Seventy-year-old Lily Shumpert is a busy bee. Besides taking care of her two homes, one in Lake Highlands and one on Lake Texoma, she makes time for her lifetime passion of writing.

“If I had my way, I’d write all of the time and hire someone to do what I have to do that keeps me from writing,” says Shumpert, who has owned the same house in Lake Highlands since she was 36 years old.

Yet Shumpert intermingles her chores and writing quite nicely.

“Whenever I mow the grass, I get ideas for poems,” says Shumpert, whose Texoma lake house is located on three acres. “Mowing and writing are two of my pastimes I enjoy.”

Shumpert has written hundreds of poems since her high school days in Oak Cliff. That’s when her writing took off, she says, sparked by encouragement from family, friends and teachers.

She worked as a secretary for 17 years, and when the phones weren’t ringing and work was lacking, she kept herself busy writing poetry, she says.

Many of her poems have been published in various publications and several poetry anthologies, and she received two awards from Austin College several years ago for short stories about her family.

Many of her poems are about nature, and Shumpert says the poems serve as a cathartic experience.

One of her favorites is a poem she wrote after walking across land on the “Windy Hill,” which is what she calls her home on Lake Texoma.

“I came to a quiet place where the birds weren’t singing because they knew that I needed silence to be with the Lord,” says Shumpert, who says her land is usually stirring with nature’s sounds.

Shumpert, who says she writes after stumbling upon everyday things, such as photos in magazines.

“You have to have inspiration along with the knowledge of usage of words,” she says.

Shumpert was married for 42 years and has a son and four grandchildren. She is planning to record many of her mother’s old tales on paper to be passed on to her family.

Shumpert says she talks more than her mother ever did and enjoys expressing herself through writing.

“I’ve always been accused of talking too much, but I can’t be because I don’t talk in my sleep,” laughs Shumpert.

“As long as you can give your voice a rest.”