Spending time with old friends is one of the joys of retirement and my age. However, meeting new people and hearing their stories is fun too. (It's challenging for us oldsters to listen--we'd rather talk-- but it's good practice.) At our retirees luncheon on Friday at the OSU Golf Club I sat by another OSU library faculty retiree, Barbara, who had come on staff the year I retired (2000), so we'd never met. She's had a fascinating career with many twists and turns. I'd prepared packages of homemade cookies, and passed out our Christmas card with Bob's painting of the Marblehead Lighthouse in the snow.
Then on Sunday I chatted across the dinner table with a new friend from church, Carol, who told me all about the Winona Public Library where she'd worked in college. I've checked out the links she gave me--fabulous architecture, and like many community libraries it started as a lyceum and private organization with paid memberships and then a wealthy donor. Going to Minnesota is not on my bucket list, but if you're in the neighborhood, it would be worth the visit.
Today is our book club December gathering at Carolyn A.'s home. We'll be discussing The Annotated Alice,The Definitive Edition by Martin Gardner.
I've never read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, don't care much for fantasy, and his fascination with Alice Liddle, from what I'd read, seemed a little creepy viewed from our 21st century sensibilities. And to make it worse, Martin Gardner was a mathematician (he died at 99 in 2013), and my skills in that area were never strong, and are now zip, nada, zilch. But I did read in the introduction that Carroll began this whole adventure making up stories to amuse the three Liddle sisters on boat rides and later wrote them down and gathered them into a gift book. Makes me wish my mother had written down the stories she told me while braiding my hair when I was little (to keep me from screaming in pain!). The ladies of the club are dear, and my goodness, what bibliophiles and scholars they are! And eclectic tastes. I'd never read a mystery nor would have found Maisie Dobbs which my husband adores if it hadn't been for this lovely group.
Wednesday is our Conestoga Christmas Party at The Boathouse at Confluence Park, which has a gorgeous view of downtown Columbus, with reception at 6 and dinner at 7. Dancing has been taken off the menu--either we're all too old or it got too expensive. Conestoga is a friends group or auxiliary established in 1986 to enhance support for the
Ohio History Connection (aka Ohio Historical Society). To date, its members have raised over $500,000.
Conestoga members participate in a wide variety of social and
educational events, tours of historical sites and museums and lectures. Membership currently costs $100 for a single membership and $150 for a
couple membership. Dues include admission to all regularly scheduled
Conestoga social events and educational programs, as well as all the
benefits of the Plus Family membership.
On Thursday the Pregnancy Decision Health Center, all locations, is having its annual Christmas get together at the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Upper Arlington about 2 miles from here. It can be rented for banquets, parties and weddings/receptions. I've been to several events there, which is located in Sunny 95 park. The original barn was constructed in 1838 near Reed and Fishinger roads before there was suburban development for Columbus. In December 1928, it was moved to Lane Road to replace a barn that had burned down on the McCoy family farm. It was used as storage for about 40 years. I remember driving past it many times on Lane Rd. Residents could even purchase eggs from the location. In 2007, the City of Upper Arlington was planning the new Sunny 95 Park and an organization was created to save the barn and move it. Mainly it was the timbers and framing--doesn't look much like the old barn. I'm just blown away by the commitment and love exhibited by the staff and volunteers of PDHC. All I do is answer the phone, greet clients, and assemble some papers and sort baby clothes. They do the really tough things, and often can only save one baby out of ten, but they don't get discouraged.