Sunday, June 30, 2013


My crazy neighbor, Keith Snelson, handed me a pamphlet one afternoon as I sat in his home and visited with his sweet wife Charlene. It was announcing that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was going to be in Indianapolis in June. I told my friend Nila App, who was interested in going, and she called her sister Rita, who was also interested, while I called my sister Paula (who is constantly willing to open her home for my various friends and relatives) and we bought our tickets. It was a breathtaking experience. I still think about what it takes to achieve such perfection  from 360 VOLUNTEER singers, 110 VOLUNTEER members of the orchestra and all the people involved in making this music. I can't imagine what the caravan of buses, trucks hauling instruments, etc. would look like as they travel from city to city. My guess is that there are 600+ people in that caravan!  Paula, Nila, Rita and I decided that we would see if we could join the Choir:

We quickly got on line to see what the requirements were and decided that they probably wouldn't want us because we would fail the first audition. I copied some info that I found on their site. Wow! These are dedicated people!!!
"In the first step of the audition process, applicants submit an unaccompanied recording of a song selected by the music director. The second stage of the audition, a musical skills test, measures musical ability and aptitude. Applicants with an acceptable test score then advance to the third stage, where they perform a hymn of their choice, sight-read a piece of music, and test their vocal range in person before the music director and associate music director.

Even after selections of new singers are made, the evaluation process is not quite complete. The selected singers are brought into the
Temple Square Chorale for a four-month period during which they attend musical training classes and sing with the Chorale. If they successfully complete the training program, they become members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir."

I learned that you can serve for 20 years within the ages of 25 and 60. That already keeps me out of the choir in addition to my not being a Mormon and the travel distance  is prohibitive. They rehearse 5 hours weekly.
All 19 pieces of music that they sang (everything from Music of the Masters, Folk, Spirituals, Around the World, Hymns and American Songbook) were memorized. This is incomprehensible to my brain! (This was just a fraction of the music that they know!)  Occasionally, we would be surprised when a bell choir, within the singing choir, would just ring out or there would be totally controlled hand movement that matched the rhythm of  each section of singers. Perfection!
Thanks to Keith Snelson (who isn't really "crazy" but who makes me laugh on a regular basis) for telling me about this opportunity. It was extraordinary!
As we arrived for the concert, we captured a guy to take our picture and then a kind man named "Bob" took our picture at intermission:

Part 2:
Nila, Rita, Paula and I headed back to Paula's for the night. We got to hang around the Bowman B&B for a while the next morning. We enjoyed being there and had such fun just visiting.

                     "Hi Ron!!! Thanks (again) for sharing your beautiful home with us!"

                                      Nila and Rita soak up the sun on one of the decks.

                                 Yes! I know! These are my friends. Nothing but CLASS!!!
Paula and Ron headed out about noon for a vacation and Rita, Nila and I headed back to Marion where Nila had picked up Rita from work. I'm so glad that I was able to get a tour of the Indiana Wesleyan University campus. I'm sure that Rita's students would love to have a copy of the photo above!

The groundskeeper should be given a raise! Rita was very patient as Nila and I stopped every
 2 minutes just to take pictures of the flowers! Gorgeous!!!!!
On our "Tour by Rita", we came upon statues of people who "demonstrate their Christian faith through the quality of their work in a secular world." This display is called the Society of World Changers. They were impressive:

Tony Dungy

                                                            Bill & Gloria Gaither
                                                                   Kirk  Cameron
James Dobson

                          There were several other busts but these were the people I knew.

                          I wanted to take this "globe" home for Tom but it was too heavy!

Next, we walked to the Williams Prayer Chapel:

This 18th century Gothic chapel is a place to sit and reflex, pray and meditate.

Nila and Rita shared quiet moments together.

There were several books that were totally filled with hand-written prayers
left by visitors.  

                                                      Another beautiful floral display

                                                     Jesus Blesses the Children
John Wesley

With the tour completed, we had time to run to the nearest yogurt shop for a snack before we had to tell Rita goodbye.

It was such a fun couple of days with Paula, Nila and Rita. It is a gift to have family and friends with which to share experiences, great music, laughter and love. Thanks again to Paula and Ron for sharing your home with us.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super Sunday!

Tom asked, "Do you have any obligations at Trinity tomorrow?"

I told him that I didn't. Amazing!!!

"How about we head to Battle Creek in the morning and take her to church?"

What a guy!!! We left home at 7:20 and headed north. Mother was sooo happy! (She knew we were coming.) After the service, we headed to Fellowship Hall where there was to be a small celebration in honor of  wedding anniversaries of 3 couples. These couples totaled over 100 years of putting up with each other.

                     Mother and Tom visit with Mother's friends.

We visited, went to brunch, took Mother back home to visit a while longer and then headed back to Goshen. We made a little detour to go see the kids at Corey Lake. What a gorgeous day for a boat ride!

Tom and I stayed in the boat while the others were in the lake. Jen said that the girls were up and in the lake this morning before breakfast. They can't get enough of the water. Last year at this time, they didn't even want to get their head wet but this summer, they are FISH!!!

Tom and I stayed for a little while before heading home. Before we left, Barb (Snell) wanted to update me on the Purple Martins. I had posted several photos in the spring of the eggs but now those houses are PACKED with 101 babies! Since these birds are messy housekeepers and they rely on humans to keep the nests clean, Barb cleans them out about once a week. Unbelievable!!!

