Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shifting Back to Normal--Whatever That Is

Our granddogs, Lucky and Leah, are probably back in Freeport by now. Jeannie took them away from Woodsong last night in preparation for her leave taking today. Jeannie has been sleeping over at Mary Ellen and Brian’s place while she cleaned up after the wedding. She has been busy sorting dishes, washing and ironing borrowed napkins, cleaning stuff out of The Barn, and returning items to the church house. Gerald has helped with the heavy stuff; and though I offered to help, I haven’t been called on.

I could tell Jeannie was becoming homesick for her family, and I am sure they are for her. Yet she has tried to work in bike rides every day, which she couldn’t do the last few days before the wedding, She is in training for her post-wedding adventure that she has been dreaming about for a year. She plans to start at Wisconsin and ride the length of Illinois down to Cairo. She had started shopping for a new bike up in her home territory, but still had not made the purchase before she came down. So the last couple days she was making phone calls and looking at bikes here in this part of the state.

Knowing how Gerald loves anything with wheels and that he was one one who gave her the first bike she really started riding distances back in her college days, Jeannie invited him yesterday to go shopping with her. (Come to think of it, he was the one who taught her to ride her first bike as a little girl. She was having trouble getting the hang of it and was distraught. In a family scrapbook, I have her little note asking her daddy for help. Of course, he helped.) I knew they would have fun on this shopping trip.

Gerald also made some phone calls, and they ended up going to Paducah to a bike shop there and found the light weight bike she really wanted. Looking brand new with almost no miles on it, the bike had been traded in by previous owner for a mountain bike. Jeannie was delighted to find what she liked for considerably less than she and Rick had budgeted for. She was all smiles when they came home.

We now are storing her older bike along with other residue from the wedding that would not fit into Rick’s pickup that she ended up with to haul the borrowed water tank back to their friend. I inherited the left-over flavored cans of soda from the wedding, so I have a huge supply here now for the grandkids, who will be back in a couple of weeks to help out with Vacation Bible School.

Gerry, Vickie, and Geri Ann had to leave immediately after the wedding because they were catching a plane out of Atlanta on Sunday to go to the annual exposure softball tourney in the Boulder area. Since this is Geri Ann’s last time to play in this tournament, Gerry was waxing sentimental since their family has been involved with playing and coaching there for several years. (This was Tara’s first time to not go in five years. She and Bryan and the three boys left here to visit his family in the Chicago area and should be back through here tomorrow afternoon.) Gerry was there the last few years as a recruiter for Georgia, and this year Erin joined him and Vickie out there. She was a recruiter for Southern Illinois University Carbondale, of course, and she had been recruiting the previous weekend at an Indiana tourney and was not even able to come to the wedding.

Knowing their family was there when a lightning strike near Boulder erupted into the huge fire just one mountain ridge away made me even more concerned about the Colorado wild fires. I had already been torn up at the larger fire at Colorado Springs. They saw the strike during one of Geri Ann’s pool play games, which consequently had to be postponed. Gerry sent a photo on Facebook, and I was ready for them to get out of there. But Gerry had phoned me later that it looked as if the fire would stay that ridge away and for me not to worry. (Ha. Fat chance.) My Oregon cousin’s grandson Ian is there now fighting these fires as he does during each summer, so I have even more to be concerned about.

Last Saturday I had actually mentally planned a light lunch for whoever was to be at Woodsong before the wedding, but I intended to also have cold cuts in the fridge in case the hair appointments in town took too long. They did. I failed to get by Small’s to buy the cold cuts; and just when I was wondering what people back on the farm would eat for lunch, our son-in-law David spoke up when we dropped Katherine back home. He explained that he had bought a smoked pork shoulder along with a rack of ribs from the fund raiser at Boynton Center that morning. He said he thought with extra people at the farm that maybe I could use the shoulder. (The ribs were for Sam.) He handed me a warm foil-wrapped wonderful smelling piece of pork, which we were able to let people eat for sandwiches at the farm.

There wasn’t time for me to eat lunch that day, but Gerald and I have been eating on that delicious hunk of meat all week. Jeannie had given us some left-over chicken and dumplings, so I haven’t cooked much with just Gerald and me here at Woodsong this week. Today Jeannie unloaded left-over sweets on us, so my freezer is getting full again.

