This post is in tribute to my childhood friend, Pat Workman.
We grew up with the Workman kids and visited with them along with their parents, Lester and Maxine quite a bit. My Mom would pick the kids up on Sunday morning and take them to church with us. Pat and I were saved on the same day. Mom used to host a baseball game after church on Sundays and it was at this event we both asked Jesus into our heart. We were baptised later at Fort Wyman Baptist Church in Rolla as our county church did not have a baptismal. Pat would come home with me on Sunday afternoons and we spent many hours just playing in the woods and also what we thought was secretly (parents seem to know everything but let us think we're sneaking off) jumping in a small pool of water across the road. It would be so cold but we didn't care. Lots of fun memories.
Pat gave up a lucritive career in accounting about four years ago to come home and take care of her Mother, Maxine Workman. Maxine is such a dear and kind person. We used to teach Bible School together at Broadway Baptist. One year we had seventeen rambuctious three and four year olds. You might not think the kids pay attention, but the one "trouble-maker" was always the first to answer a question about the Bible story.
Maxine's health has continued to decline in the past few years. Where Pat was more of a companion at first is now a full time caregiver. And I mean full time, twenty-four hours a day without a day off. Pat doesn't complain but she is getting pretty tired. I stop in to see them periodically and the last time I saw Pat she seemed totally worn out. I stopped yesterday and Pat seemed a little more rested. I have never heard Pat complain. She says it's an honor to take care of her Mom. She isn't a burden to her and knows if the situation was reversed, Maxine would take care of her. The day in-day out responsibilites are huge but Pat does it lovingly and with care. I so admire her for the way she has put her life on hold to care for her Mother. Maxine can no longer get around and is on a feeding tube along with other multiple health problems. Pat can no longer lift Maxine to her chair and has to have help with getting her up for awhile during the day, putting her back to bed, getting her up for the evening and then to bed for the night. Her brother, Rodney and brother-in-law, Todd come in to help get her up. Without their help, I don't know how she would manage. Pat said no matter what she has to do, Maxine will never go in a nursing home. Some think it would be easier that way-the ones who aren't doing the day to day caregiving. But Pat is doing it with grace and is such an example for the Bible teachings of honoring parents and caring for them when they age.
Along with taking care of her Mother, Pat found her brother dead in his bed last fall. Randy had been living with Pat and Maxine and helping with her care. He had a heart attack in his sleep and Pat had to deal with his death and consequently his help in caring for Maxine. Such a burden that she accepts as life.
I am grateful to know Maxine and Pat and admire their grace and dignity.
(Pat says it's an honor to care for her Mother. Wonder how many people would look at that way.)
This was my Friday afternoon off. April met me at John and Sheila's and we
relaxed in the pool for a couple hours. My idea of a great afternoon; sun and
When I got home Dwayne was already in the hay field. Chad came by for a
visit. He had brought me some flowers he picked from his yard. Such a
thoughtful and caring son.
Later Zach, Nathan and Lizzy came by. They took turns riding over to the hay
field. Or I should say, Zach and Lizzy rode back and forth. Nathan did get a
turn and he took me over. The field is part of my Grandpa's original farm and I
hadn't been back that far in quite a few years. It has grown up alot but still holds great memories.
Tony came and picked up Nathan and Zach and Lizzy spent the night. Lizzy has
now decided she wants to be Uncle Dwayne's farm helper just like Zach. (I think
the allure of the four wheeler is a contributing factor) Saturday:
Dwayne, Chad, Zach and Lizzy all went out to eat breakfast and buys TONS of
gas (according to Lizzy) for the tractors and four wheeler. They helped Chad
and Troy shuttle canoes and vehicles for a float trip.
In the meantime, Todd came by and spent the morning with me visiting. Always
nice to have the kids drop by. Tony dropped Nathan off and he spent the day.
