Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 6, 2015

LISTENING to a Holocaust Survivor
May 6, 2015

Time for a shower  for this young sparrow,
in the bird bath fountain.

Today was a good day.  I did sleep later than planned, but soon spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak peeking in my sewing room window from the tree and so I spent the next 20 - 30 minutes in the yard filling feeders, fountains, and ponds.  Ron had worked on all of the pumps Sunday afternoon while I took that long nap.  The birds and I appreciate his hard work.
 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
While I watched the birds, the sparrows were all hungry and fighting for a spot at the feeders.  The woodpeckers were enjoying the oranges I had put out for them.  Then the sparrows started lining up at the fountain on top of the large elephant bird bath.  Most of them were young sparrows delighted to have a shower.  They played in the water and were so much fun to watch.  It is like watching curious children at play.
Young sparrows
Then I spent time at the computer, ate breakfast, and got ready for work, arriving about 10:30.  That is later than I should arrive, but it worked out.  Ron spent the morning in the office.  It has been very windy today and his allergies are really bothering him so he was glad to be indoors.

After I ate my lunch, he went to Harlingen on a job and I mostly waited on customers.  An older man came in to get a couple of duplicate keys.  He was rather talkative, but had a very heavy accent that I could not place; I only guessed it was eastern Europe.  I asked where he was from and he pointed to a tattooed number on his arm and said, "Poland.  I am a survivor."  Sadly, I am not sure that today's young people who have known what he meant.  I knew.  He had survived the Holocaust.
Waiting line at the shower
He said he is 91 years old and after surviving the Holocaust, lived in France for a while before ending up in our community.  We talked for about 30 minutes and I found him profoundly interesting.  I could have spent the rest of the afternoon listening to him.  He had many warnings about our country.  I hear this often from those who have come to America from other countries where freedoms were few.  Their message:  "AMERICA, wake up!"
Curious little sparrow
We discussed the state of this nation that he loves and cherishes.  We discussed the state of today's education system and all of those who are falling through the cracks, or have their heads stuck in a video game.  We talked about the welfare system and on and on.  He was extremely intelligent and up to date on current events.  He has a couple of health issues, but they sure don't show.  For all he had been through, his health appeared to be great.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
We were eventually interrupted by another customer arriving.  I told him to try his keys that I had made and that I hoped they worked, but I almost wished they didn't work so he would come back and we could talk more.

Recently I had been asked to contact a lady (a complete stranger) whose family is moving here soon.  So I spent a little time writing to her to see if I could answer any questions for her about our community.  I look forward to meeting them and hope they will visit our church as they seek a church home in their new community.  Wouldn't it be nice if everyone who is moving to a new town could get a letter or two from people in that town letting them know they are welcome and offering to answer questions for them. 

After work, I went to pick up some medicine for my mom at the grocery store pharmacy.  Just after I arrived at the store, I ran into a friend.  He and his wife just had baby number 7.  One of their other children had been on my prayer list for a long time and I got a good report on that child.  We thank God for answering several prayers for that little boy of his.  The new baby seems to be keeping them busy and he did look a little tired as he was doing the shopping for his wife. 

I continue to thank God that I can have normal conversations with people like this friend and the man at the office earlier in the day.  In the past, given both of these situations, I would have said as little as possible for fear they would try to chat and I would not be able to hear them well enough to carry on a conversation.  The man from Poland did have a very strong accent and I missed many things he said, but I think the majority of those were the accent.  In time, I would get used to it and be better able to understand him.

I took the medicine to mom and she was just getting up from a nap.  She has been a little under the weather the last couple of days.  I offered to get her some groceries so I could get foods she thought she might eat.  She ended up giving me a short list so I went and did her shopping and got a few things for myself.  I returned to her house with the groceries and then headed home.  I had picked up a roasted chicken so I had some of that for supper and some potato salad.  Then I spent time reading and relaxing.

Each day I become more and more used to my Cochlear Implant.  I do wish I could hear from both ears, but that is not an option at this point.  I am so thankful that I can hear from one.  I love to talk to our customers and for many years I have not been able to comfortably do that.  I thank God for allowing me to have the amount of hearing that I do have.  Life is good.

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