I, Daryl, am writing again this year and Peggy is doing the typing.
Peggy is still working nights at the nursing home near us. She considers it a privilege to care for all the people there. She enjoys talking to the people and learning from them while she is helping them.
In February we traveled to the farm show in Kentucky. We helped cover the show for Farm Industry News magazine. Instead of taking the main highways, we took some less busy roads. We stopped in Berne, Ind., to see the large Mennonite church there. The caretaker was nice enough to fire up the pipe organ that can electronically play hymns on its own! Then we stopped at Columbus, Ind. This town is full of incredible architecture. It is the home of the Cummins engine company. Cummins pays the architectural fees for any new public building in the town. We toured a large church that Eero Saarinen designed. (I watched a show on PBS last winter about this man.) His most famous structure is the St. Louis Arch.
Since we don’t have children or grandchildren, we have time to enter contests. In March we found out that we won Monsanto’s Farmers Give Back to the Community award – a $2,500 gift to the charity of our choice. We chose the Cancer Assistance Program that helps cancer patients in our county.
In April I entered John Deere’s Small Machine – Big Impact contest. They asked, “If you had a new skid steer, how would you use it to positively impact your community?” I said that I would help Habitat for Humanity in Putnam County. This was a national contest and Deere people narrowed it down from 665 entries to 17 entries and then some impartial people narrowed it down to 3. When I found out that I was one of the three finalists, we began a lot of communication back and forth with Deere’s advertising people. One of the requirements for finalists was to go to Moline, IL in July to accept the prize.
As a perk, we could stay there for four days and have gold key tours of any John Deere factories that we wanted to go to. Online voting would determine the ultimate winner, so we tried to round up folks to vote for us. Although we didn’t get enough votes to be the ultimate winner we still received a one-year prepaid lease of the machine of our choice. We had a very exciting time throughout the process. We got quite an education and had lots of fun touring 3 factories and 3 of the museums that Deere has. We also toured Deere’s international headquarters. It, too, was designed by Eero Saarinen and some consider it the world’s premier office building. We also got a chance to meet several of Deere’s top executives.
We had a good garden again and shared produce with many of our neighbors and Peggy’s coworkers. We had enough sweet corn to feed everyone at the Hilty Home at least once. We also took the Hilty residents on a hayride in the fall.
We hope to hear from you.
Daryl & Peggy