Monday, December 19, 2011

Christiansen's Comments Hinds county Gazette December 8 2011

"Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord"

I have come to believe, we Christians have become way over sensitive….

There seems to be an objection to folks saying “Happy Holidays”, the thinking is by saying “Happy Holidays” we are taking Christ out of Christmas. They want us to say “Merry Christmas”. I am not against “Merry Christmas” but I see nothing wrong with “Happy Holidays” ether.

Frankly there are many celebrations between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day that have little to do with the commemorating the birth of Jesus. Many parties! And at some of parties, you are more apt to hear “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” then “O Holy Night”.

Every year we complain…”I just want an old fashion Christmas”

Is an old fashion Christmas is out there? like we picture it… from beginning to end? Mama in her apron baking up fruitcakes and ginger bread….Daddy with the kids going to the woods to cut down the Christmas tree….then the entire family drinking hot chocolate, stringing popcorn, and decorating the tree while carolers are singing outside… Was time between Thanksgiving and Christmas ever like that? Every moment of every day?.

Often Christmas morning it is a living room full of empty boxes and piles of torn wrapping paper…cooking that has to be done, oven timers buzzing, dirty pots and pans soaking in the sink and the sound of the dish washer running…phones ringing folks explaining they will be there… but late …it is chaotic, messy, disorganized and often quite grueling….Nothing like we hoped it would be….

But I believe there is a wonderful Christmas out there to be enjoyed in this year of 2011. But it may be that it comes in little snap shots…. Last Friday evening, the St. Philip’s Parish Choir gave an Advent and Christmas Concert at St. Marks in Raymond…it was a Christ filled…the voices were full and rich… not loud. The choir sounded much larger then the sum of its singers. And when they sang ‘O holy Night’…I wish you all had been there! It was an old fashion, Norman Rockwell kind of Christmas moment taking place in beautiful little antebellum church, in small town America.

last Saturday morning I was in Bolton to deliver my caramels to St. Mary’s Christmas bazaar, when I pulled up in front of St. Mary’s, Christmas music was playing, folks were scurrying around outside, setting up tables for the chicken spaghetti dinner, they would be serving later, on the inside many hands were arranging the bazaar items and an other group was getting the silent auction organized….lots of cheerful chatter and laughter. What is more old fashion then a church bazaar? It was another Norman Rockwell moment, in a beautiful little church, in small town America

I left there and went on down the Street, pulled up in front of Gaddis McLaurin Hardware Store, The Hardware store is a vintage building. I wished I had had my camera, there were two guys, one black guy and one white guy, one standing on the sidewalk, the other was up on a ladder, they had a string of lights stretched between them, they were working… twisting and turning the lights, in an effort to get the long string disentangle, so they could be hung them from the awning… a classic Rockwell moment.

Then I traveled on back to Edwards to meet Jacqueline at the church to decorate the tables in the Fellowship Hall for the nibbles following the Sunday evening Christmas program. Jacqueline broke away from decorating to practice with Dave Harpole, Dave would be singing ‘O holy Night’ for the Sunday evening Christmas service….As I am spreading table clothes, I could hear the sound of Jacqueline playing the piano and Dave’s voice coming from the sanctuary… A Rockwell moment.

The decorating continued, then on after while, Jacqueline once again left the fellowship hall to practice with the children… children’s voices and ringing bells coming from the sanctuary…Rockwell moment.

Later in the day I took food to the Methodist Family Center, much activity, they were preparing a funeral meal for the family of their dear friend Bobby Smith, Bobby husband had died on Thursday. Bobby has played the piano at the Methodist church for years. The Methodists were doing what they could to comfort a friend. Another Rockwell moment.

Last night was the Christmas program at the Presbyterian Church, it too was magnificent, lots of talented people took part… my favorite is always the children. Rockwell moment.

Christmas can be a difficult time…we are conflicted, Christmas morning we want to see Santa coming down the chimney with a sack full of gifts and the baby Jesus laying in a manger.

I made my peace with this season…I hope God intends for me to enjoy all aspects of Christmas…. because I do!

Love to all


And I wish folks would stop trying to make other folks feel guilty about shopping…Because shopping black Friday…for that matter any shopping is not commercializing Christmas. Christmas is what is in our heart. The folks who only have the material side…of the holidays in their heart…I am hear to tell you this….stopping them from shopping is not going to fill their heart with the love of Christ.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christiansen's comments.. Hinds County Gazette.. November 24 2011

Last week, I had typed “call if you need me”, copied and pasted it to email, and I was fixing to hit “Send”, when the computer screen went blank. I tried every thing, I knew to do, to get it to come back on…turning it off and on and unplugging it, is about all I know to do….no success.

As soon as the clock said 8AM, I called Chuck, Chuck came and began working on my sick computer…He unscrewed some things, took it outside and blew air in it, it was a valiant effort. But nothing Chuck did could bring life back to my laptop computer. So, way on after while, Chuck had no choice but to pronounce my laptop dead, Ruby was her name, Ruby died of a heat stroke….she just got too hot.

But, it was not all bad…Chuck was able to resurrect my old, slow, almost dead, desk top computer…I am so pleased to have it back up and running. I like the clicking keys of a key board….I feel more productive, and so very cleaver and like a grown up setting behind a full size computer screen….

