Let it snow…Sharing memories of past winter wonderlands

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This morning’s first [substantial] snowfall of the season had everyone talking here around St. Anne’s.

While this included a number of complaints, there is something about the first snowfall; it creates a special mood.

Below, we will share some memories of our residents and staff regarding the first snow fall, or of winter in general.  If you have any antidotes of your own that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

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As a kid, I loved [the first snow]. You could have fun and play in it.    Jack

We would wear snow pants to school, but once we got there, we had to take them off because we had to wear dresses at school.    Patty F.

I can remember my dad calling upstairs to tell me “There’s no school” because of winter weather.  That was great.  It meant that we would either read, embroider or cut out lawn figures from plywood.   Sr. Elaine

We always heard that the angels were having a pillow fight when it snowed.    Sr. Christina

I used to make snow men and snow-mobiling and sleigh-riding. That was fun, too.    Norma

I remember when I was in third grade, the winter before the flood of ’97. There was so much snow we could sled right off our garage roof right into the snow.    Mandy

I remember the big storm of ’66. The snow came over the eaves trough on the house. My brothers shoveled a tunnel through this massive drift and we all went outside to play.    Paulla

 

120 Buttons…

Sr. Elaine on the accordion
Sr. Elaine on the accordion

November 16th is National Button Day! 

Where does one find 120 buttons?  On the front of a Priest’s cassock? (Imagine buttoning one of the buttons wrong and having to do it all over again!)  On a princess’ dress?  On a display of buttons in a store?

Well, how about an accordion?  During coffee and cookie time after Mass the other morning the topic of accordions came up and Dennis Feist asked: how does a person know what buttons to play?  There are so many of them.  There can be anywhere from twelve to 120 buttons in the left hand on an accordion.

Chuck Gust, an avid accordion player, and Sister Elaine, a player, too, began to explain that it really is not hard at all.  One gets used to what buttons to play in the left hand to harmonize with the keys on the right hand accordion piano keyboard.  Not over night, of course.  Over time one does not even have to think about this because it comes so spontaneously.

An accordion is a musical instrument that uses pleated bellows and a bank of metal reeds to create sound.  Most designs feature two keyboards with buttons or keys located on either side of the bellows. The musician expands and compresses the bellows while playing the melody of a song on the right hand keyboard and, at the same time, playing the bass chords on the left side to  musically coordinate the song.

Now the buttons on the left side of the squeeze box as some call it, or wrinkle machine as my dear Dutch Uncle Jake called it, are arranged in chord progression as many songs are written, at least the old time waltzes, polkas, schottisches, two steps.  Often a song will, for example, begin in the left hand with the C chord, then the F chord, followed by the G7th chord.  Or, maybe begin with F, then Bb, and C7th.  The left hand accordion buttons are already arranged in that pattern.  Then, a row of buttons has C major, C minor, C seventh, C diminished.  Again, already arranged in that pattern.  We’ve got it made!

So, whether it’s an accordion with 12, 80, 120 bass buttons, just coordinate the keys and the buttons to enjoy a harmonized musical delight.

Submitted by Sr. Elaine Marie Roggenbuck

A growing congregation for our chapel (of pumpkins, that is)

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve received a number of pumpkin donations from a few different sources.  One of them had been sitting with our scarecrow, Henry, in the front entrance.  Another was carved as a jack-o-lantern for enjoyment at Halloween time.

pumpkinsWe also received many small pumpkins, which the school children at St. Michael’s and a couple other local catholic schools had decorated.  They were really cute setting in our activity room during our Halloween party and in the days that followed.

This past Monday, we cut, baked, peeled, mashed, and strained a few of these, freezing eleven quarts for future use in baking.  The rest of the full-sized pumpkins were spared (temporarily, at least) for decorating our chapel around Thanksgiving.

In order to keep them from rotting, we have been keeping the pumpkins cool.  For a little while, some sat outside, near the building in back.  They have gradually all been making their way to the garage to avoid freezing.

pumpkinsThis growing congregation of pumpkins has diverse demographics; it includes three white pumpkins and a square one, along with the more customary orange variety.  They will indeed enhance our chapel decor on Thanksgiving Day, although they look a bit odd congregated in their present location.

If only we could get our congregations at Mass, Protestant Services, and resident activities to grow as quickly!