Veterans’ Day observances, parades, and celebrations made for a thoughtful and grateful end to the weeks of political rancor clogging our internet, our email boxes and television screens.  We have Lee Greenwood’s song in our head, “God Bless the USA!”  Our election poll workers, raise their right hands and take the same oath that those serving in our military and our elected representatives take, and, as far as we know, there is no end date or time limit to the commitment to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Thank you.

With deer season well underway, Jonnie the Friendly Dog, is kept busy barking at the traffic going up and down Cold Springs Road all hours of the day and night.  The internet is full of trophies and hunting adventures.  Freezers will be filling with nutritious protein from the healthy animals who fed heavily on Champion gardens during the long, hot, dry summer.  As of Monday morning, the Conservation Department reported that in Douglas County 670 does, 182 button bucks and 967 antlered bucks had been harvested.  Appreciators of venison have their favorite ways to cook it.  One Old Champion says that any way the Old Man cooks it is fine with her.

The benefit for the Luallen family on Saturday night was an absolute success.  The hall was packed, the chili was good, and the proceeds were substantial enough to be of real help to Howard and Linda in their recovery from the devastating fire that took their home.  Missey Rogers said, “It just goes to show we live in the best place, with the most compassionate and best people.”  A dear friend shared this insight:  “Imagine you are walking in the woods, and you see a small dog sitting by a tree.  As you approach it, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared.  You are frightened and angry.  But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap.  Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern:  You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.  This applies to all of us.  When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because we are caught in some kind of trap.  The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart.”

Skyline School’s sixth grader, Isabella Jeffrey celebrates her birthday on November 14th, as does Carol Callahan Barnhart and the late Fern Bishop.  Rich Heffern, who just celebrated his younger brother’s birthday, celebrates his own the 14th, and Dean Brixey, an alumnus of Skyline, with grandchildren there now, has his big day on the 18th.  Skyline’s archery program is well under way, under the guidance of Janna Barns Brixey and Melissa Willhite.  They are practicing, ordering t-shirts, and getting ready for some good shooting.  It is a quiet sport, unlike football, which had Champions yelling in their own kitchens Sunday as the Chiefs came through with the win again.

Hopes that Wade and Lorelai Day’s granddad would bring his banjo to the Wednesday porch jam in Champion did not pan out last week, but he did bring his beautiful dulcimers, which added some class to the weekly musical.  His grandchildren are both excited to learn to play the instrument.  So, if your mountain dulcimer is just being used for wall decoration and you would rather it be making music, drop a note to  Or, if you have one to share or sell, contact Richard Day at 609-321-2382.  Music is good for us.  We hope all our dear musician friends are plucking and strumming and bowing and lifting their beautiful voices.  Some of the rest of us are fabulous singers when we are alone in the car.  Whatever your favorite genre, use it to improve your health and your mood.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  The year seems to be going by quickly and slowly at the same time.  It will be a joyful time to have to put leaves in the table to accommodate a legion of distant family again.  We have many reasons for gratitude, friends and family chief among them.  In the busyness of life, we think of them often.  Pick up the phone!  Tell them you love them.

Asked if he had interesting anecdotes, humor, insight, wisdom or admonitions to share, The General said, “Winter has arrived in Booger County a month early.”  It is just another one of those beautiful times of the year in Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!