A couple days ago Gerald brought over all the colorful petunias and other potted plants used to decorate The Barn. Some are for Leslie and Mike the next time someone goes to Nashville after they are home from their honeymoon. Most are for Jeannie when someone headed to Freeport has room for them. In the meantime, I have a gorgeous display of petunias and a few other plants on the picnic table on the deck just outside our kitchen doors, and I am enjoying them along with all the wedding memories.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Echoes of Wedding Bells

People were moving slowly today, resting, and reliving the last few days’ activities as we saw our granddaughter Leslie become the bride of Michael Thompson. People have been coming and going here at Woodsong, and Leslie has been the center of much fuss and attention. Many of the far away guests had already left the area last night, and our granddaughter Tara and husband Bryan left Woodsong with their three little guys this morning. Our daughter Mary Ellen came over to drink coffee and talk over all the happenings before I left for Sunday School and worship.

Jeannie and Cecelie came down last Sunday to start preparations, and Leslie late Monday night. The bridesmaids and friends started arriving Wednesday and were cloistered up at Brian and Mary Ellen’s recently purchased house when they weren’t involved in parties and wedding preparations. After the bridemaids’ brunch that Jeannie gave at the church on Thursday morning, they put on their gifts of aprons and pitched in helping make cookies and goodies in our beautiful new church kitchen with its two fine stoves.These were served at last night’s picnic at The Barn.

Jeannie really wanted to have the young women learn to make dumplings there too, which would have been a very practical experience for them and probably a lot of fun. (I would have liked that lesson also.) That did not work out, however, but Jo Barger, one of the best and most knowledgeable cooks in our region volunteered to obtain frozen dumplings from a friend of hers and prepare the large pots of chicken and dumplings for Jeannie. This kind of generosity with her cooking talent is overwhelming to me, but hundreds have profited by the meals she has invited them to or often taken to them down through the years.

Jo always worked full time in the family bookkeeping business (and still helps out at her son’s during tax season), but she and her late husband John gardened and shared produce with their customers—especially the older ones. Jo canned and cooked into the night because she enjoyed it. When she made one of her famous cakes, the understanding was that she had to wake John to lick the pan, and she was careful to be generous there too.

Jo not only published her own cook book, but they built a little cabin just for her with an old-fashioned wood-burning cook stove to entertain with huge country breakfasts. She knows how to prepare anything from a lovely dinner party in her dining room to prime rib for a crowd at a banquet. Jeannie made sure the young women had one of her cook books in the hand crafted monogrammed bags she made for each maid. Before it was over, Jo was helping Jeannie finish up her cobblers and even had the pots of corn-on-the cob ready for Rick to pick up and take to The Barn along with the chicken and dumplings.

While the bridesmaids gave Leslie a shower in their house Thursday night, Jeannie came back to our house along with Rick and Elijah, who had arrived from Freeport. Cecelie, who was designated “Sister of Honor” on Leslie’s wedding program, was deemed old enough to stay there for that all-girl party. Mike and his groomsmen, musician friends, and his parents were in Marion by this time doing their thing.

On Friday, after a fourteen-hour bus trip back from Washington, D.C., Brianna immediately drove with Trent down from the Springfield area to join their cousins here. So, of course, Sam came back out to the farm. Brianna had won this week-long sight-seeing trip sponsored annually by Rural Electrical Association with an essay she wrote. Everyone was wanting to hear about her adventures in the Capitol.

After some road construction on the way, the Archibalds with their three little sons arrived just in time for the rehearsal since Aidan was ring bearer. Geri Ann had afternoon entrance exams for the University of Georgia, so she and Gerry and Vickie did not arrive until long after midnight. (Gerald and I were already asleep, of course.) Rick’s family was also arriving in Marion to their motels there.

