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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm a Walkin', Yes. Indeed and I'm a Talkin"

Yes, I am walking.  Now let's consider that it is not unassisted walking.  There is a walker involved and certainly no land speed records being threatened.  But walking with less discomfort than before the surgery.  That is 8 days out and less discomfort than walking into the hospital.  We measured a walking circuit to walk inside the house that is about 100'.  Today I made a total of 19 laps of the circuit.  About a quarter of a mile.

The bathroom report is available but I do not find those facts anything I would care to share.  Even though that seems important to all the medical personnel. I will say that getting a good routine is important.  Properly placed equipment and supplies is another "biggie" for sure!

Ice water being pumped across the surfaces of my right leg leave me chilled from the inside out.  So I lie here with my leg elevated above heart level, winter sweat pants, tee shirt, sweater, wool scarf wrapped around my head and neck, towels shielding the cold from parts not needing the cooling and a small, dry afghan.  Started to spread my "The Stars at Night Are Big & Bright...." afghan over my body as it is Texas sized.  Unfortunately an undetected ice water spill earlier had rendered the item useless for maintaining body warmth.

That's about the time the talkin' began.  I had no ice water in the area so where is the source of the cold liquid.  You may now simply reference blog #1, Zero.  Just let it suffice to say that in the course of Gene working hard to be a caretaker for a grumpy old woman, some water was accidentally spilled.  If a person should not cry over spilled milk, pretty sure a barely walking grump should not say one word over a little spilled water.

Or comment on the speed of the help when I need it.  So maybe I should use a modification of the old tune, "I'm a walking,, yes, indeed and I'm not talking" .......

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It Will Get Better

On Sunday, Feb, 19 we were called that Gene's mother was being sent to a hospital..  Her breathing was labored and sounded horrible.  So the time line for the past 7 days has been crazy!

Monday found Gene meeting with his confirmand in Crane.  Next was his trip to deal with health issues for Edna in Aurora.  I was cleaning house and getting things in order in the event one of the three elderly family members were to pass before I returned home.  About 4 PM Gene returns to our home, unloads groceries and finishes up the supper of spaghetti with meat sauce, salad and garlic toast. John Roger arrives about 5 PM.   A comfort food dinner is served and cleaned up.  I with the urging of a tired body chose to skip the executive committee meeting.

A few last minute adjustment to the hospital bag and I was ready for bed.  That is at least after the hypo cleanse shower.  Up twice during the ensuing hours of restless sleep so we finally give up and just stay up  at 5:30 AM sonic alarm vibration.  Another hypo cleanse shower, get dressed and leave for the 7:20 AM hospital arrival.

My surgery was pretty boring which I prefer for surgeries.  The biggest event for me was my body did not like part of the meds I was given for pain.  My stomach rejected the liquids I had been forcing down to "calm" the upset stomach.  I performed the rejection without getting much fluid on anything except the inside 'The Pan".  Did I mention my room was full of visitors at the time?  Cleared the room so quickly that some had to comeback for forgotten items.

On Wednesday morning we received word my dear Aunt Sissy in California is living in a much better place.  This world will be less bright, less happy, less enriched for this change.  Aunt Sissy was a fun, delightful and positive woman.  She was Daddy's younger sister and the oldest of my three aunts.  How I love my Aunt Sissy and will miss her.  But I know she is with her mother whom she had not seen since she was two years old.

Thursday Gene received a call that his Aunt Lorene had, also, left this life.  Gene was the first of the grandchildren. His dad's 3 sisters that did their best to enjoy everything Gene did.  Lorene was a gifted singer and picker.  Her older brothers and sisters all were standing there awaiting her arrival in heaven.

We have hardly had time to grieve the loss of two wonderful women in our lives.  It is reassuring to know they both have new minds and new bodies to sing praises to God.  No comfort food needed by them because the promise, "It will get better" is now fulfilled for them.

Monday, February 20, 2012


That is what has been one of my main phrases for a few years.  Unfortunately, sometimes it was followed by a less than Christian expletive!  Well, at 7:20 AM, February 21, I will begin the process to improve this condition.  For that reason, I probably will not be blogging for several days.  I am not taking my computer to the hospital cause I understand I will be too busy.