So anyway, last weeks column is lost forever…It was about my putting up the Christmas tree….and how I have come to believe, nobody actually looks at anybody else’s tree…except to give it a quick glance on their way to the beverages and nibbles….

Nobody looks and sees and wonders why there is an empty can of Gold River chewing tobacco on one of the limbs or that there are Vietnam era dog tags hanging from an upper branch. Folks are not interested in how old my kids were when they constructed ornaments out of walnuts. My kids don’t even care. The people who were actually interested in my Christmas tree have died…and John was only mildly interested….But Mother loved a Christmas tree. But for visitors, if the tree has lights and a few red balls it passes as a Christmas tree.

John's dog tags
Empty can of Gold River chewing tobacco

So keeping all of that in mind…. I only bedecked about 1/3 of my Christmas tree this year, the 1/3 that actually can be seen while standing in my living room…the other 2/3 is shoved back in the corner.

More then 2/3 of the loyal, and elderly decorations were left in the foot locker, at the end of the bed, in the back bedroom….I feel bad about that…it sort of like they didn’t get picked for the team...Here it is the holidays their only time to show off…and they are left in a dark foot locker…

I was hoping Whit might show some interest in my Christmas tree…he did but it was fleeting.

Whit briefly looks at the Christmas tree

Whit loves the attic though…last week was his first time to go up…He found one of Adam’s old Tonka trucks, and was he ever thrilled…jabbered and jabbered about it.

Whit first trip to the attic

Love to all

Be safe this holiday season and call if you need me.

PS. Remember St. Mary’s bazaar and spaghetti lunch December 4, the proceeds are going toward the continuing restoration of the beautiful old church. I am planning on making caramels for the bazaar.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christiansen's Coments...Hinds county Gazette


Blog spot would not let me place pictures like I wanted today...Taylor is at the bottom of the page...
Keith McKey and Whit
Angela and Whit thier first meeting

I just became aware, this very morning, that there is still one thing on this old body that still works.

Yesterday, Sunday, was the day we changed our clocks, left daylight savings time behind and went back to the real, genuine, authentic time. Back when I was growing up the time never changed. When did daylight savings became official …early 70s? Well, not sure… but when ever it was, since then, I have been discombobulated for two or three weeks in the Fall when we “fall back” and two or three weeks in the Spring when we “spring forward”.

My knees hurt, my hands ache, my brain and body has slowed down, way down. But when I woke up this morning and the clock said 5:30 and not 4:30...4:30 has been my usual time since Spring…It tumbled to me, a “Bear of little brain”. I do not wake up abnormally early…It is my body clock, it just does not change, I wake up the same time summer and winter. So the rest of my old carcass is wearing out, but my body clock is still working!!!! Never stopped!!!!! For some reason I find that comforting.

I still do not like the shorter days…but there are no more hours of sun light in the days of winter…. no matter what time we by.

Next week ,I will be bringing my Christmas tree down from the attic and begin the setting up process, then commence hanging ornaments….This might be a bit early even for me. But, I am not even one of the “busy” people and my calendar is filling right on up. And Of Course I do not want to miss anything….So the tree will get ornamented in fits and starts again this year


I am more energized about setting up the tree up this year…because of Whit…but I am not so sure he will be very excited…. at 1 ½ years old …everything is new to him…so even quite atypical occurrences are just part of his normal day. He watches with curiosity, and great interest, but not with amazement… has been my observance it is when children get a little older, is when they begin realize, a speeding fire truck with sirens screaming, is not an everyday happening…then they get excited and amazed. Right now for Whit, a train whistling down the track is no more or less exciting then finding a new rock. Whit is rather fond of rocks, he has quite a collection.

Last week, East Group Properties in down town Jackson , had a Trick or Treat Party. Keith, Peggy Ann’s husband, and my daughter Angela work there…it was for the children and grand children of the employees. Peggy Ann and I, not ones to miss a party if we can help it, went and borrowed us each a grand child, Whit and his big brother, 5 year old, Taylor…and headed to Jackson. I told you all of that to tell you this… Taylor was far more excited then Whit…to Whit it was just another day in his world…an interesting day to be sure…but no more fascinating then standing at the fence in his back yard watching the goats.

Taylor looking uo at the tall building in down town Jackson Mississippi

Got to go! I want to try a new tamale recipe Lindsay Noble Jr. gave me…interesting, instead of wrapping them in corn husks they are wrapped in coffee filters.


Whit enjoying his loot

Monday, October 31, 2011

Christiansen's Comments From Hinds County Gazette 10/27/2011

Think on this…

It is recess time and a class room of 4th graders are on the play ground, there are three swings and three children are occupying the swings. … of the children decides he wants to have the other children’s swings…so he takes them. Is that appropriate behavior?

You know, the older I get the less politically opinionated I have become. Honestly, I can’t keep up with the politics and the ins and outs of government. Truth , seems to me is not only the “first causality of war” Truth appears to me, is also a causality in political affairs and government dealings. Maybe there is not so much out and out lying , as omitting of vital details.

We The People were lead to believe things were rocking along just fine back in 2007…then we woke up one morning the stock market was taking a nose-dive, mortgage companies and Banks were in serious trouble, the housing market was collapsing, 401 Ks had lost billions and folks retirement investments were in serious jeopardy. And the bail outs began …we are still reeling from all of that.

