"Let your hope shine" - remember - there is always HOPE.
Since I am homebound for a while, I have more time to recall pleasant memories of Christmases past. My friend, Laura N., sympathizes with me, as she calls me her, "social butterfly friend." I do like to go here and there to watch people or to participate. This week, mostly, I will share blessings of past Decembers in this county. Rather than dwell on what I am missing, I choose to think about the blessings I have now. Like a warm home, cozy bed of satin sheets and thick satin coverlet; television to entertain me while I mostly just listen to TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) sermons, and my brother, Virgil Allen, recommended the Hallmark channel to me. In addition, Meals on Wheels and the pizzas my friends leave on my porch are a delight to me. My Chinese friend, Ying, decorated my Christmas tree before she started walking toward Holly. When we lived in our country home, we always had fresh pine trees. It was my mother, Ida's, Austrian tradition to light real candles on some of the branches in special little metal holders. We children would sing songs like "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger," and then extinguish the flames.
Christmas Eves were very important to our family and to be in church at night. For many years we went to Lamar, dined at the Main Cafe, and then, after church, enjoyed the pretty lights of Lamar before coming home to open gifts. In later years when we began to have grandchildren, we spent Christmas eves in Ordway and Las Animas to enjoy the children and their parents. Now-a-days, my favorite place to worship on Christmas Eve is to be in the Haswell United Methodist Church because more of my extended family attends there.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many concerts that just will not happen. I have been missing the prospect to attending Mrs. Monica Uhland's elementary concert. She has been such a blessing to the families and children in teaching them to sing with such gusto and joy at Eads Elementary School. No doubt Dr. and Judy Fell have added pleasure since they moved to Eads from Holly so they can enjoy their daughter, Monica, and grandsons, Rhett and Spencer.
Because of the COVID-19 virus and other ailments, the annual Community Christmas Cantata was not performed. Some of us are just left with our memories of how we particularly loved singing Handel's Messiah. The last several years our community has been blessed to hear the children's Cantata and pageant directed by Jimmy Brown, pianist, and some ladies of the Praise Community Church congregation.
Another event that we are sorely missing this year is the annual holiday basketball tournament in Lamar. It is such a reunion of college students who were home for the holidays. Of course, it is an opportunity for last minute gift shopping and stocking up on essentials. The coaches and referees enjoy the hospitality room in the community building, especially when it was hosted by Melanie Haskell. Many of us remember the anticipation of the announcement of the adult fan recognition. In more recent years, citizens from our town who were recognized were Tim Weeks, Betsy Barnett, Lane Gooden, and Bob Laird come to mind.
One of the places I miss the most is going to is Cindy McLoud's Treasure vintage shop a couple times a week to buy her pumpkin bread and muffins and to see the pretty handmade toys and gifts. It is such a lovely place to be.
Through the years it was special to go to the free kids' movies at the Plains Theatre. Lots of families came and enjoyed the drawings outside the Theatre especially when they won a frozen turkey.
Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we didn't have Chamber of Commerce or Hospital Auxiliary, so I really missed having a good meal at J J's Restaurant.
We were pleased to have an e-mail from Jan Richards of the Kiowa County Economic Development Foundation that we will be able to watch a virtual video of the opening of the Murdock Building by presenters Donald Oswald, Tina Adamson, Alexa Roberts, Belinda Zink, and Jane. We are pleased to know that David Englehardt has finished the rustic floor refinishing. Gradually, we can begin to move into the new senior citizen center, which will be a grand place for dinners, anniversary, wedding parties and other events.
Last Friday was to be the long awaited 4-H Achievement Banquet along with many awards for our Kiowa County 4-H members. But alas, that event had to be cancelled also. However, County Extension Agent Tearle Lessenden and his assistant, Krystal Eikenberg, have been working to give the 4-H members some personal recognition and enjoyment. Last Friday, 4-H families received a letter saying that Tearle would be bringing their awards to them and the hope that he could take some photos for their office and web site. The letter also contained a voucher for meal(s) at JJ's Restaurant that will be paid for by the 4-H Council. What a really thoughtful gesture for 4-H families to dine out together.
My niece, Glenda Stoker, left a delivery of her marvelous homemade fudge, candies, and cookies on my porch. Oh, my friends will enjoy these.
The red Christmas Cactus that Robin Musgrave gave to me three years ago has been cheering me with its blooms.