Saturday, June 28, 2008

Slice of Life

Slice of Life - index

Plymouth Kroger

I work with such interesting people. Michelle is a full time pharmacist in Plymouth Indiana. She has an incredible love for horses. She raises, trains, and rides them in competitions. I believe that she has six or seven horses. Often when she walks into the pharmacy she has just worked with for her animals for some hours. After long hours of work as a pharmacist(some times 13 hour shifts), she will go back to her animals for more hours in taking care of their needs.

She has an amazing story of a horse named Pig Pen. He has a quite a story. When he got very very sick, the vet recommended him to be eutonized. Michelle did not agree and decided to take the matter in her own hand. She nursed him back to health with her own knowledge of medicine. He won a ribbon, third place in a state competition, his way of thanking Michelle.

She is also a farmer on the side. There is no money in it she says but it is for her love of outdoors. She is a real "tom boy" yet with a beautiful flowing and wavy and deep blond hair reminiscent of a princess from the Middle ages. I cannot fathom the energy required to live such a life.

She is my dear friend. I work with her almost every time I am in Plymouth. We talk about our families, children, church, faith, and so many human experiences and we pray for each other. I have seen her share a quick gospel to our customers many times.

We were both talking about how incredibly busy our lives are. She told me, "I want to do and learn so many things yet I am so overwhelmed by all the responsibilities, and necessary projects;like selling her house, moving to Arizona, to lean a new professional skill, to look for a job, an apartment in Arizona, the list continued .... I would like to paint, write, sew, and learn to play Organ. It is my aspiration..."

I said, "If you could spend 5 minutes a day, what one thing would you do?"

"JaeHi, I want to learn to play Organ. I will spend 5 minutes every day. But you must write every day for 5 minutes" She challenged me. She has been nudging me to write no matter how busy or tired I am.
"Yes, Sheryl. I will write 5 minutes every day. We will check on each other once a week, even after you move to Arizona. OK?"
"It's a deal and a pact"
She called me 2 days later. "Well How did your 5 minutes go?" The second day she found herself on her organ and spent 2 hours. She was lost in her enjoyment. That evening just before getting on her organ she wanted to check up on me. I started to write again and interestingly, every day I found something to write about.


Nancy is a dear lady that I work with when I am not with Sheryl. Nancy is 72 years old. She has gone through much suffering and sacrifice in her human living. At age 49 she lost her husband to a cancer. Four years prior, according to the recommendation of an oncologist, he went through surgery to remove all the cancers; which were like balls in major lymph nodes through out his back, front, underarms etc. The surgery removed cancer yet left him in a torture chamber of pain for the next 4 years. He died cancer free yet riddled in pain. She nursed him tirelessly beyond her human endurance. When he passed away she was able to rest for a couple of years. Then her mother's failing health called her to Indiana. For the next six years she would care for her mother ever so diligently until her death.

She tells me that it was her choice to not get remarried. She no longer had energy to take care of another dying person and she did not want to put another person through what she went through.

She loves her job. She loves meeting people and talking to people. She is still talking about developing another creative way to earn money like refinishing beautiful antique picture frames and selling them to museums.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Slice of Life - Quilt Garden & Music Man

Slice of Life - Index

Wow! What a wonderful evening.

These are the moments that life is made up of. I wish I did more of discovering Chicago when I lived there for so many years. Well, we have a home to go back to, and I look forward to discovering Chicago with all of its ethnic culture and neighborhoods.

This year, Elkhart County is hosting a Quilt Gardens Tour. There are twelve quilt gardens, eleven quilt murals, and quilt displays. We visited the gardens and murals in Wakarusa and in Nappanee. The flowers are planted to mimic the designs of Amish quilts. A local artist painted murals of actual Amish quilts.

Then we went to Amish Acres consisting of a restaurant (a large barn turned into an eatery with Amish home cooking), inn, the Round Barn Theater and I don't know what else. We ate their Amish Threshers dinner. Oh, the food was so good! Fried chicken, ham soaked in apple cider then baked, mashed potatoes, stuffing, seasoned beans, hot rolls, a slab of butter, homemade lemonade, Amish noodles cooked in beef soup,...topped off by pies and apple dumpling. Then we walked over to a play, The Music Man, in the Round Barn Theater. I was comparing it to the ever so elegant Chicago theaters with plush velvet seats, winding staircase with gilded golden trim, opulent furnishings and thick carpets, the ladies in mink coats and long dresses; to this rugged barn-like theater, the walls and flooring were wide wooden planks, simple chairs with cushion, men and women who could have been on a farm during the day time, and many elderly couples from elder communities.

It was so enjoyable. Tom and Lizy watched this movie just the night before. They loved the movie, and they loved the real play. So did I.

We will be coming here again.