Enjoyed-Annoyed 2004

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I have taken the idea of the Smiles and Scowls Column on our editorial page to create my very own Enjoyed & Annoyed Column for 2004 which is a column explaining situations that have pleased and displeased me during the past year, especially the time as a free spirit since last July.

Enjoyed: The many friends that I made during my 32 years of employment here. Many who were once employed here have come back to visit to be surprised that I was still here. I appreciate their comments that I am aging gracefully.

Enjoyed: The sisterhood of my club, the Suffolk Les Gemmes Inc. This organization has produced travel to places that I probably would not have taken if I were not a member. I also enjoy taking part in activities with my Booker T. Washington Alumni Association colleagues. I apologize for not giving equal time to my other organization, the Norfolk State Alumni Association, but will try to do better in 2005.

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Enjoyed: Being honored by my church, East End Baptist, as a retiree and as a 50-year member. I have also learned much more about the Bible in the Sharing and Adult Bible Class that meets from 10 to 11 a.m. every Tuesday.

Enjoyed: That for the first time in 32 years I have savored the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons as a free spirit as an unemployed citizen because I have had more time on my hands to spend time with family members.

Enjoyed: The Thanksgiving Holiday because I had time to plan for and to prepare a turkey and other additional food items to go along with my Thanksgiving dinner. Since 1998, the year that my husband and mother died, I haven’t prepared anything special for the holiday because my son and I were always invited to my niece, Charlene Banks,’ house. However, this year I decided to invite family members and friends to my house to prove to them that I can really cook.

Annoyed: Because when I was shopping for the dinner, I had to wait in line behind a customer who was having trouble running that piece of plastic through the little credit machine at the end of the counter. There have been many other times at other stores that I have encountered the line being held up while the cashier has tried to help and even had to send for a supervisor to assist her with this same kind of credit machine. I could scream the day that these things were installed.

Annoyed: With the many credit cards and financial applications reaching my mail and post office box because I have always believed that if I can’t afford to pay cash for an item or put it on layaway, I don’t really need it. However, these institutions know that this time of year is a vulnerable one. The financial institutions have even gone so far as to print fake checks with my name on them and offered easy ways to get cash right away to reel me in.

Enjoyed: The way I felt when I looked at these gimmicks and was still not tempted. I doubly enjoyed destroying them so that they wouldn’t clutter space needed for other important mail. For those who do get tempted just remember these companies can be so nice when they are trying to trap you but get vicious when you are late or can’t make a payment by threatening to garnishee your wages or take you to court.

Enjoyed: Since 1998, I have not put much into decorating since I celebrated my wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve. I had ample time this year so I began decorating in November and had everything looking beautiful for my Thanksgiving dinner. Since then, I decided to use some of my time to ride all over town at night to see how others have decorated their homes. I must say I am impressed with the creativity of many. I advise anyone who wants to save money, rather than visiting the Virginia Beach Boardwalk to ride around Suffolk as I did. The only difference is that when you visit the beach, chances are you will give many oohs and ahhs sounds for perfect displays and arrangements. However, when you observe some homes, you may have to give other expressions for bad arrangements.

Annoyed: With some hideous ones that look as if the person may have been color and arrangement blind. Some of these displays look as if the resident threw everything together that would light up.

My advice to you is to regroup and try again next year.

Enjoyed: Serving as a dance instructor at the Senior Citizens Gala that was held at the National Guard Armory on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Enjoyed: The time that I have had to spend with my father and others at the George Washington Health Care Center in Chesapeake and the fact that I can do so anytime of the day. I am grateful for the fellowship from three members of East End’s Voices of Praise Choir and the Rev. William Johnson last Thursday night. Johnson is the father of East End Baptist Church minister of music Karen Croston. They sang Christmas Carols to him and Johnson, who is an avid harmonica musician like my father, joined him in a few Christmas selections. Those from the choir were Clarence West Sr., Robert Woodruff and Raymond Williams.

Enjoyed: The positive comments from readers that you are pleased that I continued the &uot;Off The Wall&uot; column after my retirement. However, thanks should go to the News-Herald for allowing me to do so.

I wish for them and you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Evelyn Wall is a retired News-Herald reporter and regular columnist.