Sue Martin Glasco

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Sue Glasco was born in the southern part of Illinois in 1933 during the Great Depression in a region called “The Land Between the Rivers.” (Ohio River on the east and Mississippi on the west.) Her sister Rosemary was eight and her brother Jim was five. The family lived in a big two-story rental house at the top of a short street sloping gently down to the elementary school where her father was both principal and eighth grade teacher. Later they rented a house even closer to the school where her first memories surface. By the time Sue started first grade, her parents had bought a house across the street from the school. School lasted for only eight months, and there were no summer salaries for teachers. So Sue’s family leased their home for the summer and moved to her father’s home place in a nearby county. Her parents made that annual move an adventure in country living, and Sue grew up appreciating farm life. An exception was the summer after first grade, when the family moved to Colorado so her father could study at the University of Colorado. He brought her books from the university library. At the farm, books were ordered from the state library system and were delivered by the mail carrier. When she was eight, World War II began. A teacher at a one-room rural school was drafted. Sue’s mother was asked to take his place. In some communities at that time, it was considered unseemly for a married woman to teach. Now it was a patriotic duty to teach. (There were married women and married women with children at her dad’s school, however.) Sue’s mother picked up students with their 1937 Ford car, supervised the student who built the fire in the stove, kept the building clean, and taught all eight grades. Sue loved visiting her mother’s school when her school was closed, but she hated being alone in the house until her mother and siblings returned each afternoon. News of the war and its heart ache filled their lives. The school yard was heaped with enormous hills of collected junk metal and old rubber tires as community scrap drives took place. Students competed in paper drives and brought in tightly-wound balls of tin foil from gum and other wrappers. Kids thought they were helping win the war when they helped with the drives and when they bought savings stamps and participated in savings bond drives. After the war, the rural school consolidated with the town school, and Sue’s mother also taught across the street. Few teachers had their degrees, and her parents were always taking night classes—sometimes locally and sometimes driving with a car load of teachers to what is now Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After she started high school, Sue’s parents stopped moving to the farm, but she still enjoyed going with her dad on Saturday when she could. Her sister went off to Carbondale to school after working locally for a year after high school. Her brother joined the army after high school and returned to SIU on the GI Bill. Most local students went to college at Carbondale, where one could work oneself through school. This was where Sue’s grandfather, parents, aunts and uncles had gone, and she took it for granted that she would follow the same path and did. She worked, majored in journalism and had almost a second major in speech. Right before Christmas when Sue was a senior, Gerald Glasco had finished his stint in the Air Force and came back to campus to finish his degree in agriculture. They had met once, and Gerald had spent time with a mutual friend in Hawaii, so he phoned Sue to share greetings from her. They began dating over the holiday break, and by April, they announced their engagement. Sue kept her plans to participate in an interdenominational project at Judson Student House in Greenwich Village, which required participants to find a job, work during the day, and then join in evening Bible study and listening to lecturers from around the city. Weekend activities explored the church in urban life. Sue secured summer employment as a secretary in an office at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and saw upper NY daily. She did not get to any ball parks, but she enjoyed the cheap seats in theaters on and off Broadway. After the summer, Sue went to coach debate and to teach an integrated English-speech class to sophomores at a new high school in a Chicago suburb. She returned home for a June wedding. Gerald and she rented a house (no plumbing) in the country for $10 a month They were eager to start a family, and Katherine was born the following April while Gerald finished his senior year at SIU and they lived on his GI Bill. Wanting to farm someday, Gerald accepted a fellowship at the University of Illinois to complete his masters in ag economics. A farm in the Mississippi bottoms opened up for them to rent but with a three-month gap between finishing his degree and its availability. They felt a miracle provided Gerald a teaching job for that fall term at Western Illinois University. Their only son Gerry was born in Macomb before they began their lives as farmers. They went in debt for a tractor, and Gerald raised pigs without a farrowing house. Their tenant house was cold in winter, and they had to work hard, but they enjoyed farm life. Shortly before their three-year lease expired, their daughter Jean Claire (Jeannie) was born. Soon they moved up to Columbiana Ranch in the middle of the state, where Gerald became livestock manager.Then he and his brother Keith had an opportunity to buy a hog farm back in Southern Illinois the next year; they took the plunge into farm ownership. Keith’s family lived at the hog farm, and they