17 Apr Combining Logic and Creativity Results in a Great Life – and Beautiful Quilts
When Diana and Dennis Venters decided in 2014 to move from a downtown Decatur (GA) condominium to their spacious 2,300 sq. ft. home in the luxury retirement community of Park Springs, logic and creativity played equally important parts in their decision-making process. This fusion of the right side and the left side of the brain is a hallmark of their life together.
Diana Venters is a retired mathematics professor, having taught English and Mathematics for 35 years. She is also a well-known quiltmaker who started making mathematically based quilt designs in 1989. These designs are incorporated in two books of mathematics enrichment activities for middle and high school students which she co-authored. She has authored several articles for quilt magazines and lectured at national and regional math and math/art conferences. Mathematical ideas such as the golden triangle, conic sections, fractals, Pythagorean triples and tiling games such as Tetris are the inspiration for her quilts and she hopes they inspire students to explore mathematics from this new “art” perspective.
“Quilting, by its nature, is a pure application of geometry. A century ago, quilters knew which shapes would tessellate. Logarithmic spirals and fractal designs are the basis of early quilt patterns and before quilts, these designs were the inspiration for tile patters. My interest in fractals began with my first sighting of Hilbert’s curve,” she is quoted here.
Recently, Mrs. Venters has taught ‘Recreational Math’ as part of Emory University’s Lifelong Learning program, and has given quilt lectures to the Women’s and Men’s Forum at Park Springs, where she also teaches a beginning quilt class.
Mr. Venters, a Chemical Engineer, built and operated chemical plants for multi-nationals as well as smaller companies throughout the United States before retiring at 59. Mr. and Mrs. Venters have three grown children, all highly accomplished, who share their parents’ love of learning.
He and his wife of 52 years moved numerous times (“… and down-sized three times already!”) before selecting to live close to their twin grandchildren, now 7 years old.
“After experiencing condo living, we wanted to be back in a house, and we looked long and hard, even as far away as Arizona,” says Mr. Venters. “This home is perfect for us. We made some beautiful upgrades before we moved in, and we’ll never have to worry about repairs or maintenance. Park Springs’ location is outstanding, and we appreciate the freedom from responsibility that we have here.”
Freedom from Responsibility
He explains: “There is a certain structure in place when you live in a retirement community, but rather than limiting our lifestyle, we have found that living in Park Springs is a liberating experience.”
For instance, even though Mrs. Venters is a great cook, she doesn’t prepare meals on a daily basis anymore, just on special occasions. “We like the variety of dining options at Park Springs, and since we got to enjoy the many top restaurants in Decatur we continue to explore the many great restaurants in the Atlanta area,” says Mrs. Venters. “Atlanta has so much to offer, and we take full advantage of the Alliance Theatre, the High Museum, and the many shows and performers that come to The Fox, the Ferst Center, and Cobb and Gwinnett Centers.”
“We also appreciate the “lock and leave” lifestyle, since we travel a lot – including our annual trip to New York for our ‘Broadway fix,’“ he notes. “The security aspect is important, also for our single women friends who live here.”
Living Life to the Fullest
Mrs. Venters continues to make quilts. “ I have turned our home’s sun room into my music and sewing room. I look out over our back yard, which borders the Stone Mountain Park golf course, where you can find Dennis and his golf friends several times per week. On the days when he is not playing golf, he likes to go to the Park Springs fitness center for his two-hour fitness routine.”
In addition to quilting, music is another passion for Mrs. Venters who started playing the organ only eight years ago with a group of aficionados at Cooper Music in Atlanta. “Music is all math,” she smiles, as she demonstrates her beautiful electronic organ where she plays lots of different pieces, including show tunes. She also likes to clog and tap dance, and performed at Marvin Himmel’s annual show at Park Springs in 2015.
“Don’t wait to move to Park Springs until you have to move,” recommend the Venters, who agree that Park Springs resembles a quilt made up of many different people, from different parts of the country, with different backgrounds and interests. “There is so much going on at Park Springs – every day. We are living our life to the fullest at Park Springs.”
To learn more about living at Park Springs by Isakson Living, or to schedule a personal tour of Park Springs, please contact one of Park Springs’ Residency Counselors at 678-684-3300 or visit www.parksprings.com.