09-26-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal


Vignettes from the Vineyard

My Webster’s says a vignette is a short literary description of something. That’s what I want to do… give all of you, Dear Readers, some quick sketches of life in the putty knife factory (in a manner of speaking). I’m one of the old-timers around here, and in an almost first year I’ve seen a lot of things come and go. The Vineyard, my place of residence, is located in a suburb just west of Kalamazoo, named Texas Corners. It is an up-and-coming community just off the Oshtemo exit on I-94. Go south around the campus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Keep going south and a little ways past the campus you will come to a traffic light. That is the center of the little town of Texas Corners. Looks as though the city fathers are planning that community’s growth quite carefully. There are already several excellent restaurants… we have tried quite a few of them! The Vineyard is just southeast of that traffic light. Go left there and just a ways turn right past Biggby Coffee, and up the long drive. They are putting up new doctors’ offices just to the right before you get to our place. Communal living is new to me. Marion and I moved into the assisted living place at Paw Paw, and then over here when daughter Becky found this new residence almost at their front door. We were the second people to move in, and have watched as the place is filling up. When completed, it will be home to about seventy people. We are one of the larger apartments and very comfortable. I still miss Marion very much, and it is nice to eat my meals in a spacious dining room with other people around. I can have as much interaction with others as I wish. When I do what I’m doing right here… sitting at my computer composing a story, I have all the solitude I need. I try to keep pretty regular hours, saving most of the afternoon for a siesta. I also find doing that helps me maintain my strength (working toward 96 years!). The people here are endlessly interesting. You know me! I like to meet and study people. Note: as in most places like this, women outnumber men. I’m sure this bears out the statistics that women generally live longer. I can remember a retirement high-rise in Ann Arbor where we visited people quite often. It is called Lurie Terrace. One time we were visiting a friend there. She had invited us for dinner, and as we entered the dining room, I noticed it was a room full of women. At one table sat a man all by himself. Telling Marion and our friend that I just had to talk to him, I went over and asked him if I could sit down for a moment. He seemed very glad to see another guy! “Tell me,” I said, “aren’t you kind of lonely being the only man in the room?” He laughed and replied, “Goodness, no! I can have a different date every night!!!” So, there you are! I have made quite a few friends but I don’t need any dates! When the weather is nice we have been sitting out on the patio to watch the sunset. One of my favorite fellow watchers is a guy who is a retired executive from one of the biggest companies around. When we get together we have a meeting of minds. And I really appreciate the company of Brother Bob. We always eat together and sometimes cause mild disturbances among the girls who work here. They seem to appreciate old people who have a sense of humor. So we put on our tap shoes and provide a little entertainment. I have mentioned before the girl who interviewed us when we went to our first assisted living residence. Monica had spent sixteen years in the Marines, and we hit it off immediately. She has the sense of humor I really appreciate in young ladies. Much to our surprise, after we had moved in here, she transferred in as Director of the Nursing Staff. So now I get to see her on a regular basis. In a business like this staffing is always a problem. These are not entry-level jobs exactly, and caring for old people has gotten to be big business. I have thought about it quite a bit. And I tell everyone who will listen what I believe… if I were hiring for such a business, my first concern with an applicant would be… do you like people? That is far and away the most important! My next concern would be… do you like old people? You know, old people are not always easy to like. Some don’t feel well. Some are railing at fate because they are old. I suspect that some find old age terrifying. And then there are those who are losing touch with reality, not always in pleasant ways. I can remember one elderly relative of ours, years ago. She was the mildest mannered person you could hope to meet. In the clutches of dementia she began to swear like a trooper! I’ll admit, it takes all kinds to make a world. But the people who work in elder care have to be among those special ones who can like people and keep on smiling. Because we are all just trying to weave some final threads into the Golden Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Public Library News Storytime

Weekly storytime for toddlers and preschool-aged children is on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. No registration is required to participate in this weekly interactive experience that includes theme books, music, and hands on activity with Miss Alicia. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. Homework Help The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is a statewide collection of electronic resources for library patrons of all ages. Students can get free access to digital content including the History Reference Center and Points of View databases. College Preparation testing, World Book Kids, and much more are available. See the friendly Coloma staff to learn how to access with a valid Coloma Public Library card. Michigan Activity Pass Get free or discounted admission to local attractions including North Berrien Historical Museum using a Coloma Public Library card. Visit the link on the Library’s website and follow the prompts to print a pass.

Watervliet District Library News

STEM Kit Programs

Snap Circuits – LEGO Robotics – Little Bits Electronic Inventions STEM kit programs are designed for small groups to work together to make an endless number of inventions. New groups are set up with your schedule in mind. Interested? Sign up at the desk! For 8 years and up. Toy Swap Sat., Sept. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bring your gently used toys to the library and sign up for their swap-n-shop meet to take home a new-to-you batch. For Ages 3 – 12; registration required. Pinteresting Monday, Sept. 30, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups: This week – Witches Brooms. Books ‘N Bites Monday, Oct. 7 – 6:30 p.m. A program with taste! This quarter’s feature: The Joy Luck Club. Savor samples of Chinese cui