moved into a wonderful old house (cold, no plumbing till they remodeled and put it in) on a rented farm, which would provide crop land. Mary Ellen was born the following June. Keith was able to buy a farm back in their home county and moved his family there, and Gerald and Sue moved over to the hog farm, where they lived for the next 36 years until they built their retirement home on a small lake Gerald had built. Despite a serious childhood illness, Katherine became a singer, a teacher and a children’s librarian in Nashville, TN. Eventually she came back home to teach and to be near her nieces and nephews. She married David Cedar shortly after her unexplained bouts of illness had finally led to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. (Probably the MS had started when she was 14.) She continued to teach music and reading until the stairs became too difficult and she had to retire. Much to their delight right before her 40th birthday, their son Sam was born. Now Sam has one more year of high school before he goes to college. MS has progressed and robbed her of the ability to walk or use her hands. She and Sam live in nearby Marion. Gerry married his high school sweetheart, which was the smartest thing he ever did. Vickie worked full time and held the family together while he developed a successful hunting/outfitting business in Mexico in the winter months and coached travel softball for their three daughters in the summer. Tara grew up to play for SIUC and became a teacher, married Bryan Archibald, and soon had three adorable sons. Erin played for Notre Dame, Texas A&M, USSSA Pride, and then one summer in Europe . She now teaches middle school math and coaches in Texas. Six years ago Gerry closed the business and became assistant softball coach at the University of Georgia. Three years ago he became associate head coach, and Lu Harris-Champer brought Tara in as assistant coach. Tara was able to do this because their family and Gerry and Vickie rented a large house together, and Vickie became a caregiver for the three little boys while Tara coached. Bryan had an office in the house, where he disappeared each morning to the computer, to continue his job at an architecture firm in the Chicago area. Geri Ann finished high school at Oconee, won the 2012 Gatorade High School National Player of the Year in softball, and has just completed two years playing for UGA while studying special education. This summer Gerry is coaching USSSA Pride and has just become associate head coach at Texas A&M. Jeannie grew up with a kitten or sketch pad or both in her hands a large part of the time. She married Rick Eiler, who heads the math department at Freeport High School, and Jeannie now teaches art in a grade school. They raised three talented children. Leslie married Mike Thompson, works for a music publishing company, and continues singing and acting in Nashville, TN. Mike is a personal trainer and has little Leslie doing amazing strength feats, so obviously he is good at what he does. He also plays a fine guitar. Elijah has just finished an internship in a Chicago neighborhood and will be in Indianapolis fall semester and student teaching in Chicago his last semester at Illinois State University. Cecelie, the youngest grandchild, will be a high school sophomore and continues her older siblings’ footsteps in music, speech, and theater. Mary Ellen majored in agriculture communication, and ended up as editor of Tennessee Magazine in Nashville. When she married Brian Taylor, they soon moved to Grinnell, Iowa, where Brian worked for DeKalb Seed. While there, Trent was born and then their daughter Brianna. Several moves after that gave them lots of experience in adjusting to new communities, and last spring they moved to a farm they bought near us. Brian continues to work full time with seeds for Monsanto. He goes up to Saint Louis when needed and works out of a home office otherwise. (Both he and grandson-in-law Bryan say they get more accomplished in a private home office than when co-workers are nearby.) Somehow Brian also farms Gerald and Sue's farm and other rented land. In addition to homemaking and helping Brian, Mary Ellen has just resumed her career as a realtor that she started when they lived in a Saint Louis suburb and which she continued in Springfield, Illinois. Obviously they work too hard. Trent, brilliant family computer and gaming geek, transferred down to John A. Logan College when they moved here. Always at the top of everything she does, beautiful blond Brianna is home working at the local Dairy Queen this summer and will soon be going back for her sophomore year in the honors program at Murray State in Kentucky. Sue’s life has been primarily that of a mother and farm wife. She had what she calls a haphazard education career as a substitute in K-12, part-time teaching at Marion and Johnston City High Schools and in area community colleges. Finally she spent over six years working in family literacy in Franklin County for Rend Lake College, the last two of which were full time. She always wrote some when time allowed. Although she made little money free lancing or part-time teaching, she enjoyed the interaction with students and the stimulation of writing. Sue and Gerald’s original family of two has now grown twenty-four, and that is not counting everyone’s dogs. That is a lot of people to keep track of and an ongoing excuse for Sue not getting all her writing projects done. It also gives her plenty to blog about, and blogging provides her a venue without having to waste stamps and return envelops on manuscripts as she did in her younger days. Back then she wanted to make money, but now she just writes for the pleasure of it.

