Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Hilo Woman's Club We Care Teddy Bears Club (and car trouble)

Well, I guess it's official. Mom and I have joined the Hilo Woman's Club's We Care Teddy Bear Club. {Smile} We attended our first meeting this morning. Mom was going to drive us down. However, her car wouldn't start. So Dad drove us down. He dropped us off, and we tried to get in. There were two garages right in front, side by side. However, Mom spotted a gate to oneside, so she went thru it. It went to a back porch. Nobody was obvious, but there were lots of stairs. So I went back to the driveway. I spotted Dad driving past, so I waved to him, and explained we were having a little trouble finding anyone. He offered to come back and wait for us, just incase. Shortly before he did, Mom waved to me. So I told Dad we were okay. Mom led me down a long, narrow path between the garages, and up two steps, and another, and another, into the house. They didn't even have railings, but I managed; my balance is doing better these days, and there was a convenient post I could hang onto by the two steps. {Smile}

Once inside, there were no more steps between the entrance and the dining room. So we sat around the dining room table, and started talking. Then we started tying bows on stuffed animals while we continued to talk. It was just Mom, the club president, and me. I wondered a bit, but continued to tie bows. Then the president wanted to show us some of the other animals. We debated. I'm not that good at stairs, but I did want to see the animals. I eventually decided to try it. She led us over to the stairs, which we'd passed on the way in. They were steeper than usual, but they had good, sturdy railings. So we tried it, and it worked. She went up, and took us into a room where she had more animals some school kids had fixed up. She said she had even more in another room. I wanted to see them while I was up there, but she didn't want to fix them up first, since they weren't even washed. So we went back down. I found the steps were steep enough, I couldn'twalk down forwards. I had to face backwards and find the next step mostly by feel. That did work; I didn't have to sit down and lower myself step by step like a two-year-old. However, I'm not going up those steps again, no matter how many animals she has to show me while I'm there.

Back downstairs, we continued to talk. The president continued to tie bows. Mom found a dog who needed some shout, and a frog who had some things taken off her. I found a dog whose nose was half off, and a brand new bunny who needed her tags snipped off and her tail sewed back on. I was working on the bunny when Dad showed up to pick us up. The president invited him inside, and we asked him to tie a necktie on this one animal. None of us could remember how, and Mom felt a few animals should have more masculine decorations. {SMILE} So Dad sat and tied neckties. Mom finished the frog and started on more bows. The president did more bows, too, and I finished fixing the rabbit's tail. {Smile}

Then Dad took us home. Mom went inside for a few things, then went back out as Dad got out the jumper cables, and prepared to fix Mom's car. Just before he connected them, he told Mom to try to start her car one last time.

It started easily, tho it made a funny noise. Mom drove down tot the service station to ask them what was happening with her car. They ran a few tests, and decided the alternator was fine, but the battery was weak. So now Mom has a new battery just like Dad's. {Smile}

If you're wondering what the Hilo Woman's Club's We Care Teddy Bear Club does with all those stuffed animals, we give them away to "children and adults who need a hug." The club started by giving them to the police to keep in their cars, so they have one when they meet a kid who needs comfort in the course of their work. The club got many, many more bears than the police here can use. So the club has branched out to underprivileged children, fire trucks, nursing homes, domestic violence help centers, adult day care, doctor's offices, and giving them to other charities for prizes and such. The president even gave some away as Halloween favors last year. She hadn't thought of many of these options yet, and she felt her house was so full of bears and other stuffed animals, she has to do something! {Smile} If it's still full enough of animals, she'll probably do that again this year. {SMILE}

The one place we don't give them to is the hospital. They insist the animals would need to be sterilized, and that's beyond our cleaning skills. {lop-sided smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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