Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April Fool!

Spring, oh Spring! Where are you?

It’s April 4 and I woke up to the ground covered with fresh, white snow.  Now, I’m not adverse to snow.  In fact, I love it … as long as I don’t have to drive in it!  But, come on.  Really?  It’s April already.  Where is Spring?  Where are the gentle showers, the warming sunshine, the beautiful purple crocus, golden daffodils and scarlet tulips?  It doesn’t appear that they are here in Cedar Springs, Michigan - at least not today. 

But, it is Spring somewhere!  It may be in southern Ohio or northern Kentucky.  It may be in Kansas or Arkansas.  It may even be in Ireland or France.  And most of all, it is in my heart!

Yes, I feel Spring in my heart today.  I feel refreshed and renewed.  I feel pretty and strong.  I feel motivated and capable.  So why do I have all these wonderful, special feelings today of all days?  It’s all because of Jesus!  He has done a miracle in my life.  He has given me hope.

Yes, HOPE!  I have the Hope that the environmental Spring is only a few days away.  I have the Hope that tomorrow will be bigger and brighter and better than today (not that today was bad, mind you).  I have the Hope of knowing that someday I will walk hand in hand with the One Who loves me more than anyone else ever has or could.  I have this Hope because Jesus Christ took away my sins (yep, I had a few … well, quite a few … well, tons of them!).  Not only that, He took my penalty which was death.  He did that for ME!  That’s absolutely mind-boggling!  That’s beyond awesome!  That’s more than I can understand or even comprehend.  But then … BUT THEN, He rose from the grave and is even now preparing my heavenly home just for me.  Now that is more than enough to make me sing with wild abandon.

We know that all of life is a cycle.  After the cold, lifelessness of winter, we are ready for the rebirth that Spring brings.  And, just as Jesus rose from the grave and gives us Hope, we can also be sure that He will return for us and take us into that heaven of everlasting light and summer.  He will return as He promised!  Hallelujah!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Just a Memory

A pastor friend just shared a memory of his grandpa on Facebook.  The grandpa is still with them, but has Alzheimer's, so while he is with them physically, his memory is far away.  That's the way it was with my great-grandma in her last few years.

Growing up, I was so blessed to be able to have seven grandparents be a big part of my life.  My grandparents on both my Mom and Dad's side were living and my great-grandparents on my Mom's side were too, as was my great-great-grandma.  I want to share a couple of memories specifically about my Great-Grandma Skinner.

When I was twelve years old, my folks bought the family farm where my great-grandparents lived.  Later, this was to become a centennial farm as it was in the family for over 100 years.  As we moved to the farm, my great-grandparents moved into a trailer on the southeast end of the property.  We had lots of good years interacting with them.  I remember Grandma Skinner helping me with my Latin when I was a freshman.  She could remember a few phrases, especially "Puer est bonus."

When I was about 16, I was going to go out to the back 40 and look for berries.  I asked Grandma if she'd like to go also and she said yes.  So, this Grandma, that always wore a dress, donned a pair of my sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a pair of my tennis shoes and accompanied me to the back of the farm.  Dressing like that must have made her feel young again because she took my hands and we danced around the living room.  Somewhere, there's a picture of that.  It had been many, many years since she had been to the back fields of the farm and she enjoyed it immensely.  I don't remember if we found any berries, but I will never forget that day.

But the best memory of all that I have of my Grandma Skinner was shortly after my son was born.  On a particularly warm June day, I was visiting with both her and Gram (my maternal grandma who was Grandma Skinner's oldest daughter and who cared for Grandma in her later years).  At that time, I was still nursing my son.  I recall sitting on the floor in front of Grandma's chair.  She had her hairbrush and was brushing my waist-length hair while I was nursing my son.  There were only the three of us there that afternoon.  As I was nursing and enjoying the pampering, Grandma leaned over and whispered in my ear, "You know, you won't get pregnant as long as you're nursing!"

