Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Friend Jean

During this time of the year, I always remember with great fondness my friend Jean. She passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly on the day after Thanksgiving in 2001. Not long ago I found this article, written that year. Her daughter had asked for contributions for a memory book about her mom.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jean was very dear to me. Many times my phone would ring and it would be Jean on the other line: "Ann, what do you think we should do about. . ." or "Ann, do you think this would be a good idea?" Or, I would call Jean and Jim's house, hear her answer "Trimble residence," and reply teasingly, "Hello, Trimble residence, is Jean there?"

Jean personified the Bible verse, "She hath done what she could." Many things were elaborated at her funeral, but there are many more that I know of, and many more beyond that. I remember when a girl from the mission field visited Oakwood, separated from her family and short of funds. The next week Jean was arranging to get her the things she needed and inviting her to come to their home for the weekend. Jean filed the missions letters diligently, after reading them carefully and catching things that needed to be taken care of. She saw to it that a back got built on missions closet shelves when things were falling off. The list of her good deeds goes on and on.

Just a few weeks before her death, Jim and Jean went on an extended tour of the western U.S., and we were the beneficiaries of postcards from along their route. When they returned, they brought beautiful Mt. Rushmore T-shirts for our children. When Mary Lee got the Terrific Kid award at school, she received $5 in the mail and a congratulatory note from "Grandpa Jim and Grandma Jean." Always, the children's birthdays were remembered. They kept our children in their home on a number of occasions. She just never missed an opportunity to be an encouragement to our family and to me. I know that was the case with many others, too.

Our friendship superseded the years that separated us. Each Sunday service, during the welcome time, Jean would lean over the pew, give me a hug, and say "I love you, Ann." I'd return the hug and tell her I loved her, too. Jean was someone I could turn to for advice in several areas of my life. I miss her terribly since she has gone home to be with the Lord. When I see her again on the other side, I will visit her, this time in her golden "Trimble residence," and I am eager for that day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Free household help

Our friends got home from church last Sunday night and immediately noticed that the porch light, which they had left on, was off, and the inside lights, which they had left off, were on.

When they went in the house, the wife noticed that her dishwasher was running. As they checked around, they looked into the den and saw the gray head of an older lady who was sitting on their couch, watching TV. The husband approached her and she said "You must be Marshall. The key you sent me didn't work, so I walked around to the back and let myself in through the back door." (The husband's name is not Marshall. Their son had forgotten to lock the back door before they left for church.)

Turns out she was there to celebrate Thanksgiving--with their neighbors. The husband walked her next door, carrying her luggage, to make sure she got there OK.

She had gathered their dirty clothes and put them in the laundry room, and she had straightened up the house.

I am not making this up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Everybody loves to watch a play. Only the director has to. . .

. . .get the PE boys to lug the flats back to the bus barn.
. . .figure out to whom the dirty socks, curling iron, bag of clothes, leftover makeup pads, etc., belong to.
. . .find out who put the computer engineer's "stuff" on the floor where it ended up with gum on it.
. . .unbend the bent, borrowed curtain rods (won't bother to try to find out who bent them in the first place) and return them to the owner.
. . .dispose of the leftover paint and brushes.
. . .re-box and store all the miscellaneous that gets used from year to year, such as the night lights that are used backstage so that people can see where they're walking.
. . .get all the costumes back (hopefully washed) from the actors, packed, labeled, and stored in the basement in the play closet.
. . .see that the stage is completely clean, swept, and bits of stray paint scraped up from the floor.

But that's OK. It's part of the deal. Tomorrow is Wednesday. . .no homework. . .I'll put some kids to work during study hall.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans' Day and WWI

Recently, I purchased a book called "World War I Album" for the military memorial in our library. This was done at the request of our seniors who wanted to do something to commemorate ten years since the passing of Jimmy Prince. Before giving it to them to wrap and present to Nancy in chapel, I read the entire thing (fortunately much of it was pictures).

We definitely overshadow WWI. One of the reasons we chose that book was because Nancy said she has had difficulty even finding much about that war. Google World War II and you get 68 million responses; google World War I and you get 2.5 million. I had heard of trench warfare, but reading about it and seeing pictures of the trenches really strikes home the horror of that kind of fighting. WWI was a crossroads between old methods of fighting--on foot, with horses, hand to hand--and modern air techniques. And of course, gas was used during this conflict.
We should be doing more to educate our young people about the horrors of war--WWI included. Even more, we should be doing more to cause them to appreciate the many who served, and died, for what they have today. It is a more daunting task, however, than it appears.