Giving Thanks

 

“We have a lot to be thankful for,” my 90-year-old sister Rosemary said when she called me on my birthday this week. She had kept the pulling of her upper teeth a secret from her kids, but the procedure went well and the upper plate was ready in record time the very same day. She was grateful for that and many other things.

She had ended up with a blood infection a year or so ago when a couple of teeth were pulled, so she was nervous despite changing dentists and being certain to have antibiotic preparation this time. She did not want her daughter down the street to know because Gloria would have wanted to go with her to support her. Because Gloria's daughter was recovering from a double mastectomy, Rosemary felt it was more important that Gloria focus on helping Jennifer without feeling conflict. My sister has always been an inspiration to me, and once more both her gratefulness and her independence were setting a good example for me as I am entering the frail elderly stage of life. Although we can't sleep together in our childhood bedroom any more while we giggle or she gives me advice, I still gain wisdom from her through letters and phone calls. I am very thankful for her.

After Gerald's brother Keith's hospitalizations, we recently were able to meet Keith and Barbara down at the Lake of Egypt restaurant for Friday night fish. We do little social activities these days, and this was a time of celebration that Keith is much improved. We are very thankful. A couple Friday nights later, I came in from Katherine's and was expecting us to eat one of our usual hurried-up simple suppers, and Gerald said his brother Garry and Vera were coming up for fish at Lake of Egypt. Would we like to meet them? We did and that too was a lovely visit. We are thankful for Garry and Vera.

We came home early from our time in Freeport so we could visit my only brother and wife in the middle of the state on our way home. It is no longer as easy a drive up to Mattoon as it used to be, and Jim and Vivian can't jump in the car and drive down here as in the past. My big brother was my hero as I was growing up, and some of my best childhood adventures were with him and our cousin Jack down at Mr. Airy Farm. Then when he came back from service, he gave me good advice as a teenager, and I liked watching his and Vivian's romance develop into marriage. Jim and I like to reminisce on the phone, but seeing the two of them in person was so much better. They were a wonderful support when our parents were still alive and then helping afterwards. So that visit was especially important to me. and I am so grateful for them and all they have meant down through the years.

If I counted correctly, Gerald and I now have 24 in our immediate family and one on the way, and I am extremely grateful for each family member. Although they were not with us on Thursday, we were thankful for the Archibald gang who traveled duet with Vickie from Texas and arrived Monday night.

Tuesday was a spectacular day with the three great grandsons all over the place “driving tractors, driving tractors, driving tractors” as 6-year-old Payton said when he stopped long enough to eat something mid-morning. Maddux and Aidan were also driving whatever they could find. And the lime carried in the house from their tennis shoes, which they are wonderful to remove at the door, showed proof that the lime pile Gerald provides for their digging was not neglected. Their dad Bryan was kept busy sweeping up. Tara reorganized clothes for their family so they could leave early Wednesday for the long drive up to Chicago area to visit Bryan's family. Gerald has been clearing trees and burning them along the edge of a field, so he created a giant bonfire, which was beautiful, and the boys roasted marshmallows. The Taylors--Brian, Mary Ellen, Trent, and Brianna-- came over and ate supper with us, and Trent and Brianna had great fun playing with the three boys.

