BYNG — We had a thunderstorm or two Sunday and a blessed bit of rain, so I was not surprised when I awoke to find all my clocks blinking to let me know their electric supply had been interrupted and if I wanted to know the time of day, I’d better get busy doing some re-setting. 

I’d noticed earlier that my electric blanket was no longer keeping me cozily warm, but when I checked to see if I had even bothered turning it on, I found it too was blinking. I turned it on and off a few times to no avail.

I had bought the blanket at at a local store less than two weeks earlier. I packaged the blanket up in its neat little zippered bag and took it back to the store.  No, I didn’t have my sales receipt because I planned on this transaction being a “’til death do us part” arrangement. 

The people in Customer Service would have preferred that I have my receipt, but they were willing to have me exchange it.  They gave me a gift card for the total, and I went back to the blanket department to try again.

A nice woman clerk told me, “There’s a customer service number you can call, if you have trouble like that. I called and found out that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

I was glad she had told me that tidbit of information because when I got my new blue blanket on my bed, I found that it, too, was blinking. 

I looked up the Customer Service number to be absolutely sure they hadn’t changed their minds about how to take care of this problem.

A recording gave me a number of options. The first thing I heard was “If your blanket is blinking, press One.”

I pressed One and found that the nice store clerk was right on target. I unplugged the new blanket and waited about ten seconds, then I plugged it back in.  The dial light was as steady as a rock.

My new rule of thumb is, whatever you have that is not working, unplug it, wait a few seconds and plug it back in. 

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Sterling and Pat Henley have been visiting and they’ve also had some company.  The couple spent 13 days at one of their favorite spots, Mountain Home, Ark.   They enjoy visiting there because of the music that pervades the little town.  The town square is the spot where all the musicians in the area congregate at night to play and sing. There are small groups of musicians everywhere with just enough distance separating them so nobody interferes with his neighbor. Visitors can wander around from one group to another, and then when they’ve settled on one, they can plunk down a lawn chair or a blanket and settle in to listen and appreciate. There are all kinds of music: gospel, bluegrass, etc.  Free and fun! You can’t beat that.

The Henleys got home on Friday, and on Sunday (before she had time to clean house, Pat says) her cousin, Shirley Fender and husband Bob came to visit.  They are from Fall Brook, Calif. (north of San Diego).  We had met and liked the Fenders from previous visits to Oklahoma, and it was good to see them at the mid-week supper and program at New Bethel. All of us saw “Ruth Ann’s Slide (not Side) Show.”  She shared her recent mission trip to China.

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Not long ago, Ed Christian handed me a six inch square of yellow lined paper that had some columns and some numbers on it and said, “I thought you might like to have this for your column.

He explained that he was taking stock of his assets.  The chart showed his immediate family, and that had all been at his house on Sunday afternoon.  This was the first time they had all been together since the death of Marie, Ed.’s wife, three years ago this month.  His daughter Linda and her husband were here from Houston.  They had lunch, then all the other kids came over, not to eat, but to visit. The other five kids and their families live in the immediate area.

The first column, I recognized, listed his five sons and one daughter: Jerry Don, Eddie, Linda, Wayne, John, and Larry. The second column had a check in it for each Christian offspring, indicating that each has a spouse and they, too, had been present. The third column was for grandkids and the fourth column was for great grandkids. He had added them all up, kinda the way a rich man totals his money.

Ed found that, all together, he had 24 family members who had visited him that Sunday afternoon. Ed counts himself as Number 25.    I’ve read that in making purchases, things are cheaper by the dozen. Ed is here to tell us that when you list ‘em by the two-dozen, they’re priceless!

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Winifred Poag is home now after spending three weeks in the Denver, Colo., area.  She was able to visit with all her children and grandchildren (except one grandson) and they had a lovely visit. The visit was especially memorable because they held a memorial service for her husband, Ed, who had died at an Ada hospital last spring. Ed, a retired military man, had requested that his body be cremated, and Winnie had complied. She took his ashes back to the area in which they had spent many happy years.

His ashes were buried at Fort Brag National Cemetery, Denver.  The sound of bagpipe music, played by a friend of one of her sons, and an inspiring message from another friend who acts as a chaplain made the service one that could help to provide closure. 

Winnie was presented a U.S. flag honoring service Ed had rendered. Winnie, who is a retired Army nurse, plans for her remains to one day be  placed in the same cemetery.