That was so, so precious to me ... first that she truly believed that, but also that she whispered those words because her generation didn't speak openly of such things.  I will never forget those moments!  A couple of years later, as her mind continued to revert to older days, I would come to visit and she would always ask (usually several times during the visit), "Leslie Anne, whose little boy is that?"  I would reply, "That's my little boy, Grandma.  His name is Brandon.  He is your great-great-grandson."  She would smile and pat him on the head.  And Brandon, well, he would time after time untie Grandma's tennis shoes.  She would smile and ask me again whose little boy that was as she patiently reached down and retied the white canvas tennies.

The best part is that even though Grandma's mind and body weren't well and whole, her soul was.  She had a personal relationship with Jesus and I know that she is there with Him today.  She was the one that told me so much about Jesus when I was a little girl.  That brings comfort to my mind as I think back to those days so many years ago.

Until the next time ... be blessed!

Leslie Anne

Monday, May 29, 2017

And Those Changes Just Keep on Coming!

Yes, more changes are coming in my life!  AGAIN!

To begin with, I have changed the name of this blog ... yet AGAIN!  It used to refer to my being a 60-something grandma.  Then it was Carousel Ministries.  But it now reflects what I know God is calling me to do in my life as I look to the future.

Over the last 20 years or so, I've felt that God has been calling me to use my speaking abilities to glorify him.  I tried to do that a long time ago, but I think pride got in the way and He closed the door to opportunities to speak.  Recently, I've felt that He has opened that door again, so I moved forward into creating a ministry called Carousel Ministries.

Recently, I was working in Mt. Pleasant, MI, when I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me in a way I'd never experienced before.  He asked me whose ministry it was that I was seeking to establish.  I replied, "Yours, Lord."  Then He asked me what carousels had to do with that!  Well, that was a whack up side of the head for me!  Yes, Leslie, get the focus off yourself and onto your Savior!  

I have an accountability team to pray for me and to encourage me in this journey.  I immediately asked them to pray about renaming the ministry.  As they did, I started jotting down ideas and then searched the internet to see if these names were already taken.  God led me to call this ministry Transforming Faith Ministries.  Let me tell you why.

Last year, as I was seeking to draw closer to the Lord, I asked Him to give me a word for the year ...  a word to focus on and to meditate on.  He gave me the word "transform" and led me to Romans 12:1-2, "Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." (HCSB)  It was marvelous to see how often God caused me to see that word in my everyday life.  I did not have to be focusing on it and on how God wanted to transform me, but it gently encouraged me day-in and day-out.

As 2016 drew to a close, I began thinking about what word God would lead me to for 2017.  He very clearly pointed out to me that I should pursue a greater understanding and practice of FAITH!  I began to study faith, especially as directed by God in Hebrews, chapter 11, the Faith Chapter.  It seems that hardly a day goes by that that word doesn't impact my daily walk in this world.

So, as I brainstormed on a name for this ministry, God led me to put those two words together: Transforming Faith"Yes, that's it, Lord!  That's just right!"  That is what I long to share with others.  I want them to see how faith in Christ can transform lives.  I want them to see that it's not just a one-time thing, but a daily change ... a daily transformation.  I have experienced it and it's exhilarating.  I want others to have that same feeling.

Stay tuned for more information as I continue working on my website ( and demo video, focus on several speaking topics, and start reaching out to churches and other faith-based organizations to bring them whatever Christ has given me to share.  I am over-the-moon excited!  I hope you are feeling a bit of that excitement along with me.

Until next time,

Leslie Anne

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Changes Coming!

Yes, more changes are coming in my life!  Again! 

To begin with, I have changed the name of this blog.  It used to refer to my being a 60-something grandma.  But it now reflects what I know God is calling me to do in my life as I look to the future.

Carousel Ministries ... dealing with life as it goes up and down ... like a carousel.  We all ride it.  We go round and round and at any given point, we find ourselves somewhere between the exhilarating feeling of sitting on top of the horse as high as it will go and then quickly descending to the lowest position on the pole.  Around and around.  Again and again.  Up and down.

