Monday, August 23, 2010

Down Memory Lane--45 Years Ago!

I can't believe I haven't posted for so long! I've had things I wanted to share, or at least make a part of this journal, but life has gotten in the way.

Speaking of life, how do you catch up on 45 years of living with 31 other women? We made a valiant attempt, and were actually quite successful.

This past Friday and Saturday my West Sub nursing class met for our 45-year reunion. Apparently we've only had 2 other reunions--one at 5 years and 10 years--and I wasn't able to attend those. So how do you go about meeting and greeting and relating to women you haven't seen in 45 years?

Above are the 2 girls who were my roommate/suite mate our senior year. Judy (in the center) and I were roommates and Mary was in a single room with a shared bathroom between us. Judy and I stayed with Mary, instead of at the hotel, since she lived close, and it gave us a chance to really catch up on families, joys, sorrows, etc.

(We had small groups or "rotations" that went to different areas together. This was my rotation. There were 8 of us, and 7 of us were here. We called ourselves the "great eight"!)

I need not have worried about relating with these women. It was as if we had seen each other yesterday. West Sub was a christian school, affiliated with Wheaton College at the time that we were in school. However, that does not necessarily mean that everyone is a christian.

But as I listened to each of these women speak several things were evident:

1) We had all worked at our nursing careers, some more than others. Many, like me, are retired; more that I would have thought are still working; and some only worked a few years in nursing, because of husband's careers, mission work, etc.

2) We have all had many joys and blessings in our lives--family, grandkids, etc.

3) We have all had heartaches and trials--chronic illness, cancer, death of spouses and/or children, challenges and heartache with our children, etc.

4) BUT, as I listened, every one of them gave God the praise and glory for His love, His grace, His guidance and direction and His faithfulness. It was truly amazing.

We graduated with 63 class members. Six of them are deceased. So out of a possible 57 classmates, 32 of us were there. We felt like it was an amazing turnout. And what a spiritually uplifting and encouraging time it was!

We ended the reunion by singing our class song, which was based on Isaiah 26: 3 You will keep in perfect peace him (her) whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Presidential Experience

It seems I've been so busy, I've had little time to do any posting. So I may just have to post several things in the next couple of days.

My first cousins on my dad's side (Gisel's) have been getting together every summer for a few days. We had decided not to have a reunion this summer, but just couldn't break the habit. So we decided to go to Springfield Illinois for a couple days.

We arrived on a Tuesday afternoon and after checking into our hotel, decided to go downtown to eat. Somehow I failed to get a picture of the restaurant; It was called "Augie's" and was quite different. Each entree had specific sides that came with that entree. I finally chose Salmon--I'm not usually crazy about it--but it was very good.

The next morning after a very good (and free) breakfast at the hotel we headed downtown for sightseeing. Our first stop was at the Lincoln Home. While we waited for our tour, we browsed in the gift shop at the welcome center and watched a couple very interesting videos. Then we were able to take a tour of the home Lincoln lived in while he was in Springfield, with his wife Mary, and their boys.

Eating is one of our main events, so to build up our strength we ate at a little cafe and had delicious salads and sandwiches.

We were headed to the Lincoln Presidential Museum, but this railway station was across the street. It is where Lincoln made his farewell speech before leaving for Washington D.C. for the presidency. As it turned out, he never made it back to Springfield.

The Presidential Museum was absolutely amazing and enlightening. There were many things I didn't know about Lincoln. I was particularly impressed with his courage and ability to stand up for what he believed in spite of fierce opposition. I also didn't realize that the Civil War went on for several years. When the war was finally ended, he and Mary were relaxing in a theatre when his life was taken. So he really have a very difficult presidency the entire time he served.

We, of course, had to have the traditional picture taken with Lincoln and his family. We fit right in, don't you think?

That evening, they were having a special tour of the Governor's Mansion. It was to start at 5:30 pm with a tour and then there was to be a musical presentation by the "Lincoln Troubadors".

The tour was very interesting--the furnishings were beautiful and many things had been preserved or restored as they were when it was lived in by the governors.
President-elect Lincoln and Governor-elect Yates joined us at the mansion. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to go back in history and have our pics taken with them.

The Lincoln Troubadors were SO good! They sang acapella and sang songs of the era. One of the guys came down to aisle to our row, and enlisted sister Lou to go join the singers. He seranaded her with the song "Aura Lee". We were laughing so hard, because she truly did not want to be there! Fortunately, we were able to capture it on camara.

The trip was great fun and was actually somewhat educational as well. I would certainly recommend the Lincoln Presidential Museum. It was well worth the time spent to go through it.