Category Archives: cancer

Life and Death: Basketball and Christmas

Standard

A unique and special idea for those children who are disabled, with illnesses and

cancer is to celebrate Christmas in July.  There was a Hallmark movie, called,

“November Christmas” that also follows the concept that “Life is too short. . .”

From babies to a specific college freshman basketball player named Lauren, who

have dealt with cancer and deadly diseases and illnesses, we are sending out our

heartfelt wishes for healing and relief of pain. Wishes for families to keep up the

valiant work in making their lives comfortable and meaningful. This post is not

meant to depress readers, but to show how much others are willing to extend

themselves to make special ones ~ young people’s lives~  dreams come to fruition.

 

Brian Rutledge has property set up in Ohio, where he has “Santa’s Hideaway Hollow.”

His friend, from Mecca, Ohio, B. B. Simons arrived in July with his own rendition of

the Tow Mater, (the red truck which has a country accent), in the children’s animated

films from “Cars.” His Tow Mater had a large furry white beard that caught children’s

eyes. Their hearts and hopes to see Santa, fulfilled by Brian’s large-framed Santa,

dispensing not only “Ho Ho Ho’s” but a grand and festive meal, ice cream treats and

other wonderful holiday ‘treats,’ such as red tubular ‘balloon hats,’ with white tubular

‘beards,’ blown by one of the numerous volunteer elves.  Children wore these, along

with visiting a ‘nails and beauty’ salon, where colorful nails with glitter were ones

that little girls and boys displayed.

The red clad volunteer ‘elves’ arrived on horseback, in golf carts and other means of

transportation for this event, where three large tour buses with over 300 hundred

people, families and children unloaded. Some were shy, some were outgoing and

dancing to the beat at the drum circle, where a parent of two special children who

include one with  battling sickle cell anemia and hydrocephalus were there.

Toys and gifts given by donations from others, are specifically labeled, since Santa

Brian remembers the children who have come here a few times, along with messages

sent ahead from guests’ adult members, making sure the gifts fit the little ones’

requests. Santa’s Workshop is filled with wonder and excitement by all who enter.

 

The song, “It’s a Small World” (After All), reflects the true meaning of this place and

the holiday spirit.

 

There is a young college freshman basketball player, named Lauren Hill, who has been

battling a serious case of terminal cancer, found in an inoperable mass in her brain.

She came to Ohio’s Mt. St. Joseph University, fully intending to be a basketball ‘force

to reckon with,’ but her aggressive cancer has caused the NCAA to give permission

and there is a special game to watch, nationally played on Fox Sports today. It is held

at 2 p.m. so put Lauren and her team in your thoughts and prayers. The Cincinnati

location of Xavier College basketball courts, with Hiram University versus Lauren’s

team causes me to hold my breath and heart in a pinch. I just felt so much emotion,

reading this in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sunday November 2, 2014.

The part that grabbed me and would not let me stop from writing this post, was the

doctors and family did not even expect Lauren to be able to wait for  the originally

scheduled November 15, 2014 game. Special arrangements between her Coach, Dan

Benjamin, and Hiram’s girls’ basketball Coach Emily Hays, plus the permission of

the NCAA meant this is like a ‘last wish granted’ to Lauren.  Everyone working to

make this ‘happen’ deserve: “Thanks!”

 

Go Mt. St. Joseph University Girls’ Basketball!

 

For those who are professionals in hospitals and doctors’ offices, all those who teach

and touch these young peoples lives, through paid positions and volunteering, all

are ones who get a ‘Big Thank You’ for making a difference in these families’ lives.

The ones who leave money to Hospice and “Make A Wish” foundation, along with

cancer research programs, also are in our hearts and minds.

 

Life, death, Christmas and basketball…

 

The “C” Word Messages

Image

All

deserved

Life

NOT

Death

 

No

Age

Race

Religion

Culture

Income Level

Fill-in-the blanks

Discrimination

 

. . .

