When Lettie Pellizzari moved to Springhill in January with her husband Rinaldo, she was relieved to be giving up the responsibility of the couple’s large property, but sorry to be giving up the Florida room that doubled as her art studio.
A talented artist, Lettie took first place in the Erie Independent Council on Aging Art Show this spring with a watercolor of calla lilies draped on a table.
But Lettie has quickly learned to adapt to her two-bedroom apartment by placing a large board over her living room table when the painting mood strikes.
“I adjust very well anywhere I am because I traveled so much when I was young,” Lettie says.
In fact, Lettie’s “Old Memories of House” painting is a product of her transcontinental childhood. It was inspired by her childhood home in Argentina, where “my mother had a beautiful row of calla lilies in the back,” she recalls.
Lettie’s family emigrated to Argentina from their home in Merano, Italy, following World War II when she was 12. Seven years later, visiting family in Italy, she met her husband in a café. When she returned home, they corresponded, and after marrying, she joined him for his residency in Canada. The couple moved to Erie, where Rinaldo worked as a pathologist.
“When I was young, I dabbled in art, but then I grew up and concentrated on being a good wife and a good mother and a good hostess,” she says. “When the kids left for college, I had more time to get back into art and began taking lessons again.”
Her talents have been Springhill’s gain. She has held one art show at the community and will be donating some of her paintings to the Springhill Craft Show this fall. The show features hand-made items from many talented Springhill residents, with proceeds going to benevolent care, which assists residents who have outlived their financial resources.
For Lettie, Springhill has brought her greater peace of mind and security.
“Everyone who works here is very helpful, very nice, very well trained,” she says. “I can’t say enough about them. It is truly outstanding here.”
Although she has not been spending quite as much time painting since her move, Lettie plans to return to it once the weather turns. For now, her mornings are spent walking the community’s campus. And between appointments, her daily card game with Rinaldo, entertaining new neighbors and cooking – another passion of hers – Lettie’s days are full.
“I will return to painting soon, though,” Lettie says. “I do one piece at a time, and I always finish it, whether I like it or not!”