From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

T. L. Metcalfe, Founder of Metcalfe Flowers

Hopkinsville, KY entrepreneur of the early 1900s



Metcalfe Flowers was founded in 1902 by Hopkinsville businessman Thomas Lee Metcalfe (T. L. Metcalfe). Today, the business still operates in its original building on the corner of 7th and Liberty.



In addition to his flower business in Hopkinsville, T. L. Metcalfe had greenhouses at Madisonville, Kentucky, and at Jackson, Clarksville, and Springfield, Tennessee. He also owned and operated the Hopkinsville Steam Laundry and the Avalon, an assembly hall where organizations could hold meetings and luncheons.

Metcalfe published a bi-weekly newspaper in Hopkinsville, as well. The Independent, one of eight newspapers listed for Hopkinsville in the 1899 National Newspaper Directory and Gazetteer, came out on Tuesdays and Fridays, and had a circulation of 1500.

The flower business

Metcalfe's advertisements for floral workers give some insight to the nature of his flower business:

HELP WANTED— A young man assistant to foreman in growing carnations and roses principally; must also be able to do design work and some little outside gardening; wages $10 per week with room and washing: board can be had for $3 per week. Address T. L. Metcalfe, Hopkinsville, Ky. (Source: March 7, 1907, Weekly Florists Review.)
HELP WANTED — At once, a first-class grower of roses, carnations and pot stuff, also a good designer, who can act as working foreman of 35,000 feet of glass; salary $15.00 per week for first year; house furnished and laundry free. Address at once, with reference. T. L. Metcalfe, Hopkinsville, Ky. (Source: March 2, 1911, Florists Review.)

The laundry

As owner of the Hopkinsville Steam Laundry, Metcalfe invented and patented a shipping hamper for laundries in 1904. The hamper was designed to "provide a simple, inexpensive, and efficient basket or hamper of great strength and durability designed for use by laundries for shipping clothes and adapted to be conveniently handled without liability of breaking or otherwise injuring it." (Source: Metcalfe's patent drawings and application.)

Citizen of Hopkinsville

T. L. Metcalfe is mentioned several times in Charles Meachem's history of Christian County. Meachem recorded that Metcalfe gave away 1500 carnations to school children as part of Hopkinsville's 1910 celebration of the laying of the cornerstone of the new high school. (This would have been the old Hopkinsville High School on Walnut Street -- a building which has been torn down.)

Meachem also lists T. L. Metcalfe as a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Hopkinsville and as a near-winner of a contest in which the number of perfectly-formed seeds in a large pumpkin were guessed.

Also of interest

Mr. Metcalfe was once in a train wreck near Clarksville, Tennessee. He suffered cuts and bruises during the wreck but gathered his senses and rescued three people from the burning cars before escaping himself. Fire consumed the train cars within seven minutes. (Source: March 2, 1911, Florists Review.)

T.L. Metcalfe's father was a minister, and his maternal grandfather, Whitfield Killebrew, was an early settler in Montgomery County, Tennessee.

The Sixth General Catalogue of Sigma Alpha Epsilon records that T. L. Metcalfe was born in 1864 and married Clara Orr in 1895. I do not know the date of T. L. Metcalfe's death.

Researching this entrepreneur

I stopped at Metcalfe Flowers today to ask about its founder, but none of the employees could tell me anything but his name and the date that the business was founded. However, that was enough to find a surprising amount of information about T. L. Metcalfe on the internet.

While researching T. L. Metcalfe tonight, I've felt respect for his spirit of entrepreneurism. He seems to have been a very capable businessman. I think he'd be shocked at all the bail-outs of 2008 and 2009.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tobacco Growing Heritage

Tobacco cultivation learned at an early age



This Library of Congress photo is dated August 21, 1916. Here is the photo's caption:
5-year old Jack and 13-year old Bitsey are regular workers on their father's farm. Worming and suckering now. Bitsey goes to Wallonia School in Div. 1, Trigg Co. "He worms and he suckers. Quite a worker but he aint old enough to go to school yet." The mother said this about Jack. Father, B.F. Mitchell, Route 1, owns farm. Location: Trigg County--Gracey, Kentucky / Lewis W. Hine.

