Archive for Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Small-town life

Friends stage ribbon-cutting for new front porch steps

October 26, 2005

Saturday morning may have been cloudy, but at Jan Theno's house, the mood was bright.

That's because of an innovative idea for a party.

Theno's friends gathered to celebrate her new front steps.

Master of ceremonies Carolyn Day placed a construction paper crown labeled "Queen of Steps," on Theno's head, then unrolled a proclamation, which she read aloud.

Then, with a slice of scissor blades, Theno cut through a red ribbon and the celebration began.

Her new steps duly christened, and the weather a little chilly, the women went inside where Theno's friends had brought refreshments. Cinnamon rolls, more desserts, punch and coffee were the morning's fare.

Theno's son, Scott, his wife, Diane and their children, Courtney, Cam, Colby, Tyler, Christopher and Ryan, built the new front porch stairs for Theno last summer when she was in the hospital. Last November, Theno had both knees replaced. Then, six months later she had a heart valve replaced.

"I had a lot of complications and like to died," Theno said. "I was in the hospital for three and a half weeks."

Day said of Theno's precarious health last summer, "We nearly lost her."

Theno recalled that she'd been on a breathing machine and that her physicians weren't sure she'd make it.

"They called the kids and grandkids in," Theno said. "At the time I was in bad shape. But I came back. I wasn't ready to go yet."

Theno's other children are Brenda Willis and Lisa Tanking.

When she came home, Theno said, she had to learn to walk all over again.

So, she said, it was wonderful that, while she was in the hospital, her family had decided to replace the single high step on her front porch with two shorter steps.

Saturday's "step" party was an example of small town life, Theno said.

"Big towns wouldn't do this," Theno said.

"We're just a big bunch of people, we have fun -- they help me a lot, too. ... It's nice to have good friends, very good."

And it could be there's another unique party idea in Theno's future.

Theno said she hopes to have a handrail installed next to her new front porch steps.

"And then we'll have a handrail party," Day quipped.

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