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Archive for November, 2020

How Thanksgiving Grows | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 24, 2020:

Like everything else this year, Thanksgiving is going to be a bit different. We usually go to the home of relatives for the holiday, but as the messages began coming in that various families were staying home alone this year, I began to plan my menu. David said I didn’t have to cook anything special, but I knew we would both be disappointed with hamburgers.

It’s hard to make a special meal for two without an overwhelming amount

of leftovers, so I suggested we invite Connie and Charles from across the street to share our bounty. Then I talked with Aunt Fay, and after she told me that she was going to buy a bag of dressing mix and a rotisserie chicken for her meal, I suggested she join us. She’s a busy lady and wasn’t sure if she could make it – but if she does, our Thanksgiving dinner for two will have grown to five.

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A Lone Indian Paintbrush and Paul McMerrell | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 17, 2020:

David and I visited with our dog friend Spike this weekend while his people took a break from raising cattle. Spike was unusually subdued, maybe feeling the pressure of 2020 like the rest of us. More likely, though, his calm attitude is because of the strict restraints he’s under to keep him from chasing several new calves. Instead of having the run of the ranch, he stays in the barn, the house, or tethered on the patio, and he walks on a leash. He’s a country dog living a city life, but he doesn’t seem to mind as long as there are plenty of treats and an occasional session of petting.

Sunday morning I woke up a little before 6:00 am. I thought I might catch a few more winks, but I must have stirred around too much because Spike appeared at the bedroom door and did his I-need-to-go-out dance. I knew more sleep was probably out of the question, so I dressed and took him for a quick turn around the yard. He did his duty and we came back inside for a treat and a cup of coffee – his treat and my coffee. He had his breakfast while I had my quiet time, and once the sun was up enough to take the chill off the air, we took another walk to the gate and back, about a quarter of a mile round trip. He ambled along at my pace, sniffed a few bushes, and barked at a passing car. On the return trip I noticed a splash of color in the grass between the gravel driveway and the fence. It was a single Indian Paintbrush waving happily in the breeze, unaware that it was completely alone and out of season. It was a hopeful sight, a promise of Spring in the midst of bare branches and fallen leaves.

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The end of an era? by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 10, 2020:

My husband David has been a biker most of his life. He learned to ride his

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uncle’s old Cushman motorcycle when he was nine, and since then, hitting the road on two wheels has been an almost magical experience to him. He’s owned several motorcycles, and when we met in 1999, he had a Yamaha Virago 1100 that he rode every day.

Shortly after we began dating, he asked if I’d go riding with him. I wasn’t sure about the bike, but I liked the man, so I said yes. I think we both knew that was the first of many rides together. By the time we celebrated our first anniversary I had my own helmet, boots, and leathers and had put in many miles on the buddy seat.

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What is racism anyway? by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 3, 2020:

The subject of racism is impossible to avoid today since it’s at least

The Dictionary Definition of 'Racism' Has to Change - The Atlantic

mentioned in a majority of news stories and broadcasts, social media posts, and many conversations. It’s easy to assume that the definition of such a common word is common knowledge. But as we all know, assumptions can be wrong.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have been mentoring a young lady for almost seven years. I’m not sure how much mentoring I do. Mostly we just hang out once a week and talk, but even that has been a real challenge in 2020. First there was the shutdown, and when school started back in August, no visitors were allowed – but we’ve worked it out. Once a week, with her father’s permission, I pick her up for lunch, and we eat fast food in the park or the church fellowship hall. We have to squeeze a lot of words into her thirty-minute lunch period, but it’s better than nothing. And we don’t have to hurry too much because her hospitality teacher doesn’t seem to mind if she’s a few minutes late.

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