Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Highview Hills in Lakeville

"When I was a child and we put up loose hay on our farm, my job was to tramp the hay down on the wagon," Mary Olson explains casually to Nancy and me, as she starts to pull up her left sleeve to expose a long scare on the underside of her arm, near her elbow.
"This is where my dad accidentally put the hay fork."

She's grinning so we laugh too.
"Did they take you to a doctor?" I ask, expecting the answer to be negative.
"No," she says.

It's always about the stories. 
It was after our show at Highview Hills in Lakeville on December 23, 2010, when audience member Mary Olson bought a book and eagerly shared a story about putting up loose hay as a young girl.

Patricia talked about her grandfather's farm in southern Ohio and then consented to pose for a picture.

Others eagerly shared stories about their childhood on the farm or about stories while they farmed as adults.

Still another admitted, "Well, I was a city kid, but I sure remember coming down to visit my uncle's farm. We got to help with everything, but we were treated extra special. We had the best of both worlds."
This picture of Lydia ( she is 100 years old) telling me her stories helps to inspire other to tell theirs. 

Truthfully, Nancy and I love listening to the stories almost as much as we like selling our books.

Highview Hills is a new facility that offers assisted living and other degrees of care, and it can easily be described in one word---MAGNIFICENT.
The large entry, the wide hallways, the exercise facilities, the library, the arts and crafts facilities, the movie theater, and the event room are all fabulously roomy, accommodating, and staffed by professionals.
And yet, it has a homey feel to it.
Nancy and I were graciously greeted by Matt at the reception desk and then led to the Event Room by Christi Fletcher, the Outreach Director, who showed us around.

We soon discovered that many of the residents were already gone for the holidays or were on their way. We feared our audience would be small, but as showtime neared, a sizable audience assembled and showed their appreciation with smiles, laughter, and applause.
People chuckle as I explain what the Carlson Kids asked for from Santa.
After the show some told me about their favorite gift from Santa. 

Jimmy gets his sled and promises he will always believe.

Thanks for a great year, everyone.
Hope to see you at a show in 2011.
Happy New Year!!!

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

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