Most of you know I go to the 'Y' on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for water aerobics (and it is really helping me gain my strength back and it is a lot of fun.) Well this past Friday morning, I saw something I thought I would never see in Switzerland County. I try to make it out on the road a little before seven so as to miss the school buses. This past Friday I was a few minutes late. I passed the Markland Pike bus coming up the hill with no problems. The Pike is wide enough to comfortably pass a bus or large truck (I don't go down Tapps Ridge Road in bad weather because it is more narrow.)
If you remember Friday (4th) was foggy with heavy rain and since I was late, I hit the highway after seven, so I was behind the 156 school bus. No real problem, I just settled down and enjoyed the scenery, stopping when the bus did. I was truly shocked to see a white pickup (heading east) pass right by the school bus with no effort to stop, at a considerable speed.
Then, while I was still mentally fussing about the white pickup, we got to just beyond Tapps Ridge and I'll be darned if an older model blue car didn't do the same thing. Let me tell you folks, if I could have seen their license plate numbers, I would have headed right to the Sheriff's office and tuned them in.
Kids do not pay enough attention to traffic, (particularly when it is foggy and they are running for the bus) which is why the law says to stop going both ways for school buses. To witness two people flagrantly disobeying the law and putting young children in danger blew my mind; I sincerely hope that whoever these people were, they have changed their ways and pay attention to lawful driving - or stay off the roads.
When I got to the 'Y' last Monday morning (I was still seething about the criminal actions I had witnessed), I was comforted by the sight that met my eyes; there was Jan (lifeguard) calmly watching over her 'sunrise water babies' like a good shepherd, Billie, Faye, Sue, and Leona. These ladies come in as soon as the pool is open and Jan makes sure they are safe. Myra Spores got to the pool a little bit later; Myra starts upstairs on the machines before she does the pool exercises and talks to the 'water babies' before class. (These 'water babies' are all senior citizens incidentally.)
I was busy, by that time doing my exercise routine, and I am getting stronger; Dr. Stavens told me my heart was doing very well at my last checkup and I would like to thank everyone for their prayers in my behalf. We older 'kids' do not do as well when someone cuts your heart out and works on it, you should have enough sense to know someone other than a surgeon was 'in on it', so thanks again.
On to better news, two of our "Y" participants, Jan Bixler and Mary Pat Ricketts, traveled to Riverside, California, recently for a swim meet and came back with medals. Jan took medals in the '50' and '200' and Mary Pat took three medals (I think I heard in the 100, 200, and the 500) and these girls are not teenagers but rather mature women; which just goes to show that age is not 'the' deterrent, or belief, that many of us adhere to. Jan, you and Mary Pat, are an inspiration to us, congratulations on your accomplishments! We are proud of you.
The point being that no matter what age or the circumstances we find ourselves in, each of us should be able to contribute something worthwhile to our community. "Ring the bells that can still ring" as the old poem says: look around and see what you can do to benefit someone else.
Another person we are proud of is Jamie Darbro, who though bound to crutches and a wheelchair, still works at the "Y", fulfilling a very useful purpose manning the front desk (and rarely do I see him at the front desk without a smile and friendly hello.) Mom Debbie brings him in and it is easy to see where he gets his wonderful smile as Deb always smiles and stops to ask how your are doing - and actually listens for your answer. Now if that doesn't make you want to do a little better, there is not much hope for you.
Wilma and I took a little (ha!) trip Tuesday, about 100 miles all told. First we went to Osgood to the electric company then we came back down Highway 421 to Madison. We went through a lot of small towns we hadn't seen before and decided we hadn't missed anything. Got to Madison, hit the traffic circle, went all the way around it and ended up headed for the river. Neither of us is particularly intelligent when it comes to directions - okay, so we were talking and not paying enough attention. Fortunately, there is a paved turn-around about a quarter mile from the circle and we got headed back the right way.
Finally we went to Walmart, picked up a few things and went to lunch at the fish place (naturally we were not going to waste a trip to Madison without going to lunch. While we are 'directionally challenged,' we know how to eat - and rarely miss an opportunity.) When we got home, John Jones (Wilma's son-in-law) was repairing a loose board on her deck ramp. Good families are great, one of God's sweetest blessings, thank you Lord!
Cyndi Carr went on the road with husband Sam (on his Florida run - truck driver) so I had the use of her car. Wilma and I enjoyed it immensely. I am 'critter sitting' while they are gone (T.J., Spike, and Callie.) Their dog T.J. gets along very well with my cats, not so Spike and Callie but it all worked out okay.
Donna Miller (son Frank's wife) and her daughter Jeni Gibson and her granddaughter, Hailey, came in to visit me for Mother's Day (they came Saturday.) They brought me a pink rose and a lovely card; after lunch, we had a good visit.
Donna told me a cute joke. "After the flood water went down and Noah lowered the ramp, he told the animals to go forth and multiply.
