Monday, March 29, 2010

Christiansen's Comments Hinds County Gazette

March 25 2010

Of course, I do not remember Edwards as it once was, but as I was working on the hedge at the bottom of the hill last week, I went to remembering how it was when we moved here 23 years ago. Main street was quite lively back then, there were three of four pool halls, a TV repair shop, a couple of grocery stores, a dollar store, a dry goods store, hardware, Drug store, dry cleaners…and a full service bank….. Down town Edwards.

I went to thinking, as I was snipping the elaeagnus, how much Edwards has changed….I don’t want to be one of those old people who preach that things were better “back in the day”.

But time has changed small town America, back when I was growing up, on the Nebraska plains, we lived locally….small towns were self-contained communities…with full services, clothing, drug, grocery, restaurants, plus Doctors, lawyers, car and farm implement dealers….Little Palisade Nebraska with 695 people even had a hotel.

The schools were local, situated inside the city limits, teachers lived in the town they taught in….the teachers, principal and superintend were friends or close acquaintances of your parents and/or grand parents…maybe they sit in the pew behind you at church.

Back then everybody had more “Skin in the game” so to speak. Not only did we know that the teachers, knew our parents, we knew they were not above telling on us… therefore, we put more effort in to behaving…and I can’t help but think, the teachers felt more responsibly about getting us educated for the same reason…they knew our parents, they knew the school board members….They knew what was expected of them….teach!

I forgot where I was going with this…I called myself going write some profound comments about Facebook, the on line social network….

So I will say this, then go mop the kitchen floor….We may not be able to go back in time…but to stop the unbridled deteriorating, for our schools, one thing is clear. All of us have to get more “skin in the game”…. as it is nobody has to take responsibility…Every body has some one or something, they can put the blame on…the system, the parents, the teachers, the students, sugar, junk food in the vending machines, too much technology, not enough technology, Bush, Obama, money...…

But it should be apparent by now money, will not fix, the epidemic lack of individual accountability, the lack discipline, or sloppy curriculum….

But not all is lost….we can still do, what we do best, when it comes to our schools, and we can do it with and with out money…make excuses. Because…excuses are cheap…in fact free. And we are so very, very good at making excuses and passing the buck.

Love to all, call if you need me

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Claude Lord Pennebaker

Claude Lord Pennebaker

Published: Vicksburg Post

Thursday, March 18, 2010 1:14 PM CDT

EDWARDS — Claude Lord Pennebaker died Friday, March 12, 2010, at his home at Riverside Farms. He was 61.

Mr. Pennebaker was a native of Edwards and a graduate of Yazoo City High School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Da Nang, Vietnam. He was a retired groundskeeper with the Vicksburg National Military Park.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest Lee Pennebaker Sr. and Velma Lord Pennebaker; and a sister, Lynn Pennebaker Birdsong Strate.

Survivors include his former wife and close companion, Lisa Heaney Pennebaker of Clinton; two brothers, Lee Pennebaker Jr. of Bolton and Jon Pennebaker of Vicksburg; and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Christiansen's Comments Hinds county Gazette 3/11/2010

HCG March 11 2010

Here in mid Mississippi, we at long last have had some delightful sunny days, I have been able to get out and get some yard chores taken care of, such as picking up sticks, trimming shrubs…Nothing any body would notice except me…..well, you might notice the poison ivy on my arms.

Friday I was riding up Old Highway 80, I saw tractors in the fields, plowing the ground, preparing the soil, for planting. After all of the rain and snow, it is finally dry enough the farmers can get in the fields. The air was bursting with the smell of rich, fresh plowed, ground….I love the scent of fresh plowed earth …smells so good I am sometimes tempted to taste it. I have heard of folks eating dirt….I can see why, the aroma is almost irresistible

Recently, Peggy Ann, Isla and I, went to Terry to see the actress, Jo Ann Robinson, in her one woman play, Eudora Welty’s “Why I live at the PO” You may recall last time the three of us struck out to Terry to attend the Friends Of Terry, dinner theater, at the depot, we got lost….with a GPS in the car. So, this time, we were accompanied by Peggy’s husband Keith …. Keith drove us…and we stayed on course the whole entire journey to Terry and we did not get lost….On the way home however, it was dark and were not always on the road we intended to be on…but we were never lost.

We had a grand time, the food was wonderful, the play was fun and I enjoyed Jo Ann Robinson…but Miss Welty was still the star of the show…Miss Welty has a knack, more then a knack really, more even then a talent, she had a God given gift, to show us, the uniqueness in ordinary people and everyday events.

We all know people very similar to those Miss Welty brings to life in her stories. That is why Eudora Welty has stood the test of time.

Our families, friends, and acquaintances, be may eccentric headed toward full blown crazy, and they may sometimes embarrass us with their antics….but they are characters in our life story…and we in theirs. It seems impossible but, there may even be times our family, friends and acquaintances are not be real proud of us and our behavior. People even the irritating ones are the jewels…sometimes rocks… our existence… be, if not treasured, at least recognized as a natural part of our life story….and life would not be nearly so interesting or as much fun with out them.

Could it be if we looked at others, as actors, characters in our life story, people to be enjoyed, to learn from, or at the very least, try to find ways to tolerate them…as individuals, …. would we be, happier, more contented with our own life?

I have noticed, when I get out done with folks…they don’t care that I am out done….I am in a stew and they are going on with their happy little lives. Have you found that to be true too?

I got to go…I am making cupcakes for the Women in the Church meeting/Bible Study, we are having Wednesday evening…It is beginning to feel like Spring, so I am planning to decorated the little cakes with flowers. Posies fashioned from gumdrops. If they turn out…They may just become my new favorite dessert…and I shall carry them to all the Spring events…cemetery day, old People club…Have them for Easter.

I have been reprimanded many times for calling, the Edwards Fellowship Club, “Old People Club” But for me it is a term of endearment…I often referred to mother as “My old Person”.

Call if you need me

I have been to the Doctor, I have been poked, I have been scanned and I have been declared cancer free! Thanks for all the prayers over the years. I love you all, God bless you.