Sunday, July 31, 2011


Why are a wooden spoon and a mosquito pictured on my post?  Do I swat the dreaded pest with the spoon?  No...  I lathered Benadryl Gel on the back of the spoon and globbed it on all the bites on my back.  I was desperate and it helped!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Best Friends Forever

Priscilla Long Hansen, 7-8-11
Sister Helen Werner, 7-8-11
Helen has a golden hint of red in her light hair, giving us a glimpse of the little redheaded girl she was 87 years ago when she shared a school desk with Priscilla.  At four years of age they were the youngest and only girls in the one room school house in Fowler, Michigan when they met in 1924.  It's no wonder they formed a friendship that would last a lifetime  in spite of their different life choices and thousands of miles of distance between them.  They share a bond very few ever experience.  They last met in person 23 years ago  at Helen's 50th Jubilee of entering the Maryknoll Missionaries.  Letters, phone calls and emails have kept them in touch through the years.  Yesterday they had lunch together in Gaylord, Michigan thanks to her niece Joanne and my Aunt Mary Ellen Heffron who drove Helen upstate to Gaylord to meet with Priscilla and me at Diana's Delights.  And what a delight it was!!
Before we were seated the girls found a chair and
got right to the business of catching up.
Surrounded by ketchup and wine glasses Sr. Helen and Priscilla
 share a quiet moment  reminiscing and sharing the details of their lives.
 At times I think they were oblivious to the rest of the room.
Sister Helen, Mary, Priscilla
Joanne (back left) is Helen's niece, Mary Ellen
 (back right) is my aunt, Priscilla is my mother in law.
A tearful good bye before Sister Helen returns to Fowler then Guatemala.  They both know this was their last opportunity to visit in person.  It was a bittersweet but truly enjoyable reunion of two special friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Longtime Friends Reunited

Long time and far away
 friends to be reunited!
     Helen Werner and Priscilla Long met in kindergarten in their hometown of Fowler, Michigan in 1924.  Priscilla went on to become a wife, mother, grandmother and soon great grandmother.  Helen went on to become a nun in the Maryknoll Missionary order.  They kept in contact through letters, phone calls and rare visits all these years, their friendship never wavering for 86 years!  Helen now lives and works with Maryknoll in Guatemala and Priscilla lives in Petoskey, Michigan 2,000 miles away but through a series of coincidences they will be having lunch together in Gaylord, Mi.

     As it happens, my cousin Tom and his family live in Guatemala and have met Sister Helen there.  Tom's mother, my Aunt Mary Ellen lives in Eagle near Fowler and has met Sister Helen through mutual friends.  Priscilla is my mother in law.  When I spoke with my aunt about my son's upcoming wedding, somehow we got on the subject of the two longtime friends and how amazing it would be to get them together for a visit.  Helen is in Michigan on a break from her work so Mary Ellen will bring her north and I will take Priscilla south.  It's all planned.  We will all meet in Gaylord for lunch tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bear River Tradition Continues...

Dee on the Bear River, 2009

Dee and I had a three year tradition of kayaking the Bear River  on the morning of July 4th until busy
 lives and other plans got in the way.  The next Independence Day passed with no paddling.  

Jack, Brian, Me, Carol before we ran into Jeff and Dee, 2011

Yesterday, as Erich and I finished a walk at the Bear River Recreation Area with Brian's family we ran into Dee and Jeff! 
Bear River.
4th of July.
That qualifies as carrying on the tradition, right??

Friday, July 1, 2011


She worked with us for more than six years.  She arrived on time, worked steadily all day, got along with everyone, and always behaved in a professional manner at the office.  She attended staff meetings as well as social events.  We all enjoyed  her easy smile and positive attitude.  Last week she called in sick for a few days then just stopped calling.  We heard nothing.  As suspicious as this was, some of us were still concerned something might be wrong.  I checked out Facebook and found no activity from her so I left a message on her wall, "Are you OK?"  She had a new profile pic and someone posted something about her new life.  The next day all of us who worked with her every day for six years were "unfriended".  I guess she's OK.  But what happened?  Why didn't she call and quit?  We may never know.  I'm bewildered.