SOLON & BEYOND, Week of October 26, 2017

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club reorganized for a new year on Saturday, October 14, at the Solon Fire Station with 12 members. Plans were made to attend County Achievement Night on October 27 at Kennebec Valley Grange Hall, in Madison.

Plans were also made to hold a family supper on Friday, November 3, at the Solon Masonic Hall.

For a fun activity the members painted pumpkins that were donated by the Seavey Farm, in North Anson.

They also made Nature Frames using silk from milkweed pods, different kinds of leaves and flowers.

After the meeting the members enjoyed apple cider.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, November 11, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station..

My many thanks to Eleanor Pooler, the leader of the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club for always sharing their interesting meetings with us. It is always greatly appreciated. And many thanks also, to Eleanor, for her devotion to leading this great club!

I was very glad to receive an e-mail(which had been written while we were in Rangeley) so wasn’t able to get it in in time for the supper) My many thanks to Aryke Coombs for the e-mail that said, “We had our annual roadside cleanup on the morning of Saturday, September 30. We also have a spaghetti dnner and Luck of the Draw coming up on Saturday, October 28. There will be a door prize, the dinner, a Luck of the Draw, and a lot of fun to be had. Our local heroes, the members of our Solon Fire Dept., will be the waiters and waitress. The dinner and Luck of the Draw will be from 4 – 7 pm at the Solon Elementary School. The above was done by the Solon Fire Auxiliary. I was very happy to see the above e-mail to share with our friends, I have stressed before how much I would like to have news of what is being done.

We had a wonderfully relaxing week at the Rangeley Lakes Resort, it is a very nice peaceful place for a vacation. This year we were happy to have several visitors. Lief’s sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Elwood Ellis, of China Village, came up to see us one day. My brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Insowa Jones and their dog Wekow, came up from Farmington and spent Tuesday night with us, then we drove over to New Hampshire on Wednesday. (I could not get used to the fact that you don’t have to pay a sales tax over there, it was great!) On Friday, my daughter Mary and son-in-law Dave Walz came for a visit and we ate at the Red Onion. We were so happy to have visitors and…. we also had four-legged friendly visitors! One evening we arrived back to our cabin and there were two friendly deer waiting for us right on the lawn near the porch. They stayed around and visited for awhile, then slowly meandered off into the trees. Another day a deer came out on the road that leads to the main highway and walked along slowly ahead of us as if he was showing us how to get to the main road.

Another day, we were doing a little shopping across from the Red Onion and heard some one over at the outside eating area call out, “Hey, Lief,” and we looked, and it was Ronnie Brown and several of his ATV friends having lunch there. We went over and talked with them for awhile.

And now for Percy’s memoir on Love: “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” (Unknown) and a question by Benjamin Franklin; “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life and love is made of.”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of October 19, 2017

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

This column is being written early because we are going on our yearly vacation in Rangeley. Have been thinking seriously lately about the definite need for PEACE in our troubled world!… and so, hoping to get some of you, who read this column each week, to think about being a peacemaker.

Confucius had some wise words on how to start: Peace in this world: “When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieved, when true knowledge is achieved then the will becomes sincere, then the heart is set right (or then the mind sees right); when the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world.”

Make Peace: As citizens, we have a large responsibility . Our daily lives,, the way we drink, what we eat, have to do with the world’s political situation, Every day we do things, we are things, that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our lifestyle, our way of consuming, of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment we are alive. (words by Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step).

Eleanor Roosevelt had some good advise back in her time; The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Christ, some of the other great Jewish teachers, Buddha, all preached it. Their followers forgot it. What is the trouble between capital and labor, what is the trouble in many of our communities, but rather a universal forgetting that this teaching is one of our first obligations.

And now some thoughts from President John F. Kennedy: Building Peace: “But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace, in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.”

More thoughts from people in the past longing for peace in our world, President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Lasting Peace, I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of the way and let them have it.”

