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What Would I Change?
by Cassie Edwards

Now that I’m nearing eighty,
I can’t help but wonder;
What would I change in my life,
If I had to live over?

I’d be sillier,
Laugh at all jokes;
Laugh with my children,
And all other folks.

I’d let my hair down,
To blow in the breeze;
I’d slip on some jeans,
And go climb trees.

I’d take more long walks,
Feeling the need to be free
As I watch all birds,
Flying from tree to tree.

I’d not hoard my treasures,
I’d learn to share them;
I’d go barefoot more often,
And not be so prim.

What would I change,
If I had my life to live over?
I would always carry –
A four leaf clover!

Eleanore-Melissa Says:

THANKSGIVING is a good time to be grateful that we don’t have to live our lives over again. Change is a part of life, true, but since we cannot alter the past, let us look to the future, and study what needs to be done to improve what is coming, using our past experiences as guides to act as we should, or refrain from what we shouldn’t do. History can tell us much about what is acceptable behavior, and what isn’t. We don’t have to live everything ourselves –

Which is another reason for being THANKFUL!

by Remelda Gibson of Tooele, Utah

Bat Habits

bat has
the habit
of sleeping
with its head
hanging down. It
likes hunting for
food on night shift


and buzzes.
and blunt-faced
it pollinates red
petunias, pink phlox

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Our Blessed Heritage”
by Harry Slocum Tordoff of Cranston, R.I.

We, in these United States, have much to be thankful for, the foremost of which is our Birthright. To have been picked by our Creator, as a people who could claim this Fair Land as our own, is the highest of Honors. If we disclaim this fact – we have only to read books on the subject, watch Newscasts that depict life in other Lands, or listen to Commentators, as they give eye witness accounts of their visitations to these places, to realize how really fortunate we are.

We, like the rest of the world, are subject to the ravages of inflation, but HERE, the working man earns enough to meet his weekly expenses, plus (in some instances) save a small amount for that proverbial ‘Rainy Day.’ In many of the lands spoken of above, the people just cannot make ends meet, even though they live on the barest of necessities, which makes another reason why we should be thankful for our Heritage. (Oh, I know there are some ‘Hard Luck Cases’ where families have to do that here, but with our Welfare System, there isn’t much of any reason for anyone to go hungry, if their Pride does not keep them from applying).

Granted, some of us are born poor and just do not seem able to muster the necessary knowledge and fortitude to pull ourselves up by ‘Our Bootstraps’, as the old saying goes; but the fact remains that here in ‘America’, every man has the opportunity to make his or her future secure, if they will but try to take advantage of what our Ancestors did to pave the way for us.

Here in these United States, even the poor families have automobiles (for the most part) in which they can go places they have never seen before and enjoy them in comfort and fast time. Many of those in other lands (spoken of above) hardly have taps and heels on their shoes, to walk to other places, never mind ride.

On the following, I must plead guilty to being one of the ‘Fat’ ones that doctors claim, get that way “Only From Overeating.” But, all in all, how fortunate can a populace be, to be able to overeat, instead of starving to death for lack of food? Oh! We here in these United States can claim one of the Greatest Heritages that mortal man can boast of. These Fifty States are truly ‘Heaven Blest’ and anyone born upon the sod of anyone of them, are doubly Blest, because they not only have the Heritage of Blessedness, that comes with being born here, they also have the Blessing of God in a more personal way, because through His Grace, this Land became their land, to live in and prosper on.

To those who bite the hand that feeds them, as the saying goes, I have only this to say, “Shame on you.” You were given the Ultimate and in return, you crucify this land that has given you so much, just as Christ was crucified on the Cross of Calvary, for the sins of men, after giving His All to redeem an unappreciative world population. The same is happening to these United States today, – after She has given of Her Stores and Heart to help this world out; and the worst offenders are those who live and get their sustenance right here within Her borders.

As those of Christ’s era, made Him Stronger, by what they did, I hope the blasphemy directed toward our “America”, only tends to make Her stronger, finally bringing out the ‘Best’ in everybody and everything pertaining to Her, as planned by those hardy Pioneering Souls, at Her Inception.

“God bless America and all connected with Her – both now and always.”

(To which we all add “AMEN”, Harry, and thank you for reminding us to include America in our Thanksgiving prayers of gratitude. Eleanore-Melissa)

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Changing Winds #2
by Paul Burns of Dayton, Ohio

Late Fall is a gorgeous season, really. Air is chilly and provocative; the slate gray sky – disturbed and rumbling – seems ever-ready to spit out snow. Maple, ash, and walnut trees, now shorn of all leaf protection, show their true shape by the way their stark branches, twigs, and twiglets hurl themselves in leisurely grace high in the sky to pray.

I spied the old man standing beside a young miniature peach tree. He seemed totally a part of his environment. He was crying. Cautiously I approached and asked in a soft voice why. The old man said nothing. His craggy, weather-beaten face was lashed with criss-cross lines of great age. His snowy white hair glistened with rainbow reflections of all the circus lights of the spectrum. Once black and self-absorbing, now the man’s hair shone outward; a symbol of a mind that in youth takes, but in age gives back.

Still, he was crying, and I again asked why.

The old man held out his hand. In it I saw an ancient leather-suede pencil container popular with school children perhaps a half-century of more ago. The old man’s rugged, stubbly fingers were caressing it gently. I stared once more at his watery eyes. Out of them flashed a light as strong and undeniable as a knife wound. The old man spoke:

“I’ve been searching… all my life… for this ole pencil box… I used it when I was in the… fourth grade… and today… I found it!”

