Thursday, October 28, 2010

A walk down Memory Mall

3:26 p.m. Today's project was to run errands from Woodcrest to Mission Grove, Downtown Riverside, Jurupa, Pedley, and back again via Canyon Crest Towne Center for three hours, while Steve worked with Howard Stevens in his orchard. Thank you, Lord, for the friendship they've formed, and for both Howard and Charlotte coming alongside us! As Proverbs 18:24 says, "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
The odyssey began with CVS pharmacy, where I picked up Steve's Namenda prescription. Namenda, along with Aricept, are the two main Alzheimer's meds. I've been avoiding picking up his Aricept and using samples from the neurologist, because the co-pay is $50, compared to $5 for generics! Imagine my surprise at being told the co-pay for brand name Namenda was $25.00. Making a quick recovery, I said, "It could be worse," to the pharmacy tech.
The next stop made my day. I dropped my (late) utility bill into the slot at City Hall, and, realizing that I had 20 minutes left in the parking space, and my Skecher Shapeups on, I decided to walk up and down the Main Street Mall. Passing the fountain tower, I grabbed my camera, and so it went, as I passed each landmark or picturesque spot.
Stopping at the Dr. Martin Luther King monument, I recalled the 5 years our citywide committee, the Martin Luther King Visionaries, worked to raise funds for it during the 1990's while I was in my first term on the Riverside Unified School Board. We sponsored huge annual banquets and garnered corporate support throughout the city. I remember when the exciting day came to select the design from 3 mock-ups displayed at Second Baptist Church. The day the statue was unveiled was a major city event, attended by every local dignitary and elected official, as well as county, state and federal officeholders.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick," Proverbs 13:12 says, "but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." How true that is, whether speaking of personal prayerful hopes or achieving community-wide goals!
Main Street was the scene of annual Riverside parades which I rode in as an elected official always ready to have fun: 4th of July parade, Black History, Orange Blossom Festival, and the Riverside Centennial. Because my family was so big (7 people) we had a bigger car to ride in than Governor Pete Wilson, a vintage convertible Cadillac. Kriss was about 9 years old, and jabbered non-stop to the point that the driver paid him $1.00 to be quiet!! Another funny moment came when our 3 year-old Steven tucked a box of orange Tic-Tacs in his pocket for the ride, along with a tiny HotWheels car for good measure.
I thank the Lord not only for the good times spent waving at the crowds and meeting with my constituents for three terms, but for the hard-fought gains that Christian conservatives made in the school district, uplifting the students' morals while increasing parent involvement, student literacy and test scores. God is good!
As I crossed Mission Inn Avenue, I saw the Christmas lights, small festive figures attached to the south-facing wall, waiting to be turned on during the Festival of Light next month. I thought, "Has it already been a year since Steve and I came over here, and did the Mission Inn tour with most of the rest of Riversiders?" Now I'm wondering if this Christmas will be the last one for Steve to handle easily, with the jostling crowds...if nothing else, we can always drive around town like we do already, with Christmas music on the radio, viewing the Wood Street displays, and then taking in the elaborate spreads closer to home.
Back to my car, I reminisced about the many, many meetings I had there with Mayor Loveridge, and the committees I sat on that met on the 7th floor. Now my son-in-law Nick is an intern in the mayor's office, working on future planning. His graduate work is in urban planning, so we are praying that this unpaid stint will give him added experience and be a resume-enhancer.
Paying my health insurance bill in the Jurupa Benefits office, getting gas, purchasing needed supplements at Clarke's Nutrition, picking up drycleaning, and purchasing stamps at Ralphs completed my circuit. I returned to the Stevens' home, and found Steve and Howard listening to the Gaither Trio, relaxing after their hard work and lunch.
Steve enjoyed a fine morning of fellowship, the Lord allowed me to complete a number of tasks efficiently, get some exercise, and enjoy the day He has made!!

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