Do you remember my post from last August when five good D.E. Stevenson friends came to stay with me at Chautauqua for a week? You can see a picture of us here:
Perry is the second from the right…Two days ago I was astonished to get a package from her with an amazing handmade hostess gift from her and also from Susan D., Karen K., Betty K. and Linda J. Perry had told us about the crossword puzzle needlework pillows she makes for people who are hosting her Smith College class reunions. I never dreamed I would get one from her that everyone had chipped in on, but I did! She emailed my dd Alice for family names and places we had lived and it is a magnificent gift and I love it!
I cannot begin to imagine the amount of work here! Perry is very talented at such things. I posted a small patchwork we made for Anne S. after Karen, Perry and I stayed with her at her home in England. Perry’s embroidery was light years better than anyone else’s work. This is all petite point, oh, my…..
What else is making me happy? Well, this evening Emily, Sofia, Clara, Alice and Stephen are coming for dinner and games afterward. We will not play our usual card games but will do a Lotto and a color Go Fish game both of which Stephen can do well and enjoys.
Alice told me two things that made both of us happy. She is volunteering at a school where most of the children are refugees (mostly from Burma) and almost all the children qualify for the free lunch program. She also volunteers at Hillcrest where all my children went to elementary school and all my grandchildren have, too…At the refugee school there are no parent volunteers. I am sure most all the parents need to work. At Hillcrest there are sixty volunteers for the library alone and a position called Parent Volunteer coordinator. Alice just discovered that there is a point system for the children. They can get points for good behavior, good listening, helping others, etc. There is a little store in the library. For 5 points one can get a bracelet. For 20 points one can get to help the janitor. The reason this made us smile is that when my husband was a refugee and a seventh grade student at St. Malachi’s Urban School, the teachers often let him help Frank, the janitor. Frank helped Paul learn English and use tools and run the audiovisual equipment. Paul loved Frank and felt really important when he could bring the equipment into a classroom and run it. The janitor at Forest Hill is also Burmese, and I think he will also make the children happy and teach them useful things.
A friend of our family volunteered to help at the International Institute where I once, surprisingly, taught Hungarian for two years to two hospice workers. One of them wanted to get a Fulbright to go to the medical school in Pecs, Hungary and teach about American hospice work and so he did. When our friend went to orientation she was told they usually had only three or four volunteers at the most but this evening they had to move to a larger room and it was packed with people who wanted to help refugees. My dd Emily says that one good thing that has come out of all the sad Trump fiasco is that inactive good people are now becoming active good people.
And the last, and most important thing, making me happy is that Emily and Ingmar after years of looking have found a house in our township and school district and are in the process of buying it. A tentative date to move in is April 21st. May all go well. The house is on more than three acres which back onto the National Park and it’s on a cul de sac, too. And next to the home of Verna, an amazing gardener who volunteers “everywhere” and has for years and told Ingmar about the house before it went on the market. There is a pond there and a small barn (not a shed, a small barn). Now please pray that they can finally sell their Maryland house. It has not been on the market for a while, but this should be a good time…..