You Are My World
by Remelda Gibson of Tooele, Utah

You make me want to be
Yours. I am prone
To want to own
Long-term togetherness
With you. You bless
My nights and days.

Words can not praise
You well enough. You are
A brilliant star,
Richly be-pearled.

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A Cry For Help
by Mary C. Gladis of Cleveland, Ohio

Snow was falling lightly to the ground. The flakes seemed to melt as they touched the earth and only a light ground cover was left. The temperature had warmed considerably this evening, up to freezing from the teens which it had hovered about all day. The Reverend John Gordon sat in the rectory study and quietly reflected on the events of the past day. On the surface everything went smoothly, but the underlying tension was in the air. Rev. Gordon, still young at thirty-six, was one of a team of ministers working together in an interdenominational church located on the outskirts of the city. The neighborhood was blue collar strictly middle class and the ministers worked closely with the people.

The head minister, Rev. Thomas Evans, a very demanding man in his late fifties, was tall with glasses and iron grey hair. He ran a tight ship and planned to the last detail the events in the church. He even selected certain hymns to be sung at all of the services. He had strict old-fashioned ideas on morality and he was shocked by the freedom in drugs and sex in today’s society. John Gordon was seriously considering leaving the parish. He felt he was denied the opportunity for personal growth and his freedom of decision was curtailed. Another thorn in his side was the Rev. Terry Johnson, the youngest minister, barely in his thirties, who was in charge of the youth group. He was the fair-haired boy of the church because he had grown up in the neighborhood where Rev. Evans was the minister in charge. Terry had married young and he had three children already. He and his attractive wife, Nancy, were active in the anti-abortion fight. They believed in the right-to-life movement and they frequently attended rallies promoting the life of the unborn.

The Rev. Evans’s wife, June, had died long ago, but he was very self-sufficient and he had no intention of marrying again. His time was consumed in managing the church affairs. Even in these difficult financial times he had run the business affairs of the church in the black. He did not bring the same keen understanding in his relationship with others and he brushed aside John Gordon’s dissatisfaction.

The Rev. Gordon ran his hand through his neatly combed blond hair as he observed the Ecumenical Prayer and Communion Service for Church Unity. January was the month of praying to bring all the Christian churches together. Although he was the youngest, The Rev. Johnson would be in charge of the event. His sermon was well though-out and intelligent, but it lacked depth. He always told about his own experiences and his talk was consequently self-centered. As the Rev. Gordon was assisting at the Lord’s Supper he couldn’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy and he thought because of his experience he could have conducted the service better.

Sixteen year old Dan Karl had started to hang around the church to play basketball. He was a silent, moody boy and he drummed his fingers on the desk as he waited to talk to Rev. Johnson about the sports program. The Rev. Gordon could sense he was in need of a friend and he tried to draw him out.

“The Rev. Johnson is busy now, but maybe I can help you. You’re living with your aunt and uncle and I haven’t seen you around the church lately.”

Dan kept his eyes on the ground as he replied self-consciously, “Maybe I could join the basketball team.”

“I’ll ask the Rev. Johnson about signing you up for the team.”

Dan’s uncle badgered him about doing errands around the house.

“If you want an allowance, you’ll have to earn it. All you do is eat and sleep!”

“Oh, leave me alone. You’re always on my back.”

“Dan, you’re a lazy bum.”

Dan’s parents had died and he was being raised by an unsympathetic aunt and uncle. He wasn’t aggressive or attractive enough to have a girlfriend which would have been a steadying influence. He and his boy friends had smoked a little marijuana, but he had never been in bad trouble with the police.

The evening was cold and dark and the Rev. Gordon was alone in the study, his light head of close-cropped hair bent over his notes, preparing his Sunday sermon. The Rev. Johnson was off giving a right-to-life speech. Suddenly the phone’s noisy jangle broke the silence.

Dan had called in desperation because he was feeling so low he was seriously considering suicide. Rev. Gordon had him come right over.

“Nobody loves me. What’s the point of living? I’m failing in school and my uncle’s always yelling at me.”

Rev. Gordon reasoned quietly with Dan. “You’re a worthwhile person and when your troubles seem to overwhelm you, think of God as your Father in Heaven who will help you.”

“I feel like slashing my wrists. When Ernest Hemingway felt depressed he blew his brains out. I wish I could end my suffering. Why don’t you just let me die?”

“Let’s pray to God now. Oh Father, help your son see his true worth and give him the will to live. Let him have the strength to rise above his troubles. Protect him from destruction.”

Tears streamed down Dan’s face. The crisis was passed and his pent-up emotions were out in the open. The Rev. had been a true friend and he had stepped in and come to the boy’s rescue. He held Dan’s shaking shoulders and he gave him an encouraging pat.

What John Gordon had done came to the attention of Rev. Evans. He decided he might have been a little hasty in overlooking his colleague’s good qualities. He took John aside and told him, “I will try to see your point of view. I have been somewhat unbending in running the church. Please stay and you will have more of a voice in church affairs.”

The Rev. Gordon’s face lit up in a wide smile. “I can reach out to more people where I am and I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping others.”

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A span of words by and for members of the United Amateur Press
Duplicated by Eleanore-Melissa at The Barker Blaze, Delavan, Wisconsin 53115

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