This week I had the privilege to celebrate the life of a good friend, Cornelia Frank. She was 101 years old and was one of the first persons I met when I moved to Winchester 20 years ago. It is difficult moving into a small town and getting acquainted after you have retired. Everyone has their circle of friends. However, the first Sunday I attended Winchester First United Methodist Church, Cornelia came up to me, introduced herself, and invited me to deliver Meals on Wheels with her. I was her co-pilot delivering some 10 meals together each week.

Have you ever noticed after marriage couples seem to adapt to various divisions of labor? Often the man does the yard work, car repairs, and finances whereas the woman usually does the grocery shopping, house cleaning, and cooking (although I have known some men who are better cooks). After years of marriage, couples don’t think about these divisions of labor. They just do them. This changes when someone experiences the death, divorce, desertion, or imprisonment of a spouse. All of a sudden, the person’s world is turned upside down and he or she has to assume all of the roles.

It was 1967 and I had been visiting in Pontiac, Michigan. When it was time to return to work in Chicago, I boarded a 12-seater, two prop airplane in Grand Rapids. As we flew over the glistening blue of Lake Michigan, we could see dots of cargo ships and boats. As we approached Meigs Field, the pilot informed us to keep our seat belts fastened; we were flying into a heavy, dense, dark fog. The pilot would have to perform an instrument landing instead of a visual landing.

by Pat Brandenstein Do you remember Saturday mornings: waking up early, pouring yourself a big bowl of Cheerios, turning on the TV (which was snowy because it was one of the first TV’s on the market), and seeing your favorite Western? The good guys—in white hats—were always ambushed by the bad guys—in black hats—waiting behind a huge rock. The ambush …

By Pat Brandenstein James 1:27—Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble…. According to one statistic, one year after their husbands die or leave due to divorce, desertion, or imprisonment, 50 percent of widows no longer attend the church they attended with their husbands. What does this say …

by Pat Brandenstein

You have a purpose if you are still breathing!

On September 30, 1993, I was working as a school nurse in the clinic at DeSoto (Texas) East Junior High School. The phone rang and a man said he was calling from the DeSoto Police Department. My heart immediately stopped. I was thinking of my 16-year-old daughter who had just received her driver’s license.