A Busy Week Ends with Bingo

This week in Gettysburg has been anything but slow. Phoebe and I had a full schedule of meals to make, along with a few extra.  We pretty much have the hang of how everything works in the kitchen although we have had a few minor setbacks (two broken freezers, and a broken sink). Although we had a few challenges, I feel that this week was probably our most organized, and well planned as far as the meals go. We were able to use all of the food that was defrosted prematurely, and even though we did not intend for this to happen it gave us a chance to clean out the freezers, which was long overdue.


Battlefield Community Garden at Sherfy Homestead

Another positive point about my week is that the garden is finally shaping up. On Tuesday night Ray came out with a self-tiller and basically made the garden look brand new. While he did this, Katie and I picked up a lot of weeds, and set down topsoil for the planting of new fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and squash. Katie is a college graduate from Gettysburg who spends her time working in many gardens here, and Ray is one of her bosses. I’m pretty excited to see how these new plants grow because we had such success with the first round (radishes and spinach).

Although my week had many highs, I think my favorite part of it was actually last night at the senior citizen dinner. In high school I spent a lot of time working with senior citizens, and it was nice to sit down with them and have a conversation.  I had about a half of an hour talk with one of the elderly women at the center and it was incredibly interesting.  We talked about where we were from and how she used to live in a more rural part of the state and missed it a lot because she was “a country girl at heart”. We then got to talk about how she has had both of her knees replaced, along with one of her hips and one of her shoulders. Not knowing what I was talking about I suggested to her that I had heard getting a hip replaced is the worst by far. She laughed and said that the knees were by far the worst, and she didn’t even do physical therapy for her hip, which I found amazing. I asked her about how many people lived there and why not everyone came down for dinner, and she said that many people feel forgotten there, which I found incredibly sad. She said some people only left their rooms to go to their doctors.

After everyone finished dinner we began that nights game, which was bingo. We had about ten prizes for 17 people, so we decided to play until all of the prizes were gone. I quickly realized that my bingo knowledge was nowhere near theirs when they asked me what kind of bingo we were playing. I had no idea there was more than one type. At least I was comforted by the fact that Phoebe didn’t even know what bingo was.  To my knowledge you could win by having 5 chips lined up across, down, or diagonally. Apparently you can win by having four chips in the same corner, and another way, which I have already forgotten. After all of the prizes had gone, we handed out desert and sat down and talked for a while. It was amazing how much they just enjoyed the social aspect of the night, and really did love interacting. It made me think about what they do all the time. They must be so lonely at some points in the day, which is saddening because they are people just like us. I feel like sometimes they are looked down upon because they are not as mobile, or active as younger people, but they have feelings and like interacting just as much as I do. I feel more as if they are judged for being old rather than for what they have accomplished in their long lives.

An overall recap of what I learned last night is that my bingo knowledge is not as vast as I once thought, hand soap is the most popular bingo prize out there, and the seniors are just like you and I in so many ways. 

Jameson Smith