Mike’s parents had arranged a delicious dinner at the church following the rehearsal and thoughtfully invited grandparents to join them. Since the new fellowship hall was already set up for the reception the next day, this party was held downstairs in our former fellowship hall. I was somewhat embarrassed since this low-ceiling room looked barren and forsaken when I took the Thompsons and Mike’s grandmother down there Friday morning. But when we arrived that evening, the room was transformed by them to a place of light and beauty. Jeannie said it brought back some wonderful memories to her of all the meals and social times she had enjoyed there as a child. We filled three oblong tables placed in “U,” and the air was electrified by all the youthful energy in the room. We loved hearing the comments and stories when Mrs. Thompson invited guests to speak. Six-year-old Aidan and Jasmine, the adorable flower girl, were quite taken with each other and chose to sit with each other.

Brian and Tara shepherded their three sons through the festivities with grace as always, but the boys were no more eager to get back to the farm than Gerald was because he had the lime pile all ready for their play and they knew daylight was fast fading. Maddux wanted to ride the tractor before bed. Gerald had bought a third little shovel because Payton is no longer a baby but a big boy like his brothers. He caught on in a hurry to this game of lifting shovels of lime from the pile to the little wheel barrel and/or wagon on the toy tractor. He and Maddux tried both toy tractors that are left-overs from Erin’s preschool days. And, of course, there were tractor rides for all on the big tractor long after dark.

Jeannie had been looking all week for a trailer to offer a hay ride at the Saturday night party. She located one at her friend Polly’s parents’ house (more youthful memories), and Gerald started the wedding day retrieving that. He was already scheduled to take me and Katherine to get our hair cut and styled in town, so it was a busy morning that lasted into early afternoon. Somehow we got to the church on time (barely) for the two o’clock wedding, where we were greeted by Brianna at the guest book and grandsons Trent and Sam. I got to walk in on the arm of my handsome Sam in his new suit, since Gerald was going to bring Jeannie in.

I studied again the names of the wedding party and musicians listed on the program printed on the hand-made fans Jeannie had worked on all week, sometimes with Sam and Elijah’s help. Although it was not necessary in the air conditioning, I did use the fan to get in the mood for the vintage theme throughout the afternoon. Colorful potted plants in multiple colors filled the room, and two ivory candles lit up the choir rail.

Soon Mike came out looking handsome in his gray suit and followed by his groomsmen including Les’ brother Elijah all wearing gray trousers and white shirts with colorful ties. (Leslie grew up loving Seven Brides and Seven Brothers, and the bright ties reflected that.)

As we expected, Leslie looked absolutely beautiful in her mother’s wedding veil and remodeled wedding dress. The bridesmaids wore short dresses of lace with different colors beneath the lace. I could not help but notice that Cecelie, our youngest grandchild, could have passed for another college girl. LaRonda had done wonderfully colorful bouquets for Leslie and maids. I loved my bright corsage, which like the others contained left-over lace and ribbons from Jeannie and Rick’s wedding 25 years ago at Center. Aidan and Jasmine did a good job and charmed us with the cuteness.

Jeannie had taken a dress from my college days (that had hung in the kids’ dress-up closet) to Freeport. A seamstress there changed the bodice and sleeves and created a lace top in order to have the 1950s look she wanted. The music was as fine as I expected, and the minister, who had been Mike and Leslie’s Bible professor at Belmont did a good job explaining the love necessary for successful marriages.

Leslie had dried flowers all winter, and the fellowship hall was filled with arrangements from those. By haunting thrift shops and borrowing from friends, Jeannie had turned the room into a lace and linen throw-back to long ago parties. Plates of red strawberries gave just the right accent of color on the white or cream linens. Glassware was the 1950s party plates and cups. Candles beside ancient family Bibles of Rick’s father and grandfather, both ministers, decorated each table. (Jeannie grabbed very old books from the bookcase in our front hall for the tables left after she ran out of Bibles.)

The tiered wedding cake offered chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry choices, and my strawberry was yummy. Lemonade was served in the large punch bowl we used for Jeannie’s wedding. The walls were hung with clothesline filled with many black and white photographs of the bride and groom during their long courtship. I had not seen Rick’s brothers since his wedding, so it was especially fun for me to visit with David from Florida and Scott from Michigan as well as the other guests.