Gracey, Kentucky, is near the Christian County and Trigg County border. This photo is one of a group of related Trigg County photos. Photographer Lewis Hine was on an assignment to document child agricultural laborers for the National Child Labor.

I hope that when this little fellow was old enough to go to school, the teacher let him play at the sand table sometimes.

Sand Tables in the 1916 Classroom

Sand table in a rural school remembered



At Duff Valley District 4, the one-room school I attended as a child, we had a sand table. It was a sturdy, wooden box about 2 feet wide, 3 feet long, and 6 inches deep, supported by 4 legs. The outside of the table was painted a sickly shade of pale green, and the inside held about two inches of sand.

I suppose that someone's father made it for the school and filled it with clean sand from a blowout in his pasture. Sand is one thing that is plentiful in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Sometimes we played at the sand table when we spent recess inside or when we finished all our schoolwork. However, I don't remember any special toys for the sand table. By the time I was in fifth grade or so, the teacher had dumped out the sand and was using the table to store a set of Funk & Wagnall encyclopedias that my mother had donated to the school.

I had never considered the age of that sand table, but after reading about sand tables in the 1916 issues of Primary Education, I suspect it might have been a couple of generations older than me.

According to Primary Education a scene constructed in a sand table was an excellent educational device. For example, a teacher's classroom activities during the county fair included a model fair in the sand table:

The children constructed a fair in the sand-table, placing booths and a merry-go-round, and pasteboard people, horses, cows, etc. Each child also made a toy merry-go-round to take home. These were made from the given pattern during the drawing and construction periods, thus giving lessons in tracing, some measurements, cutting, coloring and construction. (Source)


How-to books for sand table scenes were offered for sale in the advertisement section of the magazines. In the articles, many sand table scenes are described:



The frequent mention of the sand table in this teachers' magazine suggests that it was an effective teaching and learning tool. If it seems odd or quaint, remember the times. In 1916, the students weren't jaded by electronic wonders, and teachers didn't have today's myriad of resources.

A sand table was so simple and inexpensive to make that any school could have one -- even our little country school out in the Nebraska Sandhills. However, I think our sand table was just a relic by the time I came along in the late 1950s. Our teachers were using modern technology to enhance our learning -- the phonograph, the hectograph, and the filmstrip projector!

Also in Google Books: Primary Education magazines from 1894 through 1923

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Good Sense of Direction

Internal compass, fairly accurate



I've had a good sense of direction since I was old enough to remember. I usually have a strong opinion about where north, south, east, and west lie, and I'm usually right.

Sense of direction is probably a skill I learned from my parents. I grew up in rural Nebraska where section lines and county roads are laid out in a checkerboard of square miles, aligned to the compass. I heard my parents speak of directions every day of my childhood -- the north wind, the cows in the pasture west of the creek, and so on.

Or, my cells may be blessed with a generous measure of magnetite and a genetic ability to respond to it. Magnetite is an iron oxide ( Fe3O4,), and it's the most magnetic substance known on earth. Man and many other mammals, including bats, have magnetite in their cells. Tests that expose bats to strong magnetic fields seem to show that bats navigate partly by responding to magnetism. Cows seem to orient themselves to magnetism, as well.

In a study of bird navigation, scientists exposed migrating birds to strong magnetic fields and then released them at night. All night long, they flew in the wrong direction, but when the sun came up, they did a 90° turn and headed in a different (correct) direction. This suggests that migratory birds are guided by magnetism, but they also orient themselves to the sun.

The position of the sun is an important indicator of direction with me, too. When I lived south of the equator for two years, I was constantly befuddled about north and south. Shadows fell to the south instead of the north, and cold weather came with strong south winds. The directional clue-gathering that I do subconsciously in the northern hemisphere was a mental juggling exercise in the southern hemisphere because the sun was shining on the wrong side of me. Thank goodness for maps!

Nor am I good at right and left orientation. If I ask for directions and someone describes a series of right and left turns, I have to write them down. I cannot remember the instructions, and I can't form a mental map of where they are leading me.

