FINAL YEARS — 2005-?

Second Sale of Condo

The new dry wall for the condo was finally installed in early February after much delay in making updates to meet city code requirements, as well as shortages of labor and materials. Earl suggested to me that we offer the condo for sale in its bare condition, as some buyer might prefer to make the restoration of walls, floor coverings, etc., with their own choices. He put a for sale sign in front of the condo and a ten-day ad in the papers with an asking price of $189,500, "as is". He said he based his price on the askings for similar water-front condos. Incredibly, 61 persons came to see the condo, and two agreed to the asking price, the first one making the down payment getting it. So I had $55,000 more to give to the Lord's work than if the first sale had gone through. That answered my question of "Why Charley?". As I had promised to the Lord, I split the net from the sale seven ways, distributing $35,000 to each of EPC, NFMPC, ECHO, HAFF, and Laura Haas's work in South Africa; $10,000 to the Corwins, and $1,000 to Lucy Moore's Precious Life. Earl Jordan got $5,000 for his salesmanship. Since all the income I receive is from the Lord, I am only the steward of it, having the privilege of distributing it as the Lord leads me, including my own living expenses.

Winter and Spring, 2005

Living in the country doesn't change much with the seasons. My lifestyle was essentially unchanged, though I realized that I would have to give up living alone. On Will's visit in April (spring break at the college where he was teaching) I took him to see the assisted living facility called Cordia Commons at West Bay, popularly called "Westbay", in downtown Cape Coral. A retired pastor and his wife, Rev. Paul and Geneva Faris, had been holding Sunday afternoon worship services there for many years, and spoke highly of the place. Both Will and I were sufficiently impressed for me to make a deposit, and I planned to move in on July 1st, the anniversary date of my move to the country.

Emily Becomes Mrs. Clayton

Emily and Mike Rohde divorced in 2003. Emily married Kyle Clayton on May 5, 2005, in the resort town of Petoskey MI. The wedding was a small one, attended only by Will and Judy and his parents and some cousins. Kyle's father gave them a honeymoon weekend on Mackinac Island.

Bruce & Adele

Adele Caruthers sent me this picture of herself and her son Bruce, taken in September 2006. Bruce is now 37 and lives with her. He works as a computer phone technician.

Life at Westbay

As the time drew new the management of Westbay offered to have me enter early, without charge for the days in June, so I arranged with Harry Volkner, head of property for ECHO to move me on June 17th, and I would give him all the household goods and food I would not need at Westbay. Since Harry was in the process of building and furnishing six houses for interns and visiting missionaries, he was glad to get my things. So I had another easy move. Everything I wanted fit beautifully into my one-room-and-bath apartment, and I have enjoyed living here. I am provided with three excellent meals a day, seven days a week, laundry service and room cleaning weekly, and emergemcy medical care. But it is the most expensive "restaurant" I ever ate in!

I had purchased a new (Dell) computer system in the fall of 2004, which of course I brought with me. I could continue my work for ECHO in my room (see right) as effectively as at ECHO. Since our newly formed church (North Fort Myers Presbyterian Church) met in ECHO's auditorium, I could update my work status once a week. However, this work dried up in the following winter, so I was left to find something else to do in 2006. Bonnie Price had urged me to write up my experience as an intern at HAFF in Haiti, so I decided to update and expand the second edition of "My Biography." This time I would make a CD out of it, so that it would not be limited in photos or text, and could be cheaply reproduced and mailed to my relatives and friends. Also it could be updated easily from year to year, and thus serve as a history for the expanded Mitchell families.

When I first moved in I was invited by the management to conduct a Bible study once a week. This was attended by two or three regulars and a half a dozen or so who came off and on. Being scheduled at two o'clock it would be held at the time I am normally taking my afternoon nap. So on two consecutive weeks I slept through the appointed time and had no students. The third week another event (a once-a-year activity) intervened, and on the fourth week I slept through the time again. That did it. The one remaining person strongly recommended that I give it up, which I reluctantly did.

On Will's visit in March 2006, he took several pictures for me, including the one above and the two to the left and right here. On the left you see me signing in (or out), as I did several times a week. On the right you see me and my tablemates, Bobby, Betty, and Paul. The other activity I undertook, again with management's approval and scheduling, was to show videos and DVDs of famous movies of the past, at 2pm on Saturdays. I didn't attend the showings myself, as I was always too tired to do so. At first I used the videos Mary Chalotte had purchased, and when these ran out I got videos and DVDs from the Public Library of Lee County in Cape Coral. Since the library allows me to take five at a time for two weeks, for many weeks I did so, showing the additional films at 6pm on whatever evening my tablemates wanted them.

One sad event occurred Tuesday, November 8th — one of our elders, Lanny Moore, went to be with the Lord. He had contracted lung cancer nine years earlier, though he had never smoked. He had one lung removed a year or two later. Four years later the cancer broke out in the other lung. He battled through several courses of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but the cancer finally won. Our pastor, Dann Cecil, preached a beautiful evangelistic sermon at the memorial service the following Saturday, answering from the Bible the obvious question: Why does the Lord allow his most faithful servants to suffer so much? So many people wanted to attend, that we borrowed MacGregor Baptist's huge sanctuary, and more than 500 attended. His widow, Lucy, has kindly written up his illness for me, and I urge you to read it at Lanny Moore's Battle with Cancer.

I Visit Will and His Family

Here we have the whole family around me (see left: back row, left to right)Mark's wife Cristina holding their one-year-old Agatha, Judy, Will; (front row, left to right) Mark, Brynn, me, Evynn, Emily holding two-month-old Merynn, and Kyle. On the right you see me with Emily's three: Evynn and Brynn holding Merynn. The occasion was a week-end holiday at a guest ranch somewhere in Indiana, where all three families congregated from their several homes (Chicago, Midland (MI) and Shelbyville). Also attending but not shown in the picture was Judy's mother Mary Ann Wasson. It was a great time, at which the older girls got to know me as a legitimate member of the family. I also found out how frail I had become, as Will insisted on shepherding me between the two cabins we occupied six times a day, and assured it by keeping our cabin locked with the key in his pocket. The time went by like lightning, and I soon found myself back in Will's home in Shelbyville, where he and Judy both treated me like a royal visitor, spending many hours reviewing pictures and reading through the text of my DVD. Judy found copious typos, most from the program that translated the scanned text of the seond edition of the book into printable characters for the new DVD.

Convinced now that Will and Judy really want me to move near to them, I made a deposit on a room in a nearby assisted living facility, McKay Manor. The only thing left was to determine when to move. The date Will suggested was Sept. 28th, so now all I had to do is pack up my belongings and prepare to move. Another chapter in my life closed.

The move was nearly painless. I flew to Indianapolis, where Judy picked me up and took me to McKay Manor. Will drove my car up with my furniture and personal effects, arriving the next day. He and Judy had me moved in completely that very day. Now I really am at the last place in this life, the Lord willing. As of this final writing, I am slowly getting acquainted with the other residents, the local Presbyterian church (175 years old), and the shopping community. Au revoir!

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