Diana Ingram: The Los Banos Arts Council hosts sounds of Yosemite

November 25, 2011 

The Los Banos Arts Council hosts the sounds of Yosemite on Dec. 4 with Tom Bopp. Tickets are available at the door for $20.

Belated happy birthday to my beloved dear friend, Sister Lillian of New Bethany, and to adorable Nancy Contreras.

Congratulations to Eileen Stietz who is now fancy free, happy retirement.

The Los Banos Elks are planning to host a New Year's Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for just $10. Tickets are being presold. To order tickets or for more information, call Cookie Rendon at (209) 704-7330.

Plan on attending the Arts Council Christmas Market Dec. 10-11. Among the entertainment scheduled is Mayor Mike Villalta reading " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m., just before the opportunity drawing. Opportunity tickets are available for a requested donation of $5; call any Arts Council Board member, or me at (209) 826-0874.

Thank you to all those who so far have donated to the two Community Christmas Trees -- the list keeps growing. There is still time for you to be part of this first-ever celebration.

Last Tuesday, I was reminded of a series of lessons, which to me became a parade of many emotions that reinforced my belief that every moment and every gesture matters. I began my day by driving over to San Jose to Kaiser Hospital. Needing some tests for upcoming surgery, I had also been asked to participate in a special international heart study. When I was asked, I said yes immediately because, if you can help someone in the future, how can you say no? The quick change in my plans for the day caused me to rush about, which made my animal children very nervous. I hate spending the night away from them. But thanks to my Lara's willingness to watch the pets and my son, Brett, lending me a bed for the night over the hill, I quickly was able to adapt my plans, and I was on my way.

I tried to make the drive a pleasurable one, there is always so much to see: cows, goats, horses, trees, streams and flowers! I think what a blessing it is to see. I listened to my classical music, which almost gives me shivers, and I thanked God for the gift of hearing.

I found a parking place easily, which at Kaiser is almost a miracle, and I was grateful for that, aware of the small things that can irritate or please us.

Midway through my first day at Kaiser, I broke for lunch and I went to their kiosk that serves drinks and sandwiches, which sits right next to where Ron had all of his chemotherapy. I had purchased much mocha there, but it had been over a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised when the man remembered me and had my drink waiting, as he had seen me approach. His welcome smile warmed my day, and his remembering me and my story helped ease the sadness I felt, surrounded by so many difficult memories. I felt blessed by his kindness.

I sat down on a bench and saw a little gathering of birds, I tore off some of my sandwich and shared it with them, I was rewarded with a delightful show as they danced before me, grabbing the desirable crumbs. I laughed. Bless nature and its daily parade of pleasures. Throughout the day, I was reminded of gifts: Hugs from Ron's old oncology nurses I visited, knowledge that was shared, patience and kindness that was shown.

We just celebrated Thanksgiving, and we are now officially in the season. The busiest, most hectic, beautiful and happy time of the year. While you are busy counting your many blessings and preparing for the merry days ahead, please be sure to reach out to those who could use a little comforting. For those alone or ill, this can be a very difficult time of year. The good will that you pass on to others will be something we can all be thankful for because it is contagious. Share your smiles and, until next time, may all your news be good news.

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