JOHN DAY—Welcome to fall! It started on Monday, Sept. 23. The first day of fall, several seniors (and others) gathered at the senior center in John Day for fellowship and lunch.

Darlene Nodine was our announcer. First announcement was that Kris Labhart had fallen and broke her hip. Oh no! Kris, let the healing begin. We miss you and Chris at seniors. That is a lot of missing. Please follow orders and get that hip back in good shape. We are all rooting for you.

Joe Pippin brought beets and beet greens. Shay cooked up a big batch of beets and pickled them and added shallots. Yum! Thanks to Joe and Shay for the good beets.

Carol Rose won the free meal, congratulations, and yours truly, Darron Huskey, won the Len’s Drug gift card, much to my amazement. Thanks for that.

Forty fresh meals and 26 frozen meals were delivered into our community by Step Forward, especially Suzanne Taysom and Rachel Carpenter. Thanks, ladies.

Suzanne Taysom led our flag salute, and Rachel Carpenter asked the blessing for our meal. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints graciously served our meal and did a great job.

Our meal consisted of beef stew with biscuits, pickled beets with scallions and a no-bake cookie for dessert. Milk, buttermilk, juice, coffee and tea were served as well, prior to the food. There was lots of chatter throughout the room, and everyone was pleasant and happy.

We want to extend our welcome to anyone in our area who may want to visit our senior center for lunch on Mondays and Thursdays. You will find the food welcoming, and the price is great too. Where else can you get a meal with drinks and dessert for one small donation? You may see some familiar faces to share with and reminisce a bit with too.

Thursday was a great day with 40 diners at our John Day Senior Center. Jeanette Julsrud was our announcer, and first thing on her list was the driver course. It will be on Nov. 1, so be sure to get your name on the list and improve your driving skills.

The paintings displayed on our walls will be removed soon so be sure and take time to enjoy them. Our local artist Denice Seebart is the creator of them.

We had two visitors from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Elder Spackman from Utah and Elder Wihongi from New Zealand.

Today we had some random gifts to give that were donated by local people. Maria Strahn and Balbina Escudero chose the handmade potholders. Yvonne Majors took the set of three ceramic Winnie the Pooh salt and pepper shakers. Nice drawing.

Carol Roe won the 50/50. Congratulations, Carol.

A special thank you goes out to Ethan Garinger and Morgan Dunn for helping in our kitchen every Monday and Thursday. It is so nice to have these two volunteers grace our kitchen and help our cooks prepare these great meals for our community.

The flag salute was led by David Turner, and the blessing was said by Jimmy Maples. Thank you both for being willing to participate.

The front desk was dutifully and cheerfully manned by Jeanette Julsrud and Gregg Starr. It is so nice to be greeted upon entering with smiles.

Dave and crew from Step Forward as well as Dave Turner and Matt Jones delivered a total of 47 meals into our community Thursday morning. Thanks to all of you for helping our community.

Ladies from the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church were our servers. Thank you, ladies. We appreciate your helping with our meal.

The fine cuisine we enjoyed was a hot pulled pork sandwich, mashed potatoes, a fantastic gravy, hot green broccoli with scallions and bacon and applesauce. For dessert we were given our choice of peach, peppermint or vanilla ice cream. What a nice meal! My favorite.

Oh, and we had our choice of drinks too: coffee, tea, milk, buttermilk or juice.

Shay, we are thankful for the love and kindness that went into preparing this lovely meal for all who attended.

Revelation 3:20 “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him.”

Psalm 103:1-5 “Praise the Lord, my soul! All my being, praise His holy name Praise the Lord my God, and do not forget how kind he is. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy. He fills my life with good things so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.”

MONUMENT—

I don’t think we are even going to have a fall. It seems that winter has bypassed fall. We were down below freezing over the weekend, and it was very cold. I was scrambling to get all my green tomatoes picked off and bringing some plants inside the house before the cold snap. I apparently forgot about my squash and some peppers. I think they were OK, though, thank goodness.

My son helped me dig up a few potatoes. He was so excited looking for the potatoes in the dirt. I’m sure it was like digging for treasure! I think we have enough potatoes for a couple of meals. They were small in size, but at least they will be tender. The next task I have for him to do is to dig up some garlic. He is looking forward to it.

