Although I am writing this on the day before Christmas, you won’t be reading it before Christmas is long gone. The snow and ice storm ought to be under control and life may be getting back to a little more normal. People will be running to the store to get some much-needed supplies, and the mail and newspaper ought to be delivered again. That means very soon the year of our lives called “2022” will be a thing of the past.
Just so we don’t forget everything that happened, I thought I would have a little review of some my articles from this year.
Beginning with January and February, here are a couple of reminders. We started the year learning about a DVD titled, “Friday Night in the Downtown, Memories of Downtown Delaware from 1925 to 1975.” We learned about there having been 200 businesses in the downtown area, as well as the fires at the Methodist Church on William Street and at Bun’s on Winter Street. If you are interested in the DVD, you can contact Mr. Brent Carson.
And another article was about my being approached by a young woman asking me for money and my not knowing exactly how to handle her request.
She said if she didn’t get the money, she and her two little children would have to spend the night in her car. So, because of the cold weather, I ended up giving her the $25 she asked for. But after I gave it to her, she no longer seemed to be concerned about her children who were in her car.
Moving on to March and April, I wrote about retirees being too busy or not busy enough. An example I gave was about me getting a phone call from a woman I knew from OWU who had become a good friend. Her daughter told me that she was in a nursing home now and wanted to talk to me. Just as I got on the phone with her, someone walked in her room, and she had to hang up. I told her I would come to see her very soon. But a week of “thinking” I was too busy, meant I didn’t make it in time, because she died before I got there. I have felt bad about that ever since.
During that period of time, George and I visited Stratford Ecological Center. We learned so much in that one visit that our first real garden this past summer has been great. He has a compost pile for the first time, more flowers than ever, and has read lots of books on the subject of gardens. It’s a great place to know about and visit.
The next period of time was in May and June. In May we have Mother’s Day, and I wrote an article about the day my mom died. At this time in my life it has been 35 years since she died. All of her sons and daughters were with her all that day. We spent the day talking to her, checking with the nurses, having lunch, drinking coffee, making some necessary phone calls, and preparing ourselves for the inevitable. After she passed, the Chaplin said some comforting words and one of the nurses very quietly sang a familiar hymn. And all these 35 years since, I have never quit saying to myself, “Thanks, Mom.”
As for June of this year, I wrote about “War Rations” and that I still have my original book of rations and remember that back when I was in the second grade, I took a number of rations on my own to the corner store and purchased some sugar for our family. And I listed some of the famous songs from that period of my life, such as “God Bless America” by Kate Smith, and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” or the “Over There” song.
Now we have come to the months of July and August. In the previous section I quoted some of the patriotic songs, but now I would like to bring in some hymns. Starting with our choir learning to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” and finding that the elementary school children have learned it, too. And that one of the songs in funerals I have attended is “Amazing Grace.” It has my favorite verse of “When we’ve been there 10,000 years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, Than when we’d first begun.” And as August came, on the 3rd is when my younger sister, Ann Lee, died. She had been in a nursing home for several years and had suffered a lot. And again, I want to thank Sarah Moore for their care of her.
Now we come to September and October. September is the time to go back to the classrooms and teachers from our past. My favorite teachers were Mr. Felts, Mr. Conger and Mrs. Hearn. Just time to tell how Mr. Felts not only had math books that had the answers in the back of the book, but he also gave open book tests. No reason not to get good grades there. Also, Mr. Conger was a great teacher for my classes in fifth and sixth, and they named the East school “Conger Elementary” in his honor. And as for Mrs. Hearn, she put the thought in my mind to be writing short stories in an informal class after school.
And I ended one of the October articles with the quote, “There will come a time when thoughts of your loved ones will bring a smile to your face before it brings a tear to your eye.”
Last, but not least, comes November and December. I started out the month by writing everything that happened on my graduation day back in 1954.
Most comments came from the fact that they had to laugh when I wrote that I put a hot iron down on a dress I had just finished making and the iron put a hole in the dress the size and shape of the iron. And the fact that when the graduation ceremony was over, I had nothing left. My family had moved to a farmhouse in Morrow County, and I had no car, no money, no way to even look for a job, aka, no future. But, as you can imagine, it all worked out.
November was when my nephew’s son passed, and I wrote a tribute to him called, “His name was Nick.” I continued on in this month of December with some writing about things I have lost since I started writing these articles in 2016. It’s too depressing to list them, so I will just close with a wish for each and every one of you to have a very “Happy New Year #2023.”
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.