When I walked out of my bedroom Wednesday morning, my birthday started with a chorus of “Happy Birthday” from Rick and Cecelie as they had arrived the night before shortly after I had gone to bed. Soon Vickie was presenting me with a gaily wrapped special wall picture especially chosen because she knew I would love it because of the birds. The day continued with greetings and remembrances and ended with Brian and Mary Ellen bringing me and Gerald birthday supper.

Gerald helped me with the turkey getting it from the fridge where it had thawed for four days. (I really have trouble now lifting a 20 pound turkey although I managed to get it from the store and home.) He went even further and pulled that plastic thing-a-ma-jig that unkind men put in the turkey's rear cavity. Of course, that part is never completely thawed. Gerald found out I was not exaggerating when I carried on about how hard that is to remove. Tom Turkey was panned and put back in the fridge for Gerald to put in the oven when he got up the next morning. Since Vickie and Mary Ellen were doing everything else for our dinner, I went to bed early. Of course, Vickie had also been at her mother's a lot and was busy making food for the Johnson dinner Thursday night at her brother Louie and Chris's house. On Thanksgiving morning once I made the dressing, I was able to relax and read!

We had 15 at our Thanksgiving Day table, and we certainly missed the 10 not present. It was Gerry's first Thanksgiving not with us, but he was busy with his new hunting operation on the Kennedy Ranch next to King Ranch in South Texas. Brian did an excellent job carving the turkey, which had always been Gerry's job. Jeannie could not come because she was sick, and I had to fight being distraught about that. I soothed myself by knowing how important it was for her to finally get some rest and recover. And I understand that she has. Since she will be in the full swing of things again on Monday, that is good. Knowing that Geri Ann is finishing her degree this term and will be with us at Christmas time kept me from too deeply grieving her absence although we all felt bad that snow in Oregon had prevented her and friends from the trip they had planned. And I had to be proud and happy Leslie had rehearsal for her upcoming Christmas tour she was chosen for. I figured that Mike may have been on duty. Whether he was or not, I felt pride and gratitude that he had accomplished this career move.

One big event Thanksgiving Day was the arrival of Josh and Erin Simons from Belton, Texas. They had started up the day before after Erin's doctor exam; they were excited because their baby is now far enough along to have fingers and toes. They have a girl's name chosen, but soon we were challenged to find a boy's name that Josh likes since he is choosing the boy's name. Our college kids got into that and the next hour or so was spent calling out and debating boy names.

Another highlight was that Katherine was able to come out for dinner with the help of an excellent aide. Getting to sit at the table and visit with her was a special treat.

Cecelie and her college cousins Brianna, Trent, Sam, and her teacher brother Elijah were in and out all week either sleeping (??) here or at Mary Ellen's. Well, they do sleep, but often most of it is in the morning. And they shop and go to the movies and watch movies and find numerous ways to entertain themselves. They also thoroughly enjoy playing with the Archibald boys. Sam got to visit with his little niece, and the photos he took of her were adorable. Of course, we had a brief visit with Anna once before she and Sam joined the other young adults downstairs. People also had individual plans and were in and out eating at their favorite places. Add to this mix, five granddogs, who all stayed in Gerald's shop when they were not out running and enjoying themselves, the very good week sometimes became somewhat of a blur.

Bryan ended staying up in the Chicago area since this coming week is one he needs to be at his firm's headquarters, so Tara bravely drove with the three boys back to the farm last night. To her surprise and joy, they quickly tumbled into bed the minute they arrived. Today has been another busy day of play for the boys, and Tara was getting them packed to drive back to Texas as soon as their cousin Kinsley's birthday party was over this evening.

Vickie had brought much food back to Woodsong from the Johnson feast and put it in the fridge in the garage. Trent was working today and Sam had gone back to Marion. Elijah, Rick and Cecelie got on the road for the long trip upstate. But I think there were 12 of us at lunch who ate food from our holiday dinner combined with Vickie's yummy left-overs.  Then we had to hug goodbye to Josh and Erin.

