Greetings to all my dear friends and acquaintances in Oak Park and River Forest. Like so many of you, I feel the year 2019 slipped by with surprising speed. After recently celebrating Christmas and the arrival of the New Year for the second time in my new home in the Brainerd Lakes area of central Minnesota, it is still hard for me to realize that Oak Park, and the surrounding area, is not just a doorstep away.
Although the pace of my life has slowed considerably due to two corrective hip surgeries since September of 2018, I continue to enjoy the zest of life, with three of my children close to me, four grandsons, and nine (soon 10) great-grandchildren, all living within a comfortable drive from my home. Frequent visits from my out-of-town kiddos bring such joy as well.
My son Patrick and daughter Sheila are both retired, and have devoted their days to keeping me comfortable and safe in my cozy independent living apartment at the Northern Lakes Senior Living complex. My neighbors are interesting, caring and lovable seniors who stop by often with goodies and conversation.
As I approach my 96th birthday in April, I am increasingly aware of my physical limitations. Daily exercises and walks keep me fairly “well oiled,” but as both legs have pins and rods in place, movement is challenging on most days. Sheila and my care assistant Peggy are great motivators — with sweet, but firm, encouragement to “keep going.”
I follow all the interesting and exciting news about Oak Park as I receive my weekly copy of Wednesday Journal. National/political news has become exciting, but complicated, to follow. I try to get the gist of events with the help of CNN, MSNBC, Time Mag and daily newspapers.
The distance between us has not dimmed my affection for Oak Park as a community and the wonderful people I have been close to over many years. As I unpacked boxes of beloved Christmas decorations early in December, it was like getting hugs from loved ones who had visited my Grove Avenue home during my 60+ years there.
My heart has been deeply touched by the cards, letters, phone calls and flowers from Oak Parkers that continue to brighten my life. For those who have kept in touch, I am grateful for your warm embrace across the miles.
May the coming year bring blessings to you and your families, and may our shared memories bring us comfort and joy in 2020.
I would enjoy very much hearing from you!
Love you always,
8182 Excelsior Road #306, Baxter, Minnesota 56425