I hope that you had as enjoyable a Thanksgiving as I did. Mine was perfect, except for the fact that Malcolm was not with me to share in the fun.
Ten of us sat down to our Thanksgiving dinner at the home of Ginny and husband Corrado and their children Pico and Chiara in Waynesboro. Joining us were Mary and Kerry and their three children Katie, Sarah, and Sean. We had all pitched in to the cooking under the guidance of “master chef” Corrado. I love it when we work together as a family to prepare a special meal, and having that Italian influence adds special delights to the flavors.
On Monday morning Dot Hiter and Mary Jo Hopkins arrived at the Barn to start decorating it for this weekend. Corrado gave up his day off to help them. I was there for the start but then had to leave to be present for a National Public Radio broadcast in the NPR studio in Roanoke.
The broadcast was recorded, and I will try to let you know where and when it will be aired in the hope that some of you are able to listen.
I welcomed the opportunity to speak on NPR about the work of the Foundation in championing the use of the arts in education. The occasion also gave me the opportunity to stress the importance of teachers’ understanding children and how a good teacher makes all the difference in a child’s learning and therefore in a child’s life as a whole. I spoke of the teachers awards that are given out annually by the Foundation. The details of these awards are shown on the Foundation’s web site.
The awards are only one part of the wide-ranging activities of the Foundation. Its annual conference, The Creative Mind, generates many original ideas for teaching with the arts. The Foundation’s internet newsletter, The Art Cart, brings knowledge of these ideas to classroom teachers across the country. The teachers workshops held at the Museum, along with the preschool programs, have been very successful and the Foundation is now looking to take them to other areas. I’m grateful to all of you who support the Foundation through your Society membership. When I speak of our achievements, I do it on behalf of all of us who share this enthusiasm.
I returned to the Barn from Roanoke in time to see the finishing touches being put to its decoration. I hope that many of you will be with us this weekend to share its delights. Dot, Mary Jo, and Corrado have excelled themselves, and I believe this year’s Christmas display to be better than ever.
With Malcolm’s recovery taking time, our departure for Panama this year will be delayed. We will be spending the time between Christmas and mid-January in Florida, where I hope to get a lot of work completed to have new paintings to show you.
I expect to be out of the hospital within a few days—thank goodness!
I have been quite famous during these first two weeks. In the first week there was a daily performance at my bedside, watched by a standing-room-only crowd as the dressing of “the wound” was changed. Its exceptional depth caused ooh’s and aah’s, and one nurse (geriatric, not surgical) could not bear to look. Now, “the wound” has closed in well, and the attendance each day has declined. Fortunately, I could not witness the activity, because at wound dressing time I have had to lie on my stomach with my face in the pillow.
In the second week my fame was due to the enormous number of get well cards and flowers, some of which you see in the above photo. The word was out that I was a famous writer, and I enjoyed that status until asked how come my name did not show up on the public library computer. I mumbled something about pseudonyms, but my status has definitely declined.
At the start of the arrival of get well cards it was my intention to write to each person or group of persons sending the cards. There are now so many that I hope you’ll forgive me for not doing this. I thank you all most sincerely, and I know that my very satisfactory recovery has been due to your good wishes and your prayers.
On Thanksgiving Day we patients were assembled in the common area for a wheelchair Thanksgiving dinner. On all the tables were flowers that had been sent to me. They made an otherwise drab room a place of beauty. After the meal the flowers were distributed to the patients’ rooms, other than the Christmas cactus that you see in the photo. This was sent to me by Jake’s in-laws, E. J. and Tish Mansmann, and will later travel to Mathews to grace Pat’s sun porch.
Again, my sincere thanks to you all for your prayers and good wishes.