 

All

affected

One

Way

Or

Another

 

Divided

We

Fail

 

. . .

 

First

comes

the

Verdict

 

CANCER

 

No

One

Is

Left

Un-Touched

 

. . .

 

Fear

Fear

Fear

Anger

Frustration

Confusion

Questioning

 

. . .

 

“The ‘WHY?'”

 

Why my Mom’s Mom?

Why my Grandma M.?

~ Paula ~

 

Why my Children’s Grandpa?

Why my Mom’s Husband?

Why my Dad?

~ Robert ~

 

Why my Daughter in Law’s Mom?

~ Cricket ~

 

Why my Daughter in Law’s Step-Mom?

~ Chris ~

 

Why did both of my best friend’s Mom’s

have to leave us?

 

“Why Me?”

 

. . .

 

Fellow Bloggers

 

Coworkers

~ Terry ~

~ Jean ~

 

Neighbors

 

Friends

 

Loved Ones

 

Famous Ones

 

. . .

 

Light

Up

The

Fires

 

Cell Phones

Bic Lighters

Flames

 

. . .

 

Support

Write

Your

Checks

 

Donate

to

Science

Research

 

. . .

HOPE

Laughter

LIFE

. . .

 

“Take a Stand”

“Stand Up

For

Cancer”

 

. . .

“United

We Stand”

“Divided

We Fail”

 

Written by Robin O. Cochran

09/05/14

 

Last night, all the regular television channels aired, “Stand UP 2 Cancer.”

I felt moved to collect some thoughts in free form poem today.

My highlights of the show were Will Ferrill’s

Silly Ron Burgundy newscast,

with his asking,

“Why Cancer?”

“Why not Capricorn?”

(or any other

astrological

sign?)

Sofia gave

a tribute

to

those

who

are

or

were

the loving

caretakers.

Heartfelt

messages

from

around

the

World.

 

Please list

your

loved

ones

Names.

What touched you in the fight against cancer?

What are some of your fears?

Silence is okay.

 

. . .

 

Musical selection for Today:

“Tears from Heaven,” sung by Eric Clapton

“Calling All Angels,” sung by Jane Siberry and KD Lang

“The Rainbow Connection,” sung by Kermit the Frog

(associated with animals crossing the Rainbow Bridge)

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,”  sung by “The Hollies”

 

 

 

 

Weekend Updates

Standard

I am excited to tell you that my Filipino friends, Jason and Felda, safely arrived

back from their extended vacation. As she was arriving at work, we all hugged

her and asked how things went. I was pleased that she brought me a couple of

treats. (They are wrapped candies and these layered cookies with cinnamon and

sugar on them.) She told me to meet her outside work, on Monday, because she

was going to give me something no one else was getting! When we left work, she

gave me a pretty, new t-shirt from Hong Kong.

While we ‘got one back,’ we will have to say goodbye Friday, to Mary Jane. She will

leave on Saturday morning heading off to the Philippines. (She is from a different

island from our mutual friend, Felda, she met here in the U.S. In fact they have

different dialects, unique ‘clicking sounds’ that vary from one part of the islands

to another.) It has been three years since M.J. visited her family and she was so

excited to spend time with her family. Unfortunately, James, her husband was not

able to take time off from his government post. M.J. will use the same airlines, also

one that curves around Russia, not entering any of their air space.  By going out of

its way, the plane circumvents any possible dangerous disasters or attacks.

Felda showed me gorgeous photographs of Kridia Dawn, snorkeling in clear blue

water and her hands are outstretched to touch:  sharks! I was curious about the

experience but she said these sharks have little teeth and don’t eat anything but

plankton. The kinds of sharks could be sand tiger sharks, goblin sharks, or whale

sharks that are considered ‘safe’ to swim with. I will have to check which one she

may have allowed her daughter and husband to swim with.