Thanks to all my friends and family that have been so supportive as I have moved toward the surgery.  Kinda scary to think about having my knee sawed off and replaced.  Ouch!  I think I do not want to have a saddle block cause I do not like the sound of saws on my bones.

What else is going through my mind as I move toward the end of this journey?  Thinking it probably all started when I was on a bike coming home from Reba Jane's.  I hit loose gravel coming off the little wooden bridge at the Morgan's place.  The bike fender jammed my right knee and the gravel took a lot of skin.

Suzie's school picture the year
I was born.

My first grade picture
I can still see my sister Suzie running to help me when I was finally able to peddle into the driveway at the Farnsworth place.  Blood rolling down my leg and tears streaming down my face.  But Suzie made it better.  Thanks, Suzie, for fixing my hurt.  Now if Dr. Seagrave can do just half as good helping my Ouch!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


That word, well, is Gene's signature word with my family.  He uses the word as a beginning of a sentence.  He holds it a while.  He is really composing his thoughts during this time.  Anytime Gene would say well in front of his mom she invariably said, "deep subject, dig it up and make post holes out of it."

Janice at well in AZ, 1953
I have been scanning pictures of long ago, 1940' & 1950's, so I thought I would share a few of the "wells'.  Some were deep enough to reach the underground streams, others were little more than underground cisterns.

Pawpaw Rogers and his cousin almost died at the bottom of a well they were cleaning.  Men would lower themselves into the well to clean out the sediments.  Seems as though there were noxious gases that collected in the brick lined wells along with silt from the rains.

Pawpaw and one of Daddy's uncles were overcome by the gases.  Fortunately someone found them before either died.  Pawpaw's lungs were damaged causing him problems the rest of his shortened life.

The galvanized cisterns were supplemental water for our families "back then".  Rainwater off our house was caught in gutters that ran into the galvanized cistern.  Later in the summer as the underground wells would dry up, the galvanized cistern would be used or drained into the underground storage.  It was the sweetest water and just great for washing hair.

Momma loved Jackie Baldwin cause he always kept the water drawn for her when he and Margaret would come home.  Yes, lots of buckets of water were drawn from those wells.  Sweet, cool water used for drinking, making iced tea, washing cloths and taking our weekly baths.  You really appreciated the water when it required more than just turning a knob.

All this talk about water has made me thirsty.  I am sure the sanitized, easily obtained glass of "city" water will quench my thirst.  But bet it will not satisfy my longing for some good water from the well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wind and State of Health

Many hours in my days are filled with relative silence.  Sure there may be a TV on for noise or watching. But a real, live human voice is not heard by these ears very often.  Gene's family are not talkers.  People that talked much around them were considered to be "windy".  Not the most thought of use for the word windy.  It was not a compliment to be called "windy" by an Adcock.

A few days ago I thought I was signed into my email on our Kindle.  Noticing a known name, I began reading a response from our son.  Oops.  That was not an email meant for my eyes.  Gene was complaining about how much I interrupt his concentration by asking questions or just talking.  Well, I was somewhere between offended by the comment and embarrassed that I had seen the email.

I come by this penchant for talking naturally.  My mother is a talker.  The only time she does not talk is when she sleeps.  At 93 she takes frequent naps.  A couple of years ago she spent a month with us.  We knew she was asleep when it became quite.  In the car on the trip home she read road signs, store signs and wondered aloud who might live in such a house.  Or would point out certain land features.  Always talking and sharing whatever popped in her mind.

Sometimes she will fall into a story we have never heard before.  Mostly though it is a mantra of the same, familiar stories.  I just noticed that familiar is very close to family.  Maybe that is what family is, the familiar, the known stories of our lives.  Stories retold in familiar cadence, tones with the familiar punch lines.  All that wind!

There is a Bette Midler song, You are My Hero that covers how I feel about my Rogers, Chandler and Adcock families.  The last stanza goes this way:

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,

so high I almost touch the sky.

Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings. 

