Friday, January 17, 2014

Interview with Grandma Bonnie Peters

(Reclaimed from Bubblews.)

Someone recently told me she had heard that my supposed-to-be-partner in blogging, Grandma Bonnie Peters, had died. GBP had seemed quite healthy the last time I saw her, and I thought I would have heard if anything had happened...but you never know. So after taking a snow day on Wednesday, I spent Thursday tracking GBP to her lair in Kingsport, Tennessee.

She is still healthy and well preserved, and in fact, after feeding me a vegan lunch, she made the other comments quoted here during a two-mile walk around her neighborhood. Her idea. (For those who don't know...GBP's 79th birthday is next week, and she's still working as a night nurse.)

She had no official comment about my Bubblews being dedicated to this fund: 

About being hard to reach: "I don't want to set up my voice mail box. It only fills up with sales messages, and then I get impatient and hit 'Erase All'." (We didn't get around to discussing the National Do Not Call List. Let's just say that we agree that "telemarketing" should be outlawed.)

About her rather brief publications list: (Short handwritten manuscripts were lying around her office.) "You know I helped Jeff Goldberg with Steps to Shalom. Ten or twelve of us [at the Messianic Jewish and Seventh-Day Adventist Fellowship in St. Petersburg, Florida] worked with him to make sure it was equally accessible to Jewish and Christian readers."

About Tamera Mowry's quinoa waffles recipe: "I received it in the e-mail. I might try it some time." (Use this link with caution, as the Mowry sisters' web site seems to have been attacked by haters: )

About aging, arthritis, rheumatism, and body shrinkage: "I used to have arthritis. I know not all arthritis is caused by food allergies, but what a blessing that mine was. Doctors said I'd be wheelchair-bound within five years. And even when I started to get osteoporosis, weight-bearing exercise is holding it down to what they call 'osteopinosis', which is less severe."

About walking (she was setting a reasonably good pace): "I need to walk today because there have been some days when I couldn't walk outside. I know about the mall walkers in Kingsport. I'd rather wait for a thaw than walk with them. Facing straight into this wind feels cold...walking uphill, with buildings breaking the wind, is not too bad." (The temperature was above freezing by three or four degrees Fahrenheit.)

About Tennessee law: "Another mutual acquaintance has joined the bandwagon to try to get some relief from the 'Deadbeat Dads' law here. She was unable to send child support to the father of her children, who is earning fifty thousand a year, because she was laid off from a job as a cashier. She is filling out seventeen applications for jobs a week. So far she's only found part-time work with a maid service. One cold day she borrowed a car and drove to work, and was pulled over and told her license had been suspended because she missed a payment. She went to court and got her license restored. She told them it didn't seem reasonable that she's being allowed to keep only about fifty dollars a week while sending payments to a man who's making fifty thousand a year."

While eating lunch we discussed some bills before the Virginia legislature. GBP refused to try reading bills herself but did comment on some that I was reading. At I had supported Delegate O'Quinn's proposal to mandate that Virginia schools offer quiet, private baby care areas that are "shielded from the public view." My position is that baby-friendly workplace policies could reduce the incidence of abortion. GBP is more opposed to abortion than I am, but still felt that trying to make the public schools baby-friendly might be unfair to babies. "All the germs, and mean kids...I think mothers of children less than one year old should stay home with them."