April 11, 2011 6:15:00 AM
At age 95, Norma Bagnall is still filling in the blanks.
The Massachusetts resident, who is a frequent visitor to Columbus, became a snowbird this year to escape the unusually harsh New England winter.
"My five-month sojourn with son Laird and his wife, Dew, both MUW graduates, has been most rewarding," she said. "Many hours have been devoted to reading the fascinating history of this area, visiting points of interest and attending community art programs and the Friends of the Library weekly lecture series."
Both art and writing have been longtime hobbies of Bagnall, who is a member of a creative writing group in her hometown.
"This gives me the chance to draw pictures with words both in poetry and prose."
She is currently taking introduction to drawing -- a course offered at Mississippi University for Women through the Life Enrichment Program.
"When drawing with Mr. (Larry) Feeney was included in MUW''s adult education offering, I opted to take advantage of this opportunity and register."
As part of the class, one of her assignments was to draw her hand and give it depth by adding details.
"Now, well into the course, it occurs to me that his ''contour'' concept, with an emphasis of filling empty space with meaningful pencil strokes to create a picture and give it substance, form and depth, may well translate to our personal journey," she said.
During her lifetime, Bagnall has met a lot of people and seen a lot of places.
"We lived in 11 states. I lost track after 23 moves," she said, referring to moves made with her late husband, a Navy pilot.
When asked about the secret to her longevity, she stressed the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and helping others.
"Keep busy. Fill in the empty spaces. Try ''contour'' living and make every minute count," she advised.
For more information about MUW''s Life Enrichment Program, call 662-329-7150.