SanDee Nossaman enjoys visiting with friends while delivering them nutritious meals through the Meals on Wheel program.
Special to Journal-World
As a volunteer with Meals on Wheels shortly after the organization's inception in March of 1970, SanDee Nossaman still gets excited each week when she delivers meals to the elderly and homebound in the Lawrence community.
Nossaman picks up the meals at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. On this Friday, she only has three meals to deliver on her route. After visiting with Meals on Wheels staff members, Jody Woodward and Donna Lewis, Nossaman collects her meals and begins her delivery route.
Nossaman has been delivering meals on the same route in north Lawrence for the past 10 years. She knows the neighborhood well and has made lasting friendships with some of the clients. Nossaman says she strongly believes in her commitment to Meals on Wheels.
``It really enables people a way to stay in their own home,'' she said. ``Health wise, they're getting a balanced meal. Socially, you make the best friends because you see them once a week. These people become like family to you.''
Lillian Goble, 87, is one of these people. Nossaman speaks with great fondness for Goble, who is blind, as well as the other clients on her delivery route. She has developed a special bond with Goble after delivering meals to her for the past eight years. Nossaman actually met Goble in 1975, when she and her late husband were drivers for Meals on Wheels.
``Lillian is not only just a very, good friend, she's kind of like an aunt,'' Nossaman said. ``We talk about everything.''
After delivering meals to two appreciative women, Nossaman's smile becomes even brighter as she pulls her car up to Goble's home.
She carefully takes out the meal in her back seat along with a small carton of skim milk. Goble is on a special diet, which is specially made by the cooks at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Nossaman walks into the house and sees Goble sitting at a distance listening to music while relaxing in her rocking chair.
``Lillian,'' Nossaman calls out immediately. While Goble cannot see, she certainly recognizes Nossaman's uplifting voice.
``She always knows it's me,'' Nossaman says.
Nossaman puts her meal on the table and sits down to talk with Goble, who rocks back and forth, recollecting about yesteryear and delivering meals to the needy.
Nossaman is mesmerized by Goble's soft voice as the subject turns to one of her greatest passions -- Kansas basketball. Goble has been a season ticket holder since 1937. One of her most prized possessions, sitting on the dresser next to her, is a framed picture of Roy Williams and her.
After talking for several minutes, Nossaman goes into the kitchen and takes out Goble's meal from the insulated carrier. It is now time to leave her friend and return the carriers to LMH. Nossaman is comforted, though, knowing she will be back at Goble's home next Friday.
Nossaman walks out the door with a strong sense of reward and satisfaction. She only wishes she had even more time to talk to Goble and all of the clients she sees.
``I talk too much. I'm always the last one (driver) back,'' Nossaman said, laughing. ``I want to spend time with them. I usually just talk a little bit to each one, and then kind of find out what's going on and how they're feeling.''
Goble appreciates Nossaman's care and friendship. She is a big fan of the Meals on Wheels program.
``It's a wonderful organization,'' Goble said. ``SanDee is chief of them all.''