03-28-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Making lemonade One thing we can count on in this life is change! Someone said, “If they hand you lemons, make lemonade!” Well that’s what we have been doing. And I don’t mean to make it sound bad, because all of life is an adventure, and we have just embarked on a new one. The Chief Accountant and I have gone into assisted living. And so far it has been most interesting. I am writing this at my desk in the living room of our new apartment… spacious, with a kitchenette at one end, fridg w/ freezer, sink and table. At the other end we have our recliners and a wall mounted TV. Adjoining this is a large bedroom with nice bathroom and shower. Beyond that a walk-in closet with room for more clothes than we will ever have. Both rooms have huge bow windows that bring in the outside world if we wish. First night we were here, we were greeted by problems with the heating plant and a cold apartment! Next day they had that fixed and things have been pretty smooth since then. We have been getting acquainted with staff and residents. First thing a kind man in the next apartment explained the dining room schedules. This is important, because I’ve never been known to miss many meals. Marion agrees with this philosophy. And the food has been very good so far. For instance, last night we had for supper a cheeseburger, sweet potatoes, baby limas, and salad. For dessert, fruit cocktail. You all must know by this time I never met a cheeseburger I didn’t like! Do we miss our old home? Of course! But it is in good hands. Son Rob said when we left, “Just think of your absence here as like when you went to Florida… I use the time to do maintenance that would be difficult if you were here!” It’s nice to know that he and the other kids are keeping our lifestyle intact until we get back. We have a great maintenance man here. He has been most helpful in getting our TV installed, pictures on the wall, etc. In addition, when I asked him about his name, he told me an interesting story. Does the name Pickett ring a bell? His great-grandfather was a drummer boy and fife player in the Civil War, Confederate Army! And that drummer boy had followed his older brother into the battle at Gettysburg. The older brother was General George Pickett. Yup, he was the famous general who led that ill-fated charge through the cornfields and up the hill at Gettysburg! They both survived, and Gen. Pickett was forever after blamed for that tragic mistake. Our friend, the maintenance man, said the real story is that his grandfather’s older brother was not entirely responsible for the decision that led so many men to their death. Wherever the blame lies, that battle is thought to be the real turning point in the War Between the States. Marion moved in here from a rehab facility after a bout with the shingles. I came with youngest daughter Laurie’s husband, Jim-in-law. We drove over from Hartford on the worst day of the winter so far. Snowing, blowing, and we were traveling pretty slowly! But we made it OK, and now have been watching winter from the snug comfort of our apartment. Outside, the wind may howl and snow swirl through the parking lot, but it is safely beyond our bow windows. I know down the hall where the coffee pot is on at all times, and the drawer below it is filled with goodies of all kinds. They are treating us most courteously, and we have a safety factor that I really appreciate. No longer do I have to go out to the freezer and prepare meals. We all wear a little call button on a lanyard, and if we get into trouble we can punch the button and get help! And they will be here for anything we need. (So far I’m taking my own showers!) The first day we came in to look at the place, I got a pleasant surprise… the Director of Resident Care is a nice gal named Monica. She showed us around, and we talked. Turns out she was in the Marines for 16 years! Wow! And I said to her, “It doesn’t show… you’re still a lady!” She smiled and asked me about my service. I said, “Air Force.” “What rank?” “First Lieutenant. What was yours?” “Gunnery Sergeant… do you suppose I’ll have to salute you?” “Nah,” I said, “That was then and this is now!” And we were both laughing. I told her we would have to get together and swap stories. I’ll bet she has some interesting ones too! Well, first impressions are very good at this place. We have met so many nice people. Do we miss our old house? Of course! But we can visit there any time we wish, and living here certainly takes a load off both our minds. It is nice to know if we get in trouble there is that little button to push. And here we are, still weaving golden threads into the tapestry of life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River. Anyone care for a glass of lemonade?

What do you want for Christmas young lady?North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted at 269-468-3330 or by email to info@northberrienhistory.com

Watervliet District Library News

Writing History Monday, Apr 9, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Presented by best-selling author, Rosanne Bittner; Bittner has written more than 35 historical romance novels set in the American Old West. Spend the evening with our local celebrity in this informal Q&A session about the life of a writer. Zachary, the read to me dog Saturdays 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Meet Zachary – a certified therapy hypoallergenic labradoodle. He has a Good Canine Citizen Certificate and is a member of the American Kennel Club; loves to be read to by kids. Story Hour Wed 10:30 a.m. & Thu 1:30 p.m. Through April, Show-and-tell, stories and crafts for children ages 3 – 5 and their families. Sign up to share this structured literacy program with your preschooler! Library Garden Park Purchase a Legacy Walk brick and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines. Pick up a form at the library. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m.; Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m.; Chair Yoga, Wednesday 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. Call 463-6382 for more information on any of these activities.