There was a pleasant break with time to change clothes before the picnic and party at Thornfield Barn at Brian and Mary Ellen’s new place. Men had brought the church picnic tables over to the lovely shaded lawn by the barn and we were surrounded there with green corn fields. The serving tables in the barn were loaded with the fried chicken, home-made yeast rolls brought up from Nashville, the chicken and dumplings, slaw, tomatoes, corn and green beans and a variety of desserts Jeannie, Jo, and the young women had prepared. Rick had brought a shiny watering trough down from a Freeport friend, and it was filled with iced colas and sodas.

The original barn owners had been very artistic. Left behind in the barn was a very large circular metal ornament of some sort for some unknown purpose with rows of circles. Gerald had repaired it with his welder and Jeannie had used large canning jars with candles on the outside row and tiny candles in small glass containers towards the middle. This was hung to create overhead lighting and was very pleasing as were all the bright colorful potted plants.

White we ate and visited, kids swung on the tire swing, and young men pitched horse shoes while young women sat on the grass watching as they loved and petted a little stray dog who showed up for the party. Chairs and mikes were set up inside the barn for a group of the couple’s musician friends, and the music throughout the evening was very special. Sometimes we just listened, and occasionally some danced. A special favorite moment for me was when my six youngest grandchildren spontaneously ran up and created a circle to do The Trent, a dance that was originated by him in Vacation Bible School many years ago.

As the evening went on, many crowded on the wagon for a hay ride. Someone built a fire in a fire pit. And most of us just circulated and visited. Then it was time for the Mike and Leslie to leave on their honeymoon. It was dark now, and sparklers had been passed out. The best man yelled out to light them and make a trench for the bridal couple to run through on their way to their decorated car. It made a lovely exit for the new Mr. and Mrs. Mike Thompson.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wedding Week at Woodsong

The bride arrived about midnight last night. I woke up this morning to a quiet house as Jeannie, the mother-of-the-bride, was already out and about with her list of errands. The house was so quiet that I thought Leslie had gone with her mother. I had just started to read the morning paper with my coffee when Les appeared to eat her bowl of Wheaties.

I wished later I had stopped reading and visited with her a bit because the next thing I knew she was out the door. I asked if she were going to The Barn, and she laughed and said she was and then showed me her list of all the other places she also had to go today. Gerald was on his way to help with a project he got involved in yesterday for The Barn, which Leslie called Thornfield Barn on their wedding invitation. This is in honor of the part Jane Eyre had in her and Michael’s romance. (If that confuses you, you can check their proposal page on

I was feeling a little left out, but at least the living room floor was still filled with all the sign making Jeannie had Sam involved with last night before she took him home after midnight and went to get more poster board. The coffee table had the beginnings of the hand-made church fans Jeannie is making. The dining room table is filled with stuff because I have been digging in cabinets looking for glassware or anything vintage that Jeannie wants to use for the cake and punch reception at the church.

After I visited at Katherine’s this afternoon and was coming home, I passed Leslie going out on our rural road, and when I reached the farm, Gerald told that Les had packed up to go over to the house, which sits in front of the barn.

When I heard Jeannie upstairs tonight, by the time I left the computer and went up, she had the living room all picked up and her suitcase ready to roll to join Leslie for the next couple of nights. Mary Ellen and Brian offered the house to Leslie to use for her bridesmaids. (They still have their camper down here, which was what they used before buying this new place, so their family will stay this weekend in their camper on their rented lot.)

They did not paint the barn as requested, but Mary Ellen could not resist starting some redecorating before the wedding so it would look nice. As busy as he is all the farm work this time of year, Brian power washed the concrete barn floor and has the lawn all neat for company. David and Sam drove out and put up the tire swing Jeannie wanted for children, and Gerald is going to donate his washers and horse shoes for the party.

I am most looking forward to the music that Mike and Leslie’s friends are going to provide both at the church and Thornfield Barn. The friends are a talented bunch, so our spirits and our ears will be blessed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Postscript on Geri Ann

Today our granddaughter Geri Ann was in Rome, Georgia, for two high school state all-star games. Yesterday she participated there in the home run derby and won by hitting 31 home runs in the three rounds.

Today she was asked to be interviewed for an ESPN segment about yesterday’s derby. The first person she saw when she walked in was international softball legend Jessica Mendoza. Geri Ann has been interviewed many times but never by someone like the former Olympic athlete and the softball analyst for ESPN, who has been one of her all-time favorites. She admits that she felt a little nervous but answered questions the best she could.