In Kentucky, most of the roads aren't straight. Country roads wind around the hills following ancient animal paths used by the Indians and early settlers. Major highways may be straight enough, but minor highways are just un-straightened, black-topped country roads. In most of the towns, the streets aren't oriented with the compass, and the blocks aren't reliably rectangular in shape. Roads radiate from the towns like spokes from the hub of a wheel.

However, I still drive around here with a good sense of the general compass direction in which I'm proceeding. At least the shadows are on the right side of the trees. Just give me a map, and I can find my way anywhere.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Related: A website about topographical disorientation (getting lost so easily that it is a serious handicap)

Ominous Odometer

666, thrice.


On my way to town tonight, I pulled up to a stopsign and glanced at the dashboard. The odometer had such a surprising number that I photographed it --66666.

The number 666, traditionally associated with the "number of the beast" in Revelations, appears three times within the number 66666. If I believed in bad omens, I suppose I'd be worried about even seeing that number.  

But maybe 666 isn't even the correct bad number. Recent research on ancient Biblical documents indicates that the number of the beast might be 616, not 666.

Furthermore, there are several views among Christian theologians as to the real identity of the beast. My church (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod -- LCMS) teaches that the beast was a symbol of the Roman Empire that was persecuting Christians mercilessly at the time that Revelations was written.

For more information about the book of Revelations as the LCMS understands it, see "A Lutheran Response to the Left Behind Series" (pdf, 908KB).

That odometer reading does worry me a little though. My car's a few miles overdue for an oil change, and I need to get that done soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Marion Post Wolcott Photo

A mountain woman



Mountain woman by her home up Stinking Creek,
Pine Mountain, Kentucky, August 1940
FSA photo by Marion Post Wolcott.


I came across this photo tonight as I was wandering through the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photos on the Library of Congress website.

I think this woman is young, even though she's wrinkled. She looks strong and tough, but overworked and weary. She's curious and obliging, and yet her eyes are wary and a little anxious. All these contradictions make this an interesting photo.

Her three little children and the gate in front of her home can be seen in the adjacent images (here and here).

The photographer was Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990) and this photograph is just one of hundreds she took in Kentucky as an FSA photographer.

Wolcott visited Russellville, a town about 40 miles east of Hopkinsville, where she photographed farmers on Saturday afternoon and a blacksmith shoeing a horse. However, she doesn't seem to have visited Hopkinsville. I have found no photos whatsoever of Hopkinsville in the FSA collection.

- - - - - - - - - -

5000 FSA photos by Marion Post Wolcott

Image credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, LC-USF34-055920-E DLC

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1930s Farm Security Administration Project at Hopkinsville, KY

Farmers of submarginal land relocated



In the high hills and deep ravines just south of Dawson Springs, KY, 14,648 rough and rocky acres are held by the Pennyrile State Forest and Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.

These public lands -- and in eastern Kentucky, properties that became the Kentucky Ridge State Forest -- were leased in 1930 under the Land Use and Resettlement Program. Official websites for both forests state that leases were "sustained until 1954 when the property was deeded by the U.S. government to the Commonwealth."

I was a little surprised that the program that created these forests was under the Hoover Administration rather than the New Deal. However, I read a bit of relevant history -- Congress began trying to reduce farming of submarginal land in 1929. The Agricultural Marketing Act of that year provided for study of the problem, and perhaps this program was an outgrowth of that legislation. I have found no other reference to the "Land Use and Resettlement Program" on the internet.

I've always wondered where the farmers were relocated when they were moved out of the Pennyrile Forest area, and tonight I came across part of the answer in a guide to Kentucky by WPA writers:

Hopkinsville is the headquarters of the Farm Security Adminstration's Christian-Trigg Farms, a project covering more than 8,000 acres in Christian, Trigg, and Todd Counties. It was designed to provide small farms -- they average 67 acres -- for a selected group of tenants and sharecroppers in these counties as well as families removed from near-by areas that were submarginal for farming. Each unit includes a house, barn, smokehouse, and poultry house.

Forty-eight of the 103 farms planned were occupied in October 1938 and the homesteaders, advised by Federal agents, had worked out a diversified crop plan by which the families raise the major portion of their food and the feed for their stock (chickens, hogs, and milk cows), plant legumes to enrich the soil, and produce tobacco and cotton for cash crops.