After every one left tonight, I took a remaining pecan pie to put in the freezer for Christmas, and there was most of Vickie's delicious ice-cream cake with chocolate cookies though out. With the abundance of food, we had forgotten it was there. So that too is ready for Christmas.

As my sister said, we have so very much to be thankful for. I am so sorry that food and shelter and safety and family are not there for everyone. Let's try to make that happen for others when we can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Former Member
Sounds like another great holiday!!
Sunday, 27 November 2016 14:13
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The Last High School Musical

 

Well, I will admit that “The Last High School Musical” may be a bit over dramatic a title for this blog, but it definitely encapsulates how I feel. From the moment we begin to read on Facebook about the fall musical at Freeport High School, Gerald and I began to feel nostalgic and sad and proud and excited all mixed together. I am usually the one most interested in theater, but Gerald beat me in saying we must go up to see Cecelie in this show. She is our youngest grandchild and the third of the Eiler kids, who we have seen perform so many times in plays, musicals, and shows of all sorts. Now that Cecelie is a senior, we are facing the fact that that part of our lives is over; and it is a bit overwhelming emotionally. So we were sadly excited but happily anticipating seeing her as Aquata, one of the mersisters (princesses) in The Little Mermaid.

 

 

 

As it turned out, this musical production was pretty dramatic and not just for us. On Monday night at rehearsal, Brynn Schiffman, who played the lead mermaid Ariel, had a serious accident on stage and ended up with a severe knee injury. Suddenly everything was up in the air. What to do? Would they cancel the show with tickets already sold? Jeannie texted me, and I felt sick at heart for what this young woman had happen to her just two nights before all her six weeks of hard work were supposed to be rewarded and enjoyed by the community. I felt enormous sympathy for what director Tim Connors must be going through. And then complete disbelief when Jeannie said maybe Cecelie would be doing the Thursday night show so that Brynn could heal for the later performances. What? Two days to learn an entirely new part: songs, dances, lines?

 

 

 

But that is what happened. The other five mersisters would absorb Cecelie's lines, and she would play Ariel for the Thursday night performance, so Brynn could heal enough to get doctor's permission to perform Friday and Saturday, which she did beautifully. Cecelie was excused from her Tuesday classes and half of Wednesday's, and Connors and the vocal director and the choreographer and others pitched in to give her six weeks of rehearsals in two days. The show must go on, and it did! (This sort of group endeavor and determination and insistence on “making it work” is one of the many values of theater for high school students.)

 

 

 

It helped that in part of the story, Ariel could not talk because of the evil sister's curse. During that time when Ariel's song was just supposed to be her thoughts, Brynn actually sang it off stage and that was one less song Cecelie had to learn. But Cecelie was superb, and there was not a hitch that I could tell.

 

 

 

It was not until we were in the back-stage hallway with a large part of the audience crowding in to congratulate the cast that I heard Cecelie coughing and coughing while she held a bag of cough drops as the clutched her bouquets in the other arm. Somehow on stage, she had carried on, and I did not detect this awful cold. Her mother had had her to the doctor, who said it was just one of the coughs going around town that would last four weeks. She was sent home to treat herself with over-the-counter meds. I imagine the doctor told her to get a lot of rest. Ha.

 

 

 

The next night we got to hear Brynn's beautiful voice, and she somehow danced well with her knee brace despite what I imagine was considerable pain. Cecelie was also terrific as Aquata, and we were thrilled to see her in both her roles. I must say she made a beautiful mermaid both nights. I'd have liked to stay for the Saturday matinee and night performance, but we needed to get home, and we wanted to stop at my brother's home on the way back to Southern Illinois.

 

 

 

Jeannie was swamped with Veterans Day observances at both her elementary schools, where she needed to hang art work for the crowds coming to those two programs. On Thursday, she went from hanging art for the public to see and on to a baby shower in a nearby town and then made it to the Thursday night performance.