What Geri Ann did not know until the middle of that interview was that Mendoza was really there to unveil and present to her the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year trophy.

Many folks in our region remember Geri Ann as the little sister of two other outstanding softball players—Tara Glasco Archibald and Erin Glasco. Their mother Vickie would bring Geri Ann with an assortment of sand pile toys to keep her happily occupied while they played ball. Vickie would have this toddler looking so cute all spic and span. A half hour later, softball fans were laughing at the adorable grubby preschooler. (Now-a-days Vickie is bringing toys to entertain her three little grandsons at ball games—Aidan, Maddux, and Peyton Archibald.)

I remember long ago when Geri Ann’s father Gerry commented that the poor little thing was only two years old and had already attended some huge number of ball games. I think she was four or five when she played with her first team at the Johnston City park. If anyone got a hit, that player could probably count on a home run since these little beginners were not likely to catch the ball, and if they did, they wouldn’t be able to throw it very far. We parents and grandparents in the stands and on our lawn chairs would go wild cheering these tiny runners around the bases. It wasn’t Geri Ann but another little girl a year younger whose participation I remember most clearly. Tiny for her age, she was standing in the outfield desperately needing to go to the restroom. Finally she got her mother’s attention, and we all relaxed and smiled at each other. I still tease her about this when I occasionally see her. She is now one of the many girls from our region who have earned college scholarships because of their softball skills.

This morning I took Geri Ann’s cousin Sam to give his first trombone lesson to an eighth grade sister of a friend of his. She was already doing well in band, but hopes to get better. Sam was pretty excited after the lesson telling me how much he enjoyed sharing what he has learned. He realized that maybe a near-peer might still remember how it was at the beginning while learning an instrument. He said only this past year has some things he had been taught really clicked in for him.

Sam and I were at McDonald’s eating lunch at noon when I got the phone call from Gerald telling me the exciting news about Geri Ann. He started the call by asking if Gerry had called me. That question scared me because Gerry would not usually phone me on my cell phone. I said no and caught my breath. His next sentence was that Geri Ann was national player of the year. We know that players can be injured and end more than ball careers, and when I heard the name Geri Ann at the first of his sentence, my heart beat harder in total panic. And as he finished the sentence, I suspect it continued beating rapidly in total joy.

Sam was as excited as I was because he and his cousins are very close. His comment was he was not surprised having just read all the statistics when she won the state player of the year. He started citing them. I am not a numbers/statistics person and could not possibly remember them, but the ESPN news release said that during her senior year at Oconee High School, she led the team (38-2) to the Class AAA state title last fall. She posted a 19-0 record with a 0.50 ERA in the circle, while batting .564 with 62 RBI and a state single-season record 24 home runs. It continued, “A four-time first team all-state selection, she struck out 213 batters in 113 innings, firing 13 shutouts and four no-hitters. Glasco set the state career record for home runs (47) and doubles (58) I addition to finishing second in Georgia history with 207 career hits and fourth with 167 RBIs.”

Geri Ann is playing summer travel ball on Southern Force as she has since she was 12. Her father started Southern Force on a shoe string and a dream. Before they joined the staff at the University of Georgia, her dad coached her and then her sister Tara. Gerry is now associate head coach under Lu Harris-Champer, and Tara came on board as assistant coach there last fall. It is not surprising that Geri Ann has signed to play at Georgia. Her sister Erin, who played for Texas A&M when they won second in the NCAA Women’s College World Series, came close to persuading her she needed to go to Texas. Erin is now assistant softball at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She will be going down tomorrow to attend the banquet in Geri Ann’s honor.

For more on her family, read the ESPN blog at

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Postscript to Yesterday's Post

The rain came yesterday afternoon, and the rain gauge on our deck said we got an inch and three tenths of rain. We are very grateful. The fields at the other farm also got some of the precious water.

Gerald said Mary Ellen called and told him she did not leave the new house until yesterday morning. She was so pleased She had completely straightened everything and left house in good shape. I believe she may have even got some more painting done. I am constantly impressed with my children and their spouses’ work ethic. (Although I sometimes think they work too hard, I still admire them.)

