Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What a great weekend......

Donna Nelson is the winner of my blog give-away at Leola's fall open house this weekend.  Donna, your gift is at Leola's and thanks so much for checking in with my blog every once in a while.  I appreciate all of you who took the time to enter (& for following my blog). 

Things have been so crazy the last few weeks.  Not only did I have so much to do for open house but my good friend, Barbara, has been here visiting from California and the little towns where we lived & went to high school were having reunions.  We had such a good time and re-connected with so many old friends.  Needless to say, we're all pooped.

The first picture is Barbara, our friend, Kay Corum Smith, & myself.  The second is my sisters, Mary & Judy & another old friend, Bill McNeece. 

We grew up around Springfield but the summer before my 8th grade year, our dad surprised us by announceing that we would be moving to LaRussell.  He had purchased a general store there and a house & off we went.  I went my 8th grade to a 2-room school in LaRussell.  Mary was in 5th grade & Judy was already in high school.  This is when we met Barbara who had moved there from California and was in the 7th grade.  Our friend, Brenda, who is at Leola's with us, was in high school with Judy.  They went to Sarcoxie.  Eventually, I graduated from Sarcoxie.  When we moved to LaRussell, we sent the population count over 100 but that's where we all lived and we've managed to stay in touch for all these years.

 This was our grocery store.  Then it was called LaRussell General Store.  It wasn't the original store.  The original burned while we lived there & our parents, along with help from lots of people, rebuilt it.  It's now closed and looks so sad.
This is the pump that sets in the middle of the street.  They've been trying to remove it but the current residents (& many who no longer live there) have fought to save the pump.  We sometimes used the pump when the water would freeze in the winter.  It's amazing to me how many of the people we knew still live here & have raised families here & have done quite well.  They seem very happy and contented with their lives.  I loved that.

Our favorite thing we did the whole weekend was to go visit Mr. Graff on his farm where he was born 92 yrs. ago and continues to live.  I remember him most as the music director at our little church.  He had a beautiful voice and was, & is, respected by everyone who knows him.  His eyes still sparkle when he talks.  This picture is of the moon coming up over his barn as we left.  He told us he had 3 living things with him on the farm.....they were his dog, his horse & his Lord & none of them talk to him unless he speaks first.  And then he laughed & laughed.  What a delight!

It was a wonderful weekend.  It would have been so easy to find an excuse not to go but oh, what we would have missed.


Sharon Wengel said...

I had a similar experiance when I went back to the town and school I graduated from last mo. It was so good to see old friends and the places where I grew up. Maybe it's my age and the fact that I'm not sure I'll get to see them all again . But I am so glad I went.
I'm glad you experianced it too .

Myra said...

You really crammed a lot of LIFE into one weekend, Jan! Good for YOU, a birthday you'll never forget. I think I've got my password worked out so I can comment now, we'll see... Sorry I couldn't make it down for open house, but soon....

simplyiowa said...

Oh Jan...
You Girls...Are Having Too Much Fun!
Love to Ya!
Barb C.

Sharon Wengel said...

Hi again,
Yes The advertising is new , thought I'd give it a try and see if I can make any money .

Mary Ellen Collins said...

I missed the Sunday visit with Mr Graff, and I regret that so much. What you wrote about him brings happy tears to me, we have so many good memories, don't we? and I am so glad you had time with him. I hope we'll make that trip more often now.

Mary Ellen