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by Carolyn Brown *as published in the November 2021 issue of the River Valley Sun

Two of the many expert knitters at MacLeod Cares

The question remains, who would have thought a year ago this time that we would still be dealing with covid to the degree we still are? Clearly, not me!! And yet, here we are. As I look out my office window on the coolest day we have had yet, I see the leaves off the trees after the wind event on Sunday and I’m struck by the stark reality that we have turned a corner. I’m looking at beautiful afghans on my office chair that our knitting club made to donate to a fundraiser for the ALS and thinking it might be comforting to cuddle up in one of those for a bit; comforting to enjoy the warmth but also comforting to think about the hands that made them along with the gentle chatter and laughter in the lounge as these ladies gather to knit each week. Comfort in a covid world, it can be that simple.

Every year at this time I ask myself” have I got another winter in me?” I still love to go out for an early morning run but am fully aware I have to kick myself a little harder as the years go by to get out that door. As a long-term runner, I have heard it said many times over the years by fellow runners that the hardest step is the first one out the door. I never bought into that too much but I’m a slow learner when it comes to some things! I still get scolded about going outdoors in the winter, but I need my outdoor fix of fresh air and it is as dark in the winter at 5 or 6 am as it is at 7 pm. I think of a line from the famous song by Simon and Garfunkel “ Sound of Silence”, which says” Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again” because that is my time to talk and think and be present to the Lord and beauty of His creation that surrounds me with few distractions except the pounding of my feet. There may be many things on my mind when I leave my house that may concern me, but by the time I get back home, I know it will be ok. I can do this.

The residents here at MacLeod Riverside Court inspire me in the same way as those runs on many days. When I see Alma enjoying my music or Lise going out to walk, Violet clasping my hand when I speak to her or Muriel sitting at the piano to play, I see active seniors still engaged in life. I always love to seize the opportunity to tease Keith and Elizabeth before they leave the breakfast table in the early mornings, as well as cherish every story Shirley tells me about those adventures she has with her daughters. Yvonne is determined enough to stay active to inspire any of us, and If music is playing, Wilhelmina is dancing! How can you not be inspired to be the best you can be surrounded by these seniors I choose to call friends? How lucky am I? We are thankful for the roots of family that grow deep in our hearts and ground us with security, strength, peace and love. We are thankful for our Riverside Family and for each member of their individual families who continue to support and comfort each other and our staff in our “Big Yellow House”.