December 17 – Sometimes there are so many places and things to do that I end up asking Dale, “What day is today?” because I just can’t remember! Since he also has that problem, we laugh about it together, but still wish that things would slow down a bit. Like last “town day”, for instance. Got up early to get ready. We left at 8:30 and didn’t get home till 5:15! Since we had had nothing to eat all day, that 5:30 supper tasted good.
The post office and the Thrift store were our first stops. You should have seen the kids’ books I found in a special area! After picking out about 25 or more, I talked to our friend Bobbie who is in charge. “You know where these are going to end up, don’t you?” I asked. “Sure I do. Why do think there are so many to choose from right here on the table as you come in the door? I know how much you want kids to become good readers!” And talk about a bargain! The original prices from $5-8. How much did I pay? Two for a quarter!
At Price Chopper we learned that Sheila’s younger sister was improving, but she will not be anywhere near well enough to be part of the family gathering. Sheila said that she had already reserved a big building in town so the many relatives who come from all over the area would have plenty of room to move around and become acquainted with some of the younger generation. Knowing Sheila, I guessed what would happen. She contacted the reservation folks in the building, asking if she could change the reservation to sometime in February! No problem. Those folks were really understanding, and hopefully by February, her sister would be able to attend. Good to see Robbie and David who are in charge of the produce department. With a big smile, Robbie asked, “Hmm. Today IS Thursday, isn’t it? It has to be because you wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
Off then to larger drug stores and grocery stores about 15 miles away. At HyVee, we bought some boxes of Russell Stover chocolates and big candy bars for Christmas gifts. Among other foods, we bought some tins of mushroom soup. Later, Dale asked me why the cash register receipt showed the soup at over one dollar per can, rather than the advertised price of 39 cents or so. I felt a bit silly when the friendly clerk showed me the ad for mushroom soup, not for the “less sodium” kind which was a lot more expensive. When I went back to try to find the proper ones, I was on my tip toes trying to reach the tins up on the very top shelf! I turned as I heard a chuckle behind me. I smiled and said to the very tall guy who was laughing, “Well, good. I was hoping somebody could reach that shelf and help me out!” “Why, sure, I’d be glad to help,” he said with a big smile. Then he proceeded to tell me that it isn’t really much fun being tall, either! I still can’t figure out how that would be.
It’s always great to visit a bit with our good friend Clyde, as he has such a great philosophy about living the good life and doing what he can to help out everybody! We really appreciate the keyboard he gave us when he found out that ours was not working right. It’s very hard for us to believe that his next birthday in April will be number 90! We enjoyed discussing the Bible with him as he is a real student, listens to a radio preacher every day, and gives all of his problems over to God.
Later at WalMart, we went directly to the “goodies” section where Dale picked out more Russell Stover, Symphony bars, and various other kids of chocolate bars, along with quite a number of jars of cashews. “Christmas comes but once a year.” While we were at the store, Dale looked around for Sort Kwik, “a fingertip moistener,” which he keeps on the card table when we play Rummi-Kub. Sometimes it’s hard for him to pick up the tiles when his hands are dry. After we had walked up and down two aisles in the paper supply section and couldn’t find that product, I noticed a lady checking out something at the end of the aisle. I lightly touched her elbow, and as she turned around, probably wondering who in the world I was, I said, “Now you look like a kind and pretty smart young lady, so I’m wondering if you could help us with Sort Kwik. Do you have any idea where it might be?” Then she said, “I really don’t know what that is, but…oh, wait a minute. There’s a young lady in the next aisle. She just helped me find what I needed, and I know she can help you!” I followed her into that next aisle, and after she had explained the problem, the lady immediately pointed out Sort Kwik in a wall display. I thanked both ladies telling them, “You really made my day!” It’s like everything else in life. If you ask, you might get help, or you might not, but if you don’t ask, I can tell you that you won’t get help at all!
Before going home, we stopped to visit our friends Betty and Barney and were surprised when Barney said, “Betty’s not home right now.” He must have seen the shocked look on my face because he quickly added, “Oh, don’t worry. She’s OK. But one of her friends picked her up and took her to the concert at the playhouse.” Then he filled us in that his son J.Kent Barnhart is executive director of the Quality Hill Playhouse where all through the year very special programs are held. The shows have included Oliver, Broadway and Back, Black Pearl Sings, and at this season Christmas in Song, the one Betty enjoyed. He said that Kent is well known for his piano playing and is often reviewed in the newspapers. The playhouse is so well thought of and appreciated that a number of foundations donate heavily to its upkeep and staff. Hundreds of others donate as well, giving each one a chance to support and show their appreciation.
Just before we left for home, Betty came back in good spirits and pride in her son. How good it must have been for him to see her in the audience. Family ties are very special. Back at home, nine hours after we had left, we sat down to eat breakfast/supper, or whatever, but who really gets hungry when enjoying many friends in many places! – CHRIS