The Saga Continues . . .

Monday night the trap was set . . .

The camera was in place . . .

There appeared to be quite a gathering. They must have heard about the free marshmallows!

The next morning we discovered the trap had been compromised so they ate the treats but we caught nothing. At least the chickens were still safe.

With the trap repaired we set it again last night.

SUCCESS!!!

But we know there are many more so the trap will be set again because . . .

Olin went to town and came home with three more chickens!

This is life in the country.

Chicken Tragedy

Last Monday we had a flock of seven – six hens and a Bantam rooster.

He is like Little Jimmy Dickens – he’s little but he’s loud!

He is master of his flock, taking very good care of his girls.

Until tragedy struck in the chicken house!

One morning Olin discovered that a raccoon had gotten into the chicken barn and killed two hens.

On Saturday when we returned from shopping he discovered two more hens killed.

And on Sunday morning there was another. ††

So we begin this week with just one hen and the little Bantam rooster.

Both very traumatized.

Something must be done.

A trap set with marshmallows.

The first day we caught a barn cat.

Now she is traumatized!

But finally – success . . .

He was not a happy camper.

He was transported to the pasture where there the sentence was to be carried out. Unfortunately the prisoner escaped and is expected to make another raid on the chicken house tonight. There the trap is once again baited with marshmallows and hopefully he will once again fall victim to temptation and take the bait!

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

My Forever Friend

It has been a year since Olin and I traveled to Sedalia, Missouri to honor a lady very dear to us.

I find myself thinking of her at the oddest moments. She holds a very special place in my heart.

Margaret Paul lived an amazing life. She loved people. Give her ten minutes in a room full of strangers and they would be strangers no longer. She would gather them around a table and start the conversation or maybe a game of Mexican Train!

I first met Ms. Margaret in the Cowgill’s Corner Homemakers Club. I was a young mother and she was an older lady. (When you are in your twenties everyone over thirty seems old.) She was full of stories and she could always make us laugh. In time I gave up the club and lost track of Ms. Margaret.

Almost thirty years later I became a pastor serving a three-point charge with the United Methodist Church and discovered Ms. Margaret in the congregation. She became a very special friend. I could trust Ms. Margaret to tell me the truth – even when I didn’t want to hear it. She kept me out of trouble by giving me a nudge when I needed one and by letting me know when I was headed down the wrong road. I was privileged to serve as her pastor for twelve years. But our relationship didn’t end when I left the pulpit.

In July 2011 we made our first trip to Missouri. Since Ms. Margaret had friends and family there we invited her to travel with us. The plan was to drop her off at her various destinations while we explored the area. That wasn’t Ms. Margaret’s plan.

Our first stop was at her daughter Jane’s to drop off her dog, Mica. Of course, we had to have a piece of Jane’s blackberry pie before we left. And then, since we were going right by their cabin at Deep Creek, they invited us to spend our first night there.

When we arrived in Columbia we met Margaret’s sister and her family. We were invited for dinner where we heard lots of stories about her life in Columbia.

After a few days it was on to Maryville, where we met more family. And more food. And more stories.

Our next stop was Sedalia and a visit to Pleasant Hill UMC. More friends, more food, and more stories!

After three weeks we headed east with Ms. Margaret riding “shotgun.” I knew that we had become family when Ms. Margaret and my husband had a “discussion” regarding fueling the vehicle. She noticed a lower price and suggested it would be good to top off the tank. My husband liked to wait until the tank was lower. When he finally stopped for fuel the price was higher than what Ms. Margaret had seen. She let him know that she wasn’t paying for the gas to which he replied that he hadn’t asked her to pay. I remarked that it was time to head for home!

After we made the move to Missouri Ms. Margaret came for several visits and we had such fun. She loved playing with Ms. Pepper and riding through the woods on the Gator. We could talk about anything and everything as we sat on the front porch snipping green beans or shelling lima beans. The almost thirty years between us didn’t matter. We are kindred spirits!

Rhonda Vincent wrote a song about a woman who loses her husband of sixty years. It is called “I Will See You Again.” When I hear the song I think of Ms. Margaret.

I Will See You Again

Rhonda Vincent

It was a gathering of some 300 people
In the little church the crowd began to swell
Quite a send off for a simple country farmer
For many loved and knew the old man well

And as his bride of 60 years came forward
She bravely walked to where his body lay
A hush fell over all that stood around her
She smiled through tears as she began to say

I will see you again
For this isn’t the end
You’re my forever friend
And I will see you again

Ever since a simple carpenter from Nazareth
Walked the mountains and the shores of Galilee
Ever since he died and rose again on Easter
Death doesn’t have the same old victory

Tonight I’ll lay my head upon his pillow
And cry until the breaking of the day
But even in the pain of separation
There’s a hope inside my heart that lets me say

I will see you again
For this isn’t the end
You’re my forever friend
And I will see you again

Jesus, He made a way
There is coming a day
So I will hold on ’til then
And I will see you again

I will hold on ’til then
And I will see you…again

Ms. Margaret is my “forever friend” and I am glad that I will see her again one day and we can spend eternity catching up.