Our greeters at the front table were Jimmy Cole, Kristi Guimont and Ricki Doland. Jimmy and Ricki collected and counted the money. Kristi checked in the guests and wrote down the announcements. Bodean Andersen led us in the flag salute, made the announcements and prayed the blessing over our meal.

Our cooks Terry Cade and Diane Harvey made us chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, dinner rolls and had an assortment of desserts. It was yummy, and I had to go back for seconds. We thank the ladies for our wonderful meal. We appreciate them so very much!

We thank Judy Harris and everyone who gave their time, sweat, hearts and hard work for the Buckaroo Festival. This includes: the preparation time way before the actual event, the prep for food, the venue, the whole nine yards! All the proceeds from the event go to keeping the doors open to our senior center. I am so proud to be a part of this community that cares so much about the people and town, and it is such a blessing that all the people of Monument and surrounding areas help support our senior center. I also know that the senior center is a blessing to many people and is a place for meetings and funerals.

On that note, there was a celebration of life for Arlot Jewell. Many people attended and the senior center was a very busy place for people to pay their respects and get together to remember Arlot and his family. Ed Bustardo’s funeral service will be held Thursday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Fossil. Ed was a great supporter of our senior center along with his wife, Judy. They contributed and sponsored several meals for our senior lunches.

The free meal tickets were won by Donna Campbell and Phoebe Yukawa. Bo Lawrence was the lucky winner of the Len’s Drug gift card. There were 60 guests on the books and 13 takeouts.

Heather Swank from John Day was present to help take the 2020 U.S. Census. She is also looking for volunteers to help her.

Psalms 4:8 “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou LORD, only makes me dwell in safety.”

PRAIRIE CITY—

Strawberry Mountain did not lose all of its snow before the new snow came last week. That tells me one of two things happened: There was a lot of snow, or it wasn’t as hot this summer as usual. What do you think? And aren’t we thankful that we did not have a conflagration in our area this year? Yes, there was a large fire, but it was only a tenth of the Canyon Creek Complex.

The day at the senior center starts at 10 a.m. with the pinochle players. Then the tai chi class meets at the other end of the hall at 11 a.m. When they finished, Ron Phillips and his good ol’ country band played until noon — dinnertime.

After they had eaten, they played for another hour! Oh, what good music! Delores commented that it was hard to hear dance music when you are unable to dance anymore. Thanks to Ron, John Schultz, Carl Stinnett and Ben Richardson. Come again anytime.

So, back to business. Carlos and Luann did the home deliveries, Drew led the flag salute, Pam did her duty at the registration desk and Ginger did the announcements.

Also, Drew found the misspelled word and got to choose an item from the Senior Sales Corner, the birthday gift certificate donated by Huffman’s Select Market went to Delores Scott and Jack asked the blessing. The misspelled word was “baskat,” so the table that had a basket for a vase got to go through the serving line first.

Our meal was beef stew, green bean and carrot salad, pickled beets with onions and birthday cake donated by Driskill Memorial Chapel. We had 51 names on the book. Lorna and Krystin brought Marilyn Randall, Thelma Kite and Charlene Dean from the Blue Mountain Care Center.

Travelers Fran Bunch and Jack and Betty Retherford returned from their respective travels to southern areas.

We took a tour through Bonita a few weeks ago. Don’t try to go there for lunch or anything else for that matter. There’s nothing left but a few trees. Don’t know where I’m talking about? There is a “road” — and I use the term loosely — that takes off south out in the middle of Cow Valley from Highway 26. Keep on it and after three or four hours you will find Westfall, then Harper and finally Highway 20. There are some ranches out there, but they don’t run to town for a gallon of milk, I can tell you. Whew, what a road! We decided that some of our esteemed politicians needed to be dropped off in that area. Maybe they could learn something useful.

Harvested the cucumbers. Maybe a dozen. Think I did something wrong, but at least they did grow something worth eating!

Derrol was merrily mowing along at the Prairie City Cemetery when the lawn mower just quit. Well, phooey.

Turned out that a belt started to come apart and a piece knocked a fuse out. Huh. Took a day to get it all repaired, but it runs a whole lot better now!

Oh! We also packed 36 Operation Christmas Child boxes on Sept. 24!

Psalm 147:8 “He covers the sky with clouds; … and makes grass grow on the hills.”

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