The baby, “Zachie Poo,” was passed around and held constantly. He is toddling

around holding onto hands and surfaces. (I have written about his baby shower,

when Felda was expecting him, along with this precious and affectionate baby’s

christening.) Felda’s mother adored Zachary, which was very nice to have taken

those memorable photographs to show him when he grows up.

I was saddened, when Felda privately told me that her Aunt, her mother’s older

sister, had had a heart attack the day they left. I was very concerned about her

hospitalization. In the long time past, I had posted that Felda’s nephew, Vincent,

had not lived past age 8, since the Philippines’ hospital requires money up front

and he had a serious blood disease. He had some transfusions, provided by our

coworkers’ collections, along with her St. Mary’s Catholic Church donations for

his continued health care. There were many of us, trying and scrambling to figure

out how to ‘beat’ the system and the clock on his life.

Felda told me that her mother had put a ‘lien’ on her house, as collateral for her

sister’s hospitalization and surgery to repair her heart. I wrung my hands, teary-

eyed, wishing I had more that I could do for them. Felda told me that she will

ask at church again, for any helpful donations towards this situation. Felda told

me to explain to my fellow bloggers, that their health system is not like ours. We

need to feel blessed that we have a more open system for admissions at our own

hospitals. You don’t hear too often of little ones being turned away, like her cousin

Vincent was.

Other news, my friend and coworker, Tina, went to court with her case being

reduced to simply one that requires community service for her  “hit and run”

incident with a security guard at her work. They also received, as a family, from

their church a substantial donation towards a much needed vacation.

Tina was able to take her daughter, her husband, (for those who don’t follow

my posts about my coworkers and friends too closely, he has threatening

cancer), her oldest daughter and two of their grandkids to Gatlinburg,

Tennessee last week. She was back, tanned and refreshed from her vacation.

No repercussions other than court costs, so they are not going to have their

budget too stretched by the unfortunate accident or incident.

I think this will set a lot of sympathetic commenters’ minds to rest! I was

relieved that the court did take Tina’s remorse and stressful home situation

into consideration.

My coworker and friend, Mark C., who I admit to having a ‘crush’ on, recently

confided that his mother has not been out of his house, for over 2 years. I had

not pictured her being in such failing health.Mark told me, this is due to her

serious illness and aging process that she is going through.

Although, you know I am an “open book,” Mark is not. I thanked him for this

most recent revelation. It helps explain some of the “why?” he has never called.

I kept his very neat note, which was to recommend the trilogy of Frank McCourt’s

books.

By the way, Mark is the one I gave my cell phone number in November to call me.

I had suggested if he should ever need to talk or wish to eat out with me, “Dutch

Treat,” to let me know. . .  (Do we still say this?!)

I told him recently, “Friends can wait until circumstances allow more time. You

can call me anytime, if you wish to have a someone to lean on.”

This coworker, Mark, is a truly gentle, soft-spoken man; more than a ‘gentleman.’

This is a lot different from my friend, Amy’s situation, since her Roy has taken

advantage of her. That book’s chapter is NOT closed, by the way!

Peggy fell off her ‘center rider’ while attempting to do ‘heavy bulk.’ She is one of

the two ‘aunts’ that I am friends with, who have a niece that is my oldest daughter’s

very best friend. She recently turned 60 and is still happy with her independent

man, Tim. (Almost 15 years of living in separate homes, but still ‘together.’)

Peggy’s sister texted me back and forth, about her progress at the hospital. While

there, she had a CAT-scan and x-rays on her head. Peggy came back after just 2

days’ off, since the doctor didn’t write an excuse for ‘light duty.’ I worry about

her not waiting, since inside her head I am sure it is slowly healing.

And now, the Grand Finale!

My biggest update for the week is after I had long day on Monday. . .

I was very dismayed to see over 20 forces, police, sheriff and helicopters, all over

the place in Delaware. They were on a serious search for a “dangerous”carjacker.

I could not proceed home across the railroad tracks on London Road. There were

three police cars blocking the railroad tracks on either side.  I had to turn left and

head north on crooked Curtis Street. I had my eyes bulge out of my head, my

hands shaking like a leaf and knees nearly knocking, when I saw armed men!