Why did we not see that coming…I have come to believe crucial details were left out all along the way…by government, banks, Wall Street. The news media at one time did a better job of keeping us in the loop….but bless their hearts ….they have all “news” they can handle just trying to keep up with Charlie, Lindsey, Brittney, Paris and all those other celebs….OH! OH! And who might be getting kicked off of Dancing with the Stars, they keep us in that loop.

So anyway, I some years back made the decision I would no longer watch the news…because it made me angry and there was nothing I could do. In fact by the time the public becomes aware of the bizarre happenings out there in the world of government and high finance…it is already in catastrophe stage…too massive for me, bear of little brain, to do anything about. So I became a more or less isolationist …. I made this decision, where politics were concerned, I would mind my own business and stick my nose into nothing except what effects this hill.

So now then about Initiative 31 that will be on our ballots November 8.…Initiative 31, involves us all, it deals with eminent domain ….the government can acquire land from folks for the good of all…roads, schools, utilities all such as that …..anyway that was the way it was until the 2005 supreme court ruling.


July 2005

"In its 5-4 decision in the case of Kelo v. City of New London, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important, if very controversial, interpretation of the government's power of "eminent domain," or the power of the government to take land from property owners.

The power of eminent domain is granted to governmental bodies -- federal, state and local -- by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, under the simple phrase, "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." In simple terms, the government can take privately owned land, as long as the land will be used by the public and the owner is paid a fair price for the land, what the amendment calls, "just compensation."

Before Kelo v. City of New London, cities typically exercised their power of eminent domain to acquire property for facilities clearly intended for use by the public, like schools, freeways or bridges. While such eminent domain actions are often viewed as distasteful, they are generally accepted because of their overall benefit to the public.

The case of Kelo v. City of New London, however, involved a new trend among cities to use eminent domain to acquire land for the redevelopment or revitalization of depressed areas. Basically, the use of eminent domain for economic, rather than public purposes."

So back to the kid on the play ground that seized the swings, who took them from the children who were there first and swinging happily and turned the swings over to another party, not for the good of all the school’s children, but to his the friends.     Is that a nice way to play?

So then now I ask this, is it a nice thing to do for the government of Mississippi to be able invoke eminent domain and commandeer land from rightful owners, who do not want to sell their land and give it to someone else….not for the good of all but so those folks can profit? Would that a nice way to treat the citizens of Mississippi?

Initiative 31, does at least, keep the Government of Mississippi from selling or giving it away for ten years.

summary of the amendment reads as follows

Initiative #31 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to prohibit state and local government from taking private property by eminent domain and then conveying it to other persons or private businesses for a period of ten years after acquisition. Exceptions from the prohibition include drainage and levee facilities, roads, bridges, ports, airports, common carriers, and utilities. The prohibition would not apply in certain situations, including public nuisance, structures unfit for human habitation, or abandoned


Summary of the 2005 United States Supreme court decision. Read the last line if you read no other part of it.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)[1] was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development. The case arose from the condemnation by New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property so that it could be used as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan which promised 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues. The Court held in a 5–4 decision that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified such redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The city eventually agreed to move Susette Kelo's house to a new location and to pay substantial additional compensation to other homeowners. The redeveloper was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot,[2] which was eventually turned into a dump by the city."
At some point We the people must stop relinquishing our unalienable rights to the government,…I shall be voting “yes” on Initiative #31

Call if you need me

Monday, October 24, 2011

Christiansen's Comments for publication Hinds county Gazette October 20 2011

Mississippi Summers are hot, and so very, very humid, just wretched.
 Therefore we don’t plan many happenings from end of May until the end of September. About the only time we get out of our limp, flimsy, comfy clothes is to go to church or a funeral.

And as the generation before us, those who at least tried to set a standard of dress for us, now that they are passing on…you can see most any kind of attire now…even at funeral and weddings. My “uniform” this past summer was a wrinkled, (designed to be wrinkled) roomy, all cotton, pants and tops…I had two outfits of them in the natural color and one black…If you saw me this summer you saw me in one of those…even at church…My mother would have fussed, “They look like Pajamas to me.”

But, we here in rural Hinds County have been running in the fast lane lately, beginning for me, with Edwards Cemetery day, the first day of October.

Cemetery Day was closely followed, by ten days of pilgrimage events in Raymond. October 9, Bethesda Presbyterian Church, it is just south of Edwards, on Cannada Cross road, they had their 133 homecoming, with dinner on the grounds. That afternoon it was on to Second Sunday at St Mary‘s Episcopal in Bolton. The blessing of the animals was at 3 and Evening Prayers at 4, followed by the Hinds community college’s Jubilee singers…there just not enough weekends or weekdays for that matter in the month of October to get everything in, so most weekends there are multiple events. And besides the community events … there are football games, soccer games, pig pick’ns, flea markets and the Mississippi state fair etc….

The calendar is chaotic with all the carryings on…and you do not want to miss anything you are invited to if you can help it…this past Saturday evening, Peggy Ann, (Keith was out of town), and I, attempted to get to three, we got to two…the third we became hopelessly lost…The GPS on Peggy phone was so inconsistent we could never get the “Pin” and the “Pulsating Dot” together no matter which way we turned…and we went every which way but up! It was dark and it got to be very late…So we way on after while finally gave up and went home….we were enormously disappointed.

