The Farmer's Wife: Week spent in conversation and remembering

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As we “elders” know well, life happens when making other plans. 

Last summer, when friend, Marlyce, was here from Orlando to see her brother, I spent Sunday with them. Her brother was two years older than us, and they grew up a quarter of a mile from me.  He had a mild dementia, but he knew me, and could visit okay over lunch.

Almost two weeks ago, Marlyce called to say her brother had died.  A day later, she called to say they had airline tickets and would be here on Saturday. The spare bed and bath were clean and waiting. But I did make a trip to the grocery store. For one thing, I knew they would not have eaten much when they got here. I put creamy enchiladas together, and we had a good visit over supper.

The funeral was on Monday and I went, too. Back to the country church south of Waco, which was full for the service. The young pastor came to this church right out of seminary and it was obvious he and her brother had a good relationship.  His sermon was especially personal and touching.  

Marlyce and Jerry left at noon on Tuesday for the drive back to Epley, and I threw some things in a bag and headed to Norfolk. I did not have the radio on and did not realize all the weather that took place behind me until I got there.

On Wednesday, there was a gathering of Lutheran Hospital retirees at the Senior Center. My plan was to surprise them, and I did. We had over an hour of reminiscing. The hostess brought the Lutheran Hospital cook book from forty years ago and turned pages in it, mentioning names as she went along. 

Then, we decided if it was surgery, OB, dietary, supply,housekeeping, or whatever. And we caught up on who had died, who had married, and who had divorced. It was a great way to remember folks. I thought again what I used to say when I worked there; we were a great hospital, with great caregivers.  

Two friends and I then went to Franklin's for lunch and talked some more. We have always been able to take up where we left off, which makes getting together with them even more special.  

The next day, a cousin and I went to the Black Cow, Fat Pig for more lunch, This one lasted four hours! It had been my goal to see each of these restaurants; I see their ads in the Norfolk paper and I get a bang out of the name of this one.  

Later that afternoon, I was able to attend the visitation for another dear old friend in Winside. As I told Sue Topp there, it has become a challenge to send this every week; sometimes, I've done nothing but read, and I've given enough book reports!

I was back in Lincoln by 8:30 and I slept really well that night! I recuperated and read a collection of newspapers, went to the grocery store again, (wow, the prices!) and met another old friend for lunch on Monday. I know, it sounds like I eat out a lot . . . actually, I don't. They just came in bunches this time.

This friend grew up northwest of Hoskins, the oldest of ten kids, and we had a lot of years to catch up on. So, as you can see, I've spent the last couple of weeks in conversation and remembering. I think it's another sign of old age: we like to recall the “old days”.  And it's been good.  

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