After staining on the front porch, I took Lizzy and Nathan to the creek
swimming. The water was nice and warm but we left after awhile when the kids
started getting leeches on them. I don't do leeches!! In all the years I took
my kids to the creek we never saw leeches. I could see it later in the summer
when the water starts drying up, but was surprised to see them this time of
When we got back home, Lizzy and Nathan both took turns running back and
forth to the hay field. The fun times of youth.
Todd helped Dwayne with the hay and then they all came in for supper. I
fixed pork roast, mashed potatoes/gravy and a big chef type salad. While eating
supper my nephew calls and said they were going to cut Todd's horse and Zach's
horse that evening. My dad studied to be a vet when him and Mom were first
married. We were always glad he didn't finish up as we would have been broke as
he never wants to charge anyone. We were surprised Dad would want to do this
that late in the evening. It was already after seven and with it being so
cloudy out the light was giving way to night pretty fast. I guess you have to
be a guy and farm boy to get so excited over the event. Neighbors were there,
several nephews, Dwayne and Dad. Lizzy and I went up to sit with Mom while Dad
was gone. Mom told a few stories about her Mom I had never heard. We don't know a lot about Grandma Williams as she died when
my Mom was only ten years old. Liz would have loved to be in on the action but
I wouldn't let her go down there. Tony took both kids home and neither one was
very happy about it. Zach came back to our house after the float trip with his
I planned on going to church but wasn't feeling well so I stayed home.
Went to Lowe's and Wal-Mart for a
much needed grocery trip, then headed to the corn field where Dwayne, Todd and
Zach were working. I stopped by Mom and Dad's on the way home. Dad was still
excited about being 88 years old and still cutting horses. Good to see some of
his pep back.
Went home and fixed tacos and refried
beans for Dwayne and Todd, followed by root beer floats. An evening of watching
TV and the weekend was over already.
Dwayne worked in the hay field and just lazed around the house. I should have been finishing up the stain on the front porch but laziness won out.
Ashlyne came over with Alyk, the little boy she was babysitting. He played with the toys for quite awhile and then put them all back in the can. He seemed like a good little boy and didn't cry any. While they were still there, Zach came over. He had run all the way from Judy's house and was a little worn out. Zach spent the night with us and we watched, guess? Yep, that's right, Pawn Stars! I don't think Dwayne ever gets tired of that show. Saturday:
Woke up to rain once again. Ruined Dwayne and Zach's day of baling hay so they just went to the lake in Vichy and fished all afternoon.
I went over to April's and from there we went to Mary's Home for Erica's wedding. The was a huge crowd and the church was packed. The reception hall was beautiful and we had a good time visiting with friends.
Went back to April's and watched TV with her and Mike for awhile. I didn't get home until around nine and Dwayne called and said to come on down to Chad's as they were playing cards. Chad had a neighborhood barbecue for Father's Day. Todd did the grilling and Chad the side dishes. The pork loin melted in your mouth. Late evening getting home but overall a good day. Sunday:
I didn't go to church as I wanted to help Mom with dinner. She fried five chickens and the rest of us brought in side dishes and dessert. Mom makes the best fried chicken.
All of us were home except Russ and he came up during the week. Katie took some pictures of April, Mike and little baby Holtmeyer. They turned out good but I don't have any to post. We had a great afternoon visiting and Mom's friend, Imogene came down. It was good to see her. She is the one Mom and I went to visit in March when Mom fell and broke her ankle. Imogene's husband, Tom had passed away in January. They've been good friends to the family since I was young.
I am grateful for another Father's Day spent with my Dad.
Friday was my afternoon off. I spent the afternoon mowing the yard and by the road. It's a good three hour job. Dwayne worked getting the tractor and equipment ready for planting cane. We then went down to Chad's and wound up visiting with Chad, Todd and Tim for awhile. Supper was then a fast mix of scrambled eggs, ham with toast.
I started out the day being kind of lazy, just watched TV and did a few household chores. In the afternoon, I started staining our front porch. This is no fast and easy job as the covered porch is 40' x 12'. Nathan came over to spend the day as Tony and Lizzy were going fishing and he is like me, not too much into it. Here is a picture of the bass Lizzy caught out of our lake in Vichy.