So what does all this have to do with the State of Health.  Last week after stumbling onto the afore mentioned email, I was working really hard to not be "windy" and just blurt out what ever was on my mind.  As we have neither satellite, cable nor U verse connection, there was no television filling the air with sound.  Gene in his recliner and I in my recliner.  Staring at computer screens in silence.

Then there was a sharp intake of air from Gene.  I jumped and ask if he was okay.  "Fine" was the one word response from the non windy Adcock.  A little later I moved "the knee" wrong and groaned.  That resulted in an inquiry from Gene if I was okay.  I gave more information than was necessary but covered the subject sufficiently.  A short time later I heard a sound and turned to see Gene rubbing his head.

Wanting badly to inquire to make sure he was okay I was hindered by my own gales of laughter.  My giggle box was hopelessly turned over by the one striking fact.  The only talk that had transpired in the last several hours were inquires about each other's State of Health.  There must be a happy medium!    

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scanning and Retouch

Original scanned photo with small
amount of retouch next to my baby
Today my day was spent scanning, labeling & repairing old family photos to put on Aunt Opal's digital photoframe. My shoulders & neck are really tired.

I'll just show you one sample.  This is my sister Suzie and me in July of 1949.  I was 2 1/2 years old and Suzie about 9.  About the same year she first met her husband.

I want to do more work on her left eye and her hair.  This did take more time than a previous example.
One partial rework
Almost done.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow Days and Technology
The ground has a couple or three inches of snow covering the dead grass.  The evergreen bushes have an icing of snow, too.  Nice, wet, snowball making snow.  I have not ventured out into the winter wonder land to even make pictures. Gene was up early and standing in the falling snow greeting children coming to school at York elementary.

Mom called and gave me the pleasure of getting the Ella report while Gene was gone.  Ella is our newest great niece.  She has wonderful blue eyes as so many in our family.  Our 3 grandsons all sport blue eyes as well as their dad.  Ella will be the one to inherent my childhood doll bed as her mom is our God Daughter.  Our grandsons do not show any interest in doll beds, doll cloths or my Revlon doll.  Well, they might try to poke the doll's eyes out as so many little boys tried to in the past.

Our gifts and fire
A friend dropped off roses just to wish us a Happy Valentine.  Reba Jane, my chil hood friend and cousin, surprised me with a card in the mail.  Always good to hear from dear friends.  Reba did not have a good report about her brother's health.  It saddens me for her as she lost both parents too soon.

The day has been spent working on a program for a meeting on Thursday.  Mostly copy, cutting and pasting then printing.  And sitting by a fire.  This is the first fire for this fall and winter season.  The weather has not been cold enough, long enough to deal with the stacking and carrying.  Plus, the whole getting things put in place from the Edna move changed our life somewhat.  Anyway, it has been pleasant to have that extra, cozy warmth of a wood fire.

I did step out just now and took
this standing on the front porch.
The program for Thursday is titled "A Time of Change".  The subject matter is about the use of technology as a way to connect to one another.  To give our hearts to one another through acts of kindness and communicate God's love in new ways using technology. 

One or the other great parts of the day was looking at facebook and seeing kids in snow!  From two great-great nephews in Oklahoma, to Chris & Barbie's two boys & dogs in Kansas City, to all the kids of our young friends here in Springfield.  All shared the same smiles, the bundled bodies, head to toe and fingers too.  All just enjoying a simple act of nature and school officals, the snow day.

Thanks to all the moms, dads, friends and relatives that on this snow day used all sorts of technology to brighten my day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yesterday and Old Memories

Not much to talk to the 'wind" about today.  Just an easy going Sunday that included church, lunch at the local Italian place and sorting old photos.  I actually think I may have a handle on the project now.  Five of my mom's albums have been dismantled, sorted by family, sister, branch of the tree.  There are not nearly so many pictures in these albums as in the 3 boxes of pictures in the printer folders.  There were over 1000 Christmas pictures.

Just a little rework
No, this is a little less daunting except that the books were not acid free.  So I have to get new pages or the pictures will continue to deteriorate.  The other fun thing this time around is the webcom digital tablet, mouse and pens for reworking.  The rework on this picture took about 3 minutes.  Still lots to go but so much faster and more accurate.

