We’ve had very cold weather, but as typical for Southern Illinois, we have also had pleasant winter weather this week. (The local saying has always been: If you don’t like the weather, stick around and it will change.) Evidence of the cold temperatures were Gerald’s two young buddies fishing out on the middle of the lake where they cut holes. The second day the temp was changing and I wondered if they were safe—but they assured Gerald the ice was still plenty thick. I’ve got a mess of cleaned fish in the freezer that we will enjoy one of these days.
I have been useful. I picked up Sam from junior high and took him to the orthodontist when his braces needing fixing. Since the dentist is just across the street from the Dairy Queen, it has always been our tradition when I take him to make a stop there afterward.
I made a make-up interview appointment for Katherine with a possible substitute aide. I haven’t heard yet how that went.
Although I haven’t done much cooking this week, I nevertheless put food on the table at meal times. I experimented with bran muffins and little loafs of bran bread using Splenda. The little loafs flavored with walnut flavor and a generous handful of real walnuts were tasty.
Gerald had two appointments set up on Friday—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. So I didn’t think he would be home for lunch. Then a phone call came saying a death in someone’s family made them need to cancel the afternoon appointment and maybe he could come in on Monday. I quickly phoned him so he would not go to the other town for the second appointment, and I hurriedly fixed salmon patties for our lunch with salad and a “baked” sweet potato. (I can fix even a large one in the microwave in less than ten minutes.) As it turned out, he was able to reschedule the afternoon appointment after all by going up to West Frankfort, where he needed to take the car anyhow, so that worked out well.
I finally had our neglected piano tuned this week, and I made my delayed eye examination appointment. I intended to start setting up appointments with my dentist but wanted to wait to find out when the eye exam would be. That is the first thing I am going to do in the morning.
The mail brought me a sweet personal note from a friend in Florida who is recovered from cancer, and one day I came home to a strange package that was delivered by the UPS man. As I struggled with the cardboard box, I knew a moment of irritation thinking that some company had sent me something I had not ordered.
Then I remembered. I’d sent off a manuscript—a simple account of the way our family celebrated Christmas when I was a child--to a senior citizens’ magazine years ago, and the editor wrote they could not use it that year but if I didn’t mind their holding it, they might use it the next Christmas. It wasn’t very good in my opinion, and I had no plans for it, so I said sure they could hold it. But they did not use it the next Christmas either and returned it. I then sent it off to Reminisce. They finally wrote it might be used on their website or someplace someday, and I forgot all about it.
Right before Christmas this year, I got a nice packet with a personal letter and a representation (copy) of their monthly e-newsletter, and there was my memory “Christmas in the 1940s.” The letter said it would also be on their website when they redesigned the site in late 2009. I forgot to look until tonight, and I couldn’t find it. But my pay for all this is a tiny metal replica of a classic ’57 Chevy convertible that identifies me as a Reminisce staffer. I’ve never been paid with a toy car before, but it is kinda cute and I am kinda proud of it on the bookcase in my office.
Yesterday was spent in our home county because of the death or our sister-in-law Barbara’s 95-year-old mother, who died in a nursing home in Missouri. She was brought back to be buried by her husband in a peaceful rural cemetery. She had lived with Barbara’s younger sister Karen for many years after many years in our sister-in-law’s home. We arrived early for the graveside service and walked the grassy hill top looking down on country fields. I had dressed warmly, but the weather was pleasant unlike the bitter cold I expected.
Barbara’s sister grew up spending her summers with Barbara, and so we considered Karen one of own. After many years, it was good to see her and her husband again and meet their grown daughters, see Barbara’s brother Willie and family, and see some of our own great nieces and nephews that had we had not seen in too long. Friends, neighbors, and church members had filled long tables for a buffet feast at Barbara and Keith’s house, and most of us went there to continue our visit and reminiscing.
The one thing I worked on this week was preparation for a meeting tonight after our evening church services. Our small village church has had two to four children in our preschool department for a few years, and we were organized for that. Now we are very pleased to have new families that cause us to have eight or more children with different ages. We’ve have grown a little disorganized with this influx.
The last babies we had in that classroom are now four. To make floor space for the eight, we moved two baby beds to another room. We are ready to find some babies to fill those beds while their parents attend Bible study and/or worship. One such baby was born Friday. We have enlisted several new volunteers to teach the children during worship services, and the meeting tonight was a training session for those volunteers.
We often use a teen or older child to work with one or two adults. They are good help, and we like knowing we are providing them with training in child care. I like to think the kids and teens will be better fathers and mothers someday because of this coached introduction to child care.
I know the preschoolers have increased language and social skills because of the teaching at church. Eye-hand coordination is increased as they use scissors, crayons, glue, toys, chalk, play dough, and other materials. These activities will help prepare them for reading, and then they will not be dependent on us to tell them Bible stories. It is wonderful to see so many volunteers eager to invest in our most precious resource.
After this meeting followed by visiting with a young friend in the church yard,
I walked into Woodsong, and Gerald had the new sound system he gave us for Christmas playing “How Great Thou Art.” It was a nice ending to a winter week at Woodsong.
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