Monday, February 20, 2012

For our Family and Friends #17

So, our lives are not all work and no play here for the month of February. Here’s a little insight into what we do on the weekends and in the evenings.

There are 2 Methodist Churches in Chatham. Chatham United Methodist Church is in town, and we have been attending there. Two of the local volunteers, Steve and Marilyn Marcus, made us feel very welcome. Danielle Eaton, who is the Assistant Director at MMDC, is the wife of the Youth Director, Joel. We really like Pastor Sarah Isbell. We’ve been attending the 8:15 a.m. traditional service, and afterwards every Sunday they serve breakfast. Below is the sanctuary.

I really like the cross with the recessed brick creating the flame. This mixed ensemble was featured in the choir on Sunday.

Here's the Chatham Methodist Church choir. The AV screen is used for video moments to go with the sermon, as well as for projecting hymn lyrics and scripture.

Sugar Creek United Methodist is just down the road from MMDC. It’s about 4 miles outside of Chatham. Every Wednesday night they serve supper and invite the teams from MMDC. We went once for a great New Orleans menu of red beans and rice, jambalaya, and étouffée. We also were invited by Dick and Judy Sena to the Sweetheart Dinner at Sugar Creek for a prime rib dinner. Great entertainment after the dinner—a local barbershop quartet called True Blue. I really enjoyed listening to them. Here’s a photo of them performing in the Sugar Creek sanctuary.

The duplex where we’re living is very comfortable. There are 5 rooms, and for 2 people for just a month it has everything we need. And it is small enough that there’s not a lot to clean! Queen sized bed, shower/tub, electric stove with ceramic cook top (just like at home), microwave—what more do we need? Carl’s done a few little chores, just like at home. He washed all of the light fixtures in the living room, dining room, bedroom, and bathroom. He has tightened the drawer handles on the chest of drawers, and he tightened the screws on the dining table’s legs so it wouldn’t wobble. And he bought cat food to feed the stray momma cat and her half-grown kitten!

We usually do our own cooking, but occasionally we’re too tired and go out to eat. I’ve been doing more meal prep than I do at home, and I’ve been washing the dishes more often. At home Carl usually washes and I dry, and there’s a dishwasher. Here we’re on our own, and it’s easier to just get them done each evening instead of letting them collect in the sink until we have several days worth.
Thanks, sister Linda Crawford. We’re using the magnetic purple knife sheath that you gave Carl for Christmas. It’s great to protect his good kitchen knives when we travel.

For doing laundry, we go to the dorm although there are a washer and dryer in the basement. However, it’s actually the storm shelter and there is a metal roof to slide open over the stairwell, so it’s easier to go to the dorm. With 2 washers and 2 dryers it doesn’t take long. I usually throw things in and go back later to switch them over to the dryer on the weekend when there aren’t any volunteers living there.

The Springfield Elks Lodge #158 has been a home-away-from-home for us. People have been very welcoming there. We have attended 2 Lodge meetings and eaten there a couple of times. Three of the officers will be at the national Elks convention in Austin with us this summer.

We enjoyed visiting the Abraham Lincoln sites the weekend of his birthday. Here are the photos.

The bust of Lincoln out front is by Gutzon Borglum, the same guy who carved Mount Rushmore. Notice the nose has been polished by many, many visitors rubbing it. It is supposed to bring good luck! The docent at the tomb told us a story about two busloads of National Guard soldiers filed out of the buses, rubbed his nose, and got right back on the buses—they were being deployed and figured the good luck couldn’t hurt!

People also touch the toes on the dozen bronze statues of Lincoln in the hallways to and from the actual tomb (shown above).

The tomb was renovated in the 1930s. On the floor of the front lobby are bronze plaques that show the original layout.

We attended a eulogy for Lincoln’s birthday by the VFW.

The eulogy was read by the National Commander of the VFW.

The Chaplain of the Ladies Auxiliary placed a wreath at the tomb.

The Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial is at the entrance to Oak Ridge Cemetery. We stopped there after visiting Lincoln’s tomb.

Then we went to Old Springfield, the area downtown by the old capitol building where the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. On display were "the Big Three” just for that weekend: a vellum copy of the 13th Amendment

the Emancipation Proclamation with Lincoln’s signature,

And Lincoln’s notebook pages with a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address

These are statues of Lincoln’s family in front of a replica of the White House 

And we had to stop at Dublin Pub for a local specialty. The Horseshoe, only we had a Pony Shoe which is a smaller portion.

On the way home from church on Sunday I stopped to photograph the Canada geese—more wildlife along Lake Springfield.

And here I am at the computer working on my blog for all of you to read!

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