Essentially Esther Banner

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Moving right along here……I need to catch up with family and friends. Becky is still hobbling around but on one crutch now. She does pretty well until late afternoon and then her foot and leg swell. We’ve been very busy since I last wrote but yet it’s hard to fill in the time period.

I think women truly do work from sun to sun with menial jobs that have to be done, like dusting, vacuuming, laundry and such fill up most of our days. Any age and working or retired, the housework lingers on. I’m waiting for the day to come when I no longer care about such things (as most older women do)……I’m still waiting to divorce the “house” that I seem to be married to…..

Napoleon, our resident peacock, has completely lost all his long tail feathers and it’s good as he had to walk a wide berth to turn corners with that fancy tail. He and “Little Gray” a stray cat, come to eat every day and the three kitties that I adopted but live outside were very happy to see “mama” pulling in the driveway late Sunday. They are used to being shut in the garage every night with special treats. Becky and I had another weekend at Harrison and business is booming. Of course, that makes us happy.

Sassy and Punkin’ the two inside cats met us at the door and talked for an hour telling me the hardships endured while we were gone. Cat people know that cats do not want changes in their routine. They were looking out the living room window as we pulled into the driveway and began dancing at the front door. It’s always nice to be welcomed home.

Manday, our spoiled doggie, was boarded with the Vet over the weekend and got a grooming yesterday before bringing her home. I got her all prettied up to go to KC on Friday to celebrate George’s retirement on Saturday. It will be nice to meet a lot of the folks he worked with and I’m sure they have heard about his “mom” from George in the 35 years he worked at the same place.

Retiree’s know that retiring isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The working class has the idea that we just sit around everyday drinking coffee and watching TV. That idea is greatly over-rated. However, I’ve learned that absolutely no one listens to good advice so I will leave you to find about all that down the road somewhere.

I should have a good bit to write about once we are back from KC…..but for now I have to get ready to have the car serviced and detailed before leaving for George’s celebration. I am very proud of his ability to stay with something this long and to have made every monetary preparation for retirement. He was always one to save and look ahead. At last he can do some of the traveling he’s been looking forward to and make plans not associated with “work.” He is working his last week and when he leaves on Friday I know he will have a lump in his throat. It’s a scary thing to leave something you’ve been a part of for that long. Congratulations, George!!!

Essentially Esther

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Do you ever wonder? I am a wonderer who comes from a long line of “wonderer’s.” It began with my parents……

My mom:

I wonder if the mail has come yet?
I wonder if I should get extra ice today?
I wonder if Dad will get here before supper ruins?
I wonder where Louis disappeared to? (My brother.)
I wonder if my clothes will dry on the line before it rains….
I wonder why the stove won’t heat up?
I wonder why this cup is leaking?
I wonder where I put my scissors?

My dad:

I wonder how to get this d----- boat out of the basement.
I wonder where the heck the pliers are now?
I wonder if I should fix that leak.
I wonder where Louis disappeared to? (Yes, my brother again.)
I wonder how in the heck he thinks that’s going to fix THAT!
I wonder how that ice could have melted that fast to run all over the floor.
I wonder if the battery is charged yet.

There are so many things to wonder about in life…..but to appreciate the art of wondering you would have to be a depression baby. Nothing was ever taken for granted like today so much of the wonderment has been taken out of our lives.

On rainy days like today, you would usually find my brother and me at the dining room table. It was used as the family room would be today. He would be modeling something out of clay or working on an airplane. He had such patience for anything artistic and was very good at all of it. I loved to color. When mom went down town to pay bills and stuff I always begged for a new coloring book. I had a box of crayons of every color and size…….of course, being a kid, I loved the new ones with the points.

Some days, like today, memory is so strong I could close my eyes and see it all in every detail. Those were good days and a whole lot simpler than today. When I think of home I hear people laughing, smell mom’s wonderful cooking on the stove and I step back in time to a world I didn’t realize would be so fleeting.

I wonder why time goes so fast…………

Essentially Esther

Monday, August 18, 2008


No matter how hard I try to ignore the fact…..Monday always follows a great weekend. It makes me wonder if the weekend would be that great if we didn’t have to work on Monday. Though retired, it seems to make a difference even in my life. George usually calls on the weekend sometime, and Becky is my every weekend. John keeps in touch during the week usually while Barb and I visit through comments on the blog, email or the phone. While I’ve driven Becky to and from work for a month, we still have another month to go.

What does that mean to me? Getting up and going to the “office” each morning seems like I’m still working too. It’s been nice to see old faces but most of those “faces” have retired and there are many new employees I don’t know. Everything is different where I used to work…….the building has a new look, new people everywhere and Driver’s Tests have changed many times over in the past 11 years.

Since Becky will be another 4-weeks before she can drive it will be a while before I can forget setting the alarm clock every night. We are both looking forward to George’s retirement party as he ends his career the 29th of August. He’s had quite a lot of changes also in 35-years. Anyone who has been employed by the State or Federal Government can attest to that. One thing you can always count on is…….yes…more changes.

I’ve watched the Olympics as much as I can and especially when I knew Michael Phelps would be swimming. He makes us all proud with his swimming abilities and medals but he’s also one great young man. I hope he can enjoy his hard earned records for years to come. His mother and sisters were equally personable.

