Sunday, August 30th was remarkable mostly because of a troubling visit after church Sis Hatfield and I had to Sister Annie Stewart’s home. She had been in an out of the hospital that week, suffering from severe headaches and high blood pressure. She was very uncomfortable during our visit. Moreover, she was very hungry. She wondered out loud about whether she should find out what options she might have for moving to a senior care facility. I am sure that it is not easy for her two live-in grandchildren to care for her every day. I felt so bad for her. Sis Hatfield helped her think about living alternatives, although poor Annie could not think too clearly about it that day. Mostly, she knew she was not well. I administered the sacrament, giving her the entire piece of bread. As we finished our visit, Annie sang a plaintiff hymn loudly, asking for the Lord’s mercy. It was heart wrenching. I vowed I would bring her food next time we came. I left with the strong impression that the necessities of life are a condition to spiritual growth.
Up the road to the moment of truth: had I made a big mistake? I was delighted to find that the apartment was clean and renewed. The refrigerator was brand new. The carpet was new, and the paint seemed quite fresh. Now, don’t misunderstand, the apartment complex is probably 30 years old, at best, but at least lately, it had been taken care of. The windows, to my amazement, were new vinyl framed windows with good screens. We immediately popped open every window and began to air it out. We had come prepared with buckets, rags, and the secret weapon, white vinegar, to wipe everything, and I mean everything down, to help eliminate the smoke odor. We were taking advantage of the completely empty apartment to do the work. The sisters pitched in too. By 1 pm or so, the cleaning was done as best we could do it, and I took everyone for sandwiches while the smoke and vinegar odor went out the doors and windows. Then we moved them in. By the time we turned on the AC, it was smelling pretty fresh, if I do say so myself. The sisters were happy and I was relieved. It was amazing really. On Monday afternoon, I had zilch in Tuscola. By Thursday afternoon, the lease was signed and we had moved the sisters in. Now that is Providential Guidance, no doubt. One last stop at the coolest old-timey hardware store to make a spare key, and we were off for the return trip to St Louis. We stopped at every Walmart conveniently located along the way looking for computer desks and chairs, and found zero. COVID had made them hot commodities. We were back to the office by 7:30 and I was able to convince Sis Hatfield to leave by 9:30. Short day, but satisfying!