Tuesday, November 26, 2019

View From The Bridge 11/27/19

By Muncie

If I could list all of the things that I am thankful for it would take up this entire page. The “Thanks” will last through the entire year unlike other holidays that only last for the moment.

I feel so sorry for those who are traveling this year. It does not look like a pleasant adventure. I just love staying here in Fort Benton and am so thankful for that.

It is only 3 ½ weeks until Christmas. There are many events to look forward to and the ones foremost in my agenda are Bridgeport and the Christmas concerts. What is on your schedule? Hope that Mother Nature doesn’t ruin your plans.

Last Tuesday, the Chouteau County Performing Arts entertainer was a most beautiful, kind and caring person to ever appear in Fort Benton. Her name is Halie Loren. I not only attended the evening performance but was able to be at the MRMC at 10:30 a.m. to enjoy Hallie’s singing. Again at 1:30 p.m. I was at the Elementary School to take in the youngster’s program.

So, this brings me to my story about Halie, Sherry, and Hank. Last week in the River Presses edition of the “Across the River in Geraldine” by Robyn Scribner, there appeared a story about Hank Armstrong. It was about people who visited last summer in Geraldine.

Hank called me to tell me that his daughter, Shelley, who lives in Oregon near Eugene where Halie is from and knew Halie from way back. Shelley attended Halie’s first concert and was the proud owner of all of Halle’s CDs.

So, Hank was at the Tuesday evening show to not only enjoy Halie’s performance but to purchase the latest CD.

Hank is always in Fort Benton on Tuesdays at the Ag Center’s Research Department. He is a historian, book writer, and he finds Fort Benton the ultimate history information area. At the research center, he has for years labeled and filed old pictures of the area. He has often asked, as have I in this column, of any old pictures that people find. Perhaps you were able to empty a home after parents or grandparents departed.

Hank’s work is a valuable tool in the history of Chouteau County and it is all volunteered. Perhaps you ask why does he do this. It is because he loves what he does and he loves history. Remember the old Native American saying “if you do not know where you came from, you cannot know where you are going”.

Have you picked up a copy of the Chouteau Country County Christmas and Bridgeport Station schedule yet? There are copies at most of the businesses. There are so many choices so try to cover as many as you can. From Fort Benton you can check out Big Sandy, Virgelle, Loma, Shonkin, and Geraldine. That ought to keep you busy. I can hardly wait to get started and to enjoy all the wonderful homemade and handmade crafts, the food, and the entertainment. See you there!

If you are planning to take a sleigh/wagon ride, (weather permitting,) take note. An advisory from a little bird in Shonkin called me this past week to tell me that the rides by the Lacey Creek Clydesdales will be scheduled from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. only. So get on out there to enjoy one of an old Christmas traditions. You and especially your children will have those memories forever. Don’t forget your cameras.

The Christmas Concert is the next on the schedule of Chouteau County Performing Arts presentations. Please put it on your calendar for Sunday afternoon December 15at 3:00 p.m. Make it a family affair. Children are free and they will love Wylie Gustafson. He is a yodeler and will be singing Christmas and Wild West songs.

Wylie has been to Fort Benton many times and enjoys our little town. We welcome him back again and see you there.

I use that phrase a lot when actually I cannot see you. It has been brought to my attention in the last few months that I have ignored several individuals. I thought, erroneously, that everyone knew that I was losing my vision. My central vision is gone and I cannot recognize who you are when you say hello to me. Most people know that they must tell me who they are. I still have my side vision but I still cannot make out faces.

So, I am sorry if I ignored You and hope this explanation clears the air. I am planning to have a program on Macular Degeneration sometime after the new year or when the weather warms up. I have worked with the Blind and Visual Services in Great Falls for 5 years now. They have been of tremendous help to me.

I know that there are many of you out there in the rural areas who have Macular Degeneration or need hearing aids. However, it is difficult to let people know. You try to hide and fake it because you may think it will go away. Well, unfortunately it will not go away. Do not be proud or stubborn. Help is out there. Just ask for it. 

Did you know that if your eye test reads 20/200 and you can no longer drive, that you are legally blind. (The upside of that is you get a break on your income tax. Check it out.)

So, to those of you who have been so helpful to me, I am so thankful this Thanksgiving for your kindness. You have helped me cross streets on my GoGo and just in general been supportive. I am able to take care of myself up to this time and hope that I do not lose my side vision.

Many people ask me how I keep writing the View from the Bridge. I am able to continue with the column because I received a grant from the Helen Keller Foundation for a new computer that has Windows 10. It enlarges everything and I am also so thankful for the computer. Although I do not like Windows 10 and it does not like me, we get well enough.

I am not looking for sympathy. I accept it and remember all the wonderful things that I love. I remember sunrises, sunsets, the Fort Park with all the leaves on the trees, the beauty of the Missouri River, and on and on. I am so lucky that I will remember colors and babies darling faces. It makes me so sad when I see a child or an older person who has been blind since birth.

I do miss reading books but enjoy listening to Talking Books. I miss driving and my Mail Truck. However, I have so many wonderful things in my life that it doesn’t matter what I see or don’t see. It is just a part of life and I have enjoyed it for 90 years now.

Now you know me and I would like to know many of you better.