On June 18, my daughter Joy and her family will be leaving for their mission assignment in Indonesia. They’ve been staying with us these last few weeks while waiting for their visas to arrive.
Though my heart aches, knowing we won’t see them again for four years, I can still discern blessings in our situation. The short time has prompted us to create special memories to store away for the long days of separation. For instance, my 9-year old grandson, Caleb, and his 5-year old sister, Reagan, asked to come with me to the Senior Center on three different mornings. They enjoyed seeing where I work and interacting with participants here. Reagan even joined in the line dancing with our Silver Steppers. The extra time I got to spend with them meant a lot to me, especially considering that Caleb will be a teenager the next time I see him.
My grief at losing the kids is tempered by an understanding of the adventure that awaits them. Their lives will be enriched by new relationships and experiences that will open the world to them. Their horizons will expand in ways they can’t begin to imagine. Having experienced it myself helps to clarify my perspective. I am as happy and excited for them as I am sorry for the necessary separation.
If we look hard enough, we can find reasons to be thankful even in the bleakest situations. Here at the Senior Center, our perpetually precarious financial condition is one of the greatest stressors in my life. I feel as if I spend the bulk of my time scrambling to raise operating funds. And yet the relationships I’ve found here, the fun we have and the service we’re able to provide all fill me with a sense of joy and satisfaction.
One of the Senior Center’s great blessings is the support we receive from Mayor Mike Allen, City Manager Lance Howerton and the City of Mineral Wells. We are very grateful for the use of our building, for the city maintenance guys who so cheerfully manage our facility problems and for the monetary allocations that help keep us in business. This place probably wouldn’t exist if the city were not as involved as they are.
We are also grateful for other businesses and individuals in our community who support us. Mel Rhodes, publisher of the Mineral Wells Index, has for years given us space for this senior column and helped promote our events in his newspaper. We appreciate his patronage.
Several people have pledged their involvement in our upcoming Taste of Palo Pinto County, scheduled for Monday, July 15 from 6-10 p.m. April Martin State Farm, Brazos Animal Hospital, Powell Auto Group, Gene’s World KVCE 1160 AM Radio, Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home and First State Bank have been quick to step up as sponsors for this year’s event, and Holiday Hills Country Club is once more providing support as venue host and food vendor.
Other food vendors for this year’s Taste of Palo Pinto County include Natty Flat Smokehouse, Mesquite Pit, Palo Pinto Challenge, Taste and See Bakery Treats, Chili’s, Pastafina, Chubby’s, Shotgun’s, Tastefully Simple and Hayes Station Coffee. We appreciate their willingness to contribute food, time and resources to make this year’s fundraiser a success.
We are still enlisting sponsors and gathering auction items for the Taste of Palo Pinto. If you’d like more information about becoming a supporter for this event, call the Senior Center at (940) 325-6470 or stop by the center located at 102 NW 6th Ave., in Mineral Wells.
Don’t forget our free Movie Night on Monday, June 17. This month’s film is the John Wayne classic “McLintock.” The evening also includes a soup-and-salad supper. And that same week we’ll end with a karaoke party after lunch, on Friday, June 21, just for the fun of it.
Anyone is welcome to come around 1 p.m. to try out your vocals.
Before I close this out, I need to apologize to Lera Turner. In last week’s birthday picture she was incorrectly identified as her sister, Gladys Mainard. This was an 80th birthday celebration for Lera, and we hope the mistake didn’t detract from her special occasion.