I haven’t mentioned my new dog Emma yet. Emma’s linage is unknown, speculations include, a mix of…. beagle, lab, Jack Russell, pit bull, and heeler …don’t know how big she is going to be ether…those guesses range from “she is about as big, as she is going to get” to “one hand shy of a Shetland pony.” Do not know how old she is ether…she still has baby teeth….and she chews a lot.

My New Dog Emma

Whit's New best friend

We are going to Bolton to Dr. Farr this week and get her shots, and see what he says…And to Gaddis McLaurin to get her a collar with her name and phone number on it. Kay turner went with me to pick up Emma, she harped all the way home that “Emma needs to have a collar” Kay wanted it with a phone number and a name to call.
So I put a collar on Emma …but it is not hers, it is Shelby’s, Shelby is my borrowed dog…I borrowed her from Jacqueline and Russell…when daughter Angela borrowed my dog Charlie…and I was dog less. Shelby does not need a collar, she never leaves this hill. Shelby’s Collar has Russell’s name and number on it…But it satisfied Kay, and put her mind at ease.
Emma is a wonderful dog! Shelby, Scout and I are tickled to have her.
Love to all
Call if you need me

Monday, October 10, 2011

Christiansen's Commments Hinds County Gazette October 6 2011

While folks were worrying about me and my bus trip….

My friend Peggy Cannada McKey was in Grand  Rapids Michigan, attending a National board meeting for Bethany Christian Services , Bethany is a
non-profit Adoption and family service agency…This is a cause close Peggy’s heart, and for years, ever since I have known her, the entire McKey family has supported Peggy and they too have been committed to this organization. The family through the years kept and cared for many Bethany babies that were waiting for families.

Let me get back to what I was telling you…Peggy while in Grand Rapids was hit by a truck! Peggy was headed out for an early morning walk, she had to cross five lanes of traffic…She waited for the traffic to stop, then commenced to cross the street…a truck that obviously did not see her, began making a right hand turn, collided with Peggy, and tossed her several feet, with a force great enough to knock one of her shoes off. Peggy fell backwards landed on to her elbows and her head bash into the pavement…It was cold so Peggy was wearing a coat…the heavy coat kept the scrapes and bruises from being real bad and ugly. And her head landed on her pony tail…Peggy has a very thick head of hair…so thiick in fact she didn't even have knot on her noggin! However the barrette holding her pony tail, did succumb to the impact of Peggy Ann‘s head meeting the pavement ….it was in pieces. And some body retrieved her shoe…So she is calling it all Good! She is Not out done with anybody…..

Those McKeys are resilient lot…All of them…the kids, the grand kids… all of them! Active bunch too…and once in a while something gets broke… an arm or leg ….but more often then not they just bounce…and are right back up.

We are experiencing ideal weather here in mid Mississippi…cool , dry and abundant sunshine. Perfect for working outside….And that is what I have doing, I have been out with my arsenal of tools, conducting a war here at 201…I set out to conquer that tangle of thorny elaeagnus…the hedge at the bottom of this hill…I don’t know how long that hedge is 30 or 40 feet… maybe more. I hauled a least 6 pick up loads of branches to the burn pile. It took days, but I persevered and won! But this was not a battle with out injury, the barbs on elaeagnus stabbed right through my clothes and scratched my arms all up. And!! I was attacked by a flying insect of some kind…I heard it, but didn‘t ever see it ….it stung me on the back of the neck. But still and all Victory was mine!

Do not worry about the elaeagnus, believe me it will come back, to fight another day, stronger then ever. I am getting older….the strength and endurance I use to take for granted is waning ….I know one day the elaeagnus will be triumphant….but it wasn’t this time.

Lots happening around rural Hinds County in October…

Raymond is having their Pilgrimage beginning this week…goes for two weeks…lots of do not miss events….They were listed in last weeks Gazette and I bet they are in this paper…. Or you can go to their web site.
St Mark's Raymond
Thursday's Lecture

There going to be an Old Time Gospel Sing at the old Rock Springs Church Saturday…I hope to be there…Then Sunday, Bethesda Presbyterian Church is having their Home Coming.. I plan to be there. It is Second Sunday at St. Marks in Bolton too. Besides the 4 O’clock prayer service, they are having a blessing of the animals at 3...I plan to be there.
St Mary's in Bolton
Second sunday services
Blessing of the Animals at St Mary's
Billie Abraham
 Angela Christiansen

Bethesda Presbyterian 1826
Home coming

Edwards Cemetery was Day Saturday (october 1)….beautiful day, big turn out!

Love to all

Monday, October 3, 2011

Christiansen's Comments from Hinds County Gazette September 29 2011

I have been to Nebraska to a family reunion…

took the bus. My family, fiends, acquaintances and total strangers have questioned my sanity….not only because it takes a long time to go by bus, but folks have a perception of who rides the bus….like I could to be in danger from the unsavory characters they envision ride cross county buses. And it didn’t help matters when my friend dropped me off at the bus station…and a patrol car pulled up with a newly released prisoner to get on the bus….it is not an uncommon occurrence.

