seniors want to live with interesting and engaging residents. At Treemont, from concert pianist Ann Wang, to Nelda Sims of the Sims Trio and also Wilma Carr and Lillian Lee, residents enjoy in-house entertainment, and meeting new neighbors with whom to engage and share their new community. Please make sure you ask about the residents and the activities for seniors programs when you tour senior living Houston TX communities.