         The parents probably knew that Barb was going to lower one of the houses to do some checking. They were right!

    Some of the nests had newly hatched babies and....

                        ....other babies were a little older.
                   (Yes, it is ok for her to touch these babies.)

We hardly said our goodbyes and the girls were already headed back to the water. They are sleeping well these days!
                                           Goodbye girls.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Race The Bend

My 'Spandex" boy rode in a race this morning in South Bend. I hope they are in air-conditioned rooms when they have to squeeze into all that plastic wrap! I don't know how they can breath!!! I wouldn't be able to get one thigh into that stuff. Horrible! But Brent seems to manage. He appears to be smiling but I think he is really in pain:
Layla and Marley love coming to see their daddy. Every 1.74222 minutes, they see a flash of him as he flies by. The 150 degree heat makes it a lot of fun. (Really, they do love to see him and they never complain which impresses me.)
"Tell me when Daddy is coming."
(Notice the blanket is spread on the soft, plush grass. NOT!
That is cement on the corner by the Football Hall of Fame.)
"Ok girls!!! Here he comes!!!! See the yellow flash!!!"

And he is on his last lap........and he's......finished!
It's never difficult to find him with that yellow helmet and the yellow thingies over his shoes.
After a cool down lap, he rode over to us as we sat on the corner.
Isn't he suppose to look sweaty or be panting or something?
Jen Snell always helps Brent at the races by making sure that people stay out of the road as the riders are coming and lots of other crappy  jobs that need to be done on race day. She does the dirty work...Brent just rides. (Well, maybe not.)
While I stood there, a man sauntered across the street as we all yelled at him to get out of the street and there were a couple of other incidents but the amazing one was when we yelled at a policeman on a bicycle (regular...not racing) to watch out as he rode into the street and the cyclists were coming. I've never screamed at an officer before. He acted very nonchalant afterwards. My heart is finally back in rhythm!
As we walked over to where the SpinZone team was set up, Layla and Marley spotted a gorilla. Marley was quite taken with it:
Marley and Layla and their new friend

"You are sooo cute!"

"JoJo, will you take my picture?"

Brent talks to his fellow racers to talk about the race. Jen and the girls wait patiently in anticipation of heading up to the cabin at Corey Lake.
Now the important question:
Will Brent be able to get that spandex off of that stinky body???

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fifty Years Older....And Much Wiser

                        Tekonsha High School Class of 1963
                     Oh the memories, the laughter, the stories!
It was so good to see my classmates.
I especially loved seeing Bob and Yvonne Lindquist
Class Advisor
 Steve Miller, Reid Waffle, Jill Kattau, Daryl Althaver,  Bob Main
 DeAnne Warner Rumsey, The Lindquists, Shirley Trueblood Kempton, Rozanne Randall Thompson
Missed seeing at the reunion: Bonnie Hackworth Hill, Carl Sandland, Donna Tobey Test, Mike Crawford, Bill Crawford, Barbara Katz, Bryan Katz, Louise Casebeer
                                                            The Lindquists 
I always felt that we had the kindest, most patient Advisor ever!
DeAnne Warner Rumsey and Steve Miller

                                                       Bob and Nita Main
Rozanne Randall Thompson
(Our gracious hostess...again!)
It was fun listening to everyone's versions of stories of old. Several of us remembered stories differently so it was fun to share.
Steve Miller (leader in getting our reunion organized) surprised us with a video from Mr. Johnson, the beloved 1964 Class Advisor.
(When you are from a town of 650 (give or take), everyone knows everyone!!!) 
      "Gather around everyone to hear a message from Mr. Johnson!"

"I met with him and...Mr. Lindquist...why are you laughing???"
                   "Have you all heard the story about Reid's book report?"
"Now you may not believe this but...............!"

"...and Mr. Johnson wants your book report turned in by next week!"

"...does this mean that you didn't really graduate, Reid?"
Steve then decided that we could make a video for Mr. Johnson.
Talk about impromptu!
"Hi Mr. Johnson! This is Daryl. Let me just say...."

                "Now hold on Daryl! I can handle this. To begin with..."
Later:   "and then......"

"I don't believe a word of it!"
"Does anyone else have anything to say?"

Daryl and Mary



Reid Waffle and Bob Main

                                   Rose Marie Waffle and Mrs. Lindquist
Jill Walbeck Kattau and Rozanne Randall Thompson


                               Steve Miller, Class President

"I think that it's time for a class photo."

                         "Time for a photo. Who is going to get up first?"
                             "Is everybody here??? Hello!!!"

                          Back inside for prayer for safe travel.
                   "It's wonderful seeing you again Mr. & Mrs. Lindquist!"

"Goodbye Rozanne and DeAnne!
Thanks again for a wonderful time!"
It is difficult for me to accept that I graduated 50 years ago May 23, 1963. When I hear that number, I think about "old" people...grandparents, people nearing death.....not ME!
But it is me. I'm one of these OLD people! The great thing is that, at this age, we are so much  more sensible, loving, accepting, caring and smarter than we were all those years ago.
I wouldn't trade my hometown, classmates, or youthful insecurities, for anything in the world. It made me who I am.
All of these people influenced me in some way.
I love this Class of '63.
Life is good!