Sometimes the carousel stops and people get off and others get on.  Some of us stay on for a longer ride, more experiences.  Sometimes the music soothes, sometimes it excites.  Sometimes the music stops as it changes to the next song.  All of this has an analogy to our lives.

So, with Carousel Ministries, I hope to address the issues that we face in our life, everything from the exhilarating joy of new birth to the lowest despair of death of a loved one.  But how we address and face this spectrum can all be viewed through the lens of faith in Christ.  That's what I hope to share with people as God gives opportunity.

Stay tuned for more information as I work to create a website and demo video, focus on several speaking topics, and start reaching out to churches and other faith-based organizations to bring them whatever Christ has given me to share.  I am over-the-moon excited!  I hope you are feeling a bit of that excitement along with me.

Until next time,

Leslie Anne

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Too Much To Do!

"I've just got too much to do!"  I've learned that old adage is true, that retired people are busier than ever!  Or is it if you want something done, ask a busy person.  Yep, that would be me.  And, here's a secret ... I have an awful hard time saying no!  Well, maybe that's not a secret after all.

So what keeps me so busy?  Grandkids, church activities, painting, my training business just to name a few.  You'll notice what I didn't name ... housework!  I hate housework and my house shows it.  Don't come and visit me, let's just meet for coffee.  Visitors (although I love them dearly) mean more work and more busy time!  And I hate to say it, but I'm jealous of my home time.  Is this just me or do you feel like this too?  Anyhow, I decided a long time ago that there were many more important things in this world than a spotless house (or car).

So, yep, I'm busy.  But guess what?  Evidently I don't think I'm busy enough.  This year, I've moved into the craft show business.  That means that you'll find me on many Saturdays at some local event, displaying my amateur artwork.  I don't think it's very good, but I get lots of compliments.  Not many sales, mind you, but lots of encouragement by window-shoppers!  But I don't care.  I love to paint and I love to show off my efforts.  Plus I love to meet with and talk to people.  So it's been fun.

And, as if that isn't enough, I am ambitiously stepping further into the world of public speaking.  I've done a lot of it over the last 20 some years, primarily through training.  But I've also done talks in several area churches and non-profit organizations.  And I even spoke once for a regional bank's annual dinner and got paid for it!  So, now I am reaching out to go bigger.  I am currently working on finding one or two key topics that I want to focus on.  The hard part is narrowing things down because I have such a broad area of experiences. 

So, keep tuned and hold me accountable.  I am aiming to have the topic developed by the end of October and to be actively searching for speaking opportunities at the first of the year.  We will see where this leads.  I'm excited about the opportunity this may present. 

And through it all, I just want to emphasize that I couldn't do any of this without God who has given me the talents and abilities and Who guides my path.  Thank You, Jesus!

Until  the next time,


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Teaser ... Life on the Line

So I mentioned that I was working on a book about our Electrolux family.  I know I've said this many times, but I really am doing this.  Here's a teaser, just a few paragraphs.  Please keep in mind that this is not edited or proofed for spelling at this point.  These are just some of my thoughts and observations.  I've also included a few posts that have been on the Electrolux Facebook site.  Please, continue to send me things.  I will work to sort and categorize your contributions into some appropriate topics such as The Early Years, Air Conditioning in Greenville, Working in Belding, The Last Days, etc.  Here's a start though...

Life on the Line

Living, Working, Playing
White Consolidated
Greenville Products

A Compilation of Memories
Through the Years

Leslie Anne Wood
et al

A Word from the Author

We worked, we played, sometimes it even felt as though we lived at the "shop."  This book is compiled as a memoir of the many good, bad, and ugly times and experiences we (collectively) shared at Gibson's.

Through the years, the plant changed hands and had several names.  It was Hupp when I hired in in 1971, but everyone knew it as Gibson's.  Throughout this book, I will refer to it most often as Gibson's, but many others knew it better as Frigidaire, or later as Electrolux.  I will accede to whatever name individuals use as they share memories.

This book is being written to reflect the positives, not the negatives.  Therefore, I will refrain from naming names or bad-mouthing individuals.  I will use first names or initials unless given permission to do otherwise.  I will also preface my personal comments with my initials (LAW).