I have encountered the full gamut of folks while riding the bus…Middle class folks riding a bus to catch a plane, so they do not have to leave car in a parking garage for great lengths of time……Jet planes do not service great portions of America.  

And there are still great numbers of folks who do not fly at all…and Trains service far more limited areas of America then buses…Did meet two couples who were riding the bus to catch a train.

And tourists ….This trip I chatted with French and German tourists.

And there are folks who for various reasons do not drive…the prevailing reason among the younger set is no drivers license….DUIs most common reason. Some people with the more age.. just do not feel comfortable driving outside of their communities.

And there are those people who are just plain cheap…I count myself amongst those people….the 1000 plus mile bus ride was $199 round trip! Driving I calculate with gas and motel stays to be well over $500.

This trip, my favorite travelers were a sweet young couple, who with their two very young children were traveling to a job…They had sold much of what they owned to buy the bus tickets and meals for the trip…What was left of their material belongings was packed in large suitcases…. Sort of a modern day “Grapes of Wrath” They were not bitter and whining, they were so happy to be going to a job. Their children were clean, well behaved, and happy…what this family lacked in material belongings…they make up in spirit…a kind, humble and gentle spirit.

I must tell you , if being close to the massively pierced and tattooed make you uncomfortable…Bus riding probably should not be your first choice for travel. ….or if you are in a hurry it is not a good choice….One of the drivers got lost. But for seeing the countryside and people watching it can’t be beat.

Next time you go to wal-mart look around, that is the type of folks you see on the bus. All sizes, shapes colors. You do not see many men in three piece, pin stripped, suits nor do you see many men passed out drunk. …not on the at wal mart or the bus…but you see both near bus stops. Bus stops, in cities, are often downtown. Downtown amongst the tall buildings…one man works and the other man lives and sleeps.

My mother had a high degree of tolerance for the eclectic, and the down trodden, back in the day, our house was marked by the homeless men riding the train, they passed house after house and came straight to ours….mother never turned away the hungry. “They are God’s children” I was never taught to be afraid of people who were different then me… so I am not…I might should be… but I am not.

And there was my John, he would stop the car and get out and give a few dollars to homeless men on the streets of downtown Jackson. I would say, “ you know he is just going to go buy liquor with that money.”

John’s answer…”what ever it takes to him get through the day”

If John and mother can look down…I don’t want them to catch me looking down.

Love to all

Call if you need me

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Remembering Katrina...Coloums written and Published in the Hinds County gazette in September 2005

Republished in the Hinds County Gazette September 2 2011
Remembering Katrina on this her 6th Anniversary

Sunday morning August 28 2005 Edwards Mississippi:

  Katrina, a category 5 hurricane, is in the Gulf of Mexico, 275 miles out, the storm progressing at a pace of ten miles an hour, the eye headed for the Louisiana /Mississippi gulf coast. This storm has persistent winds of 175 miles an hour; the weather channel is warning Katrina is as powerful as the august 1969 hurricane, Camille. Of course we all know, it took years for the Mississippi gulf coast to recover from Camille.

New Orleans is especially vulnerable; as it is several feet below sea level, the high waves will cause vast damage. They are also concerned that Lake Pontchartrain will not be able to hold all of the water that is on it's way.

Millions of people will be affected by Katrina. They are predicting the loss of property will be catastrophic. They are saying there are people who can not get out of Katrina’s path; some do not have the means to leave. Old people who do not drive for example…one of the reporters asked some of the folks who are leaving, to take someone with them. They are advising the people that are evacuating to go west, not to go north into Mississippi, they are saying we could feel a very angry smack from this storm even this far North, very heavy rain and high wind

After church I am going to batten down a bit around here. Get the ferns down, take the porch swing off the chains and sit them on the porch floor. I do not know what the out come of this will be. I am very concerned. The people to the east of us are even more at risk then we.
They just said, the folks in the panhandle of Florida, no matter where this storm makes land fall, are going to have high waves and winds to deal with. Those poor folks have been whacked over and over again by hurricanes; they just do not get a chance to recuperate before being whacked again.…

It is harvest time here in the south, the corn has all turned brown and is standing quite stoic, in straight rows like soldiers, waiting to be picked, the cotton is setting bolls , the soy beans are near ready. I am afraid the crops will suffer, or be lost altogether.

love to all
 call if you need me

Monday Morning 5:00 am:

Katrina is a category 4 this morning, and eye is fixing to make land fall…it looks like it is not going to hit New Orleans directly. Fox News says the power is still on in New Orleans.

Schools are closing all over Mississippi
The news folks are painting a grim picture of what it is going to be like even this far north.

Katrina came ashore at Grand Isle Louisiana.

I am going to leave you all now…go get what I can get done, while we still have power.

Love to all

This is the first column I wrote after Katrina hit and the lights came back on.

Katrina taught me more about myself then I wanted to know.

We lost our lights sometime around lunch time on Monday, not long after, we lost  running water. Thankfully we never lost phone service; folks from all over this great land were calling to see if we were safe. They were our only connection to the outside world …every call I would ask “where’s the eye?” hoping the wind and rain would soon end….the eye seemed to stay above Laurel forever. I don’t even know how long the storm lasted here, but for hours I could hear the sound of tree limbs breaking and falling to the ground… great "cracks", followed by deep "thuds"…sometime in the night it was over…the wind stopped.