They had flak vests on, looking into dumpsters, into the unused warehouses and

the ones that still have windows in them, along this curvy road.

They were looking for a fugitive from Franklin County, who had stolen someone’s

car.  The owner had enlisted someone close by where the car was taken, to chase

their own car! There was a kind of ‘chip’ that would determine the car’s location,

then once the police were called in, it became a cross country and across-county-

lines car chase.

When I arrived at the library, the librarian looked up the television news to show

me the progress the whole search was managing. We had a discussion about the

way the one helicopter was diving down and then up again. We wondered what

possible reason they would have SWAT teams included.

There literally were men with rifles out, going around the corner within yards of

the cars that were being sent this direction! There were black dogs, also German

Shepherd dogs, with their harnesses leading them into and out of warehouses

along this stretch.

When I got around the curves, I saw a nice, local man who walks around town with

a Panama hat and a Hawaiian shirt strolling along by the Re-Store Shop.

I wanted to stop him, tell him to, “Watch out!” But I thought better of it. He was in

his own little ‘time warp’ and didn’t want to give him a ‘buzz kill.’

 

Did any of this remind you of the distorted headlines that those crazy “Saturday Night

Live” comedic newscasters give? I did not make any of these many exciting things

happening around here, enough to make a zany comedy show…

Hope this leads all of us into a Normal, Usual, yet Fun Weekend!

Handwritten Love Letters

Standard

Collections of notes and love letters carry such important

messages. Sometimes connecting the world with the past,

sometimes bringing hope and love across the miles and

through dangerous times. Bill Shapiro went around the world

to collect his findings of such varied subjects, but mostly

he wanted Love Letters. (Check out his book, “Other People’s

Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See, October,

2007.)

Bill Shapiro’s book can be studied to help you write a moving

and poignant love letter. His collection of letters range from

the very serious subject matter, includes the humorous to the

sublime.

Bill gathered notes and cards, too, that were sent from the

youngest age of kindergarten to the oldest age of beyond

ninety was a fantastic project for him to undertake. I would

have enjoyed this project and cherished the memories of the

faces on the people sharing them and who I would have met along

my journey.

I think that finding letters in an attic is such a wonderful

way to connect to your family’s heritage and see into the

way their thoughts and feelings were during the period the

messages were sent. The subjects of history, war, Depression

and the Holocaust have given us fascinating missives.

My Dad’s love letters, sent from Cleveland to Middletown,

Ohio were beseeching and searching for the way to capture my

Mom’s heart. They ‘cinched the deal’ while my Mom dated a

few men after college, living at home with her parents and

teaching high school. Their love life was always passionate,

filled with the continued promise that it would last forever.

The packet of shoestring tied cards with each personally

filled out, by my Dad to my Mom, found after his death has

been on my mind, especially as their 59th anniversary is

fast approaching.

You see, four years before my Dad’s death he suffered a

life-changing stroke. It was debilitating in a devastating

way. He was not able to read nor write for months. Once he

‘passed’ the occupational and physical therapists’ time

limit, my mother had helped to find the interesting twist of

fate that had switched his right and left sides of his brain.

He was walking in the winter, through the Sandusky, Ohio mall,

where he kept bumping into people. My mother quietly and gently

would move him back by her side.

When he would reach for his silverware or cup of coffee, she

would note, he would be reaching in the opposite direction

from where he wanted. He would look at my mother, with a

somewhat confused and childlike look on his face. She said it

reminded her of a wounded puppy.

She started by telling him to place his left hand on the table

and remember that was his left side. When he would physically

do this, it helped. It placed him more in the realm of awareness

and also, this became quite helpful for him to read again.

One of my parent’s favorite activity, as they drank their coffee

on retirement days, they would combine their brains and complete

the crossword puzzle in two newspapers daily. What he knew in

science and technology balanced her knowledge of the world,

history and of course, her favorite subject, English and

languages.

