Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Week 47

This is the time of year when busyness intensifies and we have to be increasingly intentional to pause and enjoy the moments. This blog helps me do just that. I have to stop and reflect on each day and the highlights of the week.

Stephan driving off with a five-month supply of venison!
Yes, it is hunting season. Stephan has been here three times and had a very successful, well-aimed shot one day.
It is also birthday week for two grandsons: Malachi 21 on the 21st, and Zion 10 on the 23rd.

Favorite pics from years ago
Michael's second cataract surgery (right eye) was Tuesday plus two post-op visits.
And I had a third massage treatment. My friend therapist is  working long and hard on difusing the trigger points and releasing my left shoulder to gain greater mobility.

Wednesday my night to volunteer at Basics Jr..  Rebecca was feeling better, so I picked her up and while we waited there was time for a fancy braid.

Our little tapping troupe, the Dancing Divas (ha!) is wrapping up the year with a couple performances, sort of as a grand finale to our time with Kayla as our teacher. She has decided she has too much going on with the many dance classes she teaches at Cornerstone for the Arts in Muncie as well as keeping up with Rebecca's activities.
One of those was a four-week art program at Taylor. The Art Education and Art Therapy students prepared lesson plans and practiced on elementary age students from the community. I attended the 
Friday evening program to exhibit what the children had learned and accomplished.

Rebecca's art and photo opportunities 
Rebecca chose the abuela-Becca photo-background location, ha! I was running late and did not dress up for the occasion.

Speaking of "dressing up," Moriah sent photos of last weekend's Broom Ball, an annual "pick-a-date" tradition. This year four closest friends went together to play hockey on the ice with decorated brooms.

However, the main focus of the week was the "new" headquarters for the renamed East Central Indiana Robotics. Michael worked at the Matthews shop every available moment, and only rested the afternoon after surgery. The big push is to have the place in decent order for the first open house Tuesday the 26th.
Here you have glimpses of the rebuilding and the chaos and a video walk-through on the 19th.

Next time a progress report.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Week 46

This was the view out of my loft window Tuesday afternoon when I sat at my desk to write.

The snow fell fast and furious Monday evening and we decided not to go to Stephan's dinner. The next morning very early we were on the road for Michael's cataract surgery scheduled for 6:45 a.m.! I was his driver on the way home. Thankfully, we made it back safely.

Most of the week the scenery was rather bleak and bare, except when a beautiful woodpecker visited the feeders.

Wednesday, November 13, the two-year anniversary of Lynn's passing, I thought about my brother and imagined him looking down on me instead.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, plant and outdoor
Rita and new little brother Lynn 71 years ago
Another jaunt back in time happened as we attended the Ontario Systems celebration Thursday evening and walked down the hall lined with friends and coworkers from years ago. It was probably ten years ago that Michael walked out of there after twenty three years with the company. Large photos from the archives were displayed all around.

Promo photo of the dialer Michael designed
Ontario Systems Celebrates Nearly 40 Years of History and Community Impact

We especially appreciated the opportunity to greet and thank Wil and Ron for their example of integrity and the impact on our lives. Their vision statement was: "Passionate people, serving others, driving a strong economy." Faith in God and care for people were always evident. They strongly believed God would lead them into the good works He had prepared beforehand for them (Ephesians 2:10).

Wil Davis and Ron Fauquher, the founders

It took me most of the week to unpack the boxes and put away the pottery from the craft fair last weekend. In the process I rearranged and condensed the entire display.

During this week of surgery, post op visit, and a schedule of multiple daily eye drops, Michael has slowed down somewhat. 

Saturday was a long work day at the Matthews robotics headquarters. Some team members and friends converged there to move much of the equipment stored in the warehouse next door into the nearly renovated spaces.
Ever since the move from Madjax, it has been very difficult to find basic tools in the MESS that was the accumulation of many loads dumped there from the Muncie shop.

Storage area in contiguous warehouse
The next day when we walked through, I was amazed at the progress--a nice reception desk in the entryway, donated cubicles set up to section off areas, tools moved into the carpentry shop, carpet down, the playing field beginning to take shape, and the machine shop equipment mostly set up.

Entry; cubicles; carpenter shop; playing field; machine shop
And yet there is so much work to do before the first open house next week! 

So, what did I do while Michael was working in Matthews? I drove up to Grace Village for a short visit with Mother before going to Malachi's birthday celebration.

We visited friend and fellow-missionary "Aunt Margaret" in her Independent Living apartment. Her son David was there. He looks in on her every day. I asked him about his memories of growing up in Argentina. He related his joys and struggles. At one point Mother asked (using her talking machine): "Do you ever regret that you are a missionary kid?" He said that sometimes he had, especially as a teenager.

After I left Mother at her table in the dining room, I headed to the restaurant in Warsaw for Malachi's early birthday family celebration. Only Grandma Debby and I were able to make it.