After Twenty four hours of being with out water, I learned what I thought I needed…were not needs, they were frivolous wants. I learned even lights were not essential, but water was vital. At one point I told God, “If you let me have water I will not fuss about the electricity.”

We had a two of gallons drinking water on hand; the Kemp's water didn’t go out when ours did, so I was able to get 10 gallons from their house. I learned when the water is off; all you can think about is water. Thankfully, we have big galvanized wash tubs in the yard, for the dogs to drink out of and sit in to cool off.  Katrina filled the dog tubs to over flowing... that water is what we used to flush the commodes and felt fortunate to have it.

After 48 hours with out water, my hair was so oily and dirty…When I could stand it no longer; I went out to the back yard, to the dog tub, under the cedar tree, there was a dead toad floating in the water, I flipped the dead toad over the side, filled two milk jugs with the water, then went back in the house, bent over the kitchen sink and commenced to wash my hair. That head washing felt so good…I didn’t think about the water coming from Charlie dog’s spa tub or the dead toad that had been floating in it..

On after while, Wednesday night, the water came back on….Thursday morning, we had to go in to Big Town, to the Baptist Hospital, John had a scheduled procedure. In the waiting room , while waiting for John was the first time I had seen a TV since our lights went out. I could not believe the total devastation that Katrina had caused…..I cried and cried for those folks in shelters with nothing, and in some cases they did not know where their family members were…Heart breaking.

Coming back to Edwards from the hospital Thursday evening, more lights were on in Edwards my heart soared…then fell… the lights stopped just before our street…our house was dark…seemed even darker because of the street lights at the bottom of the hill were burning.

I tried to keep my promise to God…I tried not to fuss about the lights not being on, I had water, but it was hard… especially when the rest of the town began getting lights…and we still didn’t have any.

You all, I had always thought of myself as a nice person, not on the level of Gandhi or Sister Teresa, but still and all ...Pretty nice… but I just couldn’t help myself, I was hot, very tired, it was too hot to sleep, I got a be a bit cranky and one point I caught myself telling God, “I could pray harder for those people without homes, if I had lights” I believe that was my lowest low point…. as soon as I said it, I was ashamed of myself. I was so ashamed it was a good while before I could get up the nerve to ask God for forgiveness.

My 90 year old mother lives with us, she was nearly undisturbed by her Katrina experience, except for the nights, the nights were awfully long for her. One evening we were at the kitchen table, eating saltine crackers and Vienna sausages right out of the can; the last bit of daylight was coming through window; I told mother how sorry I was she had to go through this. She quickly answered “This is not the first hard times I have seen; this reminds me of the Dust Bowl days.” Mother has lived long enough to see many hard times, the depression, crop failures, wars and rationing.

When the lights came back on (around 8 pm Saturday night) and mother got to see the first pictures from the Gulf coast and New Orleans of people suffering and all the destruction, mother with tears in her eyes pointed to the TV and said, “Those are hard Times”

The clean up has begun but it will take years… Katrina was so deadly and so destructive, for many thousands people along the gulf coast, time will be remembered in terms of “Before Katrina” and “After Katrina”

Love to all

PS  Let me say this the folks who had lights, were very generous, letting people use their laundry facilities, showers, refrigeration etc. Suzanne Harpole, over on Jackson street, almost immediately after her lights came back on, managed to get up an emergency party, Saturday evening for her friends who were  still with out power …And it was a very nice party, with real food, served on real plates, real glasses and pretty napkins….it will always be a favorite memory of mine.

Cars in line for gas....

September 27 2005
Katrina’s impressive winds caused a big oak tree, in the square, to break and fall over; parts of it landed on our famous railroad bridge causing it be damaged, enough that it had to be blocked to traffic.
Old Railroad Bridge

There have, in the past, been suggestions that our famous bridge be closed…I thought maybe this would be its demise….but last week; it was repaired and is back in service once again.

That old humped back railroad bridge, the old water tower on the square and the concrete letters spelling out Edwards, are land marks in Edwards, visitors remember them. And I am not sure it would be possible to give directions to any place in Edwards if we didn’t have them. Many directions end with the phrase, “If you get to the old bridge you have gone too far.”

Katrina injured one my favorite yard trees, the oriental persimmon. You guys are probably like john, he says “You tell me so much, you can’t possibly expect me remember it all” So you probably don’t remember me telling you, that I name my trees after people, the theory being, if I name them I will take better care of them. This tree is named Paula, after one of my walking Buddies. So anyway, I say injured, because it is still standing, Katrina just put about a 15 degree tilt on it… …the fruit is ripening right on. I don’t know what to do….I don’t want to lose Paula.

Because of Katrina blowing out the power, we lost a freezer full of food…I have a gas stove so I could have cooked it up, and did cook the big hunks of meat, but it was so hot nobody had an appetite to eat.

Pre Katrina, every time I went to the store, I bought a buggy full of food because it was on sale, calling myself saving money, and going to be ready for an emergency. I say Katrina was the cause of me losing that food…but the truth be told…much of that food was doomed from the minute it was bought. I put package after package  in the freezer; followed by more packages gather from the most recent trip to the store…The only time much of that food was touched was when I shuffled it around, to make room for the next batch coming in. Many a pot roast has died in there from freezer burn.