My mom found the squares in the crossword puzzle to be rather

helpful for Dad’s orientation and re-introduction to writing

left to right. Why do I think this is significant to love letters?

The way he was childlike had concerned my mother’s mind and their

budget. Her ‘last straw’ was when he chose to buy six ‘expensive’

Vermilion, Ohio beach towels from one of the souvenir stores in

their retirement village of choice. The total came to $120!! my

Mom yelled! My Mom took his credit card away, even though the

thought of his six grandchildren, my three plus Rich and Susan’s

three, were not worth the extraordinary cost! She returned the

towels to wait until a local store (now closed) called Alco’s

had their beach towels on sale, at the end of summer clearance.

So, my Dad was sadly commissioned an ‘allowance’ of only twenty

dollars a week.

Four wonderful years passed. He had been given a new lease on

life, his heart had stopped in the hospital while recuperating

from the stroke. He had gone, he believed ‘to Heaven and back.’

Pulled back to life, by the resuscitation process with those

handheld electric shock pumps on his chest.

Of course, if you have read this before, it never hurts to hear

these encouraging words that my Dad exclaimed, once ‘back from

his spaceship trip to Heaven:’

“If I can make it to Heaven, anyone can!”

My Dad found out he had cancer in late Summer, 2000. He was

told it may be a year or less, he took the chemo and the other

treatments. He was ‘chipper’ but nauseous. He continued to find

wonders in each day, since that stroke had made him a big kid

again. Mom and he had some special and romantic moments, despite

his knowing he was not going to live long.

The fact that he bought, over the short period of September, 2000

when he found out he had cancer and not long to live, until the

beginning of January, a total of 42 cards is outstanding! He used

his budget to buy a few each time that my parents were out, my

Mom swears she never even noticed him wandering around the stores

towards the card department. She also said when she was buying

candy at the local Hallmark Shoppe, she did not notice him looking

and searching for ‘just the right one.’ None of us knew until my

Dad had died on January 27, 2001, that my Mom’s treasure trove of

cards and messages was still waiting for her to find.

It took my Mom past February to even think of going into Dad’s

clothing drawers. She found a few things in the laundry and

was not even wishing to wash them. They had my Dad’s scent on

them. She wore one of his sweatshirts for a month of nights

to bed. She finally got herself ‘geared up’ for the heavy task

of cleaning out the drawers.

Three stacks were made on the bed she no longer slept in. The

day that my Dad passed, she chose to start sleeping on the sofa

with the back of it, like his own back, pressed up against her.

One stack of clothes was for my brothers to search through,

one was for the grandkids, my own three children choosing to

pick a t-shirt and a tie, with my son and oldest daughter

wanting a leather belt each. The third stack of clothing went

to the Vermilion Goodwill Store.

When she opened the socks drawer, she was digging through

it, transferring the great number of tube socks directly

across the room, into her own sock drawer. She, to this

day, wears men’s socks that are leftover from Dad or buys

new ones to remind her of him.

At the bottom of the drawer a pile of cards over 12″ tall,

about 8″ wide, was tied with a brown shoe string. It had

a note at the top. It said (the gist of it):

“Rosalie, I hope that you will find comfort in these cards

that I searched for you to open. Please read only on the

dates that are given on them, so they will last quite

awhile. I hope to make it to our 46th anniversary, but if

not, that will be your first card to open. Now, you know

I love you and will be with you always. Don’t be sad when

the last card is opened. Maybe you can have a party and

celebrate then, on our 50th Golden Anniversary.

Love you, pardner! Bob.”

My Mom called each of us to share the news. We had had a

meal on their 46th anniversary with Mom, my oldest daughter,

both brothers, myself, my sister in law and my ex-husband.

We had eaten at one of their favorite restaurants by the

Sandusky Mall. She had not yet found the hidden cards.

When Valentine’s Day came she had not yet discovered the pile.

