Winding things up in cold country

It always takes some time to get off the ground to head to Arizona. The cold weather slows me down to a crawl, and then there is that nagging sense that there is still something I need to take care of but I am not sure what. Then I realize that I am just trying to make myself seem important--what will they do without me? Ha, they'll have more fun and get more done. I am referring to my employees. And probably the whole town. Equally absurd in each case.

Completed my last commitment until March--I spoke at the volunteer luncheon at Pioneer Memorial Home in Erskine. First I played some piano and sang, and then I read some out of my books, with an emphasis on writings which had to do with nursing homes and old-timers.

Well, every time I do one of those readings, I page through the book ahead of time and pick some essays out which seem relevant to the crowd at hand. However, I never read deeply enough into the text of the essays I pick, and sometimes as I get into it (too late to back out) I am a bit shocked at what I wrote a few years ago---sounds pretty harsh! So, I edit what I am reading as I read it, and the whole thing turns to mush.

That happened today. I started out on an essay from my first book which I knew had something to do with nursing homes, but as I got into it, the essay took a few viscious swipes at bad church music, which probably wasn't the best thing to do at a nursing home run by the Lutheran church. Oh well. I recovered and read some harmless nostalgic essays about old neighbors.

The Pioneer staff made a wonderful lunch. Great salad, pork roast, nice vegetables--not gray, but bright green, and a wonderful bread pudding for dessert. Enjoyed the company at my table, and then enjoyed visiting with the folks afterwards. One man told about his trip to Nepal. He hired a small plane and they flew around Mt. Everest. Everest goes up to 29,000 feet. They didn't go that high, but he said they had to spiral upwards for a half an hour. Now, there is a dream of mine--to see the Himalayas!

I left my lights on, so my battery was dead. As I said, it is always tough to get off the ground to go to Arizona. So, I went back into the nursing home and asked a couple of nice ladies if they would give me a jump. Well, they thought about it. In the end, the deal was, they would jump my car IF they could write a letter to the editor of the Erskine Echo making fun of me for leaving my lights on! I said okay, I don't get the Echo anyway.

BAD ROADS today, at least on the side roads. Packed snow. Talk about motivation to leave. Just about slid off Highway 41 on a curve, even with 4-wheel drive on.