So this is a picture of me probably in the fall of 1947 or winter of 1948.  I was doing one of my favorite things, playing in the dirt.  Time does not necessarily change everything about us.

Yep, much older.  Wiser, not sure on that one.
Richer, heck no.  But oh all the memories that have accumulated.

Oh, little playmate, come out and play with me
and bring your dollies three and we will climb a tree.  Look down my rain barrel, slide down the cellar door and we'll be jolly friends forever more!
(Words and music by Saxie Dowell)

Reba Jane and I slide down that cellar door, climbed that tree and played in the creek down by the trees in the distance.

Yes, I will enjoy this project!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Television & My Brain

We decided to change our home entertainment packaging from one service to a service that offered faster internet access.  Well, that choice could result in two or three blog entries but why.  Suffice it to say that we have not had our typical 250 channel options for the last week.  And will not have the options for another week.

We do have the local channels via our rabbit ears.  Surprisingly good reception so long as not too many cars pass behind our house.  Once or twice we have taken turns standing on one leg with a hand in the air while touching the left ear of our rabbit.  That is the most reliable of the reception.  And the one assuming the position burns an extra calorie or two.

A few months ago Gene purchased a bluray disk player with internet capability.  That means with a simple telephone line attached to the correct slot, we can play Netflix on our living room TV.  With this option available, we have been watching lots of movies and documentaries.  One series is "Wild China".  What an amazing part of planet earth.  Such rich history, traditions and wild life that are facing the same pressures of time and space as our life on this side of the Pacific.

pic from website
Chinese alligators are part of the wild life that were a possible root of the dragon traditions.  There are only about 150 left in special preserves.  While they are shaped pretty much like the American variety, the coloring is different.  One island is where the majority of these creatures are hatched. There are a few folks that know when the eggs are due to hatch.  These people collect the hatchlings and raise them in a protected area for release.

Picture source: 

And then there is the cousin of the American grizzly, the Tibet brown bear.  I am thinking it may be a bad hair for this one.  Looks like maybe a panda or two may have co mingled with a grizzly from the markings.

In China there are all sorts of animals, reptiles and birds bearing similarities to inhabitants on this continent.  There is one exception that has stuck in my brain.
source of picture
Monkeys.  And China has monkeys that live even in cold, mountain climates not just the tropical areas.  North America, Europe and Australia all lack this animal in any naturally, wild form.  There are feral monkeys in Florida that are from monkeys that escaped for labs.  

So there you have it.  The sum total of my knowledge from 7 days on Netflix.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

4 G And Yotta

Pic from Wikipedia
I consider myself a nerd.  But I am beginning to realize how un nerdie I am.  3 G, 4 G, Gigabyte, Gig, terabyte and the Lord and mathematics folks know what next.

3 G's or 4 G's in my mind still means 3 thousand or 4 thousand.  And the person saying 3 G or 4 G was a movie star gangster like Edward G. (snicker) Robinson,  James Cagney or George Raft.  You dirty rat!

pic from Top 20 Gangster Movie list
So when I hear cell phone companies touting 3 G and 4 G I think thousands of dollars, not generation of cell phone technology.

And gig is something musicians did or that a beatnik would say.  Well, at least back in my time.

Pic from Wikipedia
Gig was, also, something people did to frogs to catch them.  It is something Texas Aggie fans yell at sporting events.  Some people call their jobs a gig. I had other names for most of my employment opportunities. wink.

I cannot even imagine why anyone would want to gig a computer.  It sounds destructive to me.  Now, I fully understand a disk crash cause I just this week I dropped a cup.  The cup shattered, nicely in the sink and garbage disposal.  I had a crashed cup.  So a crashed disk is broken. That is logical and generally understandable to plain Elaine's like me.

Not a yotta. but I grabbed the
picture from Wikipedia!
When I googled "gig" I found a site with a subtitle of "What the hell is a gig?"  My sentiments exactly.  After reading a bunch of information not related to technology I went back to the search line.  I googled "giga" instead of "gig".  Well, that helped some.  All this byte stuff has nothing to do with insects.  Though I did get over 125 chigger bites when I was 9 months pregnant.  That was a couple of miserable days cause there were more places to scratch than usual.  But I digress.

