Sunday I went to the Unitarian Church in Columbia. While it is smaller than RRUUC, it has a very friendly congregation. The minister is young and deeply thoughtful. I met a neuropsychologist who works at the VA. She confirmed Noel’s impression that there is a need for medically trained psychiatrists in the city. We have a lunch date. I also met a retired minister and her wife, a retired health policy wonk. They informed me Columbia is in the top ten places for active retirement in the US. I believe it. There are so many parks and trails, so many things to do.
Monday, I finally got art hung on the walls in the living spaces. It is looking good. Comfortable, but stylish, I think. Of course I discovered on Wednesday, that stylish and two year olds do not mix. Had to remove all breakables from her reach, including plants. I had already gotten the child safety latches for the kitchen.
Tuesday night I attended a chamber music concert at the the historic Missouri Theater. It reminded me of the concert hall in Pittsburgh where I heard much wonderful music. Tuesday’s performance was the Lyssander Piano Trio. The music was transporting.
Noel and Caitlin visited Wednesday afternoon. Noel got my computer and printer on the wifi network and talking to each other. Yay.! and set up my TV, but I could not find the TV power cord. The TV had been sitting in the basement for over a year, as we were using Nate’s TV. I suspect I mistakenly threw out the cord. Fortunately a replacement was available on Amazon, and should arrive next week. I had bought toys and books for Caitlin on Tuesday, so she was happy and they stayed for dinner. After playing with the new toys, Caitlin discovered the rock collection, and enjoyed playing with the rocks immensely. Noel found a box of photos, and we both had a great time looking through them and remembering events of her childhood. Looking at those pictures, I remembered how much I liked the house in Carderock. And how much of the kids childhood happened there. The temperature is much more moderate this week, so we were able to have wine and cheese on the deck before dinner. Grant’s employer was named by the Columbia Business Journal as best employer for the year, and the company had a big party to celebrate; so he was out that night with his buddies from work. several times a week I find myself thinking this is why I am here, and why it is important to be here. This was one of those times.
I also got my car registered on Wednesday. In doing so, I needed to go to the assessors office to get a waiver of taxes. On the way there I passed the pollworkers training site, so I signed up for training and had my first session the following day . There will be three training sessions before the primary for state and local offices on August 2. I had not realized pollworkers got paid. and they get paid better than jurors. Columbia has to import Republican pollworkers from outside the city to have enough to staff their polling sites at times. each site requires that a Republican and Democratic worker sign off on any irregularities, and the report for the site.
The church just lost it’s paid kitchen staffer and the Sunday refreshments are temporarily being done by volunteers. A volunteer was needed for the upcoming Sunday, so I stepped in. I received an orientation from the church administrator on Thursday after the pollworker training. I figured this would be a way to meet more congregants. Then I took Caitlin to her Therapeutic riding lesson; her third. This time they went on a trail ride, and trotted. She smiles wide when they trot. Noel says she believes the riding is helping with her sensory sensitivities. Noel is able to brush her teeth without fuss now, and there are many fewer tantrums over shoes and clothes. She allows people to hold her hand now .
When the ABA therapist arrived at home I set her up with Caitlin in the downstairs play room, where Caitlin would not be distracted by what her parents were doing, but feel comfortable. It worked really well. She did a lot of work, without distraction, and Noel and Grant and I were able to cook dinner and chat about the weeks activities uninterrupted. When Therapy was done, the therapist came upstairs to tell us Caitlin had mastered 106 objectives in the month of June. The therapist said that is more than any child she has seen has achieved. She said it was quite astounding.
Noel informs me Missouri is now a swing state in the presidential election. not necessarily a must win state, but a state where the vote is a dead heat. That should make voting more meaningful, and maybe increase the turnout, which may make for a very tiresome day for us pollworkers.