Tommy Dale Thompson called to talk about a Retired Teachers Chili Supper planned for the spring. The supper will take place in the Riddell Bank basement. Spouses are welcome. My job will be to make a tray of stuffed celery sticks, that I can handle. More info later and mark your calendar for April 29.
Denny and I went to see the movie P.S. I Love You. He wasn't too wild about seeing a chick flick. He wanted to see Denzel Washington but decided to humor me. We were both surprised. It was outstanding, a tearjerker, but outstanding. We also tried out the new restaurant, Lucio's. It was good and very plentiful.
Harmony United Methodist is starting a new program: Sunday Evening Contemporary Worship. The first service will be Feb. 10. Food and fellowship will start at 6:15 p.m., with the Worship at 7 p.m. The program is planned to help build Christian Community from various churches and denominations. It will be a time for praise, celebration, and reunion. Join us.
Harmony United Methodist Women will meet at 7 p.m., at the church on Jan. 28. Rita Jones will provide the lesson and Carolyn Kumpf will provide supper for this first meeting of the year. One item on the agenda will be to decide who will be in charge of the lesson and who will hostess each meeting for the rest of the year. All ladies are invited to attend. Dues are $1 per month.
My good friend Debbie Hood called this week. We had not had a good chitchat in a long time. We both said we didn't have any news but managed to talk for an hour. Denny and I used to run into the Hoods at Chaney's Diner but now we are all on different schedules. Debbie told me what her husband Kurt and her daughter Elizabeth had been doing. I told her about the goings at our house. Friends are a wonderful blessing and talking about nothing in particular can bring warmth to the soul on a cold stay-at-home evening.
The new neon decorations on Double N look nice. They are very cheerful on these cold wintry days.
Happy Birthday to Carolyn Kumpf and Jenifer Clark (24th), Marc Maurer (25th), me (28th), Eva Trout Roach (29th), Rachel (Pell) Fagg (30th), Luther Julbert & Sharene Wallenbrock (31st).
Soapbox: I seem to talk to so many people who are living with some kind of fear about healthcare or their livelihood. These aren't deadbeat people. They are just normal but frustrated individuals. It is good that parents can get insurance for their kids now but there are still some huge gaping holes in our peace of mind in Indiana.
There is the couple that dropped medical care on themselves because the insurance was taking most of her paycheck and his work was sporadic at times.
They had insurance on the kids but dropped the high priced policy at her workplace. While they looked for another cheaper policy, she broke her hand and had to have surgery. Even qualifying for some financial aid, they used up all their savings and she still needed therapy they could not afford.
A young single mother has just about given up. She can't afford the medicine that allows her to feel better and work at her job. Then there is the 80-year-old retired teacher working three jobs to make ends meet. He has paid his dues and done his duty. Work should be optional not mandatory as his age.
A young mother was excited to get called to a new job only to realize that childcare costs as much as she was making. With the price of gas, clothes, and meals she was basically donating her time to the business and someone else was spending all the time with her kids. She quit.
I talked to a young man who is both proud and scared because he and his wife are expecting a second child. He has a good job but they can't both live on his salary unless she has insurance. She would like to stay home to raise her babies but has to keep her job to keep her insurance.
Another couple never gets regular check ups because the deductible is so high that they have to pay every medical bill out of pocket. Then there are people like me wondering what will happen a few years down the road. I have good insurance through my former employer but it only lasts until I turn Medicare age. Then I can look forward to large deductibles and what several seniors have said is the donut hole. As I understand, this is a time during the year that you have used up the Medicare benefits but haven't kicked into the next level. In other words, you pay it all.
The people I mentioned here are struggling but we constantly hear of others that have even worse situations. No jobs. They have just given up completely and are living off the system or merely existing on whatever handouts they can find. Their children don't dream of growing up to go to college. The parents don't brag, "My child is going to grow up to be president." They don't even say, "My kid is gonna' have a job someday."
It seems as though their only dreams are to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, maybe get a car with big speakers. They spend what little they have on lottery tickets and/or mind numbing drugs. They see no alternatives. They are invisible to the world and especially to the politicians. Some turn to crime.
Owning a home, getting ahead, earning a degree are not part of their American Dream. Unfortunately, the idea of work hard and be something is not there anymore for a huge section of the lower socio-economic level. They are so busy staying alive, they have no time to dream or plan.
We grew up believing that even poor kids could work hard and have a good life. How many people really think that today? Will life be better for the next generation? Yes, some are just spoiled,and don't work, but many just see no way out of the quick sand.
I remember when the dad worked at the clay factory, the mom stayed home if she wanted, and they could have a nice home if they watched their pennies. The kids were clothed and fed. There was enough money for picnics, short vacations, and taking the family to the drive-in on Saturday night. It may sound boring to some but there was a comfort to knowing you could take care of your family. It is not an option for many people now.
Jan. 27 -- "Jesus Zone" (Terre Haute District Training) at Mt. Pleasant UMC 2-5 p.m.
Feb. 24 - March 1 -- District Mission Trip to Pearlington, Mississippi (Contact Pastor Bob Kumpf 448-2917 for more information)
Harmony United Methodist Calendar:
Jan. 27 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 29 -- Bowling at Brazilian Lanes 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 -- Clay County Quilters 9 a.m. -3 p.m.
Feb. 10 -- Contemporary Worship Service 6:15 p.m., service starts 7 p.m.