Many of the 60 or so people who were eating scrumptious ham and beans at the Centralia United Methodist Church Community Dinner Night, saw a familiar and friendly face.
Michelle Visger was there, ladling generous portions of Mary Ann Sander’s ham and beans.
“I help when I can,” she said as she handed some beans and cornbread to Russ Greene senior.
Visger has been a Centralia resident for three years, ever since four members of the church, Sally Palmer, Debbie Schwennesen and Linda Johanesse helped her parents Bill and Helen Schnackenberg, move from Kansas City to Centralia.
When asked her first impression of her new home, Visger said: “it reminded me of small towns in Nebraska, where everybody was very loving and friendly, just like the ladies who helped me move here.”
Visger, president of the UMW women’s group, and a member of the church’s choir, said she loves to bake as well, especially cookies. Her favorite? “What people want,” she said, lifting her hazel eyes up from a half pan of fresh cornbread, “though I do prefer oatmeal.”
When not helping with church projects and events, she also sings in the church choir, Visger said she likes to read. “Sci-fi, mysteries, anything really, except westerns.”
She also enjoys crossword puzzles.
A self-described big fan of Christian music, she said her musical tastes were not always what one would ascribe to a preacher’s daughter. “I was once quite the head-banger,” she said laughing softly. “People might be surprised I liked heavy metal. I used to listen to the hard stuff. I loved one band so much I listened to their debut CD over and over.”
No, she doesn’t have any tattoos, just the scars one acquires by being born with a congenital heart defect.
That leads to Visger’s philosophies of life, drawn from the bible, as fitting for a preacher’s daughter. Proverbs three through eight: “Trust in the lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight.” She said she trusts in the Lord because without him she would not be here.
“I was born purple, with heart defects and the doctor told my mother and grandmother I would not be here long and they said, ‘That’s not for you to decide, it’s for God to decide.”
Along with her mother Helen, her grandmother “Nanny,” was one of the people Visger admired growing up. “She was such a prayer warrior,” Visger said. “But there were also bosses and teachers who mentored me, I have admired and learned a lot from a lot of different people over the years.” Even though she grew up in Nebraska, she came to Centralia by way of Kansas City, Texas, Wyoming and Adrian Missouri.
For the complete article please see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard