Robert Burns
Robert Burns

January’s full moon is called the Wolf Moon. It was full on Thursday, the 25th. The 25th, known as ‘Burns Night’ celebrates the famous Scotsman Robert Burns. It must have been lovely up there on the other side of the clouds as it lit them up giving us a soft glow through the fog and mist. The Old Champion who, worried about drought, had asked Santa for mud got her wish. We stand by our preference for mud over ice though the mud has been prodigious. Champions rejoiced at 10:24 a.m. Sunday morning when the sun came out after a week of dismal dreariness. Terri Ryan encourages us with the news that we have survived the ten darkest weeks of the year from November 16th to January 22nd. In a few weeks the days and nights will be the same length, then we will move on to longer days and shorter nights. Terri retired from teaching at Skyline in 2022, but she continues to be an inspiration always advocating for patience, love and understanding. Skyline’s bookkeeper, Mrs. Karen Tamblyn, had some good advice to share recently when an Old Champion was fretting over the dust and cobwebs she was trying to get rid of in advance of a visit from beloved family members. She said, “Don’t worry about it. They are coming to see you, not to inspect your house, besides cobwebs need to be somewhere too.” It turns out she is right and when the sun shines through the cobwebs, they are kind of pretty.

February starts off with the birthday of Champion grandson Zack Alexander on the 1st. He shares the day with Glenn Cooley and Sarah Cloud. Groundhog Day is February 2nd, and the birthday of Zack’s Aunt Angie Heffern up in Springfield and Charlene Dupre, who divides her time between Jacksonville, Florida, and Norwood. That is also the day many remember a dear friend, Judy Sharon, who left us a few years ago. We miss her. Skyline School’s Angela McKay celebrates on February 5th. This is Ms. McKay’s third year at Skyline where she does double duty as a bus driver and middle school teacher. While the idea of riding loose heard on a bunch of seventh and eighth graders seems scary to some, Ms. McKay says she loves it. Our students flourish in a positive environment. February 5th is also a big day for a good neighbor over on Fox Creek Road. He has lots of cows and some good farm hands who know how to operate a bucket loader when neighbors come looking for garden amendments. Champion’s Cowboy will have his birthday on the 7th, but he may have already had his party.

Champion Mud

There is jubilation in Kansas City and in San Francisco as their football teams won their separate conference championships. Both teams sport red and gold as their colors, so it will be interesting to see how they decide on their uniforms when they meet in the Super Bowl. The players are big, tough guys who hit each other and the ground hard. Fans of a certain age struggle to stay in their chairs as they try to duck and dodge along with their favorite players, hoping not to hit the floor with a grunt. Members of opposing teams help each other up after stupendous crashes and, when the game is over, embrace, comfort, and commiserate as winners and losers. They are professionals sharing mutual respect. It is satisfying to see our local school athletes learning good sportsmanship. It will make them good citizens. Our great Skyline School has cross country track, basketball, archery and all the fun P.E. teacher, Mr. Gray, can orchestrate.

Athletic events give fans a chance to shift their attention briefly from the strife of divisive politics and the sympathy they feel for so much of the world in disarray. We are grateful for an afternoon of excitement and for the relative serenity of Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Chiefs Win!