Meet Kay, 10-27-23

I’ve known Kay since I moved to Garner in 1979 – when she worked in the “domestics” department at Goodnatures store – dry goods, notions, linens and all domestic goods. Everybody went there to buy flour sacks to embroider on as well as a selection of iron on patterns. She worked there for over 30 years and retired in 1998. We were just starting our business at that time and we could buy fabric there in limited amounts.

Kay, age 88, lives at Concord Care Center right now but longs to return to Prairie View just down the street where she could have an efficiency apartment. She landed at Concord because she’s a falling risk.

Kay married Ron Karsjens – pronounced carsh -d – yuns – (say it fast) on June 20, 1954 right after her birthday on June 5. Ron drove semi over the road for most of their married life and in his spare time at home he liked to crochet. I received a beautiful large round doily for Christmas one year. They were married for 52-1/2 years when Ron died in February 2006. His funeral was held on Valentine’s Day which Kay said was the perfect day because he’d been her sweetheart for over 52 years.

They raised 3 kids: Tim, Cindy and Susan. Kay goes to my church as well as Susan and her family. Remember the little girl who sometimes sits on my lap at the piano during the children’s sermon? Her name is Rebecca and she is Kay’s great granddaughter. Rebecca’s has two brothers – Jake and Ethan.

Kay enjoys playing Bingo at Concord and doesn’t miss “Movin’ To Music”, the exercise class held every morning. I noticed a small portable sewing machine in her room – and yes, it’s a Bernina. She shares a room and her space is quite crowded – I, too, wish she could go back to Prairie View. She is a fan of the Bold and the Beautiful – I’ll remember not to visit her between 12:30 – 1:00 – just as we never visited Mom during Price Is Right. She watches the Inspiration channel and loves old westerns.

Kay uses a walker to get around but comes to church via the church van using a wheelchair. I know she’d love receiving a card from any of you. Just remember to tell her how you know her.

Kay Karsjens

Concord Care Center

490 W. Lyon

Garner, IA 50438

The game is starting!

14 thoughts on “Meet Kay, 10-27-23

  1. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary – I love that you’re doing this!!! Such a simple gesture that brightens someone’s day beyond measure!!! Thank you for giving us this opportunity. 💝

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynette – that’s the thing, isn’t it? Such a small thing for a person to do – sending a single card – but to the recipient it can be huge. And as a group I truly think we can make a difference to some people in a care center where they are likely feeling quite low.

  2. Angie from Baltimore

    To make someone day a little brighter makes my day a little brighter as well.
    Our trees are in full color showing their beauty and I am loving it. We have a state park near me and my simple pleasure is to get a sandwich and a drink and sit on a picnic bench and have my lunch as the leaves fall around me. For a short time all is right with the world

  3. Chris in Alaska

    Oh this brings memories of my mother! She and my dad both passed in 2007 . We could NOT interrupt her and The Lawrence Welk Show !! We have a little gift shop in our small town in Alaska and I’m going to buy a whole bunch of Alaskan greeting cards ! I agree , this is so thoughtful 🙂

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Chris – when we were kids it was the Lawrence Welk Show at our house, too!

  4. Sharon G.

    Mary – I will send Kay a card soon.

    I’ve spent the last 4 days with my sisters. I’m heading home tomorrow. Today I took them out for lunch at Olive Garden after we shopped for hours at a local thrift store. It was so much fun!

    Take care everyone.

  5. Sherrill

    So far not happy with Texas’ play! Thought Eovaldi wZ doing OK for a short minute. Ugh

  6. Sandy

    Hi Mary, it’s nice to hear about Kay’s history, l hope she gets lots of cards! Just been to quilt meeting,took loads of empty jam jars for Noreen who makes marmalade for for the food bank, she gave me s couple of jars,yum! So bag of sugar for her next month.
    A lovely sunny day, the sound of suburbia outside, lawnmowers! Christmas stockings next on list for children in hospital, a quilt group project. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – I’d love to be starting my lawnmower – soon it will be my snowblower!

  7. Kim from Wisc

    How wonderful to read about Kay and her life. I will gladly send a card when I get home. Quick trip to Atlanta with our daughter. Going to the Aquarium, the Coke Museum, The Human & Civil Rights Museum. We hope to make the Puppetry Museum if time allows.

  8. Kathy in western NY

    Nice reading about Kay’s life and of course sending a card is just a small gesture to make a day brighten for someone who longs to be in independent living rather than being in a care center but falls should not be taken lightly. I found that out recently so no messing around for me anymore. Thank you for letting us be a part of Kay’s journey too.
    I just learned a home 10 minutes from my house will be featured on ABC’s Halloween fright night show Sunday Night. They set up a pirate ship with a light show and raise funds thru donations to give to Dream Factory which helps fulfill dreams of children who are sick. There’s even a food truck on premises to order a meal at to watch the show. I look forward to seeing something that shows how much fun with a lot of team work to set it all up but it can be to provide ways to give back in community. Good for them!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy -the family that set that display up should be commended for helping your community and I’m sure it’s appreciated. How fun! Yes, Kay wants to be back at Prairie View so bad and her space is so cramped that I don’t know how she stands it.

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