The emergency came…my great hoard of food was of no use to anybody. In the end, no money was saved, and I for sure was not ready for the emergency. I have unplugged the freezer…I hope I have learned my lesson.

Love to all
call if you need me

Monday, August 29, 2011

Christiansen's Comments Hinds County Gazette August 25 2011

Whit and I

September 15, Whit and I will be together a whole year.

 It was a beautiful day, that first day Whit came….I was in the swing on the front porch when Angie dropped him off. I held him just long enough for Angie to get out of the drive way good…Whit was tiny, just three months old. I was afraid I would drop him, So I propped him up on two pillows in the swing and we just looked at each other… he grinned and I grinned back…I was so nervous, I hadn‘t taken care of a baby in years and years…What would I do if he started crying for his mommy?…He seemed to be happy on the pillows ….So, the only time I picked him up was to burp him….I didn’t even change his diaper…we just grinned at each other and swung until his mommy returned. It was a good day.

That first day , Whit and I became buddies….When Whit began crawling I was proud as punch….when he stood up by himself, I was proud as punch, when he gave up his bottle, I was proud as punch, when he started to walk, I was proud as punch….…I would brag about all of his accomplishments to anybody who would listen.

A couple of months ago, it was soon after he began walking, Whit came to spend the day …I looked at his little knees they were all skinned up…I hugged him and I cried…. not because his knees were skinned, he is after all, a boy who lives on a farm with goats, dogs….he is going to have skinned knees, cuts and bruises. I cried because I realized he was no longer a baby…My Whit was a little boy.

Whit with the goats
photo taken byWhit's mommy
 Angie Zadrozny

Well, the day rocked on, after lunch I was giving Whit a bath…he has to have a bath after he eats, he is learning to feed himself now

Photo taken by Lesley Cannada

…and often some of his lunch ends up in his hair….on his feet…everywhere.

So anyway Whit was in the sink giggling and splashing…he seem to be a baby again….

after I got his fresh clothes on….Something came over me…I wanted him to be a baby…I put him on the floor and he followed me to the kitchen…Whit had not had a bottle in a long time. I made a bottle, picked Whit up and carried him to the rocking chair, as he was taking the bottle, I cuddled and rocked him… I sang Bringing in the Sheaves , just like when he was a tiny baby…he cooed and grinned just like when he was a tiny….then when the bottle was about ¾ gone…Whit slapped the bottle away and climbed down…when he got to the floor he looked up and grinned….I knew it was the last time I would be treating Whit like the tiny baby he once was …

I knew he would not stand for it again.  And I was proud as punch….

Whit with his very favorite rock....little boys like rocks.....

Call if you need me…

Monday, August 22, 2011

Christiansen's comments...Published Hinds County Gazette 08/18/2011

I must write fast today…

I need to get in the yard bad! It has just been too hot to do anything outside….it is suppose to be cooler this week, so in the yard is where I plan to be. I do not need to mow …no rain no mow. But the shrubs need trimming. And there are lots of little limbs and twigs laying in the yard…waiting to be picked up, we have not had rain but we have had wind…doesn’t take much wind to get a pecan tree to drop limbs and branches.

It was cool one morning last week, I turned on the attic fan and opened up the house and let cool fresh air in….The air conditioners had been running for so long I felt like I was breathing stale, recycled air….like hospital air.

Recently, Brain had me pondering on hot air and cold air ….Brain is still thinking on it…but it is my experience, from living in this old drafty house…that cold air is easier to heat, then hot air is to cool. We will wait and see what Brain decides. But sadly, Brain before he sorts one thing out, often moves on to something else….and leaves me to contemplate on abstract topics, that I would never considered thinking on…. if he wasn’t always bringing them up.

Sunday afternoon I went to Bolton for Second Sunday at St. Mary’s….It was wonderful as usual! Anna McDonald sang several versions of Ava Maria…..Fabulous!!!!! James Anderson arranges for the talent …. I do not know how he does it…. James must be close friends with every talented person and group in Mid Mississippi. Talent worthy of the stags in New York have come out to rural Hinds county, to Bolton Mississippi, to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church to share their talent with us! What a treat!

St. Mary's

Bolton Mississippi
James Anderson

Well, that is about it from 201.…maybe when it gets a bit cooler, I will get out and about more…and I will see something exciting that I can tell you about….


Oh!! Oh!! Something exciting is happening in Edwards…they are moving dirt up there around the newer water tower…rumor has it, we are getting a dollar store! Call if you need me

Site of new Dollar Store

Monday, August 8, 2011

Christiansen's Comments HindsCounty Gazette August 4 2011

Is Summer over?

Must be school is fixing to start…When I was a kid summer was not over until after labor day. It has me scratching my head wondering…why are kids today learning less with more time? I don’t know, maybe they are sharper then tests show…maybe we should find out what they know and test them on that…. .Maybe they don’t need to now how to spell anymore, computers do that for us….Do they have to know how write complete sentences?…or dissect a sentence?…I know for sure I never dissected a sentence after I finish school….young folks write very concise now….like LOL that is laugh out loud…Computers do the math….It is a new world.

