April 7, 2021


Jeannie Morgan was my house guest when she first came to Columbia for her job interview.  I was Practice Administrator for an otolaryngology group of five specialists, and they needed an additional audiologist. Jeannie’s application looked very promising. She was finishing up her audiology training in Kentucky and looking for her first fulltime job.

After dinner the night she came, I suggested that we go to the new Barnes and Noble bookstore near my house.   This had become a favorite gathering spot for my friends. We always ran into people we knew and spent hours talking and having coffee or tea. As we browsed the bookshelves, Jeannie and I pointed out some of our favorite books to each other.  She’d recently read Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, The Bean Trees, and I soon added Kingsolver to my list of favorites.

Within months, Jeannie moved to Columbia and began working at our practice.  She was really bright and professional, mature beyond her years, and easily began making a circle of friends—both at the office and at church. 

After a few years, Jeannie and Ed Woody (a divorced doctor in the group) got engaged!  He was significantly older than she—with three sons, the oldest of whom was just a few years younger than Jeannie.  Her maturity seemed to lessen the age difference somehow—and we were happy for them.

They had a small church wedding and that summer morning, I again hosted Jeannie at my house—this time for her bridal brunch!  Her mom, sister and other family members of hers and Ed’s came, as well as some of her friends from work and one two out-of-town guests. 

Her only attendant flew in the day before with her husband and the airline lost her luggage containing her dress for the wedding! She had to miss the brunch to go shopping for a replacement—but fortunately her husband called just in time to say the airline had retrieved her bag. The wedding ceremony went on without any other mishaps! 

Like all couples, Ed and Jeannie have faced challenges over the years but their commitment to each other and their faith remain strong! Jeannie has gotten her doctorate and continues the work she loves.  Their lovely twin daughters Ava and Jenna turned sixteen last November, and their mom’s Kentucky heart is thrilled that they’ve both excelled in regional and national horseback riding competitions! And I know Jeannie still enjoys a good book, a cup of coffee and talks with friends. So do I!

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