So Wikipedia helped to untangle this confusion somewhat. All these deca, kilo, giga and tera all refer to multiples of 10.  Think way back to multiplication and to the power tables and it might help.  A giga is 10 to the 12th power. has a chart if you are really interested in what yotta is and why someday you might give a byte.

So in closing tonight may the power of 12 be multiplied in all you do till you reach a cell tower.  But I would rather have 4 thousand dollars than a 4 G phone that costs 4K.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Knock Knock

Writing a blog is a little like singing in the shower.  My voice is wonderful on the inside but who knows how it sounds on the other side of the curtain.  But then I sing in the shower just for fun just as I am writing a blog for fun.  I would never inflict my singing voice on folks.  My 3 sisters have nice voices.  My talent lies else where, yet to be determined.  I do make good yeast rolls.  Anyway, if you do not care for my blog, I know you will just click to some place else you do like.

On the subject of singing, we went to spend some time with Mom Edna today.  We met her in the hall at the Manor.  She was on the way to hear a group of singers.  So we joined the group listening and occasionally joining in on the singing.  There were 5 singers and a pianist.  The youngest was probably late 80's and the tenor in his early 90's.  This group comes once a month to sing for the residents.

It was hard to tell who enjoyed the performance more, the singing group or the residents.  All the songs were gospel songs.  When the song "I'll Fly Away" was sung, one resident who was in a wheelchair did the movements taught to children when they sing that song.  The bass singer could not control the tears while singing "How Great Thou Art".  He required a break before the next song to compose himself.

The scene was bittersweet.  The walls of the room were lined with residents, mostly in wheel chairs, about 15 of them.  A few others used walkers and a couple had canes.  I saw 4 that could walk unassisted.  It was obvious the voices of the singers were a few stanzas beyond their prime, too.  But they made a joyful noise to the Lord anyway.  I sat watching people singing and listening to songs about going on to glory.  It was plain many were ready to be there in Glory rather than confined to the wheel chairs, walkers or slow walking legs assisted by canes or aides.

Glory, a place beyond this known dimension.  A place where people did not look at you with that questioning look.  You know the look, knock, knock, is anyone there?

From Faces of Dementia site

On the Ball

Paintings of Columbia River Valley looking toward
Washington side, Wind Mountain area.
For those of you who have been following my posts, you know we have been incorporating items from Gene's mom and still a few things from my mom's homes.  And scanning numerous photo albums from both families is moving up on the to do list.  About 30 photo albums should take several months or maybe years.

I dislike cable clusters!!!
We have been attempting to get me a "place" to do the scanning that does not have to be taken apart all the time.  You know, something permanent.  Until we get that figured out I am on a folding table in the small bedroom.
80's entertainment center from Edna
with the folding scan table
Took a few days but the table is not the mess as above and another piece of Edna's stuff found a new use.  Some of the photo albums have been stacked on the bed "in queue" as we would have said in CAD CAM 10 years ago.

I like making lists and crossing things off the list.  First of all if you reference post of 1/26/12 you will know I have difficulty staying focused.  Without a list I get nothing accomplished.  Or I start 5 things with nothing finished to my satisfaction.

One project that was high on "the list" today was scanning to a PDF file a 171 page program book for my women's mission group.  Cross that off the list, completed today.  That's not all that was done.  Bulk meat products were divided into meal size portions for quick prep, one roast cooked and served, and the laundry was completed.  Guess you could say I was on the ball today.

It takes a confident person to post this!


Monday, February 6, 2012

One And A Half Broomsticks and Four Nails

Sunday best circa 1950 all dolled up in
outfits made by my mom. first on left.
That's me, the shortest one with back to camera.
Two of my sisters have been working to get my mom's living quarters a little more walker assisted walking friendly.  That is a fancy way to say clearing out a bunch of unnecessary stuff that can cause a 93 year old woman to trip and fall.  They have moved around the sofa, chairs, table and dining chairs.  The coffee table is now in the closet with shoes up higher so Momma can reach them without straining to reach her shoes.  The baskets holding throws, books, chapsticks, cards, well just about everything a person might need in the course of a year have been reduced in size and number.

