Sunday, July 14, 2013

A League Of Their Own: A Trio of Treasured Women

My recent trip to my hometown was also another cherished opportunity to see three women who are treasured in my life.  I've spent a lot of time with all three and my appreciation for them, already at stratospheric levels, only continues to grow with every visit.  Without further adieu, the Three:

Dotte:  Dotte White is known all over St. Marys as a beloved mother, friend, magistrate court judge and flat-out great lady.  I was fortunate that my recent visit happened to also land during the celebration of Dotte's milestone 80th birthday at the Greenhouse.  An enormous showing of Dotte's family and friends attended and a beautiful cake was created (by Village Cakery of Lowell, OH) that truly honored Dotte as it was reminiscent of some of her stylish chapeaus.  The Greenhouse also provided some of the unique noshes that they are known for such as grilled green tomatoes, savory steak bites and chocolate-mousse-filled strawberries.  Of course, Dotte and I had to get our "prom" photo taken...we've been having datemate pics taken of us for a good 20 years now and in fact, I found our original (at right) in a scrapbook set up at the party.  It was very satisfying to see Dotte feted as she should be...she certainly deserves it.

Barb (Maw): I've written several times about Barbara Reckard and what she means to me on this blog.  I still treasure every moment I get to visit with her and some things (blessedly) never change when I do.  For instance, in the course of a week, she will enlighten, instruct, inform and entertain me and certainly crack me up at any given time.  She has consistently done all of these things (all at once, as a matter of fact, when she was leading the Gravel Girls in a dance at Music by the Lake) and more for me since being my high school history and psychology teacher lo, those many years ago.  On this
visit, she not only let me borrow her car to see my own mother but also took Kristy and I to lunch at local St. Marys pizzeria The Station. I happily devoured my Station veggie pizza while soaking up Barbara's company and stories.  The Station's sporting Washington St locale has come a long way since its humble Second and George corner joint with the cozy booths and killer jukebox.  It was a gratifying hometown treat to share Station pizza with our beloved Barb.

My Mom:  I spent some time every day with my sweet Mom, who resides in a hometown care facility.  I was particularly tickled by this visit as she was in good spirits and even seemed to recapture some of that classic Rinehart (her maiden name) sense of humor.  She even got a little wacky as I took multiple photos of her and typically she does not like her photo taken.  When she and I reviewed the pics, we both giggled like kids over her funny faces.  The faces reminded both of us of her mother, my Grandma Rinehart, who was a complete cut-up.  Jan, who cuts Mom's hair, saw us giggling and came over to say hello, while also letting me know that Mom "was the light of this place; always looking for other residents she can offer a helpful, encouraging word to.  She lifts us all up."  It was a lovely statement and reminded me of when people would make
similar statements about Mom when she and Dad ran the Clothing Center and Food Pantry at their church, always shepherding folks in need.  Mom has dealt with a great amount of loss these past couple of years, first with Dad the year before and then three sisters, including her beloved sister Bonnie, all in one year.  I worried she might be understandably morose, but that family sense of humor was thankfully intact.  I love and miss you always, Mom.

Three fabulous ladies all in a league of their own.  How blessed I am to have them all in my life.


Lisa Mandina said...

What a great post Greg! And man, that cake, those strawberries, those look yummy!!!

Anonymous said...

Your amazing words never cease to "amaze" me, Greg! Know that I will read this post, and read it again, and read it yet again. Clever words escape me, but thank you for tugging hard on the heart strings.



Anonymous said...

Beautiful once again!

judy sweeney gilpin said...

Another wonderful tribute.......such a special message about them all!! I am sure you are such a bright light for them as well!!!!!

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