But by the rowdy holiday of St. Patrick’s Day and the rest of

the years leading up to 2005, she had several to open on important

dates, along with some silly ones thrown in to fill in gaps in time.

There were six non-holiday ones, that tickled his ‘fancy,’ and had

some nonsensical reference to a memory that they shared. All major

holidays we celebrated, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New

Year’s. Each had some quick thoughts jotted down after the printed

message. My Dad utilized some of his clever and sarcastic wit. Her

birthday ones and the anniversary ones seemed to my eyes to respect

their serious nature and therefore were very elaborate and ornate.

These were the ‘special’ ones, that if you were there, you would

note a tear shed by Mom. The Halloween ones had silly things like

witches and one time, as if she were a child, one had a ghost that

opened up into three dimensional and whispered, “Boo!”

We had that celebratory party, in a fancy hotel restaurant

halfway to my aunt and uncle’s house in Chardon, Ohio. It was

a lovely feast, where each had put their thirty dollars in to

pay the total bill and include a grand tip for the servers.

It included cousins and three female grandchildren, one great

grandchild, Skyler, (age 4 months), we three siblings, two

spouses, my Aunt Amy and Uncle Orrin and Mom, in all her glory,

at the head of the table.

Gifts were humorous or simple, no expense was stressed when we

planned this celebratory occasion.

Mom ‘kept the card’ but I practically memorized Dad’s message

written here are the words on my Parent’s 50th Anniversary card,

which was absolutely gorgeous,

written five years prior:

“Dear Rosalie,

You were my help mate, my editor, my best friend, my anchor,

my co-pilot, and the mother of my children. You were the love

of my life.

And to Robin, Randy and Rich, our 3 R’s (reading, writing and

‘rithmetic!)

And to Carrie, Jamie, Felicia, Katherine, Jonathan and Libby~~

And to All the Possibilities!

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

(he included 9 ?’s)

I LOVE YOU!

I wish to have you understand what an impact this has been

on my years since. It is hard not to compare the love between

my parents, one raised in the ghetto, working nights at age 11.

My Mom says, “He was such a punk!” While the other half of the

pair (dynamic duo!), my Mom, was raised well. To the long list

of men who have been my suitors (husbands, friends and boyfriends)

I have been disappointed. They “did not hold a candle” to him!

My optimism mixes with some dashes of cynicism, then I get

a little nudge or message in a dream from my Dad:

“Don’t give up the search!

Protect your heart.

He is waiting for you to find him!”

Lovingly sent.

The Fair: “It’s not over till the cows (or horses) come home!”

Standard

This is a tale of a large county fair, where the person who is writing,

had many chance encounters with special people she has met along

the road of life here in Delaware, Ohio. This includes ones who have

entered or crossed paths during her twenty six years of living here.

This encompasses interwoven stories of diverse backgrounds and

lengths of time spent knowing such persons. The extent of the depth

of  these relationships has become strong enough to feel like they

have become “family” to me!

The 2013 Delaware County Fair started on Sat. Sept. 14th and runs

through Sept. 21st. It includes two major races, one which is considered

part of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing; The Little Brown Jug Race.

My guy friend and I chose to go on Tues. “Senior Citizens’ Day” for

only a $2.00 admission. The whole place was lit up due to our evening

arrival.

We went to see the beautiful race horses in the “Million Dollar Barn.”

They were brushed and groomed to look beautiful and they seemed

rested for the next day or two’s races.

We then proceeded to view the simple, but loved 4H horses in their

stables. Each horse, no matter its background or pedigree, looks so

wise, so knowing of your interest and they seem to give you a piece

of their thoughts through their soulful eyes gazing at you. I feel this

way when I look into the eyes of many animals, including cows, which

some say are smarter than they are given credit for!

Wednesday was the Fillies Run or the Jugette. Today was the Little

Brown Jug Race. Each of those, I have attended a few times, even

placed a few bets, over the years, for under $20. Sometimes have

accompanied some big spenders and admittedly almost “gamblers”

in the past.