Momma reported that 4 big bags of clothing & shoes had been taken from her closet.  She says she can't tell that anything was removed from her closet.  This closet has one eleven foot long rod for just her clothing.   We have just cleaned out Gene's mom's stuff as we moved her to skilled nursing.  Something like 6 bags of clothing were donated.  I laundered about 10 loads of her clothing we were keeping for her.

The thing is that is a lot of clothing for two elderly women to have.  Women that the main part of each day is going to the cafeteria for meals.  Time was when each of these women was pleased to have 3 good dresses.  Their new dresses made from matching flour sacks.  Those dresses and blouses were worn till faded then became field work clothing.  After that they became either rags, everyday hankies or filling for blankets.  There were not closets and chests full of clothing in the "good old days".

Gene in his green checked
polyester leisure suit, 1975.
This is long gone!
So what changed?  Well, the two women each changed from being farm hands to manufacturing and clerical work.  More funding was available for more clothing.  And then came a life changer    ....  p o l y e s t e r.  I know we all shudder at the thought of leisure suits.  But the stuff wears like iron.  My mom retired from TI in 1981.  She is still wearing pants she wore to work ..... and they still have a crease without pressing....

Jacket from 1971 material in 2009
Edna holding great grandson, Jon
One of the jackets I washed for Edna was made from material purchased for her Christmas gift in 1971.  She had seen the material at a shop in Old Town shopping center on a visit to see us in Dallas.  Even though she fell in love with it, frugal Edna would not pay the price.  Gene was pleased to have such an easy gift for his mom, 2 yards of material.  And danged if the colors are not still pretty darn good in January, 2012, 41 years later.  It is still one of Edna's favorite jackets and the colors and patterns are sort of back "in".

Yes, I have garments that will not come up above my knees and tops that will hardly go over my shoulders.  And there are those favorite outfits that just feel good.  So I, too, like our mothers have very little room in my portion of the walk in closet in our room.  Plus, several drawers in the armoire and dresser and containers of "next size down" on closet shelves.  And while polyester never wears out we do get tired of the same old thing.  So we buy something new and shove the old ones to the back just in case.

Last night I remembered the Farnsworth house out in Chambersville.  Our family of 3 sisters a mom and dad hung all our clothing in one of 4 places:

Yep, just like these that I grabbed
of a couple of auction sites.
Tub and washing machine.
  • on a half a broomstick nailed in the closet under the stairs 
  • on the full broomstick hung by bailing wire from the ceiling of the "bathroom" off the screened in back porch.  
    • the bathroom was where we bathed in a square, galvanized tub that was also use for clothes washing with the Maytag on the screened back porch.  
    • the room where the chamber pot was placed for nighttime use instead of walking the path to the outhouse.
  • behind the door in the northwest room on two long nails hammered into the wall at an angle. 
  • along the hallway next to the stairs on 2 more long nails.
That was it.  No walk in closets in every room.  No rotating clothes rack.  Just one almost real closet with half of a broomstick, one full broomstick and 4 nails in the wall held all our clothing.  That realization just leaves me with well, nothing but the need for                .....................                more closet space. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Typewriters and mistakes

We watch "CBS Sunday Morning" every Sunday by recording it on DVR.  The show was originally hosted by Charles Kuralt who was and is one of Gene's admired persons.  Today one of the segments on the show was about typewriters and their comeback.  All kinds of young folks are going to junk stores and buying them to use.  One man whose family has been repairing typewriters for 3 generations thought he would be out of a job by the end of the 90's.  He is having a booming business.

Picture from ad on
A group of high school students are using typewriters to compose their writings.  The teacher reported improved spelling is a sidelight of the typing.  One teen boy thought it was some sort of new invention!

I learned to type in Mr. McNeil's class in 1962.  It was a gray Royal manual typewriter.  I was a slow, inaccurate typist.  35 WPM after subtracting for errors was probably my personal best.  I think I came out of that class with a B average mainly due to mistakes.  My mother was not pleased as she demanded A's from all of us girls.  Oh, well.