Become a Peacemaker: Each day you are provided many opportunities to practice peacemaking. St. Francis wrote. “For it is in giving that we receive.” By giving peace you will receive peace, and after you are at peace, your problems all dissolve . By becoming a peacemaker you are literally providing yourself with a remedy for all your anxious moments. Today be on the alert for any opportunity to become a peacemaker. Words by Wayne W. Dyer, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.)

I really like this one by Abraham Lincoln for his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865. “With malice toward none, with charity for all…let us strive on to finish the work we are in…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

I am going to use two of Percy’s memoirs in this column because he truly believed in peace! (Working Together: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much, words by Helen Keller.)

And…”Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me; let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.” Words by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, 20th-century songwriters.

There I go, dreaming again! I was afraid that would happen after the fact that this column and little paper reached out and reunited two brothers after 50 years….But amazing things happen, and wouldn’t it be great if the above words inspire some of you to become peacemakers and help to settle the mess this world is in? I shall pray on it!

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of October 12, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Legos Time will be Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m.- noon, at Stewart Public Library, 37 Elm St., North Anson. Regular library hours will be 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. that same day.

The Embden Community Center will be serving chicken cordon bleu at there monthly public supper on Saturday, October 14, at 5 p.m.

On October 21, Steve & The Good Ole Boys band will be playing at the Embden Community Center from 7 – 11 p.m.

There were at least 125 motorcycle riders at the Solon Hotel on a perfect, beautiful fall day recently who were all going for a ride in this event. This is the 23rd year that it has taken place starting at the Solon Hotel. A spaghetti supper would be served to those who were hungry after their ride. Eleanor Maclean was making her famous recipe of spaghetti, which she has done for many years, and is now still doing it at 88!

Somerset Woods Trustees and Brian Alexander are still at it! Two more work days have been scheduled to complete Phase 1 of the new Coburn Woods Trails before their grand opening, scheduled for October 29. (Put that date on your calendar too!)

On the e-mail that I received it tells of two working days, Oct. 7 and Oct. 15. for those Eager for Exercise Before the Snow Falls? No tools are necessary as Brian has plenty but if you have a favorite trail cutting tool please do bring it. Starting time is 8:30 a.m., work until 1 p.m., or as long as you have to work.

We appreciate your help to build these trails! Once all phases are completed they will have around six miles of trails for all users, including mountain bikes.

I know how much many of you love Percy’s memoirs and before that, his wise words of wisdom! And so in memory of Percy who died two years ago, I am going to share especially those of you who are ‘Cat Lovers’ with some information on cats. Some of this information comes from a little three-inch square book that I bought at a yard sale, and in the introduction it states, “No wonder the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods – is there an animal with more dignity, more aloof serenity, and innate grandeur? What other domestic creature behaves like an honored guest and is treated as an equal?”

Cats fix us with their gaze and put us in our place. They beguile us with their startling affection and charm us with the beauty of their fluid bodies. They amaze us with their composure and delight us with their agility.

Cats do as they please, and for that we admire – and even revere them. They treat us as companions, demanding and receiving our respect as their due. The fact that they choose to spend their lives with us is a gift we accept gratefully.

Now for a few of the quotes in this little delightful book in memory of Percy! “His friendship is not easily won but it is something worth having” – words by Michael Joseph, English publisher; and by Lilian Jackson Braun, American writer – “To understand a cat, you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality.”

One by Mark Twain says, “One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.” And by Jim Dais, American cartoonist – “Way down deep we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.” I like this one from Abraham Lincoln – “No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.”

And so I will close with this one which was anonymous – “No self-respecting cat wants to be an artist’s model.” (I didn’t find that to be true, Percy let me paint him several times!)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of October 5, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

I haven’t come back to earth yet after again reaching my goals from writing these many columns for papers for over 50 years! It is such amazing news, in my mind, anyway, for this wonderful little paper, but especially its editor Roland Hallee.

