I bring greetings to you all on a beautiful, sunny,10-degree Friday afternoon, February 7, 2014. It's been in the single digits or below zero all week. Folks who enjoy the winter activities are no doubt thrilled with all the cold temperatures, but there are still many who would desire it to be warmer, especially old folk. Nevertheless, I like the beautiful pictures I see daily just outside my door even as the snow banks continue to get higher. Recently I bundled up and went outside to take some pictures of all that beauty.
I have several things to say to you all on this wintry day. I've been writing this column since the 1970's and I have greatly enjoyed it. I trust some of you have enjoyed it too. Nevertheless, I have decided to "retire" because it has been more difficult to write it in recent years. It all started when "Arthur" came to live in me and now "Mack" has joined him. I find my eye sight is not what it used to be! I can still read though sometimes I have to use my magnifying glass. And that is rather stressful. However, I thank all of you who have read my columns and those who have often expressed their thanks to me. I also am thankful for all the editors that I have worked for. They have all been great! I also thank my wonderful husband who has always encouraged me and not complained when I work on a deadline and a meal or some other activity had to be delayed until I finished my copy. He also always encouraged me and purchased the equipment I needed for my writing.
My desire and joy in writing began when I was a youngster in a country school. One year the teacher, Frances Homes, told us to write about our greatest wish for Christmas. I chose to write about my older sister who was in college. I wanted her to come home for the holidays. Many years later, after I was married, Mrs. Homes sent me several compositions that I had written in that yesteryear. She had them all neatly typed up and I'm sure she had corrected my misspelled words, because in those days I wasn't a good speller. I was totally amazed that she would have kept them all those years. No doubt she had also kept those written by her other former students.
Photo by Elaine Cole
What a glorious picture from the north side of our house on a minus-five degree morning.
After I was married and was busy caring for my husband and five children, I don't think I thought about writing but as the older ones grew up, I took out a Writers Digest subscription. Then I took a course on journalism from Christian Writers. My first attempt at writing began when I wrote a radio devotional and sent it to WCTL radio in Union City, Pa. After they responded favorably, I put it on a tape and either sent it by mail or took it to the station weekly. It was entitled "Women's Meditation." I was not paid for it, but I felt that it was a good start and an answer to prayer. I had a large desk my dad had given to me. I put it in front of two large bedroom windows in our bedroom and that became my writing office. Later after our children were all gone, I moved it into a smaller bedroom with my books and other writing materials.
At that time we still had three children at home and the two boys were not in school. I tried to write the column while they took their naps. Sometimes it was hard to get it written because the boys would interrupt and I had to redo it. A few years later I ceased writing it and decided to take a journalism course from Christian Writers.
Although I had read in my Writers magazine that in order to sell an article to a publishing house, one would have to submit many articles before selling one. Nevertheless, since I had prayed about it and felt it was God's will for me to write, I started to do just that. However, I felt my first priority after God was to be a wife and mother. Therefore, I determined not to neglect the importance of keeping my priorities. Soon after I sent an article entitled "The Light House" to the Regular Baptist Publishing House. It was purchased and I received a check for $35. That was the beginning of my writing career. Though I didn't know exactly how it would work, I thanked God that He knew.
My first paid writing began at the Post Journal writing up various meetings that took place in our area. Later I did interviews of folk in nearby villages and wrote articles about them. I especially enjoyed doing them and got to meet some great people. Eventually I started writing a column for the Sentinel News and did features for it, the Post Journal and a couple other newspapers.
When I first started writing for the local paper, there were not many local columns. But later several other local columnists started writing for the Sentinel. Currently however, almost all have retired. I hope eventually there will be some new local writers that will step up and write for our paper. I think folk enjoy having a weekly paper. Years ago those kind of papers were the best source of knowing what was going on locally. I think country folk especially still enjoy those papers.
I anticipate still writing some features and special news articles from time to time. Thus if you have some local news you'd like in the paper, just give me a call or write me a note. Although we live in Sherman Township, our address is 2452, Panama, NY, 14767, and phone 761-6857, Sherman.
Once again I thank you all. I don't plan on dying soon, but I've passed the Biblical age of four score years and ten, and one never knows when God will call His children (those who have repented and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ) . I know He is preparing my Heavenly home for He has said "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto my self: that where I am there you may be also." I pray that you all will join me and all the other Christians (believers, Christ ones) in my Heavenly home some day.