Pat McCarthy is the author of a dozen nonfiction books for children and young adults. She has published numerous stories, articles, puzzles and quizzes in magazines for children and adults. She teaches for the Institute of Children's Literature. She has also written encyclopedia articles and school curriculum. Pat is a retired elementary school teacher who subs to remain in touch with kids. Her hobbies are photography, travel, birding and scrapbooking.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Things Are Getting Back to Normal - Whatever That Is!

I have certainly fallen behind here. I really have done things since I got back from Florida the first of March. So many things that I haven't had time to write about them. First and foremost, I spent all of March, April and May writing the Pioneer Book for Chicago Review Press. The title will be Heading West: Life With the Pioneers . Then there's a line that says, "21 Activities." I had written a couple of chapters before I went to Florida, but most of the 38,000 words and the 21 activities were done in three months. I got the manuscript to my editor on June 9.

I left the next day for Chicago, where my friend Jan's daughter was having a 70th birthday party for her. Jan can't drive out of town because of heart complications, so I took her. The party was fun.

While I was in Chicago, I spent two days with my first cousin, Dan Hollister and his wife, Gloria. Dan's mother and my mother were sisters. I hadn't seen them for about twelve years, so we had a great time getting caught up with everything. Dan is big into photography, too, and is active in a club there, so we had that to talk about as well as family stuff. I'd seen their daughter, Nadine, twice - once when she was a baby and once when I was there twelve years ago. I'd never met their son, Glen and his wife. Nadine had a party on Sunday and I got to meet her husband and three children, as well as Glen and his wife.

When I got home and put my CF card in the printer to download my pictures, I was horrified when it said, "No images." I felt terrible to lose all those pictures of Dan and his family. My sister, Kay, hasn't seen them since 1964. Luckily, with the help of my trusty young computer advisor from Photo Club, Chris, I got them back. He found me a program I could download for free from the Internet and it retrieved not only the pictures from that trip, but every picture I've ever taken on that card! It took all night, but I'm not complaining!

The last weekend in June, I spent the weekend at my step-nephew's place on the Hocking River. He's my brother-in-law Randy's son. Dave and his wife, Donna, were celebrating their 25th anniversary. Kay and Randy were there, and Kay's son Tim and his wife Tina and son Adam. Dave's daughter Erica and her husband Josh were there most of the weekend. Son James lives with them, so he and a number of his friends were there as well. We had planned to camp and have a campfire on the river, but the weather definitely did not cooperate. Everyone had a good time anyway.

In July, Kay and I went to Becky's in Utica, Pennsylvania to scrapbook. That trip was cut short by the illness and death of Kay's friend, Joyce.

Most of July was spent putting together a 76-page memory book for our 50th class reunion coming up here in Greenville on September 12-13. It was lots of fun, but ended up taking a lot more time than I expected. I had to hunt down photos, scan them, resize them and turn them to B&W in Photoshop, then put them on the page. We did a senior picture and a recent picture for each graduate. Except some didn't have a senior picture, because they didn't actually graduate with us, but were in our class at some time and are coming to the reunion. So I had to go through old yearbooks and cut them out of a group picture, which meant the resolution wasn't real good. I decided it was better than not having a picture, though. Some people didn't want to send in recent pictures, and I threatened them that I was running around town with a camera, or worse yet, if I had an old picture of them from another reunion, I would use it. I finally got it all together and the printer got us one copy. Barb Smith Hocker and I met and went over it and proofread all the addresses, e-mails and phone numbers, as I'm not good at typing numbers. Good thing we did - we found quite a few errors.

July 25 I headed east for my 5oth class reunion with the class I didn't graduate with! I went all through school with them, from kindergarten through our junior year. Then my dad was transferred here to Greenville and we moved here. I hadn't seen most of them for 51 years. While I was going, I decided to visit other friends and relatives on the way and in the area.

I spent the first night in Berwick, Pennsylvania with my friend, Arlie McClintock and her husband, Craig. Arlie and I met at a Bill Thomas photography workshop in the Smoky Mountains about 15 years ago. We've been in touch ever since, and a couple of times I've seen her when she came to visit her friend, Nancy, who lives in Botkins, Ohio. I took a lot of pictures of their beautiful yard and flowers. She fixed a great meal, with Craig's help at the BBQ.

The next day I drove on to Savannah, New York, near Syracuse. There I visited my cousin, Doris, for a couple of days. We had a nice visit and the second day went to see two of her daughters. First we went to Tammy's house. She and Fran and their girls, Elizabeth and Sarah, had just returned from a softball tournament the girls were in in North Carolina. Of course, they won! Later we went to Terri's house to see her and Kevin. Their daughter, Christina, was there, too, so I enjoyed seeing her again. The two boys weren't there.