Now I will back-track a little, I know I have shared with you how I first met Roland back when I was writing for the Somerset Gazette, in Skowhegan. Then, when that paper closed and he called and asked me if I would like to write for The Town Line. He wasn’t the editor of the paper at that time, but I was hired to write a column and I did under a couple different editors for awhile but couldn’t seem to get along with one of them, and started my own paper for awhile. Then Roland became the editor, and again I was writing for The Town Line. When I went to South China and met with Roland as the editor, I asked him point blank, “How much mushy stuff will you let me get away with?” And I don’t remember his exact words, but in essence, he said to write from my heart! That was what I was waiting to hear, and he has always kept his word!

Now for the reason I haven’t come back to earth yet is because one day last week when Lief and I happened to be at Griswold’s having lunch, two men stopped at our table,and one of them started saying, “Oh you’re just the person I wanted to see!” It was Bob Therrien, who I had done a column a few months ago about him and his Cuckoo clocks that he builds. He was very excited and he grabbed my hand and started thanking me and the article that I had written for this paper about him because it had made it possible for his long lost brother to find him.

It seems that someone in the many towns this little paper covers, had seen the article and cut it out and sent it to Bob’s brother, Donald Therrien, and that morning that we saw them at Griswold’s he had come to Bob’s home on North Maine Street, in Solon, and surprised him. Very seldom have I seen anyone so excited and grateful as Bob was, and he said, “What a good thing you did for me!” His brother was very appreciative and pleased about finding his brother also and thanked me over and over.

Bob said, “This is the best thing that has happened to me in 50 years!” (They hadn’t seen each other in that many years.)

My goals in writing all these years have been to bring, peace, love, happiness, and laughter, along with the facts of happenings going on in this area all these years. When I learned what happiness one of my columns had meant to Bob Therrien and his brother Donald, it made me very happy indeed! And I’m hoping they can get together for many more happy moments in the years to come.

October 8 will be Country Sunday/Open Mic from 1 – 4 p.m., at the Embden Community Center. The October 14 supper at the Embden Community Center will be held at 5 p.m.

Dan Schall Ministries preached and sang at the North Anson Congregational Church on Sunday to a very attentive audience. He and his wife Linda have compiled a little book of Stories & Anecdotes which is very interesting. In the introduction it says, “Our stories come from church bulletins and writings that people have sent us. I am going to use one of them this week for Percy’s Memoir: Young Construction Worker: A strong, broad shouldered young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He especially made fun of one of the older workmen.

After several minutes, the older worker had had enough. “Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is,” he said. “I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that building that you won’t be able to wheel back.” “You’re on, old man,” the braggart replied. “Let’s see what you got.” The old man reached out and gabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, “All right, get in.”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of September 28, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Have just one other little bit of Solon Elementary School news from the Solon School Newsletter, and it is: Our Maine Dance institute (MDI) program for students in grades 4 and 5 started on September 13. This is our students’ chance to learn two great dance numbers, have a lot of fun, and shine on the stage at the MDI performance on Saturday, April 28. All your child needs is a pair of indoor sneakers and a good attitude to be part of this exciting program!

The next meeting of the Embden Historical Society is scheduled for Monday, October 9, at 7 p.m., at the Embden Town House. There will be election of officers and committee reports. Following the business meeting a few people will get up and tell of their accomplishments.

The Anson-North Anson Snowmobile Club will be doing its annual craft fair to be held at Carrabec High School on Saturday, November 4. To be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

If anyone wants to try and get a table space, you should call the school as soon as possible. I have had a space there for years, it is a fun and great fair.

On Saturday, September 30, there will be a North Anson Congregational Church Yard/Bake Sale at the church from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Dan Schall will be the guest speaker and have a worship concert at the North Anson Congregational Church on Sunday, October 1. He comes every year and it is always a most inspiring service. The hour of worship at the church starts at 10 a.m.