 

 

 

She invited us to hang out with her kindergarten students Friday morning, but Gerald planned to shop at a big rural store there, and I like to sleep and lounge and read in the mornings. Because Chicago schools were closed on Veterans Day, Elijah had driven in late Thursday night, so we were able to see him and Rick at Culvers for lunch across the street from our motel.

 

 

 

Jeannie explained the Friday afternoon programs were so close together in time and the two schools so far apart that we could only go to one. Fortunately we got there early as cars lined the streets, and Gerald had to find a place less obvious to park. The little gym required lots of walking down halls and stairways, and we were among the last to find a seat. Parents and grandparents and veterans kept coming and stood lining the walls. We have observed how great Freeport people support their students. The Jeannette Lloyd Theatre at the high school is usually packed, and these veteran programs were also. Jeannie couldn't even get in after rushing from the other school, but we met up afterwards.

 

 

 

By this time, we realized that Jeannie too had that awful cough making her even more exhausted as she rushed from one duty to the next. And the almost funny part (because it is so typical in the life of parents of high schoolers) is that Cecelie had reminded at the last minute that Jeannie had said if no one else had the cast party, they could have it at their house after the final Saturday show. So Rick had shampooed the carpets, and I imagine Jeannie spent Saturday shopping and cooking for the party.

 

 

 

The Little Mermaid is the second Disney classic in a row that director Tim Connors choose to produce. Little girls like to come to the shows dressed in their princess outfits. This year the mermaids wore long wigs with curls down to their waists, and they were lovely. The large all-school cast gives so many students theatrical experience and life-long memories. The pit orchestra is always excellent, and colorful costumes and sophisticated props are always visually delightful.

 

 

 

Last fall we attended Beauty and the Beast when Cecelie had the lead and we saw our blonde granddaughter become a brunette to be Belle, and she kept that hair color through the school year and summer. Right before we left to go upstate, I had some odd shoulder pains, but very few. I saw my doctor, and I was determined to use the tickets we'd ordered. Every thing went fine. Gerald went home Saturday morning, but I stayed through all the performances and rode home with Cecelie's big sister Leslie and and husband Mike. In fact, they came over to our hotel the last night to avoid sleep deprivation by all the noise at the Eiler household where last year's cast party lasted till 3 a.m. before the last stragglers left. That night was when I had longer and harder shoulder pain, and I kept thinking I really did not want to ruin Mike and Leslie's plan for a good night's sleep by asking them to take me to the emergency room. So I went back to sleep. I went to the heart doctor when I got back home, and two stints solved that problem.

 

 

 

This year Mike was on duty with the police force, so Leslie was thinking she would go upstate with us. She was more than a little perturbed when she realized that the Christmas show tour she auditioned for started rehearsals the same weekend as Cecelie's show. She will be singing on this tour in Georgia and Minnesota and I do not know where else, but unfortunately not in Southern Illinois. I will have to enjoy her performances vicariously just knowing she is doing what she loves to do and hearing about it later.. And while I grieve a bit over The Last High School Musical, I will also enjoy the many memories and know there will always be other events and highlights that come with having nine grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent comment in this post
Rosy Cole
That's show business! Wonderful, Sue :-)
Saturday, 19 November 2016 17:03
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Living Life Two Drops at a Time

 

 

Yes, I know today is the eve of the election, and I am still listening to political news although I decided awhile back most of the ones I will vote for. However for me, today is Day 14. I am rejoicing because starting tomorrow and for the next two weeks, I will only have to put one kind of medicine drops in my left eye two times a day. Life is improving!!

 

Two days before I had cataract surgery in my left eye, I had two kind of drops to put in four times a day. Then starting with the day of surgery for a week, it was three kinds four times a day. This week just one kind for three times a day and one kind for four.

