Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Farmhouse Full

Since we lived way out in the country and weren't wealthy, we saved things and reused them, used them as parts to fix things or found new uses for them.  Another way to view it was that our family was ahead of the times in "going green." 
As I mentioned before, my grandparents moved here in 1920 so three generations have been filling up this farmhouse that has 5 bedrooms with a full basement, and enclosed front and back porches. (Almost 2500 sq. ft.)

Mother had rented out the house to a young couple because a house sitting empty isn't good at all.  In her mind, she thought she'd get better and be going back home one of these years.  (She did go but to a different home -- in heaven.)
She had thought the couple would just move in and use her things as they were.  Well, they had their own furniture so carefully packed up and stored her things in rooms upstairs, on the enclosed front porch and in the basement.

Since my bro and sis aren't nearby, I feel I need to use my summer months to get started because the farm and farmhouse will be sold.  This isn't something that can be rushed because there are many sentimental treasures there. 

For example, Mother saved report cards from elementary school for Daddy and us three kids.  Things like prom gowns, wedding dresses, letter jackets, Grandaddy's army uniform from WW1, Daddy's army uniform from WW2, 6+ sets of dishes and a gazillion photo albums are stored there.  What do we do with all those mementos that meant so much to us at the time and are part of our family history?  
It took our nearby cousins a whole year to sort out things after our uncle died and our aunt went into a nursing home and we hope to learn from their experiences.   They discovered that taking things to an auction or selling them at yard sales was a lot of effort with very little profit.

I can help organize but certainly can't make decisions for Anita and Phil so I'm calling them often.  Some things are obvious, such as all the empty mayonnaise jars in the basement -- already gone.  But, some of those old canning jars are antiques.  

I started with emptying drawers.  I've gotten most of the chests emptied and categorized things into "save", "donate" or "throw out" areas.  My days have become "one drawer at a time", which has helped me not be so overwhelmed.  Sometimes I chuckle to myself as I discover that Mother saved all the get well and birthday cards that were sent to her and Daddy for years.

It's a blessing that I'm retired and have time to work on this project.  What an opportunity to remember and reflect on the wonderful childhood we had.
We weren't wealthy but we were certainly very rich. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Levi's Internship in Dallas

       As for Levi's internship at a Dallas TV station...HE LOVES IT!!!!!!! He one of 14 interns out of 160 applicants. 
       He has been assigned a mentor" named David (a reporter in his late 20's, married with one 7-year-old child).  He said that this mentor has quite a reputation with his writing skills. Levi knows he will learn so much from David this summer and was glad he got teamed up with him.
       Some interns will be working only 2 days where Levi offered to work 4.  His schedule is Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00pm. He may also work a weekend or two as the opportunity arises. On top of this is a 45 minute drive to and from Dallas each day.
       His first day was spent mainly with orientation things and tours of the station and BELO. This is the company that owns this station and The Dallas Morning Newspaper. It’s a huge company overall! (Quite a contrast to the small station here in Harrisonburg, VA, where Levi is also doing an internship.) The interns where introduced to a few of the anchors and CEO's of WFAA. He came home about 6:45 p.m. exhausted, yet very excited. 
       The second day, he started with the daily 9:00 a.m. meeting where stories are discussed and assigned. He and his mentor sat down and talked for about 30 minutes about each other and Levi's goals. 
Notice the beard is gone (YAY!) and he wears a suit and tie to work each day.
       Levi and David, along with a cameraman, then left on their first story. It won't be aired until next week. It is a follow-up story on the death of a motorcyclist that died last year. The grandfather was interviewed at the grave site. Apparently his grandson was in a group of motorcycle gamesters that do daredevil stunts on the highways late at night. He raised his grandson because his mother was a druggie. Levi said that this man is very rich here in Dallas and want to make a statement to others so he invited David out to do a follow-up. 
       He ended his day watching the producers and anchors get ready for the 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. news. Once again he was tired yet very happy as to how his day went.

Don't you agree that he looks better without the beard?  And the red shirt is so cheerful!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Bonus Brother Visit

My nephew, Levi Walker May, is going to be a senior at James Madison University (8 miles from us).  He is majoring in broadcasting and applied both here and in Texas to do an internship this summer.  He didn't hear from Texas so accepted the offer here in Harrisonburg with our local TV station, WHSV.  

After he got started, the Dallas station called and offered him a position.  He told the local folks about it and asked if he could double his hours in order to do both.  They suggested he go to Texas and come back to finish with them when he returns in August.

He will get credits for both positions.  What an opportunity and great addition for his resume to have experience at a small station and at a VERY large one!  

He starts in Texas on Tuesday and planned to drive back so as to have his car this summer.  My brother, Phil, knows how 21-year-olds think and did NOT want him driving 1,300 miles straight through.  He flew up on Friday evening and they left to drive back to Texas on Sunday morning.

This sounds fairly simple until one knows that Phil had major surgery (a Laminectomy) only 10 days ago.  They removed the major portion of 4 of his neck vertebrae to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord, which should stop his pain and return full function to all his fingers.  Fingers are rather important for a nurse anesthetist!  He is surprised at how weak he is but did have the doctor's approval to make the trip.

We had some time Saturday and he was able to sit in a chair and sort some of his boyhood items in the farmhouse.  It was a very short visit but it was great to have a chance to see my special brother.   
 p.s.  We've spoken our piece that Levi needs to lose the beard before Tuesday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"When I get older...."

When I heard the Beatles sing this song in 1967, it seemed forever away.....OOPS!!  It's here!   I guess my secret number is out since it was announced on our local radio station this morning (Thanks a lot, Eugene Wenger!).

"When I get older losing my hair, 
Many years from now, 
Will you still be sending me a valentine,  
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

.......Doing the garden, 
digging the weeds (That’s me!)
Who could ask for more? 
Will you still need me, 
will you still feed me (Ed does all our cooking!)

This morning I said,  "I'd like to go to Red Lobster for my birthday."  About two minutes later, Ed asked,  "Where would you like to go for your birthday?"  Isn't it great how well husbands listen to their wives?
Anyway, this "ole" gal has had a good day and appreciates the cards, calls and emails!