All the animals left except two snakes who lay quietly in the corner of the ark. "Why don't you go forth and multiply?" asked Noah.
"We can't," answered the snakes, "We're adders!"
Mary got me a yellow begonia that I think I will keep on the deck; it is shady over the table and begonias are shade plants. Now if I can just remember to water it.
Pastor Bobby had a lovely sermon Mother's Day and it was especially nice that his Mother Diane was here visiting the family from Washington, D.C. His father did not come with Diane, he had been ill and had tests scheduled.
Ran into Kathy Tucker at the sandwich shop Wednesday and she told me that Karen Nickell had just returned home from the hospital to recover from shoulder surgery and she thought Karen was doing well. Karen's daughter is here with her for the present, helping out. I know I have said it before, but family is a wonderful thing.
Saw Florence Peters at the 'Dollar Store' this morning and she is having trouble with her back. She said they were getting ready to paint her apartment and she 'over-did it' getting ready for them to come in.
Which reminded me of something my mom used to say when I suggested she get someone in to help her clean. Mom cleaned everything from the ceiling to the floors every spring, inside and outside - she either washed it or painted it. If it didn't move, she painted it. Naturally I took after Dad, whom had the philosophy that if God wanted it cleaned or painted, He would already have done it. Our good luck was in having Mom and we both truly appreciated that fact.
Our sincere condolences go out to the Bragg family on the passing of Howard this past week. Howard has been ill for some time and though his passing was not unexpected, you are never prepared to lose someone you love. Please keep this family in your prayers this week.
The past couple of weeks, we (Ana, Debbie, and I) have gathered at someone's house to play cards on Thursday afternoons. We all love to play Bridge but it really takes four and Carolyn Green has been having a battle with a 'kidney stone' and I think the 'kidney stone' is winning right now. Fortunately, last week when we met at Debbie Turner's house, Debbie Graybill took mercy on us and played with us. Debbie G. doesn't like to play Bridge so we played '2500' - a very frustrating game but we all enjoyed ourselves playing it and especially enjoyed Debbie's lovely luncheon.
Ana regaled us with stories of her learning Yoga. She said it is really helping her in several different ways. We asked her if husband Bob was learning too, she just laughed. I think that means no.
I was very popular this past weekend with the threats of tornado touch-downs so close to us - I am the only one with a basement. Mary Martin, Jessi Martin with children (Weston, Landon, and niece Riley) came in first; then great-grandson Dion came in with his girlfriend Lydia; and by that time the only place to sit was on the floor upstairs (we don't go to the basement until the threat becomes imminent.)
Dion made the observation. "Grandma your house is infested with cat hair." I asked him, "What do you expect from an old woman with three cats? Bud if it really bothers you I'll show you where the vacuum cleaner and dust rags are." Dion politely replied, "No thank you grandma."
There are many on our 'Prayer Concern List' this past week: Bragg family (Howard's passing), Pastor Bobby's father (Robert Brundige, Sr. - battling cancer), Carolyn Green (kidney stone), Roger Garvey (recovering from medical problems and his mother Virginia having some health problems too), Michelle Ritch (father's illness), June Lack (healing), Joy Hazeldean (strength and comfort - she is still in Swiss Villa at present), Ledbetter family (Nancy & Rodney have been having some health problems lately), Fern Barrett (Cyndi's mom - she has several severe medical problems), victims and their families involved in weather catastrophes all over, unspoken requests, traveling members, Frank and Donna Miller (Donna's father Herald Romans has been diagnosed with a serious disease and the whole family needs our prayers and they recently lost a cousin), Kristie Gibson (pregnancy problems), unsaved family and friends. Please remember these as you talk to the Lord.
Markland Baptist will be having our bi-monthly business meeting on Sunday, June 4th and immediately following the morning Worship Service and we will have our bi-monthly fellowship dinner just before the business meeting.
Fern (Cyndi's mom) is here visiting for the holiday and Donna with Kristi and children Bailey Sue and Emma Rayn (pronounced 'rain') is planning to come up from Lewis county (weather permitting) and I am really looking forward to everyone's visits. Naturally I am in my 'cooking mode'; no one comes to 'Grandma's house' and leaves hungry; that would be a 'major no-no!'
This is the last week of school for most of our children so watch out for them. Expecting children to use good judgment is ludicrous and you might just as well whistle in a strong wind - not going to happen.
Sincerely hoping everyone had a lovely holiday and remembered the reason for the holiday. Many of our veterans have given their lives for out freedom and the country we enjoy so much - not that it is perfect but better than any other country I can think of. Remember to thank a veteran; they deserve our thanks.
Our warmest good wishes and prayers go out to all the graduating seniors - and to the staff and maintenance people that have been their support all through this year.
Until we talk again, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe from harm and cause His face to shine on you and give you heart-peace: Amen!