Not exactly a shut-in

I can only wish just a hint of truth existed in the thought behind the question on the community comment website. Such a simple question … one stranger who wondered about me enough to write, “Is she a shut-in or something?”

One of the other reporters mentioned the posting. I do not generally visit this website. The question, however, caught my attention and tickled my funny bone so much that I decided the question needed an answer from the only person who would really know the truth – me.

With a bit chuckling at the reality compared to the question, I wrote the following (with some additional entries that I failed to mention in the original):
I cannot resist answering this question.

In January, I celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary and 60th birthday in Tennessee with family members.
In May, I was cruising along the coastline of Alaska and went to an internationally known flower garden in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

In July, I was at a birthday party in a St. Louis, Mo., park and went to Crossett to visit the sites of the Japanese internment camps which became prisoner of war camps during World War II.
In August, I was playing in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina and climbing to the top of Fort Macon before going to a theater in Lancaster, Pa.

In October, I helped deliver books donated to an organization in Illinois on the way to visiting relatives in Indiana, Michigan and Missouri.

In November I stayed in state but spent a weekend in the hills around Fairfield Bay.

In December, I was shopping and visiting with family during a holiday gathering in Branson, Mo.
In between I have been in the Little Rock area a number of times to visit with family. If I am home on a weekend and there are yard sales, I try to get out the door to check them out by 8 a.m. I did agree to be the secretary for a Quilt Guild so I have to show up for that once a month.

Plus, I teach children at my church a couple of days a week. But, I do enjoy my time at home, when I get to stay there. Last year, however, most weeks I was gone at least five nights a week to some activity or another.

Have a good day, and thanks for brightening my day as I realized how fortunate I am to not be a shut-in.”
That was all that I posted at the time, but I could also have added that I really do have a job at the New-Times where I am expected to be at my desk 40 hours a week. Sometimes I leave the office to go interview folks for the weekly Home Life feature about their hobbies, their recipes, garden or home upkeep. I am always looking for folks willing to talk with me on these topics, so give me a call if you are available or know someone who should be featured. I know the community has many interesting stories and people.

Last year, to prepare for Veterans’ Day I visited with 16 or 17 folks about the time they served in the military, asked for any pictures they might loan me for the story and then shut myself in at my desk after each interview long enough to write up their stories. Which reminds me, we are again looking for veterans to interview for Nov. 11 this year. We want to talk with men and women who have served in the military at any time including the last year or two. All of the staff works on this project.

One ongoing aspect of my job I do pretty much as an office shut-in: receiving and preparing education news from office e-mails. Local schools send us pictures and information about school activities for the weekly education pages, the yearly Student Express like the on that was in the News-Times on Tuesday and our upcoming graduation section. I may not get out to see all the students in the area, but I do see their work, their writing and their smiling faces and look forward to more information being submitted to the paper for publication. For the upcoming graduation section, I anticipate receiving information from schools, colleges, parents and family members about this year’s graduates. Don’t be shy … I really do want the information by e-mail, fax, the U.S. Postal Service or Pony Express.

Whatever your means of communicating, even if you are a shut-in, let me know what is happening in your world.