Therese A Boerger Lady Indians go down in straight sets to Valley in sectional play Manchester hosts the inaugural Southern Ohio Cheer Challenge NAHS girls claim soccer sectional title Seas siblings are SHAC Cross-Country champions Lady Devils will collect fourth consecutive SHAC gold ball trophy Lady Hounds ousted in sectional tourney opener Peebles Lions Club holding Thanksgiving fund raiser FFA Fruit sales have begun, run until Nov. 18 Historical marker is repaired PES will present ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Eagle Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center Open House showcases new unit PES teacher honored by ACOVSD Board Friends of North Adams Library dedicate new brick Veterans Memorial Senior Profile: Landon Wright Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC

Hello in there

George is 83 years old and was admitted to hospice for end stage heart disease. George tenaciously, but barely, clings to his independence, living alone in his, and his deceased wife Lucille’s, home. Lucille’s been gone for over five years now.

George says things that most of us aren’t honest enough to say. His perennial prayer is, “Lord, why don’t you just give me a little energy to do a little work?” But in spite of his prayers George continues to grow weaker. And sometimes George gets a little mad about it, “If God really cares then why won’t He give me a little energy? Is that too much to ask?” But after blowing off a little steam he says, “But I know he loves me. He told me so. Once I heard him say, ‘George, you know I love you.”

George eagerly shares his commentaries on life. One beautiful summer day as George and I sat in his lawn swing he commented, “Do you know what frustrates me? People don’t appreciate things anymore. People are like hogs. An acorn can fall from a tree, hit a hog on the head and fall to the ground and a hog will gobble it up without ever looking up to see where it came from.”

I recently visited George and it just happened to be his and Lucille’s wedding anniversary and George shared, “I used to wish I could know that she was in the house again even if only for a few more seconds, but I don’t feel like that anymore. My days are numbered, I can tell it. I know I’m on my way out but I still want to get out there and see life while I can.”

We talked about the peace that comes from recognizing and cooperating with the stages of life. We reflected on the lyrics of an old hymn: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

I sensed that “the things of earth” were growing “strangely dim” to George. For the first time, he appeared to be coming to grips with his mortality. He seemed to be embracing the final developmental task of life, that of shifting his hope from the physical to the spiritual, from the temporal to the eternal. But surprisingly I had mixed emotions. On one hand I celebrated his spiritual progress, but on the other hand I grieved because I realized that I would eventually be saying goodbye to “ole George.” George’s daughters had apparently also detected the changing seasons. They’ve always provided support while respecting their father’s independence, but the frequency and intensity of their support had increased and the climate had changed.

A couple weeks ago George reflected on what it’s like to grow older: “It’s a rough old world for old people. People don’t help each other anymore or maybe I just can’t see it because I’m stuck in the house now. I guess they do open the door for you sometimes when you go to the grocery store. I used to like to help people. It made me feel good to do something for somebody. The lady at Kroger said to me, “It seems like people aren’t very interested in you when you get old are they? That was nice for someone to say when she really doesn’t know me that well.” Then George added, “And people don’t talk to you when you get old. It’s like we don’t even speak the same language any more and you don’t hear anything good any more. I’m thinking about having the TV cable turned off. I watch HLN but every 45 minutes they just rerun the same old news.”

George’s commentary reminds me of the lyrics of a song by John Prine titled “Hello in There, Hello, we had an apartment in the city, me and Loretta liked living there. Well, it’s been years since the kids had grown, a life of their own left us alone. Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder every day. Old people just grow lonesome, waiting for someone to say, ‘Hello in there, hello. Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much any more, she sits and stares through the back door screen and all the news just repeats itself like some forgotten dream that we’ve both seen. Someday I’ll go and call up Rudy. We worked together at the factory. But what could I say if he asks ‘What’s new?’ ‘Nothing, what’s with you?’; ‘Nothing much to do’. So if you’re walking down the street sometime; and spot some hollow ancient eyes, please don’t just pass by and stare, as if you didn’t care, say, ‘Hello in there, hello.”

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at

Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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