Talking of work ethic, I am certain that my granddaughter Geri Ann’s recent selection as Georgia Player of the Year award was the result of all her hard work. She has natural athletic ability, of course, and she has had good coaches. Her family supports all her efforts. But she is the one who no matter what or where gets out to the field and has batting and pitching practices.

Monday, June 11, 2012


The rain did not come. The corn leaves are curling. Today it sprinkled a little, and we were hopeful. Then almost immediately it stopped. We will see what tomorrow brings.

At the end of this week, Jeannie took Sam and Cecelie to stay with her at the Taylors’ new house figuring she could get more done for the wedding up there. The house has a wonderful old traditional barn behind it. Mary Ellen was so thrilled to find that the huge star that Harold and Novella Rix used to hang on this barn every Christmas is still in the barn for them to use.

She and Brian offered the barn to Leslie for the party after her wedding. Leslie or Jeannie--one or the other--gave Mary Ellen strict orders not to paint the barn, which is naturally distressed, and that’s the look they want for their vintage theme. There are a couple of flower boxes on the front of the barn, and Jeannie planted flowers hoping they will be blooming by the time of the wedding. I have never been to a party in a barn before, but I am looking forward to this one.

Friday morning I had just woke up and Gerald entered out bedroom to tell me that Gerry and Vickie had stopped in the middle of the night at a motel in Marion to get some sleep. We knew they were on their way to a Southern Force tourney in Chicago area, where Geri Ann and the rest of the team were already visiting at a team member’s home up there. They said they must get back on the highway as soon as possible, but we were invited to come to town for breakfast with them. We hurried in and enjoyed out visit with them.

We also enjoyed Gerry’s latest story, which he explained to us because of his black eye. Last fall when their rental lease ran out and their daughter Tara and family were moving to Georgia for Tara to take an assistant softball coach position, Gerry and Vickie rented a very large two-story house with a finished basement. Without too much time to contemplate things, the two families decided to live together—the younger family upstairs and Gerry, Vickie, and Geri Ann on the first floor. Bryan planned to look for a job in Georgia, but his Chicago area boss persuaded him to get the right computer network to put in his home office in Georgia and to commute into Chicago when necessary. It has worked out really well for their two families.

One of the things Gerry has commented on before was how the little grandsons often come down and jump on him in bed in the morning to wake him up. He likes that, of course. But the previous day, Gerry was watching out for little 15-month Payton about to jump when 3-year-old Maddux jumped at the same time and unintentionally landed on Gerry’s nose. Tara was watching the boys and laughed—Gerry is the kind of guy who makes people laugh. Gerry said it popped and hurt really bad—Gerry is the kind of guy who would never admit pain. But Payton knew Grandpa was hurt and went running to find Vickie and tell her that Grandpa was hurt. His nose looks all right, but the eye turned black. Naturally, I had to laugh because Gerry is a great story teller; but at the same time, the mother in me is worried about that probably broken nose. But I am sure Maddux will be hearing this story the rest of his life. Gerald said they called from the highway going back home this evening, but there was no time to stop because they had to pick Geri Ann up at the airport in Atlanta.

Jeannie and Cecelie left from Mary Ellen’s house Friday evening to return to Freeport, and Sam went back to his house in Marion. Mary Ellen came down last evening from work to meet up with her husband Brian for the rest of the weekend. Of course, he and the young man who is helping him with the crops, were in the field, so she came over to Woodsong for a late evening visit with us.

After the church potluck in honor of fathers today, Gerald and I went to Mary Ellen’s house. This is quite a treat having her close enough to drop in on. It was surprising how much she has already accomplished up there in the little time she has had to indulge in this her latest project. They had somehow acquired a large amount of furniture at an auction they like to attend, so they have had considerable extra furniture to bring down here. I could imagine all the heavy tugging and lifting that had gone on to get the house nearly furnished so quickly. But they did it, despite the four careers the two of them are keeping up with.

