SOOT IN THE FLUES


| March/April 1993



Soot in the flues

Well, Christmas Day is over for another year, but it is nice we do keep it first in our minds for more than a day or a week. Oh God, that we could have some of that loving all year, and consideration for others, extra patience, going out of our way to be kind, courteous and yes, loving, to those we don't really know. But we could say a good word, be mindful of others' misfortunes, sometimes all it takes is a little caring and showing it.

I must say that I had a wonderful Holiday Season. I had a telephone call from my brother Dan Keeley, who lives in Acworth, Georgia, and he said, 'Anna Mae, I'm coming' up!' Now this is exciting, because I haven't seen him in 11 years, and before that it was 21 years. He arrived by bus Saturday the 19th, and went back Christmas night on a Greyhound bus, about 23 hours to go back, but he claims it was worth it.

You must know the joy we shared! Our mother died on Christmas night at age 35; I was eleven and Dan was 5. She was never very well and we did not have the 'best of life' in many ways. I always felt a great responsibility for him and though I am his sister, I was also a mother to him for quite a few years. We had a lot of trials but I am sure there are many more folks who have had it worse. We had a wonderful time. He was happy to see our five children and families (his nieces and nephews) again, and I was also glad our son Donnie got home from Florida. We wish he lived closer, but he does get home now and then.

As you can guess, we talked and talked until way past midnightthe last night he was here, it was about 3:30 A.M. until we 'hit the sack.' Also, we just had a good time, doing important things. He also went along down to the IMA office Christmas luncheon that Mr. Lestz and wife always treat the office staff to at this time of year. They are most wonderful folks! We visited our parents' graves, which are in two different locations, as our dad remarried, and he and our stepmother are both now deceased.

Well, I don't want to go on this subject too long, so we'll look ahead to the tasks coming up in this New Yearand hope you all have a wonderful 1993. I know I thank God for every day I have. I have a lot of physical ailments, but so far I'm handling them well and pray I'll be around a long time to enjoy my family of three sons, two daughters and families. I have three grown grand children and three that are ages 14, 8 and 6 (in Keli's family). They are very close, and each one takes a night sometimes once a week, or at least twice a month, to stay over and we do many wonderful, also educational and fun things. I also am a great-grandmother of Zackary Ryan Fortenbaugh, eight months, son of Ryan and Dawn Fortenbaugh. Ryan is my daughter Dana's son. Also Oliver Hoover, a darling little girl 1 years old, daughter of Lisa (Dana's stepdaughter) and Mark Hoover. And they live not too far away.

So you see, I'm richly blessed and then I have my Iron-Men Album family and many of you seem just like thatFAMILY. I feel privileged to serve you in my humble way. I also am a substitute teacher in the elementary schools, classes 1-8. The teachers all have aides. I had worked there for five years and then was off for a long time. Now I just go in when an aide is absent for the day. Keeps me in touch with the school crowd.