This time, we were all about visiting and looking, seeing the sights

and of course, indulging in a few fair treats. I took some brightly

colored pictures of the Midway, including the ferris wheel and the

carrousel. Unfortunately, both sets of grandkids went on the rides

over the weekend, since Tuesday is, alas, a “school night!” (I was in

Cleveland, both to see my Mom and also, my first Maid of Honor,

which could not be rescheduled to a different time! We had a blast

and it was great talking about BGSU, my first husband who Patrice

adored, (but later booed and hissed at the sound of his name!) We

remembered a lot of the good old days of being young and carefree

in the 70’s.  Patrice invited me to meet in the Winton Place apartment

tower in Lakewood, rode up to peek in the expensive “Pier W”

Restaurant, went on a lovely walk and had delicious German pastries

with coffee with her boyfriend. Joe had been a professor, years ago,

at our college.) So, I missed going to the Fair this year with my kids

and grandkids. I did get some phone picture messages sent over,

sent by my son’s wife of their children.

On to who we ran into…

I have spoken of my three coworkers who have become quite close

friends, who were born in the Phillipines. We ran into Felda, her

husband Jason, her daughter Kridia Dawn and the new addition to

their family, “little Zachie Poo!” I have written about attending a fun

and lovely filipino baby shower, with all the unique foods, dancing,

games and karaoke. Now, here was the newly arrived “Prince Zachary!”

I got two perfect pictures of them, while we were chattering away,

telling them to go check out the delicious, mouth watering walleye fish

sandwich, whose stand is located along the front of the grandstand.

It is priced very reasonably, for only (still) $6 for three filets folded onto

a large white bun, with a slathering of tartar sauce. Jason said Felda

would love that since she is “from the sea like a mermaid”  He was

interested in my description of their other special which is a layered

balogna sandwich with onions and he loves pickle relish. Kridia

was begging for a corn dog and the baby, lucky lad, is still basking

on his mother’s milk. Last, but very importantly, Felda told me about

Zachary’s christening date at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Oct. 20th.

I will be sure to attend the after party with loads of their traditional

filipino food, along with some American dishes thrown in.

We ran into one of my youngest best friends and her husband, along

with extended family sitting at a picnic table. Julie was one of those

girls who would find out what we were eating for dinner, then my

daughter and she would figure out whose house had what they

wanted to eat. I was very happy to meet her husband, since my

daughter had gone to the wedding with a date, not in the wedding

party, so I was not invited. Julie’s mother, Betsy, and her father, Mike,

were so happy to see me, giving me hugs and talking about wishing

that “these kids weren’t so popular, having too many guests, etc.”….

and I “let them off the hook” saying,

“No worries! Someday, Felicia will get married and then, we will have

the same mental anguish and conflicts.”

I took a few moments to look at their honeymoon photographs in Punta

Cana. Lovely couple and wonderful future ahead, Julie and Sean!

When we had digested our sandwiches, we headed towards my

standby, the ONLY place that changes their oil often on busy days that

makes mouth-watering funnel cakes and a whole dollar cheaper than

the other places. I have been getting the walleye sandwich at the one

place and this funnel cake was a “find” that turned out to be the best,

for over twenty six years! We could not believe that the elderly couple

weren’t there at either stand, times have been hard on their health.

We did know the couple behind the counter at the funnel cake stand,

also, located in ‘prime’ grandstand aisle location. Mike and Tammy

were there! I asked how did they know these people who have a

Pennsylvania Dutch heritage recipe? They said they had answered

an advertisement posted in the fair board office, thus had been

hired and I told them, “You are so lucky! You could have been placed

in a concession stand that sold below par funnel cakes! My stubborn

brother, Randy, bought one at another stand, literally as defiance to

his big sister’s fair food experience and wisdom. He had a few bites

of mine, in comparison, melting in his mouth, and now, defers to my

wise choices when he comes to Delaware fair. It didn’t work out this

year, due to an artistic project at the Kalahari, up by Sandusky that

he is working on.”