 

When all the dropping started, I did not think I could put drops in my own eye, and Gerald generously offered to do it. And I gladly accepted. And, of course, he took me to and from the surgery and put the extra med in with the first two that day, and he seemed willing to continue. I was grateful for his care, but I thought other people do this so surely I could too. I was pleased that by Day 2, I started doing the dropping myself.

 

I remembered that back in 2007, there was eye dropping when I had the cataract taken off my right eye, and I guess I learned to do the task back then. But I had not needed to since and had forgotten how. I vaguely remember lying down on the bed to do this back then, but I am so efficient now that I can even accomplish it in the car when necessary. So I feel pride at my accomplishment.

 

(Years ago when we were buying contacts for daughters, Gerald suggested I might want them. My eyes would water just watching the daughters put contacts in, and I knew I could never do that myself. I also did not want to spend any more time than I already was searching for contacts in shag rugs!)

 

At the time of the first cataract surgery, I must have worried about getting the order of the meds mixed up or something because I recall telling the optometrist of my concern when he gave me a follow-up check up. He laughed and said not to worry and then told me about one of his patients who had come in all worried. She had accidentally put her cat's drops in her eye, but the he said she was just fine anyhow. So that was a great comfort back then and gave me confidence that I did not have to be perfect.

 

 

Tomorrow we will go and vote. Then we will go to the Methodist Church in our village to eat chicken and dumplings at their traditional election day dinner. People will come from miles away to attend to see former friends and eat the delicious food served by these good cooks. Men and women, old and young, will work hard to prepare food and serve it to all of us. We will enjoy visiting everyone and knowing we are helping a bit with their mission project. To me this is America at its best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent comment in this post
Rosy Cole
So glad all is progressing well, Sue. We wish you an even speedier recovery. May you continue to orienteer towards the right drops... Read More
Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:22
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Visiting Home: Jeannie, Gerry, and Jake

Life at Woodsong has been different this past week as a couple of our kids were in and out all week. Jeannie started the visits on the 8th. She had texted she might be down for a one-day visit if she could get her school work done enough to feel free to come. Next she said she was definitely coming, but she would have to attend a funeral at Johnston City during the brief time she was here. She did arrive that Saturday morning having stopped at motel on the way down. We had a good visit before she needed to leave for the funeral.

 

Come to find out, a very dear Freeport friend's mother had been on life support and had died upstate, but was being brought down state to be buried by her husband in one of our area cemeteries. Since Jeannie was already hoping to come down, that made it possible for her to attend the funeral.

 

After the funeral back at Woodsong, we continued catching up. I had been eager to hear about how she was adjusting to teaching art with kindergarten through fifth graders. I was afraid she would not enjoy working with younger kids, but I think she is enjoying the challenge. She teaches at two schools this year. One has a small art room; but at the other school, she has to teach from a cart in other teachers' classrooms. Now that is a challenge! Altogether she sees 500 students, so I do not know how she will be able to know her students very well. There is evidently sometimes another new art teacher co-teaching, but I did not understand how that works. I cannot imagine how one teaches from a cart going from room to room! Yet she does. She has been teaching already about lines and curves, and I saw some of the simple sculptures of colored paper strips made by students.

 

She had insisted she wanted to take us to dinner Saturday night, so we let her. That was very nice since there was no clean up--and then we came home for more visiting. Finally after her daddy went to bed, we ended up in the living room with Jeannie on the couch along with piles of small blue rectangles containing bolts. Lighting bolts, that is. Bolts on the blue flags. One of the two elementary schools she has shifted to from middle school are called Bolts—not bulldogs or cardinals or some ethnic group that would be criticized but Bolts! The kids would be walking in the high school Homecoming parade and waving their flags, and she was taping on crepe paper streamers before the kids taped on pencils to hold the flags to wave. Although Jeannie has never been a “Let's all do the same thing” kind of art teacher, there were lessons used with the flags. The difference between students' work was interesting. Some of the hand drawn bolts were quite clearly bolts and showed talent and/or neatness. Some few were almost blobs, and probably those children whose past had contained little manipulation of paper, scissors, and creating learned the most from the experience.