I do think many children and possibly their parents…No doubt all of us, could stand some brushing up on our manners ……Simple pleases and thank yous and learning how to sit quietly would be a good start…..computers don’t teach manners, kindness, or courtesy….But like I said it is a new world….maybe courtesy is old fashion and out of date too.

When children see grown folks on the TV yelling, name calling and using ugly language….It is no a mystery to me that there is a enormous problem in this country with children bulling children.

I don’t know how I got off on that tangent, but speaking of TV…I have gone a month now with out cable TV…and have not missed it! I kept saying, “I don’t watch TV enough to warrant the $65 it is costing me every month.”…but sometimes you do things more then you think you do….So I tested myself, I have only old fashion TVs, so I borrowed a converter box from Doug Turner …used it for a about month, and I did not get the DTs…. I did fine… No anxiety… no separation issues. . So I called and had it cut off July 1.

On the converter box you just get the local channels and it is still more TV then I need…PBS has a channel called “Create” that is about all I watch, it is mostly gardening, travel, cooking and crafts. Nobody yelling on that channel.

Well, we vote Tuesday, by the time you get the paper we will have already voted. I am scrambling to figure out who I should vote for, I am not very well informed, as I watch very little news, because it is so awful…But a couple of weeks ago I tuned in to watch the news to see Scott Cannada, has been named Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Mississippi farmer of the year…He is up for Southeastern farmer of the year….you probably saw that in last weeks Gazette. We are all very proud of Scott. And his wife Lesley, we are proud of her too! Lesley headed up Bible school this year…we had nearly 50 children!!! Can you believe it!!!! 50!!!! It was great fun! I love Bible School!

Craft time in the nursery

Most everybody
Receration for the last day!

But anyway while waiting to see Scott, a political commercial came on, it was so refreshing, there was no yelling, or ripping his opponent apart. It was just a man, the candidate, and an old lady sitting on a park bench, the old lady is telling us what the candidate is running for and how he stands on the issues…..She is well informed on his stand and what he is running for but she just can’t get his first name right, she calls him Gilbert, Filbert, and Ingelbert…and each time she calls his name wrong. he gently with a big smile corrects her, “Yes Mamm, but it is Delbert”

Oh! Have you noticed the E D W A R D S sign in the side of the hill at the Presbyterian Church, Eric Armstrong painted it, he wanted it to look nice for Bible School. Eric Armstrong you may not know him, he married Shanna Floyd, you may not know her, they live in Miss Francis’s house on Birdsong lane….Ms Francis was Shanna’s grandmother. If you knew Ms Francis you have not forgotten her. Just the other day we were remembering Ms Francis … she planted the azaleas at the Methodist family center…they are the first to bloom in Edwards. ”Ms Francis planted those, they would not dare not bloom!” Ms Francis was a determined lady…to say the least. Eric and Shanna have two little girls….sweet family…proud to have them in Edwards.

Eric Armstrog

Speaking of the Methodist Family Center…That is where Inez Lee’s 90 th birthday party was held. Huge crowd!!! Folks were lined up out the door, into the street waiting to get in to help Inez celebrate. I was getting concerned I had not gotten enough punch ingredients for a crowd that big…but had enough for one more making….

Ms Inez and a few of her many fans

Got to go now

Call if you need me….

Monday, July 18, 2011

Christiansen's Comment Hinds County Gazette July 14 2011

It is still hot here in mid Mississippi… record heat…Our once very stylish ,crisp linen and cotton outfits…are no longer crisp…they are crumpled, rumpled and clinging to us, like plastic wrap…. our makeup melted off weeks ago, our sweet southern smiles, has turned to more of a forced grins …but we are soldiering on …chin up and shoulders back…The PGA Viking golf classic is this week and we start Bible School next week….

Even though it blistering hot out there… Our Southern hospitality is not suffering from the heat. Inez Lee‘ has a birthday this Sunday, this will be the number 90. There will be a celebration honoring Ms Inez at the Edwards Methodist Church, family center from two until four this Sunday, July 17. If you Know Ms Inez please come….you will no doubt see folks you have not seen in a good while…..And there will be nibbles and punch!
Ms Inez and just a few of her many fans....

And our Ms Worrell will be 99 this Sunday! That is a lot of Mississippi Summers! Happy Birthday Ms Worrell!

Ms. Worrell's birthday 2004

Bolton’s St Mary’s and Raymond’s St Marks Episcopal churches have entertained us with wonderful musical programs this Summer. You all, every time I attended one of these programs, a memory would almost spark…But I could not quite grab it….I could not put a picture to what I was feeling …. I would lose it. But this Sunday, the Brick Street Barber Shop quartet came at St Mary’s and while they were performing, the memory… it came to me!

St Marks
Raymond Mississippi

St Marys
Bolton Mississippi

Back when I was growing up every city park had a band stand…it was a large white gazebo affair and Sunday afternoon bands would play. …and probably groups singing….I don’t remember. When the elusive memory finally clicked , I could see children, they were laughing…the music was way in the background…I was at the swings, merry go round and teeter totters at the park in Palisade Nebraska with lots of kids. No doubt we kids didn’t sit quietly enough to suit the adults and we were told to “go play” .

I love recapturing old forgotten memories. Memories from days past is one of Gods great gifts to old folks. …. old folks tend to live in the past and ramble…To all of you out there in Gazette Land thanks for listening. Call if you need me.