Received an e-mail about the Embden Community Center’s regular events: Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop/Lending Library 10 a.m. – 3 p.m./Wed., Fri. and Sat. (Note: Thrift Shop will be closed at noon on Wednesdays for January and February.)

Suppers: 5 p.m./second Saturday each month, except December.

Country Sunday: 1 – 4 p.m./second and fourth Sunday. By donation.

Bone Builders/Maine General-RSVP: (Low impact weight training for any age. All the exercises are done with chair, weights and slow movements to build muscle/bone strength.) 9 – 10 a.m./Mon. and Wed.

Sewing Class: 10 a.m. – noon/Wednesdays.

Weight Watchers: 5 – 6 p.m./Wednesdays. Come in and sigh-up…new members accepted.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly): 10:30-11:30 a.m./ Wednesdays.

Community Center meetings: 6:30 p.m. Thurs. prior to the second Sat. Supper.

Yoga: 6:30 p.m. (one hr.) Bring your mat. Cyndia 566-5089, Thurs. starting Sept. 14; weekly; by donation.

If you have any questions, contact Wayne at 474-1065.

Received the following e-mail from Angela Stockwell: Dear Readers: Margaret Chase Smith has a bobblehead! Leeke Lecture coming up in November. NHD students recognized by “American Experience.” Fiber Materials names MCS SCholar. Navel Academy appointee returns. Lots of interesting stuff! Here’s the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/OBzVM1LsAXnZuelpobVIKcVF1bjg/view?usp=sharing. Enjoy!

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled “Practice Makes Perfect” “When I feel alone and lonely And my empty world seems void, I relax for just a moment And I trust joy will unfold. For in my quiet time I listen To the gentle voice within, And He hears my prayers clearly For He let’s the sunshine in. Oh, how marvelous this practice Which can make our dreams come true, But the beauty of the challenge My dear friend, is up to you. So remember perseverance Is a gift, but yours be choice, And if you continue in this practice Rest assured you will rejoice. For no words can ever tell you Of the treasure deep within, But with the art of silent practice He will let the sunshine in. (words by Chris Zambernard.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of September 21, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The K-5 students at Solon Elementary School will visit Lakewood Theater on September 21st to attend their fall production of “The Untold Story of Johnny Appleseed and Jane Peach Pitt,” performed by the Lakewood Jesters. This is the 19th year that Lakewood has produced a show specially customized for elementary students.

The play lasts about an hour, and students get to interact with the performers during the show and meet them after the show. We are fortunate to have this historic theater so close to home. Parents are welcome to join them on this trip. Thanks to the PTO for funding the admission for the students.

As the new year begins, we hope to see all of our students set a goal to have a good rate of attendance. It is very important for students to be in school to gain the maximum benefit from their educational experience. Unless students are ill or there is a family emergency, they need to be in school. We ask that parents try to schedule routine doctor or dentist appointments after school hours as often as possible.

Punctuality is also a key to a successful school year. Our buses arrive between 7:20 and 7:40 in the morning. If you bring your child to school, please be sure that he or she arrives by 7:45 in order to be ready when teachers start their classes at 7:50. A student who arrives late misses important learning time.

There are several testing pro-grams scheduled for our students this fall. Students in grades K-1 will be given the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment in September to help us identify students who might need extra help to enable them to reach bench-marks for their grade level in reading by the end of the year. They will be assessed again in January and in May.

All first grade students are given the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) to help us monitor their reading achievement and design pro-grams to increase their reading skills. We also give this test to new students and those who have received Title 1 services in the past.

All students in grades K-5 Took the Measures of Academic Progress from Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) last spring. This test will be given again in reading and math in the spring to assess student’s progress over the course of the school year. Kindergartners, third graders, and new students will take the test this fall, and teachers can choose to test their students in the fall and the winter if they choose to do so to monitor students’ progress.

In the spring, our students in grades 3-5 will participate in the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA), taking tests in reading, writing, and math. Fifth graders will also take a science test.

If you have any questions about any of these assessments, please contact Ms. Butler at 643-2491.