Malachi will be 21 on November 21st! He may have been embarrassed by the all-restaurant version of the birthday song. Zion may have enjoyed the blowing-out-the-candles tradition more than the birthday guy :-)

But from my perspective, family times are always precious.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Week 45

Another Kathryn Hoyt acrylic
The blog title change at the beginning of the year was meant to remind me to focus on the memories I'm trying to bring back and write about.
Well, this week I received a surprise via snail mail! It is so unusual nowadays to find an envelope addressed in someone's own handwriting, let alone a cousin I hadn't seen in years. The fat little packet contained a letter and several old photographs.
My father's youngest brother's daughter wrote to let me know that her mother, Aunt Doris, had passed away in September. They were going through her things and wanted to send on photos that we would enjoy.

With Aunt Doris and visits with Uncle Bud's family
 Some photos were ones I'd seen before, but these of my paternal grandmother were very special candid shots. I wonder where and when they were taken and which grandchild is with her.

Anna Leola Darcy Hoyt
Michael went back to work full time, and overtime, refurbishing the Matthews robotic shop. I took him lunch almost every day--cleared off a spot on the entryway table, laid an old table runner down and brought out a decent meal for the overworked man. It's relaxing and fun to look out at downtown Matthews, a small town with a long interesting history.
Lunch time at the Matthews shop
Michael had left a long to-do list for when he was gone and for those who come to help out for an hour or two.
The big push this week was to finish everything that required the scissors lift before the end of the rental period.

Daily progress
Looking back over the work accomplished, Michael estimates they are 80% done.

Friday was the best day for me to get away up north to visit Mother and on the way stop by my brother Alan's shop and maybe see and talk to his new wife. Raquel was not there as they haven't moved her things from Elkhart yet (this weekend) and her foster child was ill. But Alan was there during his lunch break. We had a nice chat catching up on his life, and he kindly checked the pressure on all my tires.

Inside the Global Auto shop
 Then he gave me a tour of his auto-mechanics school above the shop. It is an impressive set-up and Alan is definitely a pioneer in that field.

Auto mechanics classroom and diagnostic bays
 Then I joined Mother for lunch. One on one direct conversation is very limited right now, but she enjoys listening in when we're in a group.
I like to take her some of my recently uncovered memories. This time it happened to be a letter she wrote in 1945 requesting membership transfer from the Baptist church she grew up in (her father the pastor) to the new Grace Brethren denomination she married into.

Mother reading old letter

After sharing Bingo Hour with Mother and the other fun ladies at her table, I headed back and was just in time to set up my table for the Matthews Marketplace craft fair the next day.

Koch -display at the Matthews Marketplace
 The event was not very profitable, considering the time and effort, however I had fun interacting with vendors and visitors, and especially watching the robotics team showing off the robot and talking to people.

Team 1720 display
After packing up pottery and paintings and tearing down tables, I had enough time to pick up Diane and go to Sam's birthday celebration. Michael just couldn't take time off.

Sam celebrating 41 years
 A favorite moment, among the many good ones, was when Elijah loved on both grandmothers, as he towered over them.

Elijah with two proud grandmas
Six weeks till Christmas, really?!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Week Apart

Father and son spent the week hunting in the wilds of Idaho with Jeff and Cody (Mike's brother's son and his son). Way off in the distance you can see the two blinds they were hiding behind.

They experienced a series of adventures, including four flats in three days half-way up the mountain, and the worst cold ever. But they kept going back for more!

Hunters--Michael and Stephan
That is, more fun and fowl. The guys packed a great supply of frozen duck and pheasant in the middle of their luggage, which did not thaw out on the long way home! And fortunately, their baggage arrived with them!

Our adventures on the home front included high winds which tore the umbrella off the table on the deck and carried it way down to the edge of the woods.

Mighty Moriah rescued the item we should have stored away sooner.

Both Moriah and I volunteer at Basics Jr. and were on duty Wednesday evening for the annual Fun Fest. My main role was as abuela, following Rebecca around. She was so cute. Please forgive me for going overboard with the photos.

The Princess and the P (Picachu)

Our first snow fall came very early this year, on Reformation Day (most commonly called Halloween), and it lasted into the next morning. It was beautiful.

Snow-covered hydrangeas

Despite the snow, many families were out enjoying the "trick-or-treat" tradition. I only had one family visit--little Picachu and her parents.
I gave them their early anniversary gift, an acrylic based on their  wedding-ceremony kiss eight years ago on November 1st.

The Kerns--Matt, Kayla and Rebecca; The Wedding Kiss

Saturday I joined the UCC Hikers and Walkers to try out the newly opened Upland trail.
(Am I really that short?)

Group photo, minus our fearless leader Bob Meadows
Our hunters made it back safely later that evening. Michael came bearing gifts for us two stay-at-home women. 
Which one was my gift?