On Monday, I drove to the Corning-Painted Post area where the reunion was to be held. I stayed three nights with Pat and Dick Sample near Elmira. Pat was our babysitter when I was three and Kay was six months old. We've been in contact ever since. It was nice to spend time with them again and to see their son, Tim, who is living there. Also saw his daughter, Megan. I've known her since she was tiny, but I got to meet her husband and children. I spent some time at the Corning Library and the local cemeteries, trying to add a bit to my genealogy.

Thursday I went to my friend, Joannie Randall's. Actually, I met her at the town hall in Monterey, as she is Town Clerk and works on Thursday evenings. We had the pleasure of putting together the new computer system which had just arrived. Then we went to the house, where I renewed my acquaintance with all my furry little buddies. She has seven house cats and a dog, plus 3 cockatoos and a cockatiel, assorted geese, ducks and barn cats. We were friends in high school and lived about half a mile apart, so spent a lot of time together then. I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I did two years ago, because of the reunion activities.

On Friday night, we had an "Indian PowWow in the Park" at Craig Park in Painted Post. (Our athletic team was the Indians.) It was an informal get-together at the shelter house in the park. It was very interesting seeing all those people I hadn't seen for 51 years! I spent the whole weekend being Patty. I wrote Pat McCarthy on my name tag, but no one paid any attention, so on Saturday night, I just wrote Patty.

Saturday morning we toured the old high school, which is in use now as education offices and storage. That was quite interesting, as we saw the old chemistry lab (I'd forgotten until Gary Griffin reminded me that Mr. Sanford set the lab on fire with some phosphorus!), the home ec. rooms, minus the appliances and sewing machines, and the library. The gym is piled full of canned goods and other things. The biggest disappointment for most of us was the beautiful auditorium. It had been divided into storage rooms. The floor used to slope down to the stage, and the basketball court was located on the stage. The floor had been leveled and all the nice seats taken out. I guess things never stay the same, but it still looked the same from outside, so it was a shock to go into that part of the building and see the changes.

That evening was our big banquet at the Radisson Inn in Corning. We had a lovely buffet dinner. Four of our teachers were able to attend. Audrey Cloos Phelps had been the librarian, Jean Studley Humphrey had started her teaching career as our Junior English teacher, Lou Masters Wardner taught us elementary music and Barbara Brown Briggs was guidance counselor. She came our senior year, so I didn't know her.

On Sunday morning, we had a farewell brunch at the Indian Hills Golf Course. It was a good breakfast and gave us one last time to talk to everyone before we all went our separate ways, back to Ohio, California, Florida, Canada, North and South Carolina, and other states. I was surprised that I'm the only one in Ohio. The whole thing was a great experience. I headed from there to Kay's house, where I spent the night before coming home.

Two more people sent their info for the Greenville Memory Book, and the printer let me sneak it in. He made 15 copies for our committee meeting on August 11. Barb picked them up and we passed them around. I opened one, and it ended after Toni Molinari Clapper! That meant almost half the class wasn't there, plus the memorial pages were missing. We looked, and they were all like that. We had the one copy Barb and I had proofread, so we passed it around. Others on the committee found two people I had the wrong senior picture for. In both cases, I used one picture for two people. That's what happens when all the guys in the class have dark-rimmed glasses and short hair! Last week we checked over another copy, and he'd made all the changes.

On August 13, Kay and Becky arrived for our annual scrapbooking marathon. Becky left on the 22nd and Kay on the 24th.

Since the middle of that week, I've spend half my time in the chiropractor's office. Not sure exactly what it is, but it ached all the way down my left leg and around the knee. I assumed it was a sciatic nerve problem coming from my degenerative disk, but after a few visits, she decided it wasn't all coming from the back, so she started working on the knee and found a couple of very sore spots. The main problem is that it stiffens up if I stay in one position very long. That makes it very hard to sleep some nights. For awhile, I was only getting three or four hours sleep a night. We're still working on it.

This past week, my editor sent me copies of four possible covers for the Pioneer book. That was pretty exciting, because I've never seen a cover ahead of time for any of my books. He said he wanted my input, but I'm sure it will not count for a lot! I absolutely love one of the covers, but that's not the one he said they were seriously considering. I guess I'd have thought that one was okay if I hadn't seen the other one. I still need to do a timeline, then do some revisions. Then on to something else, I hope!


Post a Comment

<< Home