I hope you have survived unscathed through the snows, ice and extremely cold weather. The pipes in the attic of the apartment building where my sister, Mary Ann, lives froze and “exploded” (the word they used to describe what happened). All the water ran down into the three apartments, with much of it ending up in Mary Ann’s kitchen, after they made a whole in her ceiling to let the water escape. Thankfully none of it got onto the carpets in her bedroom or living room. Her china cabinet was ruined. She says the men of the fire department, the police, and the city workers were all so very nice and helpful. She wanted me to tell them Thank You for their kindness. I am sure there will be much work to be done to the ceilings and interior walls of the apartments.
The tragedy south of us with the water supply must be horrible. I hear that some folks have come as far as Buckhannon in search of water. One man who was in the Marriott Hotel in Charleston told me that he learned to wash his face and shave with one bottle of filtered water. Then “wipes” (like baby wipes) completed the clean-up procedure. Almost every activity of daily living is impacted by such a tragedy. Our prayers are with them. A comment that I heard may help us if we will remember it: the world may be out of control, but God isn’t. He is with us through all our troubles and gives us strength to bear and peace in our hearts.
Saturday evening when a “bunch” of nurses who used to work at Sharpe Hospital got together at the 88 Restaurant here in Buckhannon to celebrate Joan Danner’s birthday, we had a great time. During our talk that evening we all expressed sympathy for some nurse co-workers who have lost loved ones recently. My deepest sympathy is extended to Thalia Fisher and her family. (I worked with Shirley in the ‘80’s on the behavior unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon.) I learned that Geneva Lamb’s husband died also and I am so sorry. (I cannot believe it has been only a few days over two years since my husband died!) Geneva worked on my unit some of the time as did her daughter, when I worked at Sharpe Hospital. Almost nothing makes these losses easier to bear except time, I believe.
Janita Sumpter Hawkins who grew up in Burnsville e-mailed me about Darrel Morrell who now lives in California and she writes: “I talked to his brother today and he said Darrel had a large brain tumor removed. He is in rehab now. He may have to have more surgery. I know our  classmates would love to send him a card and get-well wishes.” His address is: Darrel Morrell, 831 Bungalow Dr.
EL Segundo, CA 90245-2541.
I hope you enjoy the following story about Shirley and Marcy.
“A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it.
"She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance so he probably wouldn’t notice her. She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.
“The next school day the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew. She did this for the whole week.
“As the two kids walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally she said to Timmy, ‘Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?’
"Timmy nonchalantly replied, ‘Yeah, I know who she is.’
"The little girl said, ‘Well, who is she?’
"That’s just Shirley Goodnest, ‘Timmy replied, ‘and her daughter Marcy.’
"‘Shirley Goodnest? Who is she and why is she following us?’
"‘Well,’ Timmy replied, ‘every night my mum makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, ‘cuz she worries about me so much. And in that Psalm it says Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life, so I guess I have to get used to it!’
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Received via e-mail with no author listed.)