The Champion News

The Groundhog’s prediction played out significantly on Sunday with blizzard-like conditions in the afternoon.   Six more weeks of winter will be just the right amount and then glorious Spring will be upon Champion again and the tribulations of late frosts and heavy rains or no rains will be the concerns of that season.  For now the internet will be covered with snow pictures.  Certainly there will be some good ones at There a person can also find all the news that does not appear in print on paper, in the original text, going back eleven years.   Road conditions are the current news together with the big pile up out on I-44 Sunday evening and the many other accidents all around the area.   Hopes are that all the injured and inconvenienced people will find comfort and safety and whatever they need.  The weather turned out to be more dangerous than people expected.  Champions stay home if they can and take special precautions if they must be out.  Skyline R-2 School was closed because of road conditions.  Additionally, seasonal sickness has been going through the student body, so a school closing is a chance for staff to continue their on-going program of sanitizing.  Champions appreciate our wonderful little rural school and all those dedicated people who keep it going.    

Sharon Sanders, reigning Douglas County Checker Champion and curator of the Douglas County Museum, has just celebrated a birthday.   Melissa Lilly Masters, Navy Veteran and Champion niece has her birthday on the 6th, and Cowboy Jack revels on the 7th.  He continues to keep his hat out of the creek.  Zoey Louise and Alexandra Jean can sing, “Happy birthday, dear Mom,” on the 8th.  Skyline first grade student Aidan Acree celebrates on the 8th.   Clare Shannon Johnson parties on the 13th and was seen congratulating her friend Debbie Newlyn on-line on her own recent birthday.  The 13th is the birthday of Skyline fifth grader Joshua Garner.  Miss Shelby Ward was born on Valentine’s Day.  She has Champion grandparents who live off in Salem but come home often.  Skyline fourth grader, Madison Bradshaw was born the 16th of February.  Trish Davis is a recent twins-grannie.  Her birthday is on the 17th.  That day is also for Linda Clark, a triplets-grannie.  All you Champions, curators, students, teachers, Veterans, nieces, parents, grandchildren and grandparents can be delighted because your friends and families love and admire you.  Enjoy it.

Imagine what a stranger might think upon entering your home for the first time.  When his or her attention moves from your welcoming smile, what does the stranger register about you and your place?  A well-appointed space with gleaming surfaces and elegant minimalism can still feel quite home- like.  It does not need to be like an upscale hotel lobby.   Just add some favorite family photos, a special painting by a granddaughter, curiosities and gifts from friends for your collections and plants.  Plants always give vibrancy to a space.  So much for the elegant minimalism.  Once a Champion gave a birthday gift to her husband with the following note:  “Happy birthday, Darling!  Here is a gift for you that no amount of stuff can replace.  It is your own clean, flat, empty space.”  (Except for the note)  There are volumes written about clutter, poems about clutter, web-sites full of quotes about clutter.  The word “clutter” is even heavy-too may ts.  A neighbor helping another neighbor with some projects assigned most all of her precious stuff with the term “junk” and suggested it should all be eighty-sixed (thrown out).  She was appalled.  Value seems to be a subjective term.  It is not possible to look at a person and to know all that has occurred in that person’s life that causes him to be the way he is.   Judgment is a tricky proposition.  It comes back to Rabby Burns saying, “Oh, would some power give us the gift to see ourselves as others see us!  It would from many a blunder free us, And foolish notion.”   There is also a growing realization that the generation to come is not interested in the vast majority of the “crap” they are destined to inherit.  A cold, windy day might be a good one to go through that filing cabinet drawer that has not been opened in fifteen years.  Imagine the treasures!

Quotes supplied this week to the “Lofty Thoughts” section of The Champion News  include  Abraham Lincoln’s, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution.” Herman Melville’s “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” Mahatma Gandhi’s
Seven sins are:  wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, religion without sacrifice, politics without principal.”

Double fiddles are a double delight and so it was on Thursday at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam when Roger Williams joined Jerry Wagner and the bunch in the circle making and enjoying the music and the fellowship.  The potluck supper starts at six and by seven the music is on.  It goes around the circle until nine, though often enough, a duo or trio will carry on for a while and it is hard to walk out the door with such good stuff going on.  Almost any night of the week there is a jam going on around here somewhere with great live music.  Valentine’s Day is coming up and love songs will be the mode o day.  Jewelry, flowers and candy, poetry and promises, good deeds and favors all count, but for romance, there is nothing like a good love song.   “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Waltz Across Texas With You,” “I Love You Because,” “I Love You Just The Way You Are,” and a new old favorite, “That’s How Much I Love You.”  Eddy Arnold sings, “Now if you were a horsefly and I an old grey mare, I’d stand and let you bite me and never move a hair.  I’d stand and let you bite me and never move a hair, ‘cause that’s how much I love you, Baby.  That’s how much I love you.”  Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday this year.  That makes it all the more special in Champion-Looking on the Bright Side!