Quoted from The WPA Guide to Kentucky. Originally compiled and written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Admninistration for the State of Kentucky and published in 1939 as Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State. The entire entry for Hopkinsville is quite interesting if you know the area.


The description of the diversified crop plan being taught to the relocated farmers reminds me of the small farms owned nowadays by Mennonites and Amish in Christian County. Most would be about the same size -- less than 100 acres. Like the relocated farmers of the 1930s, they raise their own food and their livestock's food, practice crop rotation, and raise cash crops such as vegetables, corn, grains, etc.

Tobacco is still widely grown in Christian County, but I have not seen or heard of cotton grown here.

Related posts:
Pennyrile State Forest
January Scenes from Christian County, Kentucky

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ice Storm Cleanup

Terrible mess of broken branches



Dennis and I spent a couple of days last week hauling branches out of the yard and piling them on the neighbor's field where we will burn them. We managed to clear a portion of the front and side yard, but a daunting amount of work remained to be done.

Saturday morning, a young Mennonite neighbor called Dennis and asked if we could use some help with cleanup. Shortly thereafter, Luke, his aunt, and three of his sisters arrived. With Dennis and me, that made a crew of seven. Dennis and Luke ran the chainsaws and the rest of us gathered branches and stacked them.

They went home at lunch, and when they returned, another brother came along on a Bobcat. Luke stood on the Bobcat's uplifted loader and trimmed some of the higher broken branches with a long-handled chainsaw. He couldn't reach every damaged limb, but he got what he could reach. We were also able to remove the limb from our rooftop, with the help of the Bobcat.

With such a big crew, it was easy to see the progress that we were making. By sunset, we had piled all of the branches from the entire yard. One enormous pile is behind my garden. Another enormous pile is on the old roadbed below the old log house site. There are two more smaller piles in our yard and two piles on the neighbor's field. The birds and rabbits will be happy about all the shelter we've suddenly provided for them.

We thanked our neighbors but it was impossible to really express the gratitude that we feel for their help. It is such a relief to have the mess cleaned up. Next week, I'm going to bake cinnamon rolls for them and take them over with a thank you card.

I don't know what we'll do with all the branch piles. If we try to burn them, we'll have to drag the branches out and burn them a few at a time so we can control the size of the fire.

I read in the Princeton paper that their road departments will haul off storm debris that is piled along state and county roads. If that option becomes available to us in Christian County, we will have to haul the limbs about a quarter of a mile and stack them along the highway.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Electricity Restored


I'm happy to report that our electrical lines have been repaired and we have electricity in our house again. Counting from Tuesday of last week to today (Thursday), we had ten days that were spent at least partly without electricity.

A crew of linemen came to the house last night about 7:00 pm, but decided that our problems were too extensive to fix in the dark. They came back this morning and spent about five hours shoring up the tilted pole and repairing multiple broken lines.

One of the guys was from North Carolina, but the others were from Tennessee. All were employees of the Davis H. Elliott Company.

The Davis H. Elliot Companies, a group of professional construction service providers, specializing in transmission and distribution line construction and repair, commercial and industrial electrical construction, sub-stations, street lighting, traffic signaling, and underground utility locating. (Source)

According to a January 28, 2009, news release, Elliott sent nearly a thousand power line workers to eight states after the ice storm.

They are definitely my heroes today!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ice Storm Aftermath

For many, a bad situation


Entire towns in Kentucky and even entire counties lost electricity in the ice storm last week. In many cases, they had no running water after supplies in the water towers were used.

Many residents had no heat and with gas stations closed, no gasoline to evacuate. Many people also had no phone service, either by land lines or by cell phones. Stores were unable to open for business.



Fortunately, Hopkinsville was not affected as severely as many towns. After the storm, people from adjoining counties began coming to Hopkinsville for emergency supplies. Lines at our gas stations extended down the streets. Our stores were crowded with shoppers, and some shelves were bare.

At WalMart, I heard an announcement on the intercom: "Associates, we have no more de-icer." They didn't have much bread either, and they didn't have any kitchen matches at all. They were also out of bottled water. At Kroger, it was much the same. At Lowes, there were no heavy-duty extension cords, and only a few of the light-duty cords remained.

