Yes, you read the title correctly. I went to Bingo last night and sat with Otis-- remember him? He is the guy with the walker-- the other guy, Thomas, sat in the back with his daughter and family. Anyway, sitting with Otis is a treat because I tell him what the number of the bingo ball is that is in the tv monitor. He can't read it unless he takes his glasses off and tries to focus and by then the "caller" has said the number and it is a worthless task for him. So, I lean over and tell him the number like B15 and he can go ahead and start marking his cards before the caller calls the number. It helps him to keep up -- gosh, I don't know how he makes it with out me-- maybe that is why he doesn't win unless I am around. Shoot, I feel guilty now cause he didn't win last night but I did TWICE!!! Woo-Hoo!!! I hit one game for $40 and one for $25-- for a grand total of $65. I really must think about what I am going to buy myself with my winnings-- heck, got to be careful how I spend such a large amount. ;-)
There are times in your life when things you experience or people you see have a profound affect on you. I told my sister a couple of months ago about an old man that I see sitting by a graveside and it is such a sad sight that it makes me want to cry. Now, this is not my normal path home, only when I need to stop by the grocery store do I see him. But 9 times out of 10, he is there. At first, I thought "how sweet" and then I noticed that he is not only there but had brought his own lawn chair to sit in. Somedays he would be packing up his chair and somedays I would just see him sitting. Now, in my current emotional state, being very hormonal and still getting my thyroid levels right- I get teary-eyed seeing him there. I drive by thinking, oh- that must be his wifes grave and he must have really loved her and now misses her deeply. So, I spend the rest of the drive home thinking of this old man and worrying about how he is doing. That brings me to yesterday evening. I taught my night class until 7 and offered to give one of my students a ride home to Vancleave. So once again I am passing the cemetery, later than usual and there he sits. Needless to say, something made me turn around and go the cemetery. I introduced myself and told him that I have seen him sitting here on many days and I thought that he was visiting someone he really loved. He told me that he and his wife were married for 53 years before she died and that he had never meet another couple that loved each other as much as he and his wife had loved each other. Of course that brought tears to my eyes and we continued to talk. I told him about myself and he told me that he was 78 years old and had worked at the shipyard. He has 4 kids and that includes one set of twins, a boy and a girl. The boy lives in Jackson and the girl at home with him-- they are 51 years old!! His son is the only one that ever married. Of course, the one lives with him and has all her life. The other 2 girls are living is Ocean Springs. After a few tears, some very touching moments and a couple of hugs, I left feeling better about the old man in the cemetery, knowing that he has a broken heart but he will be okay.
There is nothing sweeter than being an Oma and being able to enjoy your granddaughter. Today we took a walk in the rain (sprinkles really). It started with feeding the fish in Mr. Arlin's pond and then we had to pick up the Sunday paper at the end of the driveway and then we had to take a walk on the "trail" which is a bamboo lined path. What a day!!!!!!!!
Well, we have been back in school for a week and a half! I am currently teaching 2 high school students that are returning from last year. They past 3 out 5 parts of the GED. I hope to get them both finished soon. We go to testing at the end of the month so we will see if they are ready! I also have "practice tested" 5 adults who all have tested as ready and I have 3 adults who are coming to my afternoon classes. Many of you may have heard me say this before, but this is the most rewarding job. I have always been an instant gratification type of girl and this is pretty instant. I remember telling my dad that when I retire from teaching I was going to be a painter or a power washer because you can see what you have done instantly. I feel that I am having an instant impact on my students. To date, I have helped 24 people get their GED-- HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I am waiting on results of a couple right now)
This past week I have endured the pain of the death of a dear friend, Geneva Ross. I had worked with Geneva at Gautier High School for 10-12 years. She was the type of teacher that students loved, teachers admired and administrators feared. Everything she did in life was with passion. After she retired from teaching, she became a "deck hand" on her husbands shrimp boat, the Joe-Gen. She spent the last 2 years side by side with the love of her life, Joseph Ross. If you have ever eaten shrimp at my house, it was caught by the Joe-Gen. They shrimped together because they loved it.
Yesterday we had a beautiful "Celebration of Life" for Geneva. There were many pictures of her and lots of her awards, plaques and "teacher goodies". The service was prayers, songs and a few people had the courage and strength to share memories with us. Family and friends brought boiled shrimp (very fitting), a variety of salads and deserts. I think Geneva would have liked the celebration.
Her death has been a wake-up reminder for me-- Life is precious and the time we have is much too short. I want to spend more time with family and friends. As a society, we tend to get caught up in our own lives and are forever busy--- this must change. We need more time with family and friends because that is what makes life worth living.