“This week: Stop stressing over shitty people.” ~ Unknown
The lunch ladies had special treats today. Mama Heis (Elaine) was in town and wanted to have lunch with the lunch ladies. She drove by campus to pick up Crystal, Marie and I, and we met Stacy at Ramsey’s. We enjoyed a few laughs, lots of hugs, good talks, and we all walked out without having pie in solidarity with my diet. I love my lunch ladies, and we all love Mama Heis. A good time – and full bellies – was had by all.
“Respect yourself enough to say ‘I deserve peace,’ and walk away from people or things that prevent you from attaining it.” ~ Jerico Silvers
Mama Heis (Crystal’s mom, Elaine) came to town and she joined the lunch ladies for a dining extravaganza at Ramsey’s. It was a gorgeous fall day in Kentucky, and with these three gals, life just doesn’t get much better. I hope you’re Friday was equally as special.
“Listen to the wind. It talks. Listen to the silence. It speaks.
Listen to your heart. It knows.” ~ Unknown
This afternoon Marie and Robert Dale threw a high school graduation party for their oldest grandchild, Alexis (left). This young woman has endured a lot in her young life, and yet she has graduated with a scholarship to Campbellsville University. She’ll start in the fall. She’s pictured here with Marie, her brother Isaiah, and her first cousin/sister Skyla.
Isaiah smashed cake on Alexis’ face, and someone repaid the favor. The last time I saw Isaiah he was a short, chubby little guy. Now his voice has dropped, he’s grown at least six inches, and he’s on the high school wrestling team. Marie and Robert gained custody of all three kids several years ago. The five of them act as a singular family unit so that you’d never know they weren’t parent and child. And they’re happy – all of them! Becky Ryder, Crystal Heis, and I carpooled to Paris for the party. They were a joy to be with of course. Seeing Marie with her family was a joy, but most of all, I was so proud of Alexis. She’s a beautiful, kind young woman who is going to do great things. Doggone it, I love a happy ending, and today was one. I was honored to be part of it.
“Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine!”
~ Jennie Finch
The Lunch Ladies made a trek to the University’s latest eatery, la Madeleine. It seemed fitting that we should try French given recent events. We loved it the moment we walked through the door. They serve breakfast all day. Lord help me! They also have incredible desserts and pastries made fresh in the store every morning, so we were told. It’s a little pricey, but not so bad that we won’t go back. The Lunch Ladies alone will keep the place in business. la Madeleine wins Wednesday.
“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.”
Look at those smiles. This was exactly what I’d hoped for at the reception, and every picture I have from last night shows nothing but smiles. I’m told Stacy Yelton was so proud of me and the work that she was fluttering about singing praises to everyone who would listen. She played tour guide and took my family up to the sanctuary where they all sang Amazing Grace together. I’m really sorry I missed that. How do you repay that kind of support? I’m speechless yet again.
“You can’t make everyone happy. You are not pizza.” ~ Unknown
The artist’s reception for Sacred Spaces was held this evening at First Presbyterian Church’s gallery. Stacy, Marie, and Crystal took off work early to help me set up. I swear, I don’t know what I would have done without them. Annie Bassoni arrived with pinwheels and the most beautiful dahlia flowers. Jeanne Marie Hibbard’s incredible dips were a hit. Tamara Bayer’s enormous contribution of shrimp was enjoyed by everyone. I was, and am, simply humbled by their kindness. As the evening wore on, and I became more occupied with guests, I would catch a glimpse of Marie or Crystal from time to time. They were either refilling veggie trays and cider carafes, making coffee, or just making sure everyone had everything they needed. After the last guests left, I returned to the kitchen to find they’d already washed the dishes and bagged the leftovers. How do you ever repay that kind of friendship? Without their help I would have made a disaster of the evening, and I’d still be cleaning. Crystal and Marie leave me speechless, and I’m more grateful than words can convey to Stacy, Jeanne Marie, Annie, Marlon Hurst and the 50+ family and friends, new and old, that came to see the work.
“We get so worried about being pretty. Let’s be pretty kind; pretty funny; pretty smart; pretty strong.”
Special Collections had our Open House today to mark the first day of classes. It’s always a fun time, but they (the committee that put this together) really outdid themselves this year. In celebration of the Sesquicentennial, they gave away cute little Cokes. Marie had her hair fixed just for the occasion (not really). She was, as usual, an incredible hostess. Everybody loves her, and rightfully so. Maybe the best part, though, was the photo booth. We all had way too much fun with it (see below). Marie, Crystal, and I waited patiently for our little strip. When it popped out I took one look and said, “I love us!” I do. I truly love these women, and all my co-workers, frankly. They all work really hard to make Special Collections a wonderful place to be.
“If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet.” ~ Joel Osteen
Stacy Yelton received her 15 year service charm today. She started in radio, was laid off, then came back to the libraries. This service pin was particularly important to her precisely because she was laid off. Nobody plans on being laid off, let alone when they’re near 50. It’s incredibly hard to get another job, especially one as good as what was left. The market looks for younger employees who will work for less. The problem is the throwing away of valuable experience. The Libraries are lucky to have her experience in their fold.
A huge bonus of the day was when Marie Dale was given one of three Dean’s Awards for Outstanding Performance. There’s not another person in the library more deserving than Marie. And as soon as I snapped this shot of Marie the battery in my camera died. She really did smile a lot. Stacy smiled a lot. I was tickled for both of them. A most excellent day.
“I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve missed, I’ve hurt, I’ve trusted, I’ve made mistakes,
but most of all, I’ve learned.” ~ Unknown
Today was co-worker Angela Pulley’s last day. We had a nice lunch before she left us for greater things. She brought along her Russian Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards as an after lunch treat. Her’s were unlike any Tarot-like deck I’d seen, not that I’ve seen many. Each card had four partial images. When laid in a five-card by five-card square, two halves making a whole would appear multiple times, and it was from these pairings the reading was drawn. Some of us had more positive readings than others, but the laughter that rolled out of us was worth all the bad debt and lost love fortunes that turned up. It was great fun, and I’m really going to miss Angela. One of my favorite things in life is meeting new and interesting people. Angela gave me that and her friendship in the brief time she’s been with us. There’s no bad fortune in that.
“What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.”
~ Madeleine Albright
This day brought many joyous treats. The first was Marie Dale’s youngest granddaughter, Skyla, who came to work with Marie for a few hours. She is such a well behaved, thoughtful young lady. She snuck quietly into my office to surprise me, which she did, and it just tickled me. This smart third grader loves her granny like nobody’s business, following Marie like a shadow, longing to hug her at every opportunity. Skyla is generous with her affection, too, hugging each of the lunch ladies when we returned to our jobs. Sweet children like Skyla are such a ray of sunshine and hope. She made my day.