After a few hours staining, Nathan and I went to the field to check on Dwayne and then to visit Mom and Dad. After supper, we spent the evening watching Pawn Stars. Lizzy was pretty excited when her and Tony stopped by to pick up Nathan. She caught the bass and a few others at our lake and then went to another lake and caught twenty.
I went to Sunday School and Church. We had a lay person as our speaker and he did a good job. Was nice to see fellow classmate, Mick Byrd and his wife, Debbie visiting.
Each week, we have someone purchase the flowers for the altar. It is usually honoring or remembering someone. This week, I had the announcement of April and Mike's baby, due in October. There are two bouquets.
The first one I put in an old pitcher I got from Dodie and used one of her old doilies with it.
Looks so pretty in the old vase.
The second bouquet, I put in the pink pitcher Granny Rea gave us for a housewarming gift along with one of Granny Rea's doilies.
April was very close to her great grandma, Granny Rea. We went over to April and Mike's in the afternoon and gave her Granny Rea's pitcher and doilie with the bouquet of flowers. We watched a movie with them and then headed home.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing. Lizzy came down to visit before dark and I took her to Mom and Dad's as she was spending the night there.
I am grateful for yet another family filled weekend.
Last week we went to my brother, Russ' house for a small Williams Family Reunion. My cousin Ron and his wife were visiting their daughter's in Joplin from California and Russ was a good mid point for everyone to meet. I wish I would have taken pictures, but I "borrowed" these from Julie's facebook and this is the only two she's posted so far.
Ron is the son of my Uncle Glenn Williams, mom's oldest brother who moved to California about sixty-five years ago. Even though Uncle Glenn lived so far away, I was closer to him than my other uncles. We've visited out there a few times and took our kids out on a loooooooong road trip in 1996. Uncle Glenn was the last of Mom's nine siblings to pass away last year.
Ron hasn't been back to Missouri since they moved away when he was two. Ironically, his daughter Julie and her family moved to Joplin, MO about ten years ago and love it. Her sister, Robin and her family moved to Joplin a few years later. Their brother, Tony is a full fledged California and will probably stay out there. Their brother, Chad (who we named our Chad after) sadly died of leukemia when he was six years old. Our Chad's middle name is Anthony and Aunt Emma always thought we named him after both of Ron's sons. I never corrected her as we picked Anthony because we liked it and it went well with Chad.
Of course, my cousin Otis is the life of any gathering. He can make you laugh with about anything he says and you never know what will come out of his mouth.
We had a good afternoon visiting and reminiscing.
Instead of money this year, Zach requested I take him to see the move, Fast & Furious 6. Nathan went with us.
We started out eating Taco Bell at the park but about froze to death so went to the movie early.
I didn't think I'd like this movie as it wasn't my type. But you get caught up in all the racing and events along the way. I'm afraid I embarrassed the boys as a few times I would say, "Oh, shxx!" or "Oh, Damn!" I'm not prone to cussing but these words just popped out at various times of cars exploding or obstacles in the way. With a full screen, these images seemed to pop out at you and take you off guard. Luckily, it was during a loud scene so no one else heard my slip of the tongue except the boys and me. Maybe this is why I don't normally watch this type of movie. I did enjoy the evening.
I am grateful my fifteen year old great nephew wanted me to share in his birthday joy.
Baby Zach: First Birth Viewing for Aunt
Connie: Todd, Daddy Troy, April, Grandma
Judy, Ashlyne and Grandpa Joe's arm: Proud Great Aunt
Connie: Messy Zach eating on the back
Troy & Zach: Zach with Mardi Gras beads with
Chad at Chad's Birthday: Zach all grown up and now helping with the cutting up of the pig:
You are not to have a favorite among kids,
but if I did have a favorite great nephew, Zach would rate way up there!! He is
a really sweet little guy.
