Archive for April 26th, 2009

It has been a busy week here at The Havens.   My mother was chosen to be honored as  “Hometown Hero” this year.    Now, really this whole event is a method of raising money for the local Red Cross chapter, but there is nothing wrong with the way they have implemented to raise money.

What happens is, the people of the community are asked to nominate people who they think have been doing something out of the ordinary to support it, something other people are not doing.   Every year, of course, since it IS the Red Cross, someone is chosen as a Lifesaver Hero.  Once the committee has gone through all the nominations and picked out the people they want to honor that year, they make up categories to fit the individual activity.   This year we had a Friend of the Youth (a man who started the girl’s soccer league), and Outstanding Mentor, the Community Historian, and Champion for Literacy.

My mother was the latter, Champion for Literacy Hometown Hero.   She was nominated by more than one person, which brought her to the attention of the committee pretty quickly, as you can well imagine.   For more than 15 years, she has been a volunteer literacy tutor in the area.   At times she has had as many as 10 students at once.   There are people in jail that the ruling of the judge is that part of their probation is to get their GED.   My mother teaches them.   There are people who are functionally illiterate.   She tutors them.   I don’t know how many people have their GEDs now because of her, but it amounts to a substantial number.

Did I mention my mother is now 81 years old and still hard at this activity?   

Anyway, she was honored this week, and all her children were present for the event.   My brother travelled from Connecticut, my older sister from San Antonio, Texas.   This was so amazing that my sister was interviewed by the local radio station and they aired the interview all day Thursday.    This may tell you something about how large a community we are and what constitutes very exciting news.


My mother is the one in the middle in the white.  I would provide you with a link to the article, but the local paper’s archives are so squirrelly (yes we are a VERY small town) that I could not find the article even though it was published only 3 days ago.

In other news, the last of the daffodils have bloomed, and they may be the cutest of the bunch.    The ones I am featuring today were part of the group I ordered as my Anniversary present last fall.   First, an arrangement for Jim’s bathroom.   Note that the lip of the vase this arrangement is in is exactly 1.5 inches in diameter.   This will give you a handle on how big these little guys are.


From the right side going clockwise, these are “Sun disc’, “Chiva”, and “Baby moon.”   The filler is pulmonaria.

Close ups follow.    First is “Chiva.”  Notice the scalloped edges on the cup petals.


Next is “Baby moon.”


Finally, “Sun disc.”   This little daffodil is interesting because when it first opens it is a uniform yellow.   But very quickly the perianth fades to a lighter yellow, emphasizing and highlighting the flattened cup.  This one has been open a couple of days.


Not in the arrangement, but still going strong in the garden is “Hawera.”  This is a member of the Triandrus division of the daffodil breed. Members of this division generally have several florets per stem, and additionally the petals often turn backward and twist.  As you can see, “Hawera” shows all these traits.


The last species tulip in the grouping is still blooming.   This is Tulipa acuminata, a very lovely addition to the garden.   It is a good 16 inches tall, and the cups are around 4 inches in diameter.   I love the crimson flame on this tulip.


Not only did we have the Hometown Heroes breakfast (which started at 6 a.m. and I leave it to your imagination how difficult it was for us self-employed and retired folks who rarely arise before 7:15 to get up for the event), but since the out of town relations were here there was a lot of familial activity going on.  We hosted dinner here, we all went out to dinner, my brother installed a handrail on my mother’s front porch steps, etc. etc.    

For us, a family gathering can be rather like the Geneva Peace Talks that ended the Vietnam War combined with the Middle East Peace Talks and the G20 Summit, with all the nuclear explosive possibilities, and no actual diplomats present.  However, we managed to get through the first couple of days with no real bad incidents, although there was some sort of meltdown yesterday afternoon.  I have no details, don’t really want them either.  No blood was shed, the participants will have to deal with the fallout on their own.   

All the excitement plus an unfortunate choice of antibiotic by his doctor managed to land my dad in the hospital with a severe antibiotic allergic reaction that mimicked a heart attack.   Fortunately, he was only there overnight, and the new antibiotic is working well.   He has a MRSA infection that must be cured before the cardiologist will even talk about installing the pacemaker that he needs.

My brother and I floated on the upper Niangua with my friend Jeri on Friday.   My clients were all very considerate and allowed me to reschedule their appointments so I could have Friday free.   It was really the only day this week that was going to have good floating weather (the problem this week has been the wind), so I really appreciated their cooperation.   

We couldn’t have had a better day for our float.   It was a little breezy, but by and large when the wind arrived it was a tail wind.   We enjoyed the beautiful sunny day, thoroughly surveyed the two heron rookeries we passed.   I didn’t take my camera, since the river was so high I was concerned about the real possibility of dumping.   My brother bravely took his absolutely spectacular DSLR camera along (he has LENSES, and if you detect a note of envy in that statement you are right, I lust after them).  If I’m a very good girl he may allow me to use some of his photographs to show you what we saw.   

Anyway, a good time was had by all.  We are all very proud of Mom, glad Dad is healthy, and relieved that we made it through the long weekend with “detente” and “cease fire” pretty much intact.

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