So, let's get at it and take a stroll down memory lane ...

Thank You to ...

·       the many men and women who worked hard day-in and day-out to provide refrigerators, air conditioners, and gliders to an economy that bought all that we manufactured.
·       the individuals that came forth to share these stories and memories with all of us.
·       those that have passed on and left the legacy to others.
·       those who helped to turn this document into a book.

Table of Contents 

The Early Days
Air Conditioning in Greenville
Working in Belding
Lasting Relationships
The Last Days

LAW   My first memories of the shop came when I was just a small child.  I think I was about five years old and my Dad (Orval Basney, also known as Pedro or Pete) worked at the air conditioner plant in Belding.  It was a Saturday.  I'm not sure why we were at the plant, but I was allowed to walk in with him.  He worked in the paint department.  As we walked in, on the left was a trough filled with water and a bubbly mass of color.  The colors were yellow, turquoise, and pink.  They were so pretty.
          I remember that Dad stooped down and scooped up a handful of the sticky stuff and gave it to me.  It was very rubbery to the touch.  He then explained that was paint that was collected as overspray and fell into the water.  I don't remember much else about that, other than the smell.  I smelled that paint department smell many times over the years, once I hired in.
LAW   Another memory I had early on was when I was about 8 or 9.  It must have been contract time.  I remember Daddy coming home and announcing to us that it looked as though the plant  was going to relocate to Alabama or Mississippi (I can't remember which) and that, if it did, we were going to move with them.  What a scary thought.  I know that I told my Mom and Dad that I wasn't moving and that I would go live with Grandma instead.  I think it was because I wanted to stay in my school.  Of course, we lived in Lakeview and Grandma lived in Belding.  That wouldn't have worked.  In any case, they must have settled the contract.  I don't remember if there was a strike then or not.  Of course, we all experienced the contract years where the management threatened to move.  Just before they finally made the announcement, I recall my Dad saying, "They won't move.  It's just a scare tactic.  They've done that so many times over the years."  I replied, "Not this time, Daddy.  I think they're serious this time.  Things are so different.  The economy is different; the times are different."  And, as we all know, they did choose to move.  What a sad day for all of us, for our community, for our state, and for our country.
LAW   Another early memory was when I was about 12 or 13.  At that time, Daddy was foreman in the compressor department in Greenville.  It was a Saturday and he had to work a half day.  I got to go with him.  It was smelly!  The smell of the compressor oil and paint was not appealing whatsoever!  I met a lot of the people he worked with and later worked with many of them myself once I hired in.  I remember that there was a wild orange cat in there.  Mom had packed us a lunch which included tuna sandwiches.  I tried to pet the cat by luring him with the sandwich.  Daddy told me to stay away from him because he might bite me.  I was quite the animal lover so I continued to woo him to me.  I was eventually able to touch him, but that was about it.  Through the years, I know that many of us encountered stray cats and kittens in the shop.  They especially liked to get into the yellow fiberglass insulation and would often pee in it.  Do you remember?
LAW   Gibson's in our community was a family affair.  By that, I mean that often many members of the family would work there.  Over the years, both my Dad and Mom (Ruth Basney), both sisters (Raylene and Vicki Basney), my husband (John Wood Jr.), my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (Ron and Mary Wood), my stepson and stepdaughter (John Wood III and Valerie Palmer) and my son (Brandon Wood) all worked there.  Other family members that worked there were Jim Basney, John Louis Basney, John Wayne Basney, David Wood, Arnie and Linda Anderson, Jerry and Rhonda Wall, Harva Lou Raby, Debra Badge, Blanche Rohn, and probably others that I can't think to mention here.  As the largest employer and also one that paid a good wage, it was an easy place to get and keep a good job.