I remember having to type triplicate copies using carbon paper.  So erasing one of those triplicate copies was very time consuming if not impossible.

picture from IBM history website
While Gene and I were running the TV repair shop, we purchased a portable Selectric with built in correction.  It would erase an entire line of error!  That was great for a mistake prone person like yours truly.  I think it cost about $200.  I used lots of correction tapes.  John Roger used it for his school reports once he took typing classes.  Best I remember we sold this for about $50 which was a mistake......

I have made many, many mistakes in my life.  Probably no more nor less that the average human.  There were many years I would  mentally beat myself up over the mistakes.  I would try to rationalize that this or that caused me to make the mistake.  But the bottom line was I made decisions that led to the mistakes.

Today was communion Sunday.  I am a person of faith in God and the love displayed in Christ crucified and resurrected.  Once again this morning I was reminded how my Creator used a special type of correction tape to erase my mistakes.
Altar at the Taizé monastery
Mary Beth Coudal

Saturday, February 4, 2012

School Days and Fridays

It is interesting to hear working people on Friday.  I went in for a teeth cleaning today and one of the first things the young lady said was she was so glad it was finally Friday.  I saw several posts on facebook declaring the joy of "finally Friday".  Of course this only works for the Monday - Friday crowd.

Chambersville Elementary School

My first grade picture
And for kids in school, Fridays are terrific.  I spent the first seven years of school attending a country school in Collin County, Texas.  The school was the same school my mother, aunts, uncles, cousins and 2 older sisters attended. While the school had 10 grades in the 1920's by the time I started school it was just 8 grades.  The 8 grades were divided into 3 rooms, 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8.  After a student finished the 8th grade, they went to high school "in town".

At the Chambersville elementary school there were 6 big rooms:  a lunch room, library, 3 classrooms and an extra room.  The floors were worn by the decades of kids moving up and down the central hall.  There was an oiled, red sawdust the janitor would throw on the floors before sweeping.  Anyone that remembers the sawdust mixture will possibly remember the aroma or smell.  But it sure kept the dust in control which was important in a country school.

Oh, gosh, I just remembered the stairway to the storage room for the kitchen.  I had not thought of that part of the school in years.  I do remember how special it was to help carry the cans into the kitchen.  There was only one cook and we liked helping her with the meals.  It was a special treat to occasionally help with the cooking.

By the second grade we had indoor plumbing at the school.  Wow!  We still had to draw water out of a well at home and there were probably only about four or five homes in the community with indoor bathrooms that flushed!

The first grade teacher for me was new to teaching.  That year proved to be a little challenging.  Mrs. Taylor came to teach the 1-3 grades in the fall of 1954.  She was one of the best teachers I ever had.  Every day after our lunch recess we would lay our heads on our desks. Then Mrs. Taylor would read Shakespeare or some other classic to us bunch of country kids.

The Tom Thumb bridal party
Mrs. Taylor would transport our minds to places we did not even know existed before her.  She even organized our 3 grades to perform part of "A Mid Summer Night's Dream" for the PTA.  For special treats, Mrs. Taylor would have her daughter come to visit.  Her daughter was a stewardess for an airline!  She would be in uniform & bring us each airplane chewing gum!

Later in the 4-6 grade room, the teacher, Mrs. Borland, organized a Tom Thumb wedding for the PTA.  I was too bossy even then and Mrs. Borland had to "straighten me out" a time or two.

Mr. Airhart giving recognition
to members of the PTA.
Sure, we studied all the stuff we were expected to do, reading, printing and later cursive writing, multiplication tables, geography and Texas History!  But we were, also, given an education in so much more.   There were cold days that recess was playing Texas 42, a domino game or roller skating in the gym;  getting ready for Huddle Club Horse Shows in the fall;  Halloween carnivals;  and Easter egg hunts at local farm pastures.  My last Easter egg hunt was at Mrs. Rachel's tank.  In Texas talk, a tank is a man-made farm pond.

