Monday, July 23, 2012

What a fun week. . . .

        Our third week in Calvert started with our Monday planning session.. We started by calling the remaining 29 sisters that the Relief Society President had designated for us to pay special attention to.  We were able to fill out our week with appointments and left many, many messages for hopefully a return phone call..
         Last week I finished my letter on Friday and sent it on Saturday and so I missed a great lunch we had with Heather.. She is the sister whose husband is deployed in Afghanistan.  She is doing well and this was her morning to run errands alone without her children.. everyone needs that every once in awhile.. We loved being able to visit with during lunch..

         Our first visit this week was with Dora.. She is an 83 year old sister who was such a delight to spend some time with. Her husband died in the last couple years.  She is the mother of 5 girls and they also raised a set of twins that belonged to her cousin.  They got the twins when they were 11 months old, so she and her husband really had a house full.. Dora served in the Navy where she met her husband.. She loves ceramics and has her own kiln and pours her own molds.. She showed us some beautiful things that she had made.  She and her daughters choose a humanitarian project each year and work the entire year on it.  This year they are making newborn kits for local hospitals.. a great lady.

          Cheryl was our next visit. She is a high school Spanish teacher that is off for the summer.  She and her husband have a son 22 and they have also adopted 3 children from China.  They got two girls Adri & Bella when they were each 11 months old about two years apart. Then they adopted a little 3 year old boy Eli.   The girls are 9 and 11 and Eli is 6.  Each of the children had been in orphanages in China when Cheryl and her husband got them.  Adri was very underweight and withdrawn, Bella was a happy vibrant baby.. Bella is helping Adri come out of her shell.. Cheryl said that Adri didn't know how to laugh or to have fun and Bella helped her, by showing her how to have fun.  When they decided to adopt another child, Cheryl called the adoption agency and said they would love to adopt a little boy, with a cleft pallet and some emotional issues that they could help him with.. The lady on the other end of the phone went silent and when Cheryl asked her what was the matter, she said she had a file right in front of her that fit the profile exactly.. So they got Eli.. He is a hand full and has come through a lot, but there is so much love in that family and he is growing up surrounded with love and care and is a great addition to their family.

                                                          Adri, Bella, Cheryl and Eli

          Julie really needed a visit she said and was so very happy that we were able to come see her.  She is a nurse and is working in a private hospital, & is having an interview with a large national hospital this week and is hoping to get a job with them.. She is currently going through a divorce after 25 years of marriage.. She is a recent convert and needs the support of all of us in the ward.  She is the mother of 5 and step mother of 2, all grown and out on their own.  She is a hard worker and was really fun to have a visit with..

          Desiree is the young mom of 2 girls and 2 boys.  Her husband is the Elders quorum president in the ward and a JAG attorney in the Air Force. They have lived in all over like most of the military families we have met.  She has her degree in Physical Education and loves to run and enjoys all kinds of sports. She is a talented pianist and teaches as well as plays for the primary at church. While we were there her 9 year old daughter was having a piano lesson of her own and she was playing and it was amazing.. a very talented family.  She was so fun to visit with.
                                                                     Desiree & family

          We were invited to have lunch with Judy and her husband.  They live on a couple acres & have chickens and a small garden. We had BLT's with their home grown tomatoes..yummy.. They sent us home with a dozen fresh eggs and some tomatoes.. Everyone is so warm and giving to us.. Judy & her husband also serve in the temple on Weds. They serve on the evening shift, so we see them as they are arriving and we are getting ready to leave.  Judy is very musical, she plays the piano and sings in several choirs in the area.. Her husband suffers from MS and is in the advanced stages of the disease.  He still can walk very slowly using a cane or his walker, so he can still feel some independence.. What a special couple. So happy we could spend some time with them and get to know them better. 