Gary Hansen                  

Today getting ready to spend some of the day at the park and have picnic lunch with Peyton. He reminded me of a memory. Brushing your teeth while in the shower is better way of knowing you wouldn't have toothpaste around your mouth off, when you went to work. Several times I got caught. Not only that, I curl my hair and forget to brush it out. Lloyd Loper remember you coming to work with one shoe differ then other. Always got some laughs out of great co workers.
Let's post some of the funny's things we did. Always fun to share.
Top of Form
·        Betty WhiteBecky Shinabargar HerdMary Mcnees and 9 others like this.
Bottom of Form
  Linda Lou Mason I put the repair man's hat in the freezer becomes he keep picking on me
  Kim DeKubber My funny things haven't stopped!
  Bonnie Frisbie I put black grease on BUD Coleman phone so when he answered phone he. Would have grease on his ear!
  Marsha Korson Tyler Really thought I see more comments then these.
  Mary Curler We used to fill big plastic syringes with water in (doors)paint dept. and shoot the people hanging condensers downstairs thru little holes in the wall.
  Janet Rasmussen I know my husband Dan Rasmussen did alot if pranks to people. He still laughs about them. Lol
  Marsha Korson Tyler He was always full of p**s and vinagar. Hi Dan.
  Karen Peiffer caught Madeline in final with her pants on inside out! Boy I still razz her about that!
  Joan Johnson I, and my partners in crime (Grace Hopkins, Vic Lehman, Sally Law) hung "designer" tails on every one we could!!!! smile emoticon
  Joan Johnson Linda Lou Mason & Bill Mason deep frying smelt on the line (Dept.244) then passing it around to everyone! YUM!
  Shirley Stevenson One time Hattie M. would answer the Forman's phone and just about knock anyone away who even thought about answering it, there was a different ring for outside calls, so I took my cell phone and would call the desk, when she would answer I would hang up. We must have did this 5 or 6 times in a row, she would get so mad because no one was on the phone!
  Marsha Korson Tyler Did Hattie ever figure out you was doing that?
  Linda Beech When it was really hot i would go wet down clean rags for everybody to put around their necks to cool down. one day i went in and got a maxi pad and wraped around Wendall Moody's neck. he thought it felt sooo good and couldn't figure why everyone was laughing. when he figured it out, i was in trouble.
  Shirley Stevenson I don't think she ever did Marsha!
  Leslie Anne Wood I like these funnies! Yes, I am going to write that book. This is the kind of stuff I'm looking for.
  Rhonda Larsen Evans when I worked in 212 we had a air popcorn popper & would pop corn for everyone on the line & sometimes it would short out a breaker in foam & shut it down for a hour or so until they got it going again. we would just sit back and enjoyed our popcorn until they got it running again.
  Karen Peiffer found one the the repair guys sleeping in his chair. took a fridge box, cut windows and a door in it and put it over him in the chair without him waking up. so he was in his own little fridge box when he woke up.
  Amanda Jo Thompson Filling in a department i was getting harassed endlessly for being unknown in that dept.wh-en i got home that day i had a hoodie hood full of screws that rained down on my head when i changed my shirt..lmao
  Amanda Jo Thompson Also working on top hinge watchin people try to picknup glued changed on the floor..always priceless!!
  Marsha Korson Tyler When I first started working there in 242 I had the job of screwing in light bulbs. You wore gloves, because after so many you start getting butlisters. Easy, then after break I started having lots of trouble screwing them in. Oh yea everybody was laughing so hard and finally one of the bulbs I picked up had lots of valaline on it and then I knew what they were laughing about. Remember doing that Harold?
Gil Jewell wow where would I start seeing as though I was known as the instigator where ever I worked just about lol . I guess one would be where we would have big water fights in the summer in dept 227 and one day 3 guys came up and held me and Gary M. poured ice culbs down the front of my pants hahaha . I took a pail of water down and poured it over our foremans head ( she had just got me wet ) got most of her paper work wet too . Jim Rittenbury came down and said that a bunch of frig's had just went to the repair hole all wet and if he heard of one more person throwing water we would all be fired lol . That was the end of that  smile emoticon Thats just one story of many lol

 Okay, that's it for now.  Again, this will only become a reality if YOU help!  You can email me at or call me at 989-287-0167.  

Until later...