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Fair Oaks residents look back, ahead

Fair Oaks Lodge folks welcome the year with hopes and prayers that we will be able to cope with whatever comes our way as well as we did last year.

One of our folks, leaning a bit on Francis, Saint of Assisi, opined that he hoped in 2010 to be able to forget the people he never liked anyway, celebrate he had the good fortune to meet with the ones he does, and still had the eyesight to tell the difference.

Remembering something that brought pleasure during the last year was easy to do for most residents. For Jack, it was having unexpected company. Chet liked having his wife living next door in the Fair Oaks Apartments and having a supply of books to read.

Art, Fair Oaks Lodge king of 2008, still relives the fun of riding down Jefferson Street in a convertible in a parade with spectators lining the route waving at him. Something like that gives a guy a lift. Also, he looks forward to the watermelon parties held out on the lawn each summer.

Curt, holding down one of our beds right now, thinks of his loft apartment, with the lineup of tools he uses to turn out clever bird houses and toys. You wouldn't believe the assortment of clever items in his cupboard. What with everything so up in the air right now, who knows what will happen? But he just might be able to open up a little shop someday. He thinks about it all the time. Can't say for sure, you know. He has some dandy new patterns.

Pearl, along with several other ladies, appreciates the beautiful hair-dos that come out of our beauty shop each week. Florence is thankful she can still read most of the print. She doesn't think many folks can read that itty-bitty print like on medicine bottles or contracts. Maybe they aren't meant to, do you suppose?

Glen is satisfied enough to still be about the same as he was last year, and Vicki said 2009 was not a bad year for her. She would welcome another one like it.

After a bit of thought, Fred thinks old 2009, as far as Fair Oaks folks are concerned, was at least no worse than the ones before it. The folks he sees are happy.

Leon agrees completely. He said folks are friendly and he is satisfied. He is looking forward to setting out a tomato plant, like the one he had last year, in a spot he can see from his window.

For Warren, happiness comes in the shape of a nifty new white Stetson hat he wears to activities. That's not all. He has one just like it in black.

Helene is thankful she has a loving family who visit each week. Cerila, called "Sal" by most folks, is pleased to be moved closer to a window. She said, "There's still a world out there!"

I cannot bid 2009 fare-thee-well without thanking the many fine residents of Fair Oaks Lodge for their friendship and so generously sharing their stories for our enjoyment.

As I write, I am hoping the stories show Fair Oaks folks were not always a bit slow, did not always have to depend upon a cane, walker, or wheelchair. They were quick, productive, were instrumental in bringing about what is taken for granted today. They paid their dues.

It is pure pleasure to work with the Wadena Pioneer Journal crew. And Steve Schulz is the kind of editor I've been looking for all these many long years of writing. Thanks, guys.