Thursday, December 28, 2017

Character and Values for the New Year

January 1, 1953 - "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" column publised in The Collinsville News.
“Kathleen, my small granddaughter, says she gets to pick the “up” eggs.  When she saw I was puzzled by “up and down” eggs she explained that, since she could not reach the high nests, she would gather the ones in the lower nests,  while we picked the others.
How wise and happy she is without even realizing it!  How few of us are willing to do the “down” work-- willingly?  How resentful are we of those who have the “up” nests as though the higher nests or eggs were any better than those lower down. 
And thereby is today’s thought.
 What is the only difference between “high” and “low”?  Physical stature in Kathleen’s case;  mental and spiritual capacity and all our cases.  It is up to us whether we think “high” or “low” and whether we are willing to do our part. . . . . .
. . . .First, let us be self reliant enough to reach up, to look up, and yet at the same time, feel responsibility where we are at our own place, with our own talents and our own growth at our present level.  Kathleen is – even at her level.  She is thrifty, too, holding all the eggs she gathers securely in both hands and placing them carefully in the bucket so as not to break any.  She has the courage to try, the individual eagerness to beg to go along and help; and the supreme faith that while she is doing a perfect job now,  someday she will be a “big girl” who can reach into the very “top” nests, do her part, and receive even greater responsibility and reward.
When we finish,  she insists on helping to carry the heavy bucket of eggs to the house—she insists carrying her part of the load.
And, so I ask you today:  "Are you willing to carry your part of the load?" 
Have a VERY Happy and Prosperous New Year! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmastide All Year Long

Excepts from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow originally published in The Collinsville News, December 11, 1958.

"Once a year we see a miracle. Every hearth is decked with evergreen-every heart is full of cheer-even some Scrooges stop to drop a coin in on out-stretched palm and there is no such thing as a badboy!It's Christmas--the miracle that brings out the best in us. But can't you see what it would mean if it were always Christmas? What a different world this would be!Suppose instead of a date in December Christmas was a perpetual state of heart! However rich or modest the holiday tree this year, everyone shares the best of all-Christmas. It's a proud and priceless gift, but it comes as surely with the humble greeting card or the stranger's holiday smile as it doeswith the· expensive present.Christmas is as real and warm and intangible as sunshine, and like sunshine, it is given freely tothe world-wide family of men, brushing aside the petty ranks of :position, wealth, race and nationality.This gift comes tied with the broad strong bonds linking today with the long ago and far-away countries. These are as close as next door neighbors at Christmas time, because we know Christmashas brought them the same traditions, reverence, joy and hope as have come to us..Christmas comes in particularly mysterious packages for youngsters, and rightly so, for it was aChild who brought the gift to earth. To all of us, it restores and recalls a little of the innocent faith and bubbling excitement with which children view the Day.Chistmas brings the gift of a refreshing vacation in life's everyday battles. If not peace itself, Christmas gives at least a yearly glimpse of the universal brotherhood that is possible and spurs usto greater effort. And this is to be no passing or temporary gift. We can count on its return every year. For when a girl named Mary stood so long ago and heard about the Son she was to bear, the angel promised:"And of His kingdom there shall be no end."So now that the season of the year called Christmas is at hand we will all do well to pause andreflect on the true meaning of this Birthday. •Soon in schools and churches we'll all be practicing the children's programs. Mothers will be busy preparing costumes, or gifts, or goodies. There will be the search for gifts that has of late years turned into an orgy of spending, of shoving in crowded stores, with the resultant rush and accompanying short tempers at a time when Good Will should reign.Let us not make the mistake that the four little girls in the mission program made. Each of the girls was to give a recitation and hold up a letter of cardboard, the four letters spelling "Star." But in lining up in the aisle as they approached the platform, they became reversed and to the consternation of all, their letters spelled "Rats."So we often get into reverse order as the Christmas "daze" approaches. We, too, mean to spell out the sublime idea, but we give wrong things first place.Small children usually learn the real meaning of Christmas in the home and in the church. Then asthey grow up it becomes a time for revelry that has little to do with the true spirit of the Day. Back comes the deeper meaning and the joy seems to linger longer and longer with each succeeding year of life. That is good. That is what the gift of Christmas was I for in the beginning. Let us be determined at this Christmas-tide to take the time to get the real meaning and true joy of the Nativity before us - to give our spirits time to catch up with our bodies.Let us not replace the Babe with Santa Claus lest we, like the revellers at the Inn, fail to see the Star, too.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas a-comin'

Excerpts taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow from The Collinsville News,  December 11, 1958.

"Christmas a-comin' and I don't rekon none of us is any neare'r ready fur it than we wuz-but
we'll just have to get'ready, that's all. Christmas ain't a-goin' to hold off one hour on our account,
and aill't it a wontlerful· season of the year, though?"
So says, "Ole Miz Tutt Logan" And I must agree with her since getting ready for Ohristmas is a
bigger job every year, seems to me, since I must get ready both here at home and in my room at
school. There are some Christmas ideas, though, that I am more firmly convinced are right the older I
The spirit of Christmas and the return of gift for gift, or repaying a previous favor or benefit,
are widely separated when we think of the true spirit of Christ, in His earthly mission.
Perhaps we have poor children in our midst who would delight in, taking part in Christmas programs
in various churches, if only they had suitable clothing. Maybe we could help them make over some
lovely garments picked up at a rummage or clothes sale.
Without doubt there are widows or widowers who have striven with brawn and brains to make Christmas seem like Christmas to their families or maybe they are alone, the family being too far
away to come for the day. Can we, with a clear conscience, sit down with our family, knowing
that even one of these lonely ones sits alone? Even though we do not ask them to join our circle,
we can share our home-baked pies, cookies, candies or flowers with such a lonely one.
It isn't the expensive gifts that make Christmas really Christ-like but it is those deeds that portray
His teachings. Give what you will, to whom you love, and eat goodies until you are miserable if you choose, but if you don't forget self and try to make someone else happy, then Christmas will not seem like Christmas."