CHAMPION‚ÄĒNovember 23, 2015
The Bright Side from the east…
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Over the river and through the woods, Champions are gathering for feasts of Gratitude.¬† Blessings are being counted, observations made about the year just passed and the one ahead.¬† Optimism struggles but still is the main sentiment of the season.¬† Champion!
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Reports from over in Salem, Missouri indicate that Dean Brixey had a great birthday on the 18th. Elva Ragland enjoyed her birthday Thursday.¬† Her friends at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam sang that song to her.¬† It was a big crowd and she beamed her sweet smile.¬† That was the 19th which is also the birthday of Julie January Ring.¬† The 23rd is the special day for Grandmother Sue at the bottom of the hill.¬† Sixth grader, Levi Hicks, celebrates on the 25th and Faith Crawford, a third grader, will share her birthday on the 26th with Lannie Hinote, up in Alaska.¬† Lannie posted a solid white picture on the internet the other day and said, ‚ÄúOn the Yukon River–next week I plan to cross the entire river.¬† Seven degree weather should assure it is frozen enough.‚ÄĚ¬† She is having fun.¬† Meanwhile, back at Skyline, first grade student, Billy Strong, has his birthday on the 29th and fifth grader, Jhonn Rhodes celebrates on the 30th along with second grader Lane Watkins.¬† Thanksgiving will make these celebrations extra special!
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Diane Wilbanks has extra turnips which she has magnanimously shared with her Champion friends and the free box of them by the front door of the Historic Emporium is being dipped into by patrons on their way out the door.¬† It is nice to have a few turnips and very nice not to have too many.¬† Diane‚Äôs favorite way to cook them is to fry them in bacon grease.¬† When they are just about done, she sprinkles a little brown sugar on them and puts the lid back on for a little while.¬† Send your favorite turnip recipe to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to email@example.com.¬† Lem and Ned are sure to write in and all the recipes will be included on the website at www.championnnews.us.¬† At the Wednesday get together, before the turnips arrived on Friday, several of the older gents regaled each other with the antics and attitudes of their various grandchildren.¬† It is a precious sight to see these wizened and grizzled fellows twinkling and smiling over their stories of the dear children, when so often their talk is of guns, hunting, trucks, chain saws, and axel grease.¬† Wayne Anderson would have been the gent bragging about great grandchildren.¬† Linda Clark posts from time to time pictures of the triplets on line.¬† They are adorable and growing fast.¬† Champion grandsons, Drayson and Carson Cline, were in the neighborhood over the week end.¬† It is sure that they keep their Mother busy.¬† They are growing like weeds.¬† The swift passage of time rears its head again!
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† This week is given over to gratitude.¬† Champions are grateful for family and friends and good neighbors.¬† We are grateful for all the diverse and interesting paths and circumstances that have allowed us all to live in this beautiful part of the world.¬† There is gratitude for the wood in the shed, the propane in the tank, the canned goods in the pantry, the deer in the freezer and the dinner on the table.¬† Appreciation of the good fortune that has made it all possible is what the holiday is about now.¬† The actual events of the first ‚ÄėThanksgiving‚Äô are long lost from memory and trivialized and sanitized by well-meaning purveyors of history who were creating a celebration for the pride of the Nation.¬† There may be some documents that describe exactly how it all happened, but what is known for sure is that there were people living over on the East coast when some people from elsewhere came.¬† They came because it was intolerable to stay where they were and there was hope for a better life in the new world.¬† It was not without difficulty that the newcomers occupied the land and made it their own.¬† Those people who were living here already have been given reason to regret their hospitality as the tribes have been decimated and even now their scant remaining lands stay under constant treat from politicians, foreign mining interests, pipelines, and dam projects that benefit others.¬† Little wonder, so many are so fearful of newcomers.¬† There appears to be a great deal of money to be made in propagating fear, more than just money‚ÄĒpower.¬† Look to see who is trying to scare you before you become afraid.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Champions‚Äô gratitude extends to their personal good fortune, to the measure of health and opportunity that they have been afforded.¬† This is not an easy place in the world to make one’s way.¬† Jobs are scarce.¬† Food is expensive.¬† ‚ÄúUse it up and wear it out, make do or do without‚ÄĚ is an old saying that has been bandied about lately in casual conversations (by the ladies on Wednesday) and on the internet in the form of a photograph of a finely worked sampler.¬† It rings true.¬† If any area of the country knows about living close to the bone, it is the Ozarks.¬† On the nighttime map of the Earth made from satellites, this area is one of the darkest, meaning least populated.¬† The lights of St. Louis and Kansas City are dazzling and it is easy to find Springfield, but out there to the east and south it gets pretty dark.¬† Longtime residents will report that there are lots more porchlights than in years past, but the demographic has changed from a concentration of big farming families to a big scattering of retirees.¬† Our farming families are still here keeping things going the way they have for generations.¬† Champions say, ‚ÄúThank a Farmer!‚ÄĚ¬† A couple of years ago Wayne Anderson was feeling bad about asking his son-in-law to help with the wood.¬† He was reminded of opportunities he had had, as a younger person, to help some old guy and he agreed that it had made him feel good.¬† It is hard to accept help when you have always been able to do for yourself.¬† It is hard to admit we are getting old.¬† Old people are learning that it is a gift to young people to allow them to lend a hand.¬† Hardly does a person anywhere in the world feel better than when he is helping a neighbor.¬† The world is in upheaval and many are unexpectedly finding themselves in need of help.¬† It is beautiful to see who is unafraid to give comfort.¬† Often it is those with the least who share the most.¬† It is an honor to live in a state whose governor will not be pressured by fearful people to deny sanctuary to those in distress.¬† Gratitude is rife in Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!
The Bright Side from the west…