The Centrum Creative Writers won First Place for Cooperative Writing in a regional competition sponsored in June by LeadingAge, a nonprofit trade association representing more than 400 long-term care organizations. The writers live at the Centrum, Willow Brook Christian Village’s assisted living center. They enjoyed collaborating to record the stories of their lives. Here we feature three of our residents’ pieces. More to come!
Eighty seven years ago, I was three years old. I remember how I used to climb up on a chair to get close to my mother as she worked in the kitchen. I wanted to help out as much as I could.
My mother loved to bake so I had plenty of chances to learn from her. She would reach in the cupboard for her cookbook. It had a picture of a brown building on it. At the bottom of the cover it said The Calumet Baking Company. Mom would always sing while preparing a recipe. I remember my favorite went like this, “Oh Come to the Church in the Wildwood, Oh Come to the Church in the Dell…” Those were the best of times!
On Sunday mornings we would walk to church. I always looked at the large stained glass window as we entered. I just couldn’t understand why the window looked like a big cigar to me. As the years passed, I came to realize it was an anchor. I told myself that things are not always what they seem.
I grew up as an only child. Just Mom, Dad and me. We lived in the country, and there were no playmates for me to spend time with. So I made my own fun. At times I would watch the airplanes fly over my house. Mom said I always had a good imagination. Our house stood at the top of a hill. Back behind the house and down the other side of the hill was a small stream. The stream was a great place to play. When the winter came, I would pray for snow. One day soon after a storm, I thought, Now I can pull out my sled and slide down the hill. I was sure that as fast as I was going, I could fly right over that stream. To my dismay, I ended up with cold, wet clothes. I learned a valuable lesson that day. Kids can’t fly!
When I was a child growing up in Germany, I loved to visit my older sister who lived in Switzerland. She had a little farm with a small chalet for a home. This chalet had no indoor plumbing, and the outhouse was the only place to go when I needed a restroom. As I took a walk to find that little house out back, I had to pass by the barnyard with all the animals. I liked to visit with them all, except the pigs! Sure enough one of those nasty pigs began to chase me. I ran to the outhouse, but the pig followed me. I was so scared, I ran back to the chalet. I came in so fast I forgot to close the door! You guessed it; the pig came in, too. I will never forget the look on my sister’s face as she pushed the pig outside again with her broom.