Friday, May 20, 2011

My Angels and Jon "Bowzer" Bauman

I am sick.  Not really sure what is wrong, but my blood pressure numbers didn't look good on Wednesday morning.  My bottom number is usually in the low 60s.  Wednesday morning my blood pressure was 153/119.  I think it is a combination of a reaction to an over the counter medication I took to dry out my sinus'.  It is also allergy season and every pollenating tree and flower is after me.
I cancelled the luncheon on Thursday.  I honestly wasn't up to it.  Most of Thursday, I spent in bed.
Then, the phone started ringing.
Kathy Hochul's campaign called.  Jon Bowzer Bauman of Sha Na Na fame would like to visit the towers on Friday night to entertain our residents and talk about getting out to vote, could I arrange it? 
Arranging it didn't take much work.  I called the office and asked if our wonderful administrative assistant, Angel Sharon,  would work up some posters. 
"I'll be down in a few minutes to give you the details.", I promised.
So, I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed and headed for the office.
As I got off the elevator I ran into one of my neighbors. 
"Don't you have people coming tonight?", she asked.
"No."
"Yes, you do.  You have two people booked for tonight.", she pointed to the calendar.
My head cleared long enough to let this process.  I DID have two people coming to entertain tonight.
One, a talented musician who regales his audience with his the banjo, piano and accordian and a very smart media specialist from the local community college who would give a talk on senior citizens and social networking.
The fact that they were both scheduled on the same night is a good indication of how cluttered my mind has been lately.  It was cancel one or the other, or let the musician be the opening act for the media specialist.  I chose the latter.
My business finished in the office I went to the kitchen to see what I had for refreshments for that evening.
It was slim pickings.  2 packages of cookies left over from when we had little dancers entertain us a few nights before and 3 sleeves of Oreo cookies.  At that moment, an angel appeared at the door.  Angel Gert is our resident baker.  She looked at my pitiful pile of cookies and announced she'd be back within the hour with homemade cookies.  She was true to her word and the evening's refreshment problem was solved.
Thus, Thursday ended on a positive note.  I went to bed!
That brings us to today. 
I woke up, made coffee, sat down to the computer and started my to do list for the day.
The list included making an important phone call to the Board of Elections.  I got a call on Thursday asking if I would consider moving up from a poll inspector to site supervisor.  I said I would and arranged to go to their office for additional training on Monday morning.
Sometime before I went to bed on Thursday evening, it dawned on me that I couldn't go on Monday morning.  I'd be making and serving breakfast at our Summer Diner.  My first call was to change the time for my training on Monday.  Thank goodness they were agreeable and I will now be trained at 12:30pm.
The second call was to firm up Bowzer's visit tonight.
The third call was to reserve a bus for July 29 so that our residents could attend a Muckdog game and watch the fireworks.
So far so good.
The next ten calls or so were reminders to people who would be working the phones or canvassing on Saturday.  Done!
I left an email message to Howard Owens from thebatavian.com asking if he would like to cover Bowzer's visit. 
Sent a few more emails and then headed down to the kitchen to decide on refreshments for evening.
God sent me two angels at just the right time.  Enter Angel Martha. 
As we talked, I leafed through our newsletter.  On the recipe page I put a recipe for a french toast bake with a praline topping. 
"That's it!", I exclaimed.  "Martha, we're making french toast."
I cut up bread and arranged it in a buttered pan.
Martha's job was to whisk in the ingredients as I got them out.
Eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg were combined under Martha's care. 
A bag of frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries got tossed in for good measure.
Then the mixture was poured on the bread. 
The dish could sit for the afternoon allowing the bread to absorb the liquid. 
We sort of imagined dishing it out and figured we could serve 20, if the portions were small and we covered each portion with whipped cream.
I'd go down at 5pm and put it in the oven.  While it was in the oven, I'd shower. 
Martha and I agreed to meet at 6:30 to dish out the portions.  Which she did.
I was worried that Bowzer wouldn't make it at the appointed time, and I wanted something to entertain our residents while they were waiting.  I thought playing Sha Na Na music would be appropriate.  Finding it wasn't all that easy.  I called the local music store only to discover that they no longer carried CDs.  I called Wal-Mart.  No dice.
I pleaded on my Facebook page for help.   Angel Dan came through.  Even though he works in another county, had an appointment at 5pm at his bank, he managed to get home and download songs on a disc and delivered them in plenty of time.  Thank you, Dan!
So, now we have the CD and learned that THREE CD players didn't work.  Another angel came to the rescue, Angel Dennis who put the CD into the DVD player and viola, we had music.
Bowzer called me a little before 7 to say they were about 20 minutes away.  That worked out fine.  I gave him final directions to our place and felt that I could relax.
I checked the dining room and counted almost 40 people.  My bake will serve 20. 
Angel Gert, without me saying a word, came in with another batch of homemade cookies and Angel MaryLou walked in with a blueberry pie.  Like the loaves and fishes, we fed the multitudes.
Oh, did I mention that Angel Gert also put on an urn of regular coffee and an urn of decaf late in the afternoon so it would be ready by 7?  If not, I should have. 
The evening was a success.  The folks loved Bowzer.  They shared memories of their teen days in the 50s and loved his stories.  They talked about medicare and the problems facing our generation as we wade through the maze of paperwork required for needed healthcare.
I should be sleeping, but the evening energized me.  I had to share the events of the last two days and give thanks for the many people I can rely on when I am in need of angels.
There are two more angels, Angel Pat brought her camera and took some great shots of the evening.  I snagged them off her Facebook page to add to next month's newsletter.  Angel Shop and Stock who quietly took both shifts in The Snack Shop tonight.  His own and that of one of our volunteers who couldn't make it due to illness.  Normally, I would have done one or the other.  He never mentioned that he would do a double.  I appreciate his effort to keep the shop open.
So, thank you Angels Sharon, Gert, Martha, Dennis, Dan, MaryLou, Pat and Shop and Stock.  What would I do without you?
Angel Pat and Bowzer

Bowzer at the piano - thank you Jon Bowzer Bauman for a wonderful evening