Mike reminded Tammy that we had met at the library, he works at

the warehouse with me. He had told me over the past five years of

Tammy’s battle with cancer. I felt badly that recently he was told by

his surgeon, he needs to have back surgery. Just sad to hear how we

find ourselves, growing older and “falling apart!”

Speaking of health, we saw my good and dear friend of all the years

I have lived here in Delaware, my first babysitter, who encouraged

me to quit teaching and stay at home for almost nine years. Sue

looked wonderful! Her other gal friends had included me out to eat

at the “1808” restaurant, where they had been squeezing boobs,

all in good fun, due to Sue’s breast cancer remission news. Well,

needless to say, I had to take a look at her again, remembering that

her “new boobs” were in place. We have opposite schedules where

she is up with the crows and I am working until she goes to bed,

practically when the last child gets picked up from her day care. We

hugged and I felt her hair that is not quite as bristly as it was the last

time I saw her. We were reminiscing about standing by the rides,

watching our own little children, her Kersten and my Felicia. It was

fun and yet, she did look like she was a little fatigued. I asked her

how she REALLY was? She said, “It takes every ounce of my energy

to watch the babysitting kids, and this was a long day, Robin.”

We hugged and said, those famous words, “We will have to get

together, soon!” and “Give me a call, sometime!” But, with Sue,

I know we mean it!

I steered my male friend, who had to go get the fried vegetables,

over to the Hoover’s Fudge concession stand. “Meet you back

here in a few minutes, right?”

I got my favorite, maple walnut fudge in a box, a deal as far as I

am concerned. I cut each pieced into halves and make it last

almost two weeks! I don’t eat any since I had the funnel cake

and have wrapped half of it up and put into my large denim

purse.

When we started walking towards the front of the fairgrounds,

I told him that my two favorite fairs other than Delaware’s are

the Circleville Pumpkin Festival and the Lancaster Fairfield County

Fair. And, of course, being a show off, I told him that the movie,

with Robert Redford in it, “Brubaker” was filmed at the Fairfield

County Fair.

My guy friend said, “Maybe we should check out one of those

other fairs and try their food!”

Winding down, we sat to listen to some bluegrass music at one of

the smaller stages around the fair. Everything seemed the same,

glad to find out that both elderly couples are still living who I have

frequented their stands more than a quarter of a century, telling

all who will listen to me, “This is the best _________!” Wishing I had

a second stomach, so I could have bought some of Weldon’s

homemade ice cream because it is better than Graeter’s, which

is a Cincinnati original and you can now purchase in Ohio groceries.

On Friday, the 4Hers will pick up their projects, (my kids did this plus

scouting) and the animals will be taken home. The last day of the

fair, rides, food and the crafts made by children and adults not

affiliated with 4H will still be up to see, there will be a final concert

and fireworks. I will be over at my oldest daughter’s house where

we will have a cookout and watch the display from her back yard.

When county fairs really wind down their season, I get a little

wistful, means that Autumn really is here!

Is there a regular place you go to visit, be it a place in nature, family

reunion, or amusement park that you attend or visit annually?

If so, you may be feeling this nostalgic feeling of closing the door to

Summer and moving on into Fall. Please share where it is that you

look forward to visiting or staying every summer! Did you make it,

was it a grand old time? I liked going to the lake at least every month

this summer, the county fair and also, to some of my favorite central

Ohio parks.

Hope you had a chance to see Thursday, September 19th’s Full

Harvest Moon! I will be leaving the library  soon and hope it is a clear

night like it was last night, for viewing the moon!

Oh, and as far as the “till the cows come home” reference; cows

are known for their slow moving and languid ways. If you have to

wait for the cows to come home, you may be waiting quite a long

time! I included horses, since that is part of what makes our fair

unique and exciting! They are much more faster paced than those

cows are! I enjoyed guessing the day the cow would give birth and

petting a calf of another cow, too.