Dona, my mom and Reba Jane
before my wedding in 1967
Reba Jane was my best friend back in 1953 when we started to school.  We have known each other our entire lives.  She is, also, my third cousin.  Some folks say that is cousin 3 times removed.  All I know for sure is her Grandma Ethie was my Grandaddy Chandler's sister.  To this day Reba and I can see each other and pick up on a conversation without hesitation.  Cause friends that are family are real special, too.

As a child in school I looked forward to Fridays cause I would not have to do school work till Sunday.  Friday was when Aunt Opal would come in from her job in Dallas.  She would bring me a Golden book.  Or I might just get to spend the night with Reba Jane.  Then on Saturday morning one of the best treats would happen, Lucille and Crook, her parents and my cousins,  would take Reba and I to McKinney for a day of shopping.  Woolworth's and Duke & Ayers were Neiman Marcus for us country kids.  Then, to top the day off, we would have a meal in the car at Steffey's Jiffy Dog, the best corn dogs, burgers and onion rings on earth back in those days.
Downtown McKinney Woolworths

Later in high school Friday's were football games, walking a boyfriend off the field, if you were lucky.  Or a basketball game in the winter months.  During working years Fridays eventually became "casual Friday" which meant dressing down.  And then with children, school activities were in the life cycle again.

This blog started late on a Friday night.  Time has gotten away from me as I searched for pictures to include in the post.  Now it is Saturday.  Mr. Steffey passed away many years ago, so Steffey's is closed as is Woolworth's and Duke & Ayers.  I have almost forgotten how to play 42.  The Chambersville school was torn down in the 70's.  I cringe at the thought of attempting to roller skate.  As I told the young lady at the dentist, in retirement, Fridays are no longer particularly special.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Friends and other things

Yesterday was a day for time with a friend.  Kathy needed a little help getting her computer and printer to talk. I had volunteered Gene to assist her.  He, as usual, was there to save the day.  In no time he had it working like a charm.  Then we helped Kathy get her background picture to be her two toy poodles.  So now Cassie and Lacy are there for her enjoyment.

Friends are good.  Friends are comfortable.  It is good to go to a home and feel comfortable enough to go in a room, pick up a picture, and help the friend scan it so she can have is as a background.  Not every home makes a person welcome to do this.  But Kathy has always been one of those friends to me and to Gene, too.  She wanted to give Gene a retirement party and she just did it!  Yes, friends are good.
My sorority sister friends and Kathy is in front of me.

Friends will let you help them paper walls, cook a meal and listen to you be scared, sad and silly.  A friend will watch you cry silently.  A friend will go to your home and pack a suitcase so you can stay at a hospital with your loved one who is critically ill.  Or that friend may find the Mickey Mouse hat that you forgot to take as a gag for your child's rehearsal dinner.  And mourn with you at the death of that marriage.

Aunt Punkin and Mom Edna
302 Young St. , Texas

2008 Rogers celebrate Mary's 90th birthday
Family is good, too.  It is just that most of our family lives in other states.  We did have lots of family here in this area when we first moved to Aurora in 1975.  Gene's parents, cousins, aunts and uncles were more plentiful and much younger.  Now all but one of the cousins have moved away to raise families.  There is only an aunt and  her sweet husband left along with their oldest son, his wife and of course Gene's mom.  Uncle Pete is 92, Aunt Punkin' 87 and Edna is 97.  All the others aunts & uncles have passed on to a better place.  My side of the family is all in Texas, Oklahoma and California.

 So I rely on this:

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.   Don't leave your friends or your parents' friends and run home to your family when things get rough.  Better a nearby friend than a distant family.   Proverbs 27: 9-10

Other things ...... After the printer project was completed, Kathy treated us to lunch.  Then Gene drove us to Hancock Fabric's. Kathy browsed while I bought some more stuffing for another chair pad.  I have just about made a pad for every hard surface that is at a height to sit on in both my house and yard.  Gene has been teasing me about this.  That's ok 'cause I notice he enjoys using the pads.  Pads are comfortable, just not as comfortable as a good friend.

Celebrating one of us bunch of Aurora friends getting old!