Zach's birth is the first experience I've had
on the other side. Kelly, his Mom let me witness the birth of Zach. What a
miracle!! And I actually think it's harder not being the one in labor, you worry
over the mother and want to help take away the pain. This was hard on me being
with Kelly, I can only imagine how hard it would be to one day witness my own
grandchild being born. (Hopefully, I WILL get a grandchild someday!! Do you
get my sarcasm here? They say all good things for those who wait, but I
keep waiting and waiting and waiting.............) I may not be a grandmother
yet, but I have so enjoyed all of my great nieces and nephews. Thank you to the
grandparents for letting me have a role in their lives. It is not to say I
didn't enjoy my own nieces and nephews for I did, especially the older ones as
Dwayne and I (in our dating years) would take them to the movies, swimming, or
just to hang around with us. The other ones came along at about the same times
as my own children so I enjoyed them but not as much one on one
Now, back to Zachariah Troy-Elliott Rowe!! With a name like that,
he has much to live up to. Zach was a very good baby, which was such a relief
after his sister, Ashlyne. Ashlyne was the first baby in the family for many
years and we all spoiled her. Ashlyne was loved by all and therefore she was
used to getting a lot of attention. (still does even to this day) We love her
and couldn't imagine her being any other way. Zach is just a more mellow, easy
going child. He loves to spend time with his Uncle Dwayne and is a very good
worker. He has helped Dwayne with numerous chores, stacking brush, helping in
the cane field, and doing "man jobs". When he was smaller, he would always ask
Dwayne if he had any man jobs to do.
Zach is very sensitive and has a tender
heart. His feelings get hurt easily, but a kind word quickly mends the
I am very grateful to Zach's parents for letting me witness his
birth. It is a precious memory.
Dwayne and I went to Belle and ate at Tastee Treat. Dwayne's cousins, Marty and Bridgette Elrod bought it last year and we wanted to give them our business. We watched the storm moving in and it looked pretty wicked. We then went to Dwayne's cousin, Reba's house for a visit. The closer we got to her house the worse the storm looked. Once inside visiting, we forgot about the storm. Reba is my favorite cousin on the Elrod side. She always sends me cards and occassionally we have both sent cards to each other on the same day Her daughter, Bette Jo is the same way. Bette made me a Grandmother's quilt and mailed it to me the week after we found out April was pregnant.
Another yucky day of weather. Lizzy and Zach came over for the day. Zach and Dwayne worked on grading the driveway or "man's work" as Zach used to call anything he did with Uncle Dwayne when he was little.
Lizzy and I fixed lunch and then watched TV for awhile before heading to Rolla to buy groceries.
Of course, a trip to town calls for a milkshake from Dairy Queen on the way home.
I had meant to buy some flowers for Mom and Dad for their 66th Anniversary but we forgot and just visited with them for awhile.
I fixed a nice supper of fried pork chops, biscuits, mashed potatoes n gravy, etc. The kids seem to like a sit down meal when they visit.
After supper, Zach had to go home but Lizzy spent the night.
Tony picked Lizzy up to go to their church. I finally started back to Sunday School. So glad I did, I missed the fellowship of class members. Our church service was very nice. We had special singing and an even more special singing from the children. Our pastor will be leaving at the end of the month and there was a going away dinner for him after church. After a good message, (a few tears) we had communion followed by a meal downstairs. I didn't stay as we were having company over for dinner but I did go down to see the decorations. They were beautiful. Debbie Adkins and her sister, Cindy Curtis had done the decorating and they did an outstanding job.
We had all of our kids home for Sunday dinner plus Desmon and Kadence. We had a good time visiting and I'm always glad when we can get together.
We've changed some since 2008. We celebrated 35 years of marriage at our daughters wedding in September of 2012. We've added a family member, Desmon who lives with Chad. Desmon is now nine years old and a big party of our family. Our dream of becoming grandparents one day finally came true with the birth of April and Mike's baby boy, Cash Michael on October 12, 2013. We were blessed with a granddaughter, Iva Lorraine Holtmeyer, born June 3rd, 2016. We couldn't be happier.