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Storm stories in the Fair Oaks halls

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opinion Wadena, 56482

Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

The stormy weather easily took center stage at Fair Oaks Lodge this week. The folks were all hustled into safe inside halls several times. Putting Buddy Bird, my Peachfaced Lovebird, on my shoulder, I headed over to be with them. If we were all doomed to fly into space, I wanted to be with my Fair Oaks folks. I noticed Administrator Roberta Cline must have felt that way, too.

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It was early morning, still dark outside. Regulations governing what to do had all been followed and center inside halls on both floors were lined with folks in robes and blankets. The while I watched, I wished home folks could have seen for themselves the efficient caring way their loved ones were taken care of.

Nurses plied residents with juice, coffee, or a bottle of water. Snacks were passed. I even saw several people, for one reason or another, eating a full breakfast at that hour. In order for this all to be true, kitchen staff were also on the job.

Friendly Buddy Boy loved it. I could tell by the way he cocked his head that he thought everyone had come out to see him. He sat on a few shoulders, "cheeped" a time or two and tried to eat Art Larson's watch.

I couldn't resist doing a question/answer exercise, seeing so many folks in one place wide awake. The question was, if you had to leave your house, what would you take if you could take one thing, other than your kids?

The first man asked said "Oranges. I would take oranges."

A voice coming out a blanket in the next chair asked, "Why? Bread is better. It is called 'the staff of life.' In Bible times they called it 'manna,' don't you know?"

"OK, so maybe it is. I'm hungry for oranges."

The next person, also a man, said "My spec's. If I couldn't see I'd be a mess, so bring my spec's."

Several others heard him and agreed.

The next lady was holding a bottle of water. "I'd take this."

More folks said they would take old pictures that couldn't be replaced. One lady held a book, while another held out a Bible.

It was starting to get light in the east now and the all-clear was given for counties around us. During this time, med carts were kept busy locating residents among blanketed figures along the the halls.

A voice asked if that farmer's breakfast, a favorite happening, was tomorrow. A man's voice from a bit farther down the line replied: "I sure hope not. If it does, we will never get to enjoy it because tomorrow never gets here, don't you know?"

A querulous opinion from down the line said, " Does too. It just turns into today. Can we go back to our rooms now?"

With that, Buddy Boy and I headed back home.

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