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On the eve of potentially bad weather, Champions are cool. Adequate preparation and youthful optimism make the whole prospect of exciting weather…well, exciting! Of course it is not easy for everyone and so intrepid Champion adventurers will be out helping where help is needed. It is Champion.
The big, big, big news in Champion is that Jacob Brixey, son of James and Jana Brixey, celebrated his first birthday on January 18th. He had a birthday party with Dad and Mom, Grandpa Brixey and friend, Vineta, grandparents Nyalin and Gary Barnes, Uncle Rick and Aunt Jodi Klingensmith, cousins Maddax and Tyler, and of course, his big sister, Jenna, who is already three years old and will be four in August. Reports indicate that this was not a party, but was a BLAST! Congratulations Jake, et. al!
“What is the Champion view toward commiseration?” What, after all, is commiseration? The dictionary says that it is the part of an oration that causes the hearer to feel pity. Another idea is that it is like the term ‘co-author’ where two people write something together. They share authorship. In this instance, it is as if some people want to share their misery. Where is the line? How much will Champions share? Champions choose to be compassionate. They listen to each other’s troubles and do what they can to help. However, it turns out that some people just like to talk about what is wrong, what breaks their hearts, what they just hate, and how often and how badly they are wronged, what the dismal future holds, and how it is most likely going to turn out really bad, and how the bad weather is just a part of everything else that is miserable. The significant others of these people are abusive, thoughtless, wasteful, dumb and mean spirited. Nothing is ever right and these folks are only comfortable and content when things are bad. Champions applaud anyone who can find happiness even in such a dreary way and are willing to do the right thing–ignore them. They like it. It fits the pattern they understand. For some Champions, however, the whole trip is a total no fly zone. They just cannot go there. Misery loves company, but commiserate only if it makes you happy.
Pat Michaud joins several other artists in dedicating a piece of art to the Skyline VFD to be used in the silent auction at the chili supper in March. She is a great friend of Champion and comes over from her Marshfield home as often as she can. Her parents sent her to a school in a neighboring county when she was a child and she and some neighboring children were dropped off at a little country store, much like the Champion Store, where they waited for the bus to take them on to school. Many of her pleasant childhood memories are associated with the little store and so she will apply her skills in oil paint to making a small representation of the Champion Store for lucky bidders to compete over at the fundraiser for the Skyline Fire Department. What a good neighbor! Other artists who have pledged pieces for the event are Louise Walker, potter, and Liz Jenkins of the Ava Art Guild. Tim Scrivner writes, “Thanks for the “heads up” on the chili supper and your kind words. I’d be pleased to put together another bird feeder for the silent auction and perhaps a bluebird house as well. Always nice having some motivation to get me into the shop!” This is shaping up to be a sterling affair!
The Old Biddies Bridge Club had their regular monthly game at the Mansfield Community Center on Thursday the 27th. There were four tables–sixteen bridge players–and the game was exciting. This group formed about ten years ago and draws its membership from Mansfield, Springfield, Hartville, Mountain Grove, Plato, Macomb, Norwood, Champion, Ava and other places. The group chose its name out of the sense of humor that comes with a little age, and from the bidding aspect of the game. A talented quilter in the group, Joann Biros, of Plato, produced the banner that presides over the games. Betty Swain, of Mansfield, was the high scorer at the end of the day and she will be the first to say it is a partnership game. Betty is one of the founding members of the group. She was quite ready for some good cards since she had missed the previous two games. She and a number of players had been unable to attend in December because of the sudden bad weather, and Betty had missed the November game because she had a houseful of family who had come to celebrate her 91st birthday. Three granddaughters and their husbands and children had flown down from Washington State. It was a real celebration. Betty has eleven great grandchildren. She did not learn to play bridge until she was already out of college. She said that her Mother had been a bridge player. Her Mother taught school up on the North Dakota border before the turn of the last century! Betty did not have the opportunity to play bridge with her Mother, though she learned to love the game by watching the friendships evolve among the players. Her Mother also played piano quite well. Betty does not play, though her sisters all do, but she has the great joy of passing music on to her seven-year-old granddaughter. Betty has found a wonderful piano teacher near Mansfield, and the little girl has had her first lesson. She loves it! Betty is thrilled for her. Hopefully, the granddaughter will have a chance to learn bridge while she is young too. It seems to be a game that can hold a person’s interest for a lifetime. Betty said that at this game the hands mostly played out in no-trump because of the distribution and she thought the last hand looked much like a slam, but it did not happen. What did happen was some keen mental exercise surrounded by some lovely pleasant fellowship.
When Spring arrives in a few weeks, Champion gardeners will be glad to have had all the moisture that comes with winter storms. These have been some dry months and the ground seems thirsty. Gardeners are hungry for the chance to get their hands in the soil again and to experience the exaltation of new life again! They will be content until then to watch the Re-Creation of the Historic Emporium blooming over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion. One day there will be flower boxes and hanging baskets on the porch there with wind chimes and the convivial commerce of customers coming and going, perhaps loitering for some laughter, and all will be right with the world. It is all right already, with the excellent Temporary Annex providing for the communities needs. Still, there is no harm in looking forward. Linda’s Almanac will be out this week for gardeners to use as a guide for planting and planning. Champions join friends and families of serving soldiers in looking forward to their safe homecoming. Some Champions are looking forward to Valentine’s Day are already singing, “Let me call you Sweetheart.” Sing what you will, but sing. Get that shoulder set against the cold, hard wind and be a Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!