On Monday, Dec. 10, Everett King and Ron Dowse manned the greeter’s desk. Our table service was provided by the Redeemer Lutheran Church’s Bonnie and Francis Kocis, Bobbie and Buzz Gilmore and Betty Holznagel. Earlier in the day, Bonnie and Francis took meals to those in John Day and Canyon City, while David Gill and the crew from Step Forward took the meals to Mt. Vernon. Altogether, they delivered 31 regular and 44 frozen meals. Betty opened our time together by leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then we had our regular drawings, as well as three of the wreaths made by Linda Stoltz’s ladies and gentlemen who met one day last week to create some beauty. There were also two special Christmas gift drawings! Francis gave a heartfelt devotion and reminded us that we have much to be thankful for, reminding me that I only have a couple of these columns left to do.

And I want to thank everyone who has served us here in the senior center. We have been blessed by all of the volunteers who give their time to serve us in many ways. Francis is quiet but serves in many ways here and prays so sincerely for our meals. Four full tables of guests enjoyed a great harvest soup for lunch, with crusty bread, German potato salad, and for dessert, Shay’s wife, Anne, made cherry turnovers by hand! We welcome a new cook’s helper, Michelle Stansbury, who will be here three days a week working with Shay.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, our greeters were Bonnie Kocis and Jeanette Julsrud. Our friends from Cornerstone Church, Linda Sprouffski, Pati Davis, Donna Johnson, Cristi Finley and Pastor Levi, served at the tables. Pastor Levi, as always, served coffee. He then shared some cowboy wisdom (humor) that he has been learning while spending some time on a couple of local ranches. He always gives spiritual wisdom as a blessing on our meal when he is here as well. Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church sponsored our meal of chicken potpie, and I was awestruck by the beautiful strawberry shortcakes for dessert. Well done, Michelle! We served seven full tables, 56 diners, as well as the 41 meals that were delivered to John Day, Canyon City and Mt. Vernon.

NOTE: Whoever stole our orange warning cones from the back parking lot, please return them. We use them to alert our guests of icy or muddy conditions in the parking lot that could cause a fall.

We had special guests, Katrina and Kathlyne Page (Kathlyne won the ugliest sweater contest at the Nazarene Church), Vivian Rookstool, Louise LaBaugh, Sandy Johnson, Gladys Black, Sue Howard, Bill’s daughter, and Staci and Pat Kopke-Hales. I think I probably missed someone. If so, I am sorry!

Thursday, Dec. 20, will be our Senior Center Christmas Dinner. If you haven’t signed up for a spot, be sure to call in case of cancellations. The Christmas dinner that is put on here by Glenn and RoseAnn Palmer is a community-wide invitation, but there will be no meals delivered.

Psalms 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Our cooks Terry Cade and Teawna Jewell made us some yummy and hearty hamburgers with french fries, macaroni salad and brownies with ice cream. Yes, our cooks spoiled us. We are most grateful for all their hard work.

Our greeters at the table were Jimmy Cole, Linda Blakeslee, Kristi Guimont and Judy Harris. Jimmy and Linda collected and counted the money, Kristi checked the guests in, Judy led us in the flag salute and made the announcements and yours truly prayed the blessing over our meal.

Before I forget, there will be no lunch on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Please mark that on your calendars! We wouldn’t want you to show up when no one will be at the senior center. It will also be nice for the cooks to have a couple of days off and be with their families on the holidays.

We had 42 guests on the books and six takeouts. The winner of the Len’s Drug gift card was Dallas Helsley. Randy Sweek and Corrie Cowger both won the free meal tickets.

We were pleased to have our Molly Hoodenpyl join us for lunch and a visit for 20 days. She is in the Marines and is visiting her family for Christmas before shipping off to join her brother Jesse in Okinawa, Japan. We thank both of them for their service to our country. We pray for their continued protection.

There was a turkey raffle. The tickets were $5 for six tickets or $1 for each ticket. The lucky winner was Katee Hoffman of John Day.

Katee Hoffman, who represents the Veteran Services Office for our county, announced that the county had purchased a vehicle to transport veterans. If you need transportation, please call her anytime. Her contact number is 541-620-8057.

There will be bingo on the last Saturday of the month of December. It starts at 6 p.m., and there is a potluck dinner. All games are 25 cents per card. There is quite a crowd that comes.

There are a few people from our community that need our prayers and well wishes. They are Bruce Strange, who just got home from the hospital suffering from pneumonia, and Jerry Cowger, who is still going back and forth from Bend for cancer treatment. We hope that Terry Bowlus is recovering well and completely from her knee surgery. We miss Betty Richards, who is staying with her daughter for the winter while recovering from her fractured pelvis. We pray that the Lord would touch and heal all our friends, in the mighty name of Jesus.

We got some nice snow and rain. There are parts on our place where the sun doesn’t shine, and oh, goodness, it is a very slippery slope. Treacherous I say, very treacherous. I need to put the Yak Tracks onto my boots so I don’t go slipping and falling.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful and joyous Christmas. May this season bless you with the love and peace of God the Father through Jesus.

Luke 1:31 “And, behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name JESUS.”

One of those mornings when prudent people don’t go venturing out on the ice too much. Glad that the temperature went up and, by noon, the ice was pretty much gone. So, instead of sliding on the ice, you were stepping to avoid the mud. Even so, we had 55 names on the registration book.

Ginger led the flag salute, and Tom asked the blessing. The winner of the gift certificate donated by Chuck’s Little Diner was Del Lake.

The table that got to go first today was the one that had the gift box on it. Inside the box was the Child in the manger. Wonder what it will be next week? Remember that the Dec. 19 meal will be our Christmas meal and will be the last one for this year. Bring your pies or other desserts to share on that day. The entrée will be ham.

The meal was pork stir-fry with rice, hard-boiled eggs and peaches. Dessert was a delicious chocolate cake. Thanks to our cooks Amber and Dick — Dick also brought lots of green tomatoes for the taking. When they are gone, he’ll bring more. What a deal!

Kristen and Geralyn pushed Gordon and Marilyn over from the Blue Mountain Care Center, so you know the ice and mud weren’t too bad!

We want to thank our faithful volunteers who come early and stay late in order to get the food on the table and the hall cleaned up afterward: Tom, Ginger, Carol, Del, Bonnie, Carla and Delores.

Got the new batch of books all shelved. For those of you who like him, we have a whole passel of Louis L’Amour books now.

One thing that I don’t think I’ve mentioned lately — or ever — is that we have a few walkers that can be loaned out to those of our community who need them.

Well, got the gifts down from the attic, and now to determine who gets what. The simple thing to do is to just put those items that go to one family in a container and tie a bow on it. Then they can determine who gets what. Hmmm. Just might try that. Will let you know if it worked.

Have to make one more trip to the attic and bring down the 2-foot Christmas tree. Got a spot cleared for it, so better get with the decorating program. I’m in awe of those who have that gift of decorating — not in my genetic makeup, I guess. We each have our own particular talent to use for the benefit of others in this life. You all know where mine is, so I won’t belabor that point. What I want to make clear is that you find out what yours is and use it. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Face-to-face conversation in this day and age is a most beautiful one. All it takes is a listening ear and interest in another person. And this time of year is perfect to use the gifts of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22). And they don’t cost any money!

Luke 2:10-11 “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.’”

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