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August 10, 2009 - Betsy Bethel
Time for some good news!

Congratulations to Bruce Wheeler and all of those who worked and attended the Heritage Music BluesFest. What a fantastic tribute to the city of Wheeling this well-run and well-attended festival has become! Bruce dreams big, and as a result, big things happen. Well done, brother!

A huge thank you to Linda Seidler and The Experience Ministry for another great women's event on Saturday night. Linda, you have such a big heart and such an understanding of the hearts of Ohio Valley women. My favorite part of the event -- which also was my favorite at last year's event, the first I attended — was when real women, women just like you and me, shared how they have struggled and yet how their faith has remained "unshaken." These women, along with the powerful and stirring messages brought by Linda and Sherrie McCutcheon Dunlevy, inspire me to put God first in my life and let the rest take care of itself! The conference was a salve for my soul. Thank you, again!

A shout out to Danny Swan and all the organizers of the first East Wheeling Farmers' Market that took place Friday on 18th Street. It was wonderful to see community residents stocking up on fresh veggies and fruits, some using the farmers' market coupons provided to seniors through a state program. One senior looked positively ecstatic as he turned in his coupons and received bags full of tomatoes, green beans, onions and peppers. Asked what he planned to do with all of it, he replied: "Well, eat it, of course!" I purchased some good looking bunches of basil from the East Wheeling Community Youth Garden table and made my first-ever batch of pesto that night. It was delicious. I also bought a loaf of honey wheat bread from Confections by Connie that my husband made into delicious French toast for breakfast Sunday, which I topped with blueberries that Emma and I picked at Bob Keefer's farm in Bridgeport on Saturday. Yum! (If you've never had just-picked blueberries, you have no idea what you're missing!)

Finally, it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces at the Wheeling Island pool on Sunday during the African-American Jubilee-sponsored community day. Kudos to the organizers! It was the perfect day to spend at the pool. I took my daughter there for the first time, not realizing it was community day. I was glad they were still open to us Ferry folk, too! I saw several kids who are on staff with the TeenZine magazine, a teacher at my daughter's day care and her children; and the daughter and granddaughter of a former co-worker.

I have never been a fan of summer because I prefer milder temperatures. I have loved this summer so far, though, thanks to the weather! Yesterday and today are the exceptions, but I can't complain. They give me an excuse to go to the pool, eat pound after pound of watermelon, and indulge in Dairy Queen Arctic Freezes!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, everyone! It'll be Christmas before we know it.


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