Sorry there was no column last week. I wrote it, but my Internet provider was down. When I opened The Times on Thursday, I was surprised that there was no Harmony Happening. We tried again for Friday, but the system was still not responding. Thanks to Robin for trying to help.
It was a good Christmas season in our family. Although we didn't get to see everyone, we were very grateful for the family members that were able to get together. Niece Erin was home from Disney World. Son Josh was in from Bloomington for a few days before Christmas. Denny and Josh finally managed to get the same days off work at the same time. The family went to see National Treasure and had supper at Mario's on the Sunday before Christmas. We think Erin comes home to see us but we may just be the excuse to go to her favorite restaurant.
On Christmas Day, the family gathered at John and Eva Kay's house. We had Erin's favorite comfort foods. We all love the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, dumplings, salads, and desserts, too. Eva Kay did an outstanding job of getting it all coordinated. Those dumplings were especially good.
Erin doesn't usually cook so every year I give her a hard time about baking me my favorite Italian Cream Cake. Whenever it gets close to a holiday, especially my birthday, I start reminding her about how much I am going to appreciate getting that special dessert. We both know my niece doesn't do cake.
In honor of her trip home for Christmas, I baked her an Italian Cream Cake just to rub it in a little bit. My version wasn't as good as Goodies Galore but it provided miles of good-natured ribbing. Her dad, John, has been known to appreciate the same dessert so much that Eva Kay didn't even get a chance to taste it. My birthday is still a few weeks away. Maybe this year, Erin will bake my Italian Cream Cake but we'll love her either way.
The brothers and sister-in-laws gathered at our house for New Year's Eve. None of us like to travel far on the roadways on the evening when some folks are known to over imbibe. We enjoyed watching in the New Year without hangovers. Law enforcement folks work hard on this problem but they can't be everywhere.
Happy New Year to everyone! Let's give thanks for all our many blessings. Pray for God to give us the vision of how to solve our personal, community, and national problems. Let's get involved in implementing the solutions. We all complain about things that need to be changed. Can you imagine the corrections that could be made both locally and nationally if we backed up our talk with actual work? Many do but many don't. Let's all work together.
Good luck in keeping your resolutions. I made two for last year. My score was 50 percent. One I kept; one I did not. In school, that would be failure but it was the first year that I actually kept up with one for the full year so I wasn't too disappointed with myself.
I resolved to attend United Methodist Women's meetings and help with their missions. I am proud that I hardly missed one all year. Rita Jones called me when illness kept me home from one meeting. It is good to have helpers to boost our resolve.
It was good to be at UMW each month, especially for the prayer time. Sharing prayers for our families and acquaintances felt good. Working on special projects and fundraisers was good, too. Pastor Bob Kumpf reminded us of the power of prayer last Sundy.
It was pleasure to hear that the courthouse would be smoke-free inside and outside in the future. Good decision, Commissioners. It would be nice to provide a space in the parking lot (or elsewhere) so that the smokers know where it is okay for them to smoke and non-smokers know where to avoid.
There were times when it was difficult to get through the smoke walls at the entrances to the courthouse. I often make trips to our big domed building when working for the Health Department. The offices are always clear but sometimes the relief facility down the hall is not clear.
A few months ago, the ladies restroom on the first floor was so full of cigarette smoke that you could barely see and definitely couldn't breathe. The water at the sink was running full blast but no one else was in the facility. An employee later told me that some people think that leaving the water run will take out their smoke and remove the evidence. It doesn't. Obviously, I waited to "take care of business" in a necessary room that was smoke-free. The people that work in the courthouse all day don't have that advantage. Hopefully the new ruling will solve this problem, too.
I don't have an updated birthday list but here are some of the listings from last year: Randy Bowman, Debbie Gottsche, and Harold Moore (12th), Joy Green (13th), Conor McCoy and Tavis Jones (21st), Carolyn Kumpf and Jenifer Clark (24th), Marc Maurer (25th), me (28th), Eva Trout Roach (29th), Rachel (Pell) Fagg (30th), Luther Julbert & Sharene Wallenbrock (31st).
My good friend Marilyn (Hughbanks) Smith has a birthday soon, too. I just asked her which day a week ago and still forgotů26th?
Happy Anniversary to John and Eva Trout Roach (14th).
Harmony United Methodist Calendar:
Jan. 13 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 15 -- Bowling at Brazilian Lanes 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 16 -- Clay County Quilters 9 a.m. -- 3 p.m.
Give me a call at 448-8734 if you have news.