Super Senior: Sahra Aschenbach - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Sahra Aschenbach

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"The way I see life is that, life is a steadily flowing, like a steadily flowing river," said Sahra Aschenbach.

In a Kodak box full of 8-by-10-inch photographs, Sahra's creative side comes to life. 

"And then I tended to photograph wild people," said Sahra.

Sahra has a wild streak, too. She moved to Vermont from New York after college. She worked as an RN in Burlington, married a sculptor and had three kids. Later she changed her name from June to Sahra and even studied Buddhism in Tibet. Photographing people and nature was her creative release.

"Well, it looks like it could be by the edge of Lewis Creek in Hinesburg, which is where I lived," said Sahra.

Sahra is unsure of the image because her life is in a fog-- she's now legally blind. 

Reporter Joe Carroll: Should I come closer just to see my face? 

Sahra: Sure, here we go, there, now I can see your eyes.

"And I'm seeing an absolutely perfect vision. Cause that's what happens when I get very, very close," said Sahra. 

The 81-year-old has macular degeneration.

"My idea about life is I never was going to age at all," said Sahra.

She now lives at the Pillsbury Manor Senior Housing in South Burlington. And each week a group of seniors gets together to discuss the challenges of getting old.

"But at 75 that's when things started to fall apart, that's when things started to break down," said one resident. "That's where I am now, trying to enjoy life, I'm enjoying life one day at a time." 

Just a few months ago, Sahra was at a low point in her life. Anika Crosby is the activities coordinator at the facility.

Carroll: But there were some dark times for her. 

Crosby: Yes, yes.

Sahra felt useless, she told the group that she was once a photographer and, of course, couldn't do that anymore. But then she had a bit of a vision, Sahra knew of a blind photographer in the area and suddenly she said, why not me?

"And she said, 'I'm going to do it,' and she got very excited by it," said Crosby.

Sahra got a "point and shoot" camera. She says the camera is allowing her to see what she can't see.   

"I'm now going to enlarge this screen," said Sahra. "There, now I can see this." 

She puts the images into the computer and enlarges them on the screen. With the help of her son, she picks out the best and makes prints. 

"It's helped her reclaim part of herself that she thought was gone, I think it's an avenue for self-expression," said Crosby. 

Sahra may have lost her sight, but she still has that ability to work the room. 

Sahra's world is in living color again. It's a clear vision of places and people who made a difference in her life. 

"I just feel so grateful that I live here and I have you all, that we have each other, thank you so much," said Sahra.

Sahra hopes to hang up some of her pictures so the whole community can enjoy her work.

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