Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Aunt Ruthie

Every week I go to visit my Mom at Windcrest. She lives in a special unit for Alzheimer's patients. Sixteen precious little ladies call it home. Set up with a living room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and even a lovely garden area to enjoy in the nicer months...Windcrest does a wonderful job of making their residents at home. They keep their minds engaged with songs and crafts, exercise and movies complete with popcorn! I visit often and love these little ladies.

One thing I have noticed, people don't get much mail. Birthday or holiday greeting cards, but rarely a letter. So we invented "Aunt Ruthie." Every week without fail, she writes a letter to the Little Ladies of Windcrest sharing the news in her life. She and her husband of 60 years live close-by, have the same weather and even have their flu shots when the ladies do. It's been a big hit and they look forward to each letter. The pictures that we include have something to do with each story and the ladies pass them slowly, looking carefully at each one. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. For the ladies who have lost precious memories, Aunt Ruthie is making new ones!

Good Morning Neighbors,

Well Christmas has come and gone for another year. We woke up to a snowy Christmas morning, a little dusting of about 2 inches. That’s enough to make people happy but not cause too much trouble on the roads. Our Grandkids sure were excited to be able to make a snowman after they opened their gifts! Before they went outside I made them a big bowl of oatmeal to keep them full and warm. Oatmeal is one of those foods that warms you up and stays with you. It's a healthy breakfast, unless I'm fixing the bowl! I like to "doctor it up" with brown sugar, butter, raisins and walnuts and a splash of cream! You don't have to wonder if you ate breakfast, your tummy is full and you can go like the Energizer Bunny!

Some people are like that too. Pa and I have lived here in this community for nearly 60 years. We’ve made a lot of friends and had to say good-bye to some. There are some people that you can't forget. I'm setting here this morning remembering our good neighbors the Wall’s who lived down the road from us for 50 of those years. They came here about the same time we did and bought the old Miller farm. The house was nearly falling in on itself and the barn had lost it’s roof in a windstorm. Years of neglect had left that place in sad shape. They were a young couple then and went to work cleaning up and fixing everything back to new. Rebecca and I became good friends and our husbands loved to go fishing together. Our children grew up together. I can still hear their laughter as they played Hide and Go Seek or Chase out the yard. Oh well, that’s good memories. The Wall’s moved last year to Colorado to be close to their son and his family. It was hard to say good-bye, but I know they enjoy being close to their kids. Life has a way of changing, lots of twists and turns. Everyday is new though, God gives us some surprises along the way.

We all know someone who has that sparkle about them. People who touch our hearts and have an inner strength that shines through. You are my sparkle good neighbor!

Till next week…

Aunt Ruthie

*Thanks so much for your comments today. If you know someone in a nursing facility, please pass this idea along to the staff. Anyone can write a letter and it means so much to those who no longer have family or their memories are fading. It's great to see a smile on their face!


  1. Good reading today, as always. Love the interaction and entertainment for the Alzheimer folks. I have worked as a therapist in an Alzheimer unit, and while others thought it aggravating and upsetting, I found it a joy. Each day, at any given moment, I could become a policeman, a nurse, a daughter, or an entertainer - the hats I could wear to sooth the confusion and upset in their minds never ended. It was a very creative job, and I truly loved the people. Thanks for sharing this tidbit - what a wonderful thing to do for the ladies!

  2. Oh, wow! This brings a tear to the eye and a warm cockle to the heart (whatever cockles are). Seriously, this is just an awesome way to make a real difference. I love it, and my hat is off to you.

  3. How do I love this?
    Let me count the ways.
    Aunt Ruthie is Mah-ve-lous!!

  4. What a wonderful thing to do for these ladies!!! Love it!!

  5. What a wonderful letter and even more wonderful act of kindness. Bless you.

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  7. What a wonderful thing to do for these sweet ladies. You never know who will be on the receiving end of these letters...someday!

  8. Wonderful idea. I think I will have my boys write notes and draw pictures for our local nursing home.

    I love your photos of the snow. I like to look at them more than actually be out in the cold in the snow!

    Stay warm, it is getting cold in Arkansas!
    The Park Wife

  9. Such a precious post...
    Kindness makes the world go round...Bless you for loving them all, Have a wonderful Wednesday my friend,
    xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  10. This is such a great idea to keep the elderly busy! I'm glad they had finally found something to look forward to.... every once awhile! So proud of you, Joycee! Bless you.


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