- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Billy Fletcher attended the TOPS Christmas Dinner at Sonshine Café, Tuesday evening. Thursday, Billy’s brother, Donald Fletcher of Fair Grove brought Christmas gifts. Carl and Joan Fletcher of Bois D’arc brought gifts, Thursday afternoon. Billy and his friends, Doris Holman, Carol Riggs, Stanley Goodrich and several others had Christmas dinner, Sunday, in the home of Fred and Charlie Lindberg.
Norma Stillings finished up a busy week of nursing home visits Saturday morning. She had visited at the Heart of the Ozarks, Ava Place, and nursing homes in Mansfield, Hartville, and Cabool to play the piano as part of the Hospice Compassus “Santa Visits” during the week. She made a regular visit to Heart of the Ozarks on Thursday morning, went back to have Christmas Dinner with the residents on Friday, played the piano again Saturday morning.
You do not have to be an accomplished pianist to please nursing home residents. Just play the old familiar songs that they heard as a child, and they will sing along. Some residents who can no longer carry on a conversation can sing every word of songs like “Silent Night” and “Amazing Grace.” One of the most requested songs is “Jesus Loves Me.”
The best thing you can do for your friends at the nursing home is just show up. Sit with them for a while. Drink a cup of coffee with them. Maybe they cannot even hear what you say anymore, but they know when you are there.
In between trips out to meetings and nursing home visits, I like to read. I read my Bible through each year and do some special studies on a regular basis, but I also do recreational reading. In the past month I have reread some old books, Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In each story, the injury or death of a parent, has left a child in sad circumstances. It may be that the characters are rather better than real life, but good prevails in the end. You come out thinking that children can do better in a poor home with love than in a house of wealth where indulgence has replaced love.
The best story I have reread lately is Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes. This book was one that my mother, Juanita Rogers, had kept in her things. I found it when she died. This story was published in 1943 and tells about a Norwegian immigrant family that settled in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. It is not really a rags to riches story, but one that has a familiar theme about people who came into America with some skills and an inclination to hard work. They raised their children to value honesty and education, and sacrificed to see that their children got that education. Kathryn’s “Mama” had a remarkable gift of ingenuity and intelligence that proved to be more valuable to her family than a large bank account.