March 29 – Our town day on Thursday was different than usual. We had planned to visit our friend Dana in the rehab center, but could not see her till about 3:30 because she would be in therapy for her broken hip most of the morning and early afternoon, So, we changed our time of leaving home to an hour or more later than usual. First of all, we checked with our post master friend to assure him that we were pulling for his son who is recovering from cancer. Spent a bit of time at the Thrift Store checking out displays, but leaving with just four kids’ books. Two for a quarter and half price of that–well, you can see we weren’t the top-of-the-crop shoppers! The books were interesting, too, and I know the kids who receive them will be happy to see the bright colors that always catch their attention.
Since we had to fill up the truck with gas, it was nice to find that the price was $2.13 per gallon. A little different from the $2.45 not too long ago. But when I think back of the old days when I was a teen and could find gas just as good for only $0.15 per gallon! The good old days may not have been as good as we thought then, but it would be really neat to find a gas pump today that would provide a fill-up for three bucks!
We stopped to visit with Clyde and Nan, but they weren’t home. Too bad, as they are really interesting folks and so polite and friendly. At Price Chopper we saw our good friend Sheila at the check-out, but by the time we had finished shopping–and visiting with so many workers there–she had already gone off for her lunch break, so we missed her. That store has the best Italian bread, and we were fortunate to pay but one dollar per loaf. If the loaf doesn’t get eaten in good time, the toasted chunks of it will be used in tomato soup.
Since we still had about three hours before the hospital visit, we drove back towards home so we could visit with Barney and Betty, two really nice folks. Betty reminded us that we hadn’t visited last week, which of course all of us knew. Barney is a real joker and takes every opportunity he has to give me a hard time. We are always entertained when he tells of his early life as he and his sister began living with their grandparents out in the country. Much of his desire to be honest and work hard came from those folks. Betty was so happy and proud to tell us of her granddaughter who spent time last summer working on a mission trip in the South. She enjoyed it so much that she hopes to go back this summer.
After returning books to the library and taking photos of the beautiful golden forsythia bushes near by, we were on our way to Blue Springs. Since we still had plenty of time, we decided to drive around in the little settlement all around the shores of beautiful blue Lake Lotawana, the largest private lake in the Kansas City area with 27 miles of shoreline. Houses there use up just about every inch of space as the occupants enjoy the scenery and good fresh air of that lake. Just about every family has a boat. As we drove along looking at the houses, large and small, we finally figured out that we had seen some of them earlier on our drive. The big question. How do we get out of here and back on the main route? After finding no way out, we finally took a good turn, and after driving a long way, found ourselves back where we had first entered the little town and continued on our way.
Still more time to use up, so we decided to check out some of the Thrift or Bargain stores in Blue Springs. As we entered one and were checking out some baskets of cheap stuff, one of the head ladies, smiling broadly, stopped by to ensure us that the cookies and boxes of Idahoan mashed potatoes flakes were really good, and not too old! She explained the shelf life, the beginning price, the bargain price, etc. and then said the real reason for the price of a quarter each was that the truck had already come in and the shelves had to be filled with brand new merchandise.
“Now I will guarantee that you won’t make a mistake in buying this stuff,” she said. “I’m taking some home with me, and if we can’t eat up the cookies for awhile, I can always make them into crumbs and use them for a pie crust!” Her smile was worth more than a quarter, and she was so friendly and honest, that I couldn’t resist her salesmanship. Four boxes of potato flakes, and twelve packages of cookies (almond, oatmeal, and shortbread cookies sprinkled with caramel) went into the shopping cart. That was half the total on the receipt, almost exactly what it cost to buy a couple bottles of dish washing fluid! Quite a bargain, right?
Well, finally it was time to drive on to the rehab to visit with Dana! Down flat on her back, with pain in her broken hip, but still with the same smile on her face and the sparkle in her eyes! Guess the old saying is just as true as ever: you can’t keep a good man (or woman) down! We talked about her fall and trip to the hospital by ambulance, of her concern for deadlines in the paper, of her sadness that her mother and husband are worn out with the daily trips of more than fifty miles from their homes to the hospital, of her determination to have a quick recovery, and of her appreciation for all of the good things that have happened to her through her life. She is a real jewel!
By the time we got home (more about that later), we had to hurry a bit – a quick supper, putting groceries away, changing clothes, and getting ready for a meeting soon thereafter. Good thing we are young! Think of the problems we may have when we turn ninety in a few more years! We’ll just have to remember Disney’s Chip and Dale and keep on going! – CHRIS