 

A couch full of art stuff was so typical of one of Jeannie's visits that I had to laugh. One pre-Christmas visit she was helping students create 1,000 cranes for decoration. Everyone at Woodsong was invited to join in that Origami project. I had never heard the Chinese/Japanese legend of their crane that lived a 1000 years and that making 1000 cranes would let a person's wish come true. From the 1700s until now, many people have found themselves trying to create 1000 paper birds. The cranes had life-long mates and came to stand for loyalty and faithfulness. They also have come to stand for world peace and healing and almost all good things. If you want to know more about the paper cranes, you might want to read Ari Beser's post “How Paper Cranes Became Symbols of Healing in Japan.”

 

We talked and talked as Jeannie taped the streamers on the flags, and it was much too late when we went to bed since she was leaving at 5:30 Sunday morning planning on stopping somewhere along the way to attend a worship service. Gerald, of course, was up at 5:30 and saw her off on her way upstate after the too-brief visit.

 

Soon our minds were focused on the coming visit of Gerry who was on his way from Texas. His bedroom was waiting for him; but it was actually already day time when he arrived on Monday after a two-hour sleep in the truck on his way here. (Yes, he did take a nap after arriving.) Bouncing around in our side yard were three adorable puppies--curly-headed black Boykin spaniels, which Gerry explained were the only hunting dog developed in he United States. He also had Vickie's Nelly because she was in heat, and also Jake, who used to live at Woodsong. One of the puppies was for Gerry's cousin DuWayne, who was good enough to keep all of them and also Nelly while Gerry traveled in and out of Woodsong. When DuWayne brought the Boykins back on Friday night and helped Gerry prepare for the trip back to Texas, he reported the grandkids there had a blast with these sweet good-natured puppies.

 

Jake stayed with us and acted as though he remembered everyone, and to my delight, he still ran with his little tail curled. (Unfortunately, he also still stayed at Gerald's feet making him have to slow down and watch out for tripping. So Jake went back to Texas after his visit home.)

 

Throughout the week, we had visiting time with Gerry—especially Gerald who was always helping when Gerry was here at the farm. Gerry was actually here on dog business, and I couldn't keep up with it all. There were bird dog deliveries or purchases at Atlanta and Birmingham and up near Chicago. And there were visits to Union County and with dog/hunting friends in Paulton and Hamilton County. Because his time schedule was so dependent on dogs and other people, Gerry insisted I not cook for him. However, as is typical of his visits, soon there was a plastic pail full of dove carcasses soaking in water in the garage fridge. Although he planned to run to town and get us barbecues, I think he liked it that I had already started frying the doves to go with biscuits and gravy for that supper. At least he bragged on it, and I felt I did a good job of seasoning everything.

 

Mary Ellen came over to see him when he wasn't here, so I had a good visit with her. And I even had a brief visit with our nephew Bryce.

 

When Gerry pulled out of the driveway Saturday morning in his pick-up followed by a trailer full of bird dogs, we recalled  those long-ago trips to Mexico for a season of hunting at his lodge. He delivered dogs and arrived home in time to rest up for his job at A&M.

 

The day after Gerry left, Gerald found the news release from the ScrapYard Dawgs announcing Gerry as head coach for the 2017 National Professional Fastpitch season. Guess this means we have one more team to follow next summer after the college softball season ends. Probably this is a good thing for us. Doctor, eye, hearing, and dental appointments are our major activities in this decade of life! If the kids had not come, that was all I would have had to write about!

 

 

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Well, as it turned out, Sue, you had bundles of interest to write about :-) Variety is the spice of life at Woodsong for sure! Sad... Read More
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:25
Sue Martin Glasco
Thanks, Rosy, for the comments. Vast amounts of money are wasted many places, and miracles happen in some schools with the barest... Read More
Friday, 21 October 2016 01:37
Monika Schott
I'm one of those 'quiet' spectators, reading in the background. I always enjoy reading about your family. You write about them so ... Read More
Saturday, 05 November 2016 20:07
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