Joan and I were good friends. We had a lot in common, even though she was younger than me; love for God, love for our husbands and children, camping, gospel music, our church family.

Penn and JOAN moved to Midland from Missouri after Penn earned his master’s degree.  They were newly weds, with no children yet, just a cute little dog! We already had three children! In time they had a son, Chris, and a daughter, Tracy. Tracy and my daughter, Christy, became very good friends.

In 1978 Penn was assigned a job in Salvador, Brazil for two years. How exciting for them! We were very excited for them and looked forward to all communication from them. But we missed them and were glad when they returned home to stay.

There is so much I could write but I’ve got to keep this down to three events.

My husband, Jerry, was diagnosed with cancer and had major surgery. Recovery was so slow and we were so discouraged. Our children came when they could but lived such busy lives and most were far away in miles. Joan sensed our discouragement and called one day to ask if they could stop by. “Of course,” I said. When Penn and Joan arrived Joan carried in a bag of something! She took out a couple video tapes of Bill Gaither and singers. The bag was full of video tapes! She said perhaps listening to these would lift our spirits!

Oh my, we played those videos every day, listening and sometimes even singing along. Our spirits were lifted up, we praised God, just like she had hoped! What a difference in our lives! We finally returned them to her and then bought some for ourselves!

In 2007 Joan suggested to me that I write a newsletter for the senior folks of our church! I had no idea how to do such a thing, but she insisted we needed one and I was the one to do it! We were at a pig roast when she came up with this idea so when we came home I got on my computer and began trying out ideas for a newsletter! I was up ALL night writing and rewriting and rewriting! Finally, I thought I had it right and printed out a copy. We went to church and I handed it to Joan. The pig roast was the main feature with pictures. There was a section for prayer requests and praises. Other news and up-coming events were also featured. Joan said it was exactly what she had in mind! She said she knew I could do it! So every other week for eleven years I put out a newsletter! Joan was my biggest fan and encourager!

One Sunday in 2013 I stayed home from church, just not feeling well. When Jerry came home he had a package for me from Joan! I had no idea what it was and was thrilled when I opened it! A Bone China cup and saucer! She knew I had a collection and this would fit in beautifully! Neither one of us had any idea she would be leaving us for good this same year, a few months later! So, I have a wonderful reminder of my very good friend, Joan!IMG_1700

She was having physical problems. We all have problems, don’t we? But she didn’t get better. Finally she was told she needed a new kidney. She was put on a list to receive one from a donor. However, one was not available soon enough.  Joan passed away on May 21, 2013. I couldn’t believe it and still can’t. I know, without a doubt, Joan and I will be joined together as friends, one day, when my time is up. Meantime, I have my wonderful memories of her.





What A Difference A Day Makes

The day was all planned. I would be joining four other friends, in our small group, to go to Bay City to pay our respects to our friends, John and Jan, over the death of their sister-in-law. Jerry was staying home. John and Jan seemed so pleased we had taken the time and made the effort to support them in their grief.

As we left, to go home, we decided to stop at a pizza shop, only a few blocks away from the funeral home. We parked across the street from the pizza shop.  No cars were coming so we jaywalked across the street. When I picked up my foot to step over the curb, alas, I didn’t pick it up high enough!!! I felt myself stumbling and going down! I put my hand out in front of me to break my fall. Well, I didn’t break my fall and I did break my wrist!!! I knew it was broken by the way my hand was hanging from my wrist! My friends helped me get up.

But I suddenly felt myself getting faint and cried, “I’m going to pass out!” They quickly helped me lie down on the cement sidewalk. Sharon called Jerry. John called 911. Jerry insisted they take me to Midland Hospital instead of Bay City Hospital. Our wonderful friends met us at Midland hospital. With the help of our friend, Larry, Jerry met us all there. Many hours later after lots of tests, x-rays, and a soft cast put on my arm, we were sent home along with lots of instructions.

The next day, Friday, our friend, Rose, brought supper to us! Oh how wonderful. As we visited she told Jerry and me details about my fall that I didn’t know or didn’t remember! One detail was that her husband, Larry, sat down on the cement and put my head on his lap, as a pillow! I didn’t know that! How sweet of him!

Saturday morning I became very sick. Extremely sick! Jerry didn’t know what to do for me. He called 911. So I was taken to Midland Hospital for the second time in three days! This whole mishap was quite an ordeal! But we have such good friends! John and Jan brought a delicious meal to us and then Creston and Sharon brought supper to us! Wow! We ate good!!!

But it was two weeks before I could see the surgeon! He said it was a bad break and I’d need surgery. So a steel plate, the shape of a T, was put in my wrist with seven screws! Two weeks of a soft cast and then two weeks of a hard cast! Oh what misery!

It’s now been almost three months since I broke my wrist and I’m still in occupational therapy! Please, whatever you do, don’t break your wrist! Of course it doesn’t help that I’m almost 80 years old! I guess the older we are the harder it is to heal! Whatever would I do without my granddaughter helping me out for the summer!

What a difference a day makes! It can be a great day with family and friends. It can be a lonely day. It can be a day where tragedy happens, or a fall and a broken bone.

What A Difference A Day Makes!


Mother’s English China

Back in about 1952 Dad bought and sent a beautiful set of English China dishes to Mother. We lived in Elk Run Heights, a sub burg of Waterloo, Iowa. Dad, as an evangelist, was traveling, as usual. He was in eastern Canada and had been looking for just the right set of dishes to buy and send to her. He finally found it!

I’ll never forget the day several large boxes arrived in the mail. We were both so excited! It was like Christmas day to us! Mother and I carefully unpacked the boxes. Only one cup was cracked and later it was replaced.

Mother was a beautiful hostess. Between graduating from high school and marrying my dad she had worked for a very prominent family in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. There she learned how to be a proper hostess. She said at the time she never dreamed that knowledge would be so important to her later on in life!

Being the wife of a pastor, an evangelist, an executive, a conference superintendent, and more, she had entertained many important and influential men and women. Bishops, missionaries, pastors, evangelists, college presidents, professors, the list goes on and on! Her beautiful set of English China was well used!


Table set with Mother’s English China.

We were visiting Mother and Dad, at Warm Beach Retirement Center, in Washington, in about 1994. Mother surprised me when she said she’d like to give her set of English China to me and that we should take the set home with us! Oh, I didn’t know what to say! I was thrilled that she wanted me to have them, but how could I take them? Maybe she would need them again! Why not wait a few more years? But she insisted I take them when we left back to Michigan. So Mother and I carefully packed the dishes into a couple of sturdy boxes. English China 1

I treasure Mother’s English China! On the bottom of each piece is the name and location where they were made. I can’t read the whole thing, but I can see ‘Simpsons… Cobridge, England’. I only use them on very special occasions. Today was one of those occasions! We invited our new lead pastor and wife, Pastor Gene and Lois, for dinner! As we all sat down at the table Pastor Gene exclaimed, “Oh my, what beautiful dishes! Are these special?”

So I had the joy of telling them about Mother’s English China and my joy to be serving dinner with them.  I told them of all the important people who had eaten from them and now they were among the important folks also! It was a wonderful evening!