Monday, April 18, 2011
We have close friends who have lived so close to us since October that if I stretch from fingertip to fingertip, I can touch the back of Opal and Frank’s RV and the back of our RV. You have seen Opal and Frank for years on my blogs when I write about Birthday parties, Red Hat gatherings, Pot Luck dinners and Church activities. I even wrote four pages about them in the book, “More RV Chuckles and Chuckholes – More Confessions of Happy Campers.”
This month they celebrated their 55th Wedding Anniversary and Frank’s 85th Birthday. We saw the movie, “The Great Escape,” last week with them. Frank also escaped from a POW camp in WWII by riding a motorcycle for 180 kilometers across the German countryside but he said that was the only familiar thing about the movie. His barracks weren’t as good and the rations were so poor that he lost 57 lbs during the 6 months that he was imprisoned. Frank lost his hearing from a grenade that was thrown into his trench just before he was imprisoned.
Opal not only has a wonderful singing voice but also a well-modulated, pleasant speaking voice which you hear as she sings in the choir, leads a Bible study and is the liturgist for the church services. What you don’t realize is that she became deaf following pneumonia, scarlet fever and mastoiditis when she was seven years old. When she was a sophomore in high school, she was fitted with hearing aids, which allowed partial hearing.
Opal, and her husband, Frank, raised a son and a daughter and now have two grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She was employed for forty years at a casualty insurance company when she asked to retire. Instead of approving her retirement at age sixty-five, the company asked her to stay one more year. Opal agreed to work longer.
Opal is a precious gem who I’m happy to call my friend and Frank is a wonderful man who really shouldn’t work as hard as he does. It will be hard to leave them so we won’t leave them for awhile. I will drive with Opal to Kansas. Terry will meet with us there and we will spend some time at their home.