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Joy in the Journey

August 30, 2013

by Linda Beerman
Last Tuesday four of us from the Fulda area, Midge Johlfs, Diane Kirchner, Sophia Hein, and myself traveled to Luverne to the Veterans Home for some afternoon fun and encouragement for those living there. We represented the Fulda VFW as this is a yearly event. I had never gone before, as Betty Czepa is usually a part of this generous and giving venture. But she had to be gone helping her grandkids, so she gave me the opportunity to help out. I had been there before a few times to visit a great uncle, but since he has passed away, it had been a few years. What a lovely place it is! So peaceful and such a friendly, patient staff that works there.

I enjoy leisurely walking the hallways and stopping to see the pictures of the men in their uniforms, and then reading some of the words written here and there about their lives and service they have given. I always am humbled at how much each one gave to go and fight for all of us remaining to live in this land of freedom. My dad is a veteran of World War II, and now that he lives with me he tells me stories when we sit and talk. When I was younger, he did not always want to talk about his days of being away at war. It is fascinating to read some of his books that have letters from men in his company. They used to get together every year for a reunion in different parts of the country, but now with many being over 90 years old, there aren't many left who can make those journeys.

Tuesday was a bright, sunny day, and we took along a trunk full of delicious angel food cakes, ice cream buckets of luscious, red strawberries, and Cool Whip to add to the treat. In addition to several rolls of quarters. You see, our mission was to play bingo with these residents, along with serving them an afternoon treat. They thanked us over and over, and were most appreciative of our visit, the refreshing dessert, and even the quarters as they hollered out "Bingo" . A normal row of bingo got them one quarter, but if they were fortunate enough to have four corners, they received two! Some of them had quite the stash by the time we were done.

While most of the resident citizens are men, some women are residing there also. A few of them are couples, and there were four or five pairs playing the game together. It warmed my heart to observe one couple playing bingo together. He was disabled from possibly a stroke, and could not play his card by himself. As she marked the called numbers with one hand, she softly stroked his arm with her other. It was touching and reminded me of "old love"...which always blesses me when I see it . When couples stay together that many years and still show such respect and kindness for each other, it is so mentoring to me.

The afternoon went quickly and soon we were wiping up our sticky area of serving, washing a few utensils, and off we went. Even as we departed several were waving, saying good-bye, and again thanking us for the tasty treat. What a joy to serve someone and know that they are so grateful. I would encourage you to stop there and give away some sunshine and smiles if you are going through Luverne and have time to do that. You won't be disappointed. And they always encourage visitors to stop in!

Our whirlwind of grandchildren birthdays continues this weekend, so I must close for this time and finish packing the car and pick-up. We are heading to Lewiston, Minnesota, this afternoon to celebrate our granddaughter, Ellyanna's birthday. She will be eleven on Monday. Elly is just one of seven of our thirteen grandkids with a birthday between July 30th and Sept. 16th!! Whew!! I am looking forward to the hotdog roast this evening though. Her parents, Mark and Heather, have six daughters, with number seven supposedly coming in November! Maybe God will use his sense of humor and powers to zap it into a boy??? But, if not, we will welcome another little granddaughter. The two oldest are returning home with us for a few days so that will be fun too. Sounds like the week will be hot so we can enjoy the pool a few more times before it is school time.

Be careful in the heat, but listen as the corn grows! Enjoy your week and the end days of summer as they quickly fade. Take one day at a time, and find some pleasure in it. It is the best way.

lbeeerman@lismoretel.com


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