Generators were in high demand, but hard to find. Honda of Hopkinsville and Central Tractor both pre-sold generators from shipments they had coming in. At Lowes, I saw a woman trying to load a big barbeque grill into the trunk of her car. I am sure she was getting it so she could cook.



Christian County Public Schools have been dismissed since January 27.  School is cancelled again tomorrow, making a total of 7 days missed so far due to the Ice Storm of '09.

The school cancellation announcement is an automated telephone call from the district office. For several days, the message has mentioned equipment problems in schools that had power outages. Heating systems? Sprinkler systems? Cafeteria equipment? Plumbing? We don't know.



In conversations with customers at work, I often ask if everything is back to normal at their house yet. Most of them are eager to talk about the storm.

Some people didn't lose their electricity at all, or only lost it for a few hours or overnight. Some in that group mention that they didn't have a full slate of channels on their cable TV for several days. Apparently it seems to them that they suffered. If it were me, I wouldn't bring up the cable TV.



I talked to a young fellow from Cadiz. He looked like he was in his early teens. He has been volunteering at the emergency shelter that is set up in the high school gym. He doesn't think school will be held while the gym is occupied.

I asked what he did at the shelter. He explained that he helps organize blankets, pillows, and food. I suppose that they are receiving donations from the public.



On the second day after the ice storm (my first day back at work), I talked to a lady from Greenville. She told me that she had been staying in her bedroom and she was heating it with candles. She had the candles inside  big coffee cans to make them safer.

She said that Greenville looked like a hurricane had gone through town. Electrical lines were lying in the streets and the trees looked like toothpicks, pointing to the sky. She remembers the damaged trees she saw when she visited her son in South Carolina, a few weeks after Hurricane Hugo hit. The trees in Greenville look the same, she said.



A co-worker's father lives in Henderson, a town on the Ohio River about an hour's drive north of Hopkinsville. He's in his early 60s and he lives by himself. He had no heat and no lights after the storm. He had been sleeping in his truck so he could run the heater when he got cold.

When his daughter found out what he was doing, she insisted that he come to Hopkinsville and stay with her. He resisted for a few days, but then he agreed to come down and visit for the weekend.

Another co-worker's brother in Elizabethtown has been without electricity and heat since the storm.  His basement has been flooded as well.  He was finally able to get a generator today so he can run a pump to get the water out of the basement.



One of the ice storm fatalities happened in Hopkinsville. An elderly man died of carbon monoxide posioning after he set up his generator in his utility room. He had opened the window a couple of inches and hung a blanket over the utility room door.



At the farm store, Dennis ran into Jim, an Army Special Forces retiree whose son was in Boy Scouts with Isaac. Jim got a hotel room for his wife and son when the power went out, but he stayed at the house to keep the wood stove going.

One morning he noticed a guy looking in the windows. Jim went outside and asked, "Can I help you?" and scared the guy so badly he could hardly talk.

"Oh," stuttered the guy, "I'm, uh, I'm with the, uh, the emergency services. I'm, uh, I'm checking to see if everyone's OK here." Then he ran down the driveway and got in his truck with Tennessee tags (not a vehicle that you'd expect Kentucky officials to be driving.)

Jim was positive that the guy was about to break and enter. Luckily for him, Jim went outside to intercept him before he made the mistake of going through the window.



One lady from Hopkinsville told me that she had not lost her electricity at all during the storm. However, a transformer blew up on a pole near her house a couple of days ago and she lost power then. When they got the transformer fixed, her lights came back on, but her furnace didn't. Now she has no heat.



One man was worried about his elderly aunt and uncle who live in one of the towns north of here. He tried to get them to come to his house, but they want to stay in their home.

The uncle is in hospice and completely bedridden, and the aunt is caring for him. They have no electricity, and they are heating the house with a kerosene heater. The hospice nurse told them that if they begin to feel overwhelmed, they should call 911. They've heard it might be several weeks before they get their electricity again.



An elderly lady told me that many retired people live in her little town north of Madisonville. She was worried that no one was checking to see if people were OK. Her husband has heart trouble, but he went up and down their block knocking on doors.

