Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Today was a special day because 85 years ago on this day Gerald was born. Everyone agrees that he does not look nor act his age, but we celebrated his age today! Hard work outside, disciplined exercise here in the house, and recent physical therapy have all had their desired result, and he remains strong and active. No, not as strong and active as five years ago, but he’s looking good. He was kept busy throughout the day answering his cell phone to receive birthday greetings. He had already had his birthday breakfast with his brothers and nephews in Jonesboro yesterday, so his calendar was freed up for today.

Our youngest daughter Mary Ellen and husband Brian picked us up for a visit to a large church that they discovered when Brianna first went to Murray State. The building is very user friendly, and Mary Ellen especially wanted us to see the children’s area with its farm theme dreamed up by the pastor, who is also a part-time cattle farmer.

I’d heard enough about it to want to see these amazing attractive rooms that have an inside barn construction two-stories high and life-size plastic tractors for children to climb on among other attractions. In one room, I also noticed multiple computers for the children to use. It was a fascinating venue for Bible study for children to grow up in, and I am sure the children enjoy it, while they learn that we reap what we sow and that God, who created this world, gives the increase.

I am also convinced that in smaller congregations children can fortunately be taught those important life lessons seated at the table with loving teachers—especially those who know children learn by doing and, thus, do not follow the “sit still while I instill” method.

Best of all, children can be taught at the kitchen table with parents or during bedtime devotions, and perhaps most importantly by observing adults at home and in the community who try to live by Jesus’ teachings. After our worship there in the attractive auditorium and enjoying Mary Ellen’s tour of the children’s spaces, we drove through beautiful Kentucky Lake roads and on to the nearby Patti’s restaurant, which also has elaborate but homespun d├ęcor.

The food was excellent and servings large enough that some had to be brought home. Service by friendly waitresses in yesteryears’ long cotton dresses were able to create a feeling of conviviality in the room we shared with other tables of guests. Gerald was one of three in our room who was celebrating a birthday, and we were invited each time to sing along with the family wishing their loved one happiness. We found ourselves sharing smiles and remarks with other guests when we exited.

We got home in time to catch the end of Oregon’s second softball game at Salt Lake against Utah. We had already been getting phone messages about the game from Gerald’s sister Ernestine and her husband Don, who had traveled there from Rock Springs to see Geri Ann play yesterday and today. Texas A&M won over South Carolina in l0 innings on Friday but was rained out yesterday, but they won two games today, so we knew Gerry was in good spirits. Oregon is supposed to play a third game tomorrow, but they too may be rained out.

On our end of the state, Katherine had enlisted help for today, so I could spend the day with Gerald. At the other end of the state, Rick was taking our Jeannie to Wisconsin to start her chemo tomorrow. I marvel at the advances and discoveries of the scientists and doctors who treat the many diseases and health problems inflicting us humans, but I am also very thankful for all the friends and the many people, many we do not even know, who have committed to praying for Jeannie.

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