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home : columnists : columnists May 24, 2016

3/28/2014 2:15:00 PM
Bits from Betsy

We were blessed last week with the arrival of a new granddaughter. Our son, Mike and his beautiful wife Michelle (we call them the M&M's) increased their family when Michelle gave birth to Lyla Eleanor on March 14.

Granny and Papa (hubby and me) were on call to take care of their 2-year-old daughter, Eden, when baby chose to make her entry into the world. We got the call about 3 a.m., threw some stuff into the car, filled the cat's dishes and hit the road. At that time of the morning, traffic wasn't a problem. Hubby generally counts the cars we meet on the way to Cannon Falls and noted there were only two. Not many folks out and about at 3:30 a.m.

The baby was born at 11:42. By this time, Eden had adjusted to the fact that we were standing in for Mom and Dad on the home front and all as going well. She's lots of fun, doesn't walk when she can run, and really enjoys getting everything out of the toy boxes at one time. Granny spent lots of time on the floor, playing. It's easier to just stay down there and play, than to get up too many times.

When Mike called to tell us that Lyla Eleanor had been born, I got all choked up. Her middle name is also my name, and has been given to a daughter on my mother's side of the clan for several generations back. I am honored by their choice, and I'm sure the Roberts women from generations past, who share her name, will look out for our little Lyla in the years to come.

We welcome Lyla Eleanor to the family and the world.

There have been huge news stories for the last few weeks about departures. The missing airliner and the folks swallowed up by the horrific mudslide in Washington all remind us of how quickly life can end. This news touches us in a distant way. As poet John Donne wrote, "any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind."

A departure that touched my heart this weekend will not make the evening news, but to those of us who knew her, it was important. We are saddened by the passing of a sweet little cat named Pansy who made her home in the Pat LeVesque clothing store for almost 20 years. Customers at the store were always greeted by Pansy. She enjoyed people and always had time for a little lap-sitting, if that was what customers desired. Many times, I came in the front door of the shop and there was Pansy, sitting on the loveseat, visiting with a customer. She was always a willing subject of photographs, and her image found its way into many advertisements and postcards promoting a store event.

She was the feline-in-residence at both Pat LeVesque locations, making the move from the mall to the current store without so much as a dissatisfied meow. She enjoyed her years at the mall, often strolling up to the Midwest Outlet Store, over to Snyder Drug or finding her way to a quilt display at Thora Mae's. Her more closed-in space at Pat's new store never seemed to bother her. Pansy was an expert in customer relations, accepting that old retailing adage, "the customer is always right," with joy. She is missed by everyone who knew her.

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