She had to go back to the Springfield area yet tonight because of work tomorrow, so I hope she did not tackle any major endeavor after we left. She claimed she liked having us there, so she didn’t feel she needed to be up and doing. Except for taking us through the house to see the changes, we three just lounged on her comfy couches in the living room and talked. Later when I went by on my way to visit Katherine, however, I saw Mary Ellen out by her car cleaning up something. Although I waved, she didn’t see me as their house is on the other side of the side road parallell to the highway. It is fun having her close enough to causally wave at even if it is only during an occasional weekend. In a large family, there are so many changes with the normal flux of life.

Monday, June 04, 2012

What is so rare as a day...

We have a family wedding coming up on June 23 in our village church, and everyone is quite excited about these nuptials. I expect to have lots of comings and goings here at Woodsong in preparation for the event. In fact, when the Leslie, the bride-to-be, arrived early this afternoon, I was surprised since I had forgotten she was due in—although I looked for her car when I woke up yesterday, when I originally thought she was coming. She was delayed a day because her photographer friend had a photo shoot with her in the park.

As I explained to Leslie, I haven’t been able to keep up with who is in the house. Brian had brought Brianna over and walked through the kitchen as I was preparing noon dinner. I thought he was still downstairs when I called everyone up to eat, but I found out he had left an hour earlier out the front door. So there was still an extra plate on the table when Leslie arrived, and I hadn’t put the food away yet.
Daughter Jeannie and granddaughter Cecelie arrived while we were sleeping yesterday morning. I think around 3 a.m. We enjoyed the day with them. At Katherine’s house in the afternoon, we added Sam; and on the way home from there, a call came to pick up Brianna at the farm on the Pittsburg road, where she had been helping her daddy farm.

From then on, there was lots of chatter and giggling. Brian later picked Brianna up to go to their newest home—the house came with the farm acreage the Taylors bought. Brian and Mary Ellen have already graciously offered it for the bridesmaids’ lodging. Their family is bunking up there on couches when any of them are down here, and they’ve brought down a fridge from their basement in central Illinois. Mary Ellen is trying to get some painting done since she is looking forward to having a chance to redecorate the house, but she had an open house in central Illinois and wasn’t able to come down for her birthday weekend. Brian and Brianna came down after they went out for a family dinner together.

Last night I went to bed with two teens still up chatting. This morning was quiet since Jeannie was already out on her bike when I woke up, and the late night owls Sam and Cecelie were sleeping in. Gerald was taking advantage of the much too dry weather to mow at the Pittsburg farm. Jeannie was in and out as she had an 11 a.m. appointment with our village florist, and she came home all thrilled about their wedding flowers. Soon she and Leslie joined me at the dining room table where I was trying to clean up a scrapbook project mess.

Gerald had a spur-of-the moment opportunity last week to meet up with Gerry and Geri Ann in Memphis and go on to Oklahoma City for the first four games of the Women’s College World Series on Thursday. With no meals to prepare, I decided to get rid of a box of stuff I had saved for years to make Southern Illinois Writers Guild scrapbooks, which are about the only archives we have. I had completed earlier ones years ago, but this box just sat on the floor of my office daring me to throw the contents away. I figured I could complete the project easily before Gerald got home late Friday night, but as those things have a way of doing, the ephemera just seemed to grow and scatter. However, I also had other things to do during these days. After taking most of Saturday and all day yesterday off, I wanted to clear that dining room table. So I finally did today.

Jeannie had finally found her wedding veil safely stored in a very deep hallway closet and it brought down hoping Leslie might like it. Leslie had her mother’s wedding dress remodeled, and she had it with her. We had the privilege of seeing it on her as she tried on the veil. She is going to be a beautiful bride.
The TVs at our house have been turned on to the Women’s College World Series a great deal of the time the last five days, and everyone in the house watched the first game of the championship finals as Oklahoma beat Alabama. The winner must win two out of three games, so tomorrow we will know whether or not a third game as to be played.

Jeannie and Leslie came in from Carbondale, where they had gone to pay for the ordered wedding cake and whatever else they needed to do over there. Brian came to pick up Brianna. I hear noises upstairs now in the kitchen where the youngsters are fixing themselves a bedtime snack. That does not necessarily mean they are about to go to bed, but I am. Sam says there has been some lightning in the sky outside, so I hope the needed rain finally comes tonight.