Senior Rockwall resident chronicles her life, recipes and helpful hints

Maynell Munson might be 91 years old, but she definitely isn’t letting that slow her down.

Maynell is a resident at Rockwall’s Orion Senior Apartments. She cooks and entertains regularly, and never misses a game of bridge at theSeniorCenter. Maynell single-handedly created the phone directory for the Orion residents. When new residents move in, Maynell makes them a plate of her special cinnamon toast to welcome them to the neighborhood. She can often be found exercising or swimming in the community pool.

“I like to be active,” Munson said, “I’m social.”

Maynell’s sister visits weekly, and her daughter Marcia Gilbert is a frequent guest as well. Marcia said that after a recent surgery, she stayed with Maynell for two months while her mother cared for her.

“She takes in infirmed people like me,” Marcia joked.

Maynell is an avid cross-stitcher. Dozens of complicated patterns cover her walls. Still more, she said, have been given away as gifts. She’s been cross-stitching for 25 years, and she alters the dimensions of each pattern herself in order to enlarge the picture. Each piece takes months to complete.

Maynell keeps her mind active by reading, doing word puzzles, and playing cards. When friends need help with insurance filings, they turn to her. She is the author of six different books, but doesn’t own a computer. She prefers her typewriter.

Most of Maynell’s books are self-help related, including a cookbook, a college prep book, and a book of quilting patterns that she designed herself. One of her books, entitled “Mama Said It,” is a collection of sayings inspired by Maynell’s own mother.

Maynell said that each book takes years to finish, because they are full of information that she has cataloged over time. “I’ve just been gathering information and I thought I would put it all down,” Maynell said.

“It’s not like a novel, it’s an accumulation of data,” Marcia explained.

Maynell is working on her seventh book, a memoir about growing up inAquilla,TXduring the Great Depression. Maynell was the second of five children, and her family didn’t have electricity until she was 13 years old. Her book will describe her lifestyle and childhood memories. “It will be like a documentary,” Maynell said.

Maynell sells her books at local craft fairs and to her friends. Anyone who would like to purchase one of her books can contact her at 972-961-0250. She hopes to attend a monthly writing seminar atLakePointeChurchand continue to hone her skills as an author.

Marcia said she is happy to see her mother maintain her independence.

“I am pleased as punch she lives such a fulfilled life,” Marcia said. “She is her own person. She’s not relegated to live with me where she would be bored out of her mind. She can come and go; she has friends and she gets to live her own life. I can’t imagine her not being here.”

Maynell said she has her health to thank for staying 91 years young. “I have good genes, I think,” she said, noting that her father’s family lived into their 90s. “I’m gonna live to be 100.”

By Julie Anne White, Blue Ribbon News reporter.

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