Christmas Time

Evening of Christmas Day - Sky Lantern

Evening of Christmas Day – Sky Lantern

                                                                               Christmas Time

 It seems Christmas comes more rapidly ever year.  Why is that? Because things are more essential to me as I get older? Do I find more happiness in everything I do? My family is so important to me? Could it be all of the above? The answer is, yes, yes and yes.

 Getting older makes me recognize that I may not have the time to make a difference in someone else’s life. I gave each of my Grandchildren an item with this saying on it: “I can’t promise that I will be here for the rest of your life, but I can promise I will Love you for the rest of mine”. The days turn into years so rapidly. My Grandchildren are becoming their own unique person, each of them.  I love who they are becoming.

 It is not hard for me to have a good day.  I can usually come up with a way to try and make my day very pleasant.  It can be spending time with Grandchildren, family, friends, doing something at church or doing something for someone. The schedule can hold wrestling matches, basketball games, dance recitals, school programs.

 At the present time I am spending some time with my siblings.  Our father is in hospice care at his home and we are doing our very best to make each day as pleasant as we can for him.   As we each have our own families, it is harder to spend time together. We are getting some reminiscing done and it is fun to talk about some remembered events. We recently had our family Christmas and our dad couldn’t be with us.  Each member of the family makes visits to his home when they can.

 For our Christmas Eve, I and my husband enjoyed the most wonderful time.  It started with evening Church, supper with those available to join us at our daughters’ home, Christmas light viewing and games. It was a magnificent time and elegantly completed. Christmas day our entire family joined us, at our home, for food, games and gifts. The night ended with a sky lantern being lifted off in honor of dad. Now our concerns turn to 2013.  May you each find Joy and Peace in the New Year.

 We want to Wish Blessings to you all.

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The Brace Shop

“The Brace Shop”
It happens every once in a while that I need to take time to have an adjustment to my long  left brace. It becomes a part of me everyday as I get dressed and plan my day activities. It matters what brace I wear for the amount of activity I will be doing. The choice is always mine as to what brace I will wear. One will allow me to be very busy and give me the support I will need to address that tasks that I plan. The other will wait for another day to help me with less strenuous tasks. I am fortunate that Prosthetic Laboratories, my brace shop, is in Rochester, Minnesota only 45 miles away. They take care of all my needs.

Linda Age 10braces and crutches

Linda Age 10
braces and crutches

God knows that I always need strength, courage, endurance and creativity to navigate through my day. He helps me start everyday as I enjoy my cup of coffee and prayer.

Strength: Physical strength is important because my upper body helps my lower body. My arms, at the end of the day, are extremely tired from all they have to do.

Courage: “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is what we do despite our fear.” It takes a lot of bravery for me to put that brace on everyday to support my left leg that was paralyzed by poliomyelitis in 1948. But, without it in place, I would be unable to walk unassisted without my crutches.

Endurance: For 64 years I have had to use all the strength and courage I have to make my day a better day. I was only 6 months old when I contracted the polio virus that made my life more challenging. It has been a way of life for my entire life. I never walked a step without a limp and have worn braces for all but 20 years of my life. From age 16 to 36 I was brace free. At age 36 my left knee could not support me because of lack of muscle and tendon strength.

Creativity: There isn’t anything I can not accomplish. It always takes me longer, but the task will be completed. I just have to figure out the best way to accomplish the undertaking. It might take 3 trips to transport groceries into the house instead of one. It may mean I have to take a break after I vacuum for half and hour. I simply revolve tasks until the day is done and I feel convinced that I did the unsurpassed I could do for that day.

All this and more are detailed in my recent book “All the Steps I Have Taken”. It is my journey through life with polio. Enjoy a short read and be inspired.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The first snow has arrived and the beauty of winter was evident this moring in Minnesota. It will get us all in the Spirit of Christmas. Remember that Jesus is the true reason for this blessed

Christmas from Stock exchange

Christmas from Stock exchange

season. God provides HOPE and PROMISE in the gift of his only Son, Jesus, who comes to us at Christmastime offering eternal life to all who believe.

This past week-end my husbnad and I enjoyed a “Candlelight Christmas Festival” at the North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, Iowa. It consisted of the Area Children’s Choir, River City Chorus, North Iowa Choral Society, Jubilee Bell Ringers, NIACC Choir and all Choirs conbined. It was an amazing show of talent and very enjoyable. It was an extrordinary way to start our Christmas Season.

The evening was shared with two couple that have been very dear friends for many years. The kind of friends you don’t want to be without. They are the kind of friends that will always be there for you when you need them most. They are the kinds of friends that you Thank God for everyday.

We have enjoyed breakfast with Santa, supporting our local Boys and Girls Club. A safe place for the children in our small community. Grnadchildrens programs that we have enjoyed so far are “The Gift of the Season”, “Holiday Concert”, “Jesus, God’s Son”, “Christmas Magic. We have a couple more to enjoy.

I am so proud of our two daughters and daughter-in-law for all their time and talents in helping the children prepare for their church Christmas Programs. It takes a lot of time and patience helping the children prepare for these.

As you continue celebrating the birth of our Savior, we want to wish youall a very Merry Christmas, We hope you enjoy all the time your can with family and friends this season.

Then and Now

                                                Then and Now

Then: 1948.

Linda at St. Mary's 18 months old

Linda at St. Mary’s 18 months old

It was hard to know what to do.  They did the best they could with what anyone knew. This was happening to my parents. Imagine a small child, 6 months old, very sick with a fever that wouldn’t go away. I was a crying baby needing help and parents not knowing how to help. In the fall of 1948 I became very sick and my mother took me to the local Doctor for advice every day for a week. Sulfur was administered for an ear infection, but the fever didn’t go away. The day came when my mother lifted my legs to change my diaper, I cried so hard.  At that point my parents were told to take me to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.  Do not call, just go. The Doctor feared that I might have Polio, poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis. He also feared that if they called they would say they were too full and send me to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Polio was a very contagious disease that crippled thousands of children in the late 40’s and early 50’s. I spent 14 months at St. Mary’s before I could go home. My older sister didn’t get to play with me, my parents didn’t get to hold me, and I became attached to the nurses that were taking care of me. It was very frightening for the nurses, as many had children at home and did not want their children to get polio.

Now: 2012

Because Jonas Saulk began his work at the University of Pittsburg in 1947 to find a vaccine for polio many children have be spared. In 1952 Salk first tried the vaccine on kids who already had polio and were recovering and found that their antibodies increased. In 1954 more than 1.8 million school children in 44 states participated in the filed trial of the new vaccine. It was the largest controlled study in the history of medicine. A vaccine became available in 1955. Rotarians by the thousands are working so hard to eradicate polio world wide so we will never have to see children affected as I was as a child. By 1964, only 122 cases of polio were recorded in the United States. The World Health Organization certified the Americans were polio free in 1994. But, polio is still crippling children in three countries today.  They are Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Polio can easily jump the borders. India will soon celebrate that they are polio free. By 2008, Rotarians had contributed more than US $700 million and countless volunteer hours to immunize more the two billion children in 122 countries.  Rotary is still working today to “End Polio Now”. We can’t stop. I wear my “End Polio Now” pin every day. I will share my story in  Schools to help children understand that some children are different than they are, as I was growing up.