        Peg lives down by Chesapeake Bay in a darling beach house that was built in 1937.  She has lived there for 17 years and when she was having some renovation work done they found a newspaper under a floorboard that was from 1937..she had the front page framed.  She suffered for about 20 years with depression and the fear of leaving her home for longer than a brief time. Then about 18 months ago she said that one day she decided to run an errand and later that afternoon discovered that she had been out of her house all day. She said she felt like she had been freed from the fear that had gripped her for so many years.. She is such a delight and so happy and so involved with the people at church and in her neighborhood.  She loves to travel now and does often.  She was such a fun lady to visit.. we had a great time.. You would never know she once suffered from depression. 

       When we arrived for our next appointment the large gate was closed, we rang the bell that was by the gate and called her on the phone to no avail.. so it was a lost visit..

         When we arrived at the next location we discovered we had the wrong address.. The lady who answered the door said she wasn't Bonnie and didn't know her.  We called Bonnie to find out her address and she said we had the right one.. She was asking us if we crossed a certain road or turned at a certain corner.... I told her I have no idea.. I don't know this area and I really have no idea how I got here, I just followed the GPS.. So we are making another appointment and getting directions to her home.. Weird to think that there are 2 address's just the same..

         Shauna is the mother of 9  (8 girls and 1 boy) ages 30 to 4, and what a wonderful visit we had with her. Her 3 oldest girls are out of the house 2 are married and one in college. We got to meet all the kids who are still home.. Such a delightful family.. Shauna's husband is a contract IT consultant with the government.  We had a wonderful visit with Shauna and her wonderful family.

         Megan is a 26 year old young woman with such a hard life.  When we arrived at her mobile home she was such a gracious hostess.. As we sat and talked to her, she started crying and said she was having such a hard time in her life..she was looking for another job because the one she had didn't pay much and she really needed to get another one that was better paying. She then told us she was 3 months pregnant  and she had kicked the baby's father out, because of his drug habit.  She is really trying to get her life back on track and thinking about her future.. with or without the baby.  She said her mother lives near by but really isn't much help because of her own health issues.. We promised we would talk to the Bishop and see what could be done to help her.  She was so thankful that we came to visit her, we assured we would be back again.. While we were there she received a phone call about a new job she had applied for and was told the training was going to be next week.  We were so happy that we called Megan and got to visit with her.  Such a sweet girl.

              I am now at home in Phoenix.. after a l-o-n-g day traveling .. I left BWI airport at 12:30 and landed in Atlanta at 2:30 and took off for Phoenix finally at 4:45.. anticipating a 4 1/2 hour flight to Phoenix.  As we neared the Phoenix airport we were put into a holding pattern for an hour due to the giant Haboob dust storm.  The only two places in the world that this phenomenon happens is the Gobi desert and The Phoenix area.  So our plane headed for Las Vegas.. At arriving at the LV airport we were told that as soon as we were gassed up we would head back to Phoenix.. No such luck... They then informed us that the plane was having mechanical problem.. so we waited and they were going to have us get off the plane then they changed their minds and decided that the plane could take off.. then when we were about to take off we headed back to the gate and told to all get off.. they gave us each a voucher for a meal and we waited for the plane to be repaired.. We were then told that we were changing gates and planes.. we all got on the new plane and headed to Phoenix.. arrived and got my rental car and headed to my son Steve's home.. I arrived at 1:45 a.m. (which is 4:45 a.m. Maryland time) , so I had been up 22 1/2 hours.. but was so happy to be there and we talked and talked..  I discovered that my whole family had been at the airport to surprise me and waited for 5 hours, thinking my plane would be there any minute.. What a great family I have..

 The "Haboob" giant dust storm

         It was so much fun to walk into my own ward today at church, got a lot of hugs, saw lots of friends and I loved seeing the 4 year olds that I taught in church before I left for my mission.  When they saw me today they were so excited and happy to see me.  What a fun day.  After church my whole family met for a fun dinner and evening together.. What a joy to spend the day with my family.  Everyone is going to the airport with signs and banners to welcome him home.  Then he will have his homecoming at church on Sunday.. My granddaughter from Chicago will come home on Weds. so my entire family will be here except my grandson Kelly who is on our mission in South Carolina.. So we are having a week of family fun..

                                         I am in Phoenix until August 2nd... will keep you updated..

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