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Sometimes You Just Need to Smile

This week is a repost of an article that appeared in the November 1989 Seneca Journal. It happened to be a week that Anne Rackley was off from her normal writing of the Collins Children's Home article.

This was a tongue-cheek story written by one of the staff members. (Don't worry, Anne was in on the joke.)

Joe and Anne with the Collins Kids sometime near 1989

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." -Lucille Ball.

The capable staff has written this week's column of the Collins Children's Home. We regret to inform you that Mrs. Anne Rackley is becoming too feeble to write, due to a recent change in age. We won't discuss Anne's AGE, but how young can you be when you are on your 76th child and sagging in all the wrong places?

Since it's our turn, we'll tell it like it really happens!

A (Real) Day in the Life of the Collins Home

VALERIE (secretary): "Good morning, Collins Children's Home."

APO PRESIDENT (fraternity from Clemson University): "Valerie, I am sorry to call so late, but this is an exceptionally busy week at Clemson and is it possible to reschedule the newspaper truck?"

VALERIE (as she is watching the newspaper truck pull into the driveway): RESCHEDULE!!! Um! Well! The truck is here, but I suppose I could find some other volunteers...I understand...That's okay...Send who you can. Thanks. Bye."

TRACY (housemother, overhearing the conversation): "I guess you can call Jane and see if she can stay with the kids while we load the truck."

To add to our problem of this particular day, Joe and Anne are out of town at a business meeting and are unavailable for consultation (rescue). Valerie begins calling people and begging them to help.

As Valerie prepares to leave for Winn Dixie to get the conveyors, that they so graciously allow us to use, she discovers that the keys are locked in the truck...IN HER PURSE!! This is when you wish the truck was NOT theft-proof!

In their desperation, Tracy and B.K. took the seats out of the van and hurried to pick up the conveyors. Upon their return, they expected to find several strong, dedicated volunteers loading the truck since it was already late.

To their dismay, they found one kind supervisor and one strong guy (who was in the house).

Unexpected Miracle Arrives

Completing the assembling process of the conveyors, Valerie, Tracy, B.K., Greg, and Fred quickly began loading papers. Seeing as how approximately 20 young men usually load the truck, three men and two women created a definite handicap.

Miracles of miracles! Seven guys showed up unexpectedly from APO (thanks guys, you saved our lives). Relieving the "little women" from their manual labor, the men didn't realize there were also several loads of paper at the building. Therefore, continuing to do whatever was necessary to load this truck, the "real women" in the crowd marched to the duties at hand.

As we conclude our story, we find Tracy and Valerie going into the house at 5:00 pm. where they still had to prepare dinner. Thanks, Monroe Rice for those delicious hot dogs.

"You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there." -George Burns.

Now to Saturday and our AGING leader.

The day began with everyone acting casual about Anne's birthday. She received a "Happy Birthday" here and there along with a 5-year-old quoting her age over and over (influenced by the housemother, no doubt),

After lunch, we surprised her with presents and a delicious cake baked by Janice Deal.

Little did we know that there was more excitement ahead.

Who remembers the days before indoor plumbing? Due to a slight problem we had on Saturday, some very young children had the opportunity to experience washing dishes in a bowl and walking outside IN THE COLD to the bathroom in the office.

If anyone wants to know if socks, broken plastic coat hangers, straws, toys, and styrofoam are flushable, ask anyone from the Collins Children's Home. Thanks to "Daddy Joe", Roger, and B.K. all is well again.

"My mother always used to say: The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana. " -Rose (Betty White), The Golden Girls.

Now it is time to close this scenario but not without rectifying our introductory remarks. Anne is really not THAT old ... even though she has gray hair.

The staff is very appreciative of her willingness to share her column. We hope we are still on staff next week.

We know Anne would not want us to close without telling that Patricia made A-B honor roll for the first time. Burger King is saving us from Tracy's cooking this week. Dalora spent the weekend with George and Marge Purdy.

Thanks to our friend, Grace Newsum, who is most helpful at the right time. We also appreciate the green beans donated by the Seneca Presbyterian Women's Group.

Thursday was another BIG DAY. We had visitors from the State Licensing Division for our annual inspection and review. After the nine years, we don't get paranoid, we strive to do our very best in all areas and we expect the best report.

Though a lot has changed over the years (Anne is a bit older now as we all are), the Collins Children's Home staff still works hard and continues to wear multiple hats when needed. We still love our volunteers and how much the community lends a helping hand. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, check out the ways you can help.


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