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We had difficulties when we were growing up in Martin county, Kentucky but overall, we thought we were doing okay. President Lyndon Johnson came to Inez, Ky. in 1964 to let us know we weren’t doing very well. He began his campaign in our community and we became the poster child for American poverty. We hadn’t really thought of ourselves as poor until we started hearing about ourselves in the news. more
The tree was a sapling spruce. Dad cut it from the fence line in the west pasture. A homemade star of foil-covered cardboard sparkled on the top spire. Strings of popcorn and cranberries draped over the scraggly boughs. The folks clipped brass candle holders onto the tips of the branches. Twenty-four small white pillars nestled among the short green needles and waited. Dad carefully lit each candle, then nodded to Mom. She extinguished the lantern. On that Christmas Eve long ago, the reflection of the glowing candles sparkled in the eyes of a young mother, father and their small girl and boy. A sense of wonder surrounded them, and for three short, enchanting minutes they felt in their hearts that nothing could be more beautiful. more
Last night two pairs of headlights moved in and out of sight in the field across the road. Far into the night an engine whirred as the machine rolled back and forth among the hills and valleys. Every few minutes the lights of the machine rendezvoused with the other pair of lights---the semi. Corn harvest. The huge combine plunged through twelve rows at a time, shredding the stalks and leaves, removing the golden kernels from the cobs, and then emptying them into the waiting truck. If I walked through that field today, my boots would crunch over pieces of stalks and leaves and bare red cobs. more
“It’s a danged shame ‘bout Thanksgivin’,” Windy Wilson said. The others stopped stirring things into their coffee cups and looked at the aging cowboy and camp cook. … more
Recently, the Supervisors were presented with the recommendation on how the committee thought they should spend the ARPA funding given to Harrison County by the federal government. Most of us at … more
November is National Adoption Month. At my organization, Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI), we take this time to celebrate the families who create bright futures for children in need of adoptive forever homes. But this year, we also want to spend this month raising awareness for the 780 Iowa children waiting to be adopted. more
I was recently invited to join Bob Milford, manager of the prestigious Diamond W Ranch, on a drive-around tour of the place. It’s a huge, private ranch, with tiny ex-logging roads winding around through 13,000 acres of pine trees and rocks. A real paradise. more
Our parents grew up during the Great Depression. Later, they experienced the rationing of World War II. Being prepared for lean times was a way of life for them. Though Mom worked next to Dad on the farm, she always managed to raise and pack away plenty of food for winter. Why buy it when you can raise it? Every little bit helps! Mother adhered to both philosophies. more
It’s time to talk about upcoming family dinners, autumn leaves and Aunt Hannah’s tofu casserole that will be sitting on our dinner table. more
That certain … crispness? … in the air reminds me of one of my favorite story assignments over the past thousand years or so. I was a reporter/columnist/feature writer for The Anchorage Daily News, and since I had a tolerance for eccentricities in others … well, they called me the weirdo reporter. more
It was Saturday night. The north windows trembled as they wrestled with the frigid November gales that buffeted our South Dakota farmhouse. The brown Siegler oil burner warmed the living room (at least one end of it) and some of the family settled in for a night in front of the black and white, ready to share adventures with Little Joe, Adam and Hoss Cartwright. more
“Windy,” she said, “did you know that some Native American people refer to November as the Hunger Moon?” Mamie smiled as she placed some uncooked rolled-up ground fish … more
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