She and her husband were running the burners on their gas range to stay warm. They couldn't get their car out of the garage because a tree fell across the driveway. A neighbor was going to Hopkinsville, so she rode along to get groceries and other things they needed.



We are getting along fairly well with heat from the wood and gas stoves and limited electricity from a line run from the neighbor's barn. We haven't heard any estimates yet about when our electricity will be restored.

In the past when we had well water, a loss of electricity always meant that our water pump didn't work.  We are so thankful that we had county water installed a couple of years ago, and we're fortunate that the Christian County Water District has been able to stay in operation.

After the storms of 1994, we had to catch drip water from melting ice so we'd have water to flush the toilet. When we think of that and remember the various miseries that others are coping with currently, our present situation doesn't seem too bad.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ice Storm Photos

We're OK, but the trees aren't.





Our electricity went out about 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 27, after the first night of freezing rain. Rain continued to fall throughout the day, melting the ice on the road, but forming icicles 4 to 6 inches long on tree branches that were already encrusted with half an inch of ice.

Breaking tree branches


The electricity came back on for about 45 minutes late in the afternoon and then went out for good. The temperature remained at 32°, and the rain continued to fall. As it grew dark, ice began to freeze on the roads again and the trees began breaking. It was terrible to hear the thunderous cracks and snaps, like gunshots, as the limbs broke. The breaking continued all night.

Some tree limbs hit our house, but fortunately, we don't think we have any damage. I've heard several stories of trees that went through roofs and windows. The bottom left photo above was taken Wednesday morning through our big living room window.

I didn't go to work on Wednesday because we had tree limbs blocking the way out of our yard and a tree down between our house and the highway. Dennis and the neighbors got all that cleared out Tuesday afternoon after the snow quit.

Some electricity restored

A retired electrical worker who was summoned back to work came through the neighborhood on Thursday, fixing what he could from the ground. He replaced the fuse in a transformer at the head of our power line, and our neighbor Clarence's power came back on.

However, the repairman couldn't help the other three families on this line. The main power line that serves us is broken and on the ground, in the field past Clarence's house. We also have an electric pole that is leaning, and the wire that leads to our house is damaged where it hooks onto the pole.

On Friday, Clarence (bless his heart!) ran an electrical line to our house from the old barn where he has his workshop, near one edge of our little property. We brought the line into the house through the dryer vent so we wouldn't have to keep a window or door open. There's a breaker box on the barn end of the line, and on this end, an outlet.

We plugged a heavy-duty GFCI/circuit breaker outlet (like construction guys use) into the outlet. If it starts to get hot because we have too many things plugged in, the circuit will break immediately. So far, no problems. We are running the refrigerator, one lamp, and at times, the computer. We have also run the washing machine, with everything else unplugged.

The simple life

We don't know when our "real" electricity will be back in service, but what we have is a great improvement from not having electricity at all. We are in pretty good shape compared to many. We have both wood and propane heat, and our water has not had any problems. We can heat water and our food on the wood stove.

Life after dark has been centered in the single room that has light. While we were using the oil lamps, I went through a big stack of magazines and clipped what I want to save. Now that we have an electric light, we've been doing a jigsaw puzzle. The radio was a vital source of information during and after the storm. Now that we can run the computer, we feel less isolated and better informed.

Keely's power came on Saturday morning about 10:00 a.m. Her house got down to +25° inside on the coldest night, but she didn't want to leave the cats. She survived with lots of blankets, but she was very, very happy when the electrical crew showed up at her house at last.

Recovery

We have a terrible mess in our yard -- many branches on the ground and more dangling from the trees. There's also a limb on our roof. Dennis worked a little on Saturday with the chain saw, but it was too dangerous with the ice falling from the trees. Now all the ice is down and melted, so we're going to work hard on the branches tomorrow.

School is cancelled again on Monday in Christian County and neighboring counties. I believe a couple of the schools still don't have electricity and Dennis said the school-cancellation phone call said something about secondary problems in some other schools after the electricity was restored.

Much more could be told, but this post is long enough. I'll try to write about the ice storm stories I've heard from other people in another post.
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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.