I am happy to report I have finalized my cousin Dale’s Estate and I’m finished with that. This past Tuesday I had surgery on my eyelids from the doctor who did my cataract surgery. My eyelids were beginning to resemble Venetian blinds and bugged me a lot. Dr. Jones suggested I have them “fixed” so I did. It is amazing what they can do……quickly, no pain and you’re out the door. Of course any thing involving eye repair leaves one looking like they’ve been hit in the head with a baseball bat. The stitches will be removed August 25th. Hopefully I can meet George’s fellow workers with no bruising showing. I look pretty much like a raccoon at this time.

Seasonal changes are beginning. School started last week, the heavy Spring and Summer rains have dried up and it’s beginning to look like fall. Summer is fleeting and I don’t mind. I like Fall the best of all the seasons and since I no longer have to get out in the snow I even enjoy winter. A warm home, reading, knitting, crochet and a chance to get my new Singer out of the box to see if I can still sew. I enjoy making pillows, table runners and all that require a pretty quilt pattern. But……for now, I’d better get busy with my Monday.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, August 14, 2008


……..let me see. Where was I when the bomb went off? It’s been a wild week here but we are hanging on and making the best of it. Becky’s leg is still broken (this is her remark when people ask how the leg is doing) and she will be on light desk duty for another 4-weeks. I felt like crying. How can retired people have any fun if we are to get up at 6:30 and take their daughter to work? Some things never change. It put me to thinking how other’s situations seen to involve other people one way or another.

I have always been the one with the waiting room blues. It seems everyone in our family has had some terrible medical mishaps and I am the only one who can take off work or stop my schedule to play nurse. The worst thing is sitting in a waiting area with fussy children running wild, noisy adults, cell-phones going off and a whole collection of things that make me wish I were somewhere else. Once we are assigned to a room I am blissfully happy……confusion makes me crazy.

Becky and I took care of Brady and Cloe while Jonathan and Aimee went to family night and the funeral the next day. The children were good and we were happy to know everything went off without a hitch. We are all getting used to the vacancy David left behind.

Becky and I spent the weekend down in Harrison, AR and enjoyed some shopping, sales and all that goes with Flea Market/ antique business. It is fun but hard work and the exercise is beneficial. Hopefully we can enjoy for a long time.

Becky had her appointment to see Dr. Walker ( isn’t that a funny name for a leg and foot doctor?) We then went over to the eye surgeon who did my cataract surgery as he suggested having my eyelids cropped since one was hanging down lower than the other after the cataract surgery. The whole thing was over by the noon hour and we were driven back by a couple of friends. Becky rode in one and I in the other. Since then I have had no problems other than serious bruising around both eyes. I look a little like Morticia of the Munsters.

Becky and I will be driving to Springfield Saturday to return things I haven’t used in my decorating. A nice lunch and a little shopping for necessities and we’ll be on our way back home. I am delighted with Farve playing again and I’m infuriated at Green Bay for refusing to have him back. The fans want him and so do I but it will have to be enough to watch him play on another team. I will be getting NFL on my Dish network as soon as I call……also ESPN. I love replaying the games all the next day.

I finished Dale’s Estate yesterday and have mailed the appropriate things back to the lawyer who has advised me on the Estate. Illinois law is totally different from Missouri…..but it’s over…….I heard the fat lady singing…..(or was that ME?)

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, August 05, 2008



This past year has been tough!! About the time we think we are on top of things, something else happens. First it was Rocky, then my cousin Dale and a good friend, Ellen. I have spent thirteen months trying to complete my cousin’s estate. It turned out to be educational for me never having having the experience before. If I thought the beginnings were hard, it has turned out to be harder trying to get all the information from distant relatives to send their necessary papers for collection.

Then Jonathan (Becky’s son) had to have neck surgery and has been off work for two months while Becky broke her leg and is recuperating from that. In the interim Jonathan’s wife, Aimee, had a beautiful little girl which brought some happiness to all of us. Not to be very long as our next sorrow began…….

Aimee’s brother, David, was found in their bathroom floor barely alive. Jonathan performed CPR for a half hour before the ambulance arrived, and rushed him to the hospital. David died on the way. The only thing we feel might have been the culprit was the fact he had been working in extreme heat and not drinking enough water. I personally know what that does as I’ve had several bouts with the same elements but being fortunate enough to recover before going over the edge.

David was a good kid, living with his mother. Not married and no children. He was working with UPS unloading packages in a huge warehouse with no air conditioning. Of course Becky and I are close to Aimee and her family and this has been hard seeing how it is affecting Aimee and her relatives. Hardest is the mother, Lena.

They are performing an autopsy on David and will have the results soon. I hope it gives his mother some solace as well as Jonathan and Aimee. Just giving birth to a new baby was such a happy time for all of them and I hope little Cloe will be able to bring some joy back to their lives.

Becky and I are fine, just busy. I take her to work every day and pick her up, then we have dinner together and I take her home. It has been so beastly hot here we are all aware to stay in and drink lots of water. Of course not having rain for two weeks is taking a hit on the yard but somehow it doesn’t seem that important right now. It is sad for my prize flowers but the trade-off is the weeds are dying too.

I hope things are well with all of you who stop by from all over the country. I will let you know how this all progresses as I can.

We could sure use some extra prayers if you have any…….not picky about denominations…………

Essentially Esther