PHOTO: MATTHEW GAULIN
Life’s passion: I am president of The Villages Garden Club North. We have a garden tour each year on the last Saturday in April so Villagers can gather creative ideas to implement in their own garden. I am also director of youth activities for the Marion County Master Gardeners. In that role, I visit Belleview Santos Elementary School and Sunrise Elementary School in Ocala and teach students about the basics of gardening.
Favorite getaway: My backyard. I have a botanical garden and it is my refuge whenever I’m excited or upset. It has a very calming effect on me. In my garden I have collections of bromeliads, orchids, roses, herbs and caladiums. For me, maintaining a garden is a hobby on steroids.
First automobile: My father purchased a 1970 Dodge Colt for me and my sister. At the time, I was 18 and my sister was 16. We both drove the car like girls — fast and carelessly. My father was always fixing the car. There were times when we fought over who would use the car, but then again, we fought over everything.
My hometown: My hometown of New Milford, Connecticut, is a typical New England-style town where you see many old churches and everybody knows everybody. It also has a lovely parade on Memorial Day and a farmers market on Saturdays. I love going back and visiting my favorite restaurants and stores.
Favorite food: Give me a burger or a juicy steak and I’m happy. Because I recently lost 20 pounds and am trying to keep it off, I have incorporated more vegetables into my diet.