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“Our whole life is solving puzzles.” – Erno Rubik

puzzleladyLives are often filled with twists and turns and it is unknown what incident will make a lasting impression. It was a cold, snowy, wintery day in Tipton, Indiana and Icevilla Watley was looking for an activity to keep her young son Wayne occupied. Wayne was bored and this was in the early ‘50s, years before T.V. was prevalent. Icevilla took a jigsaw puzzle from a shelf in the closet and they worked together to assemble it. That began a lifelong love with puzzles.

Icevilla is 91 years old and she is a long-term care resident of Countryside Health and Living Community in Anderson, Indiana. She moved to Countryside four years ago for rehabilitation after suffering a “real bad sick spell.” Icevilla was in a coma for six weeks and when she came out she had to relearn everything. “I couldn’t eat, walk, or dress myself. I couldn’t raise my arms, I couldn’t feed myself, and I couldn’t put on my shoes and socks. I could do nothing for myself,” she said with a shake of her head. Icevilla had over a year of therapy, “this is the best therapy unit and they know everything.”

After her recovery Icevilla began doing puzzles again. “I did it to pass the time,” she said. Icevilla doesn’t do just any puzzle. “I like the 1,000 piece ones. I separate the pieces by edges and colors and jump right in.” When she is finished with her puzzles she glues them together and gives them away. According to Activities Director Barb Waggoner, Icevilla has given away between 75 and 100 puzzles to residents, staff and families. Resident John Smith has three of her puzzles in his room. “The first one I got was The Lords Supper. It’s beautiful,” he said while Icevilla hung her head with humility.

“It is like a big family here,” she said, “everyone is so friendly. I have many friends, and the staff is wonderful. I keep busy with my puzzles, I play Bingo 3 times a week, do crafts and play games.”

Icevilla came through a life-threatening illness with the care at Countryside and she is flourishing and living a full life. To learn more about the quality care that Countryside Health and Living Community provides, please call (765) 649-4558 or visit us at 205 Marine Drive Anderson, IN for a tour.