Stewart Public Library in North Anson hours are now Wednesday, 2 – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., or by appointment.

Lief and I took our paintings over to North New Portland one day last week to exhibit in their annual fair. I was really proud and impressed with the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club exhibit, a lot of time and energy went into it. Was glad to see that the Solon Extension had a really nice exhibit also. All of the exhibits were excellent and the North New Portland Fair is still a wonderful family fair.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled Masterworks: “In Autumn when the leaves turn brown And red and gold, they all fall down To paint a picture, oh so rare! I know that God is there… To mastermind His ebb and flow; To stage His wondrous Autumn show, To brush His skies with molten gold; I watch His art unfold.. No grander sight could I behold: These leaves of brown and red and gold. But Winter bodes its icy chills Upon the snow-clad hills. In time the land, a living scene, Comes bursting forth in savage green; And I con-front the seasons’ thieves That took my Autumn leaves. But soon a softness in the air! God paints a picture, oh so rare Of Autumn leaves that all tun brown And red and gold as they fall down. (words by Henry W. Gurley.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of September 14, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Have been looking forward to this first Solon School News for this new school year to share with all of you. The Principal’s Message: The Solon staff and I wish to welcome our new students in grades PreK-5 and their families to our school and to welcome back those who have been with us before. I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful summer.

This year I am the principal of the Solon and Garret Schenck Schools but not CCS, which will allow me to spend more time at those two schools. Our school secretary Lisa Weese can help parents with any issues they may have and can help you make contact with me if you wish to.

Debby Haynie continues to serve as our lead teacher and will help me to handle discipline issues.

We are pleased to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students again this year under the district’s community eligibility program. Students can buy milk or juice for snack or to go with a cold lunch if they wish to for 30 cents.

Again this year our students will have healthy snacks provided through a Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Grant Program every day. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to a great new year!

Welcome to New Staff: We want to welcome the new preschool assistant teacher, Ms. Anne-Mieke Herrera, to our school this fall. She previously worked in the preschool program in Clinton. She replaces Anne Griffth, who is working in the Head Start program in Skowhegan this year.

We also welcome Mary Ashe, who is the new social worker, replacing Andrea Drumstas, who has left us to take a job at Stratton Elementary School. Ashe has a bachelor’s degree from UMF and a master’s degree from UMO. She worked as a social worker at Carrabec High School from 2008-2010. Sin ce then she has worked at the Spurwink School in Cornville.

We welcome both of our new staff members to Solon Elementary School.

Solon Elementary School has a very active PTO, which has provided lots of special activities and items for our students over the years. Please consider joining the PTO. For information, contact PTO President Alicia Golden or the school.

The PTO generally meets on the second Thursday of each month, at 6 p.m.

Remember to send in your box tops for education labels! Every boxtop helps the PTO raise money for school activities.

The PTO is looking for new parents to join them. They look forward to new members from our new families.

My many thanks to Solon Elementary for continuing to send me the interesting news about the school. It is greatly appreciated by me and I hope by all interested readers.

And now for Percy’s memoir of wise words entitled, True Gardening: “If you would grow a garden full of truth, Consider first the seed, then plow the land. You have no need of wealth or fame or youth, But you must have the will to understand. Of love and faith and service, freely sow, And give a space to mercy’s blessed balm. Allow no single weed of doubt to grow, And space the beds of thought with inner calm. The plot must be a place to draw apart For loving meditation , so designed That one can cultivate the quiet heart And reap the golden harvest of the mind. These high-heaped fruits of thought are your true goal, And seeds of destiny will feed your soul. (words by E. A. M. Moore.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of September 7, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry be happy!

Received the following e-mail from the Somerset Woods Trustees: Please join “Louise Coburn” (Our Founder in 1927) and the Somerset Woods Trustees at our 90th birthday party and our 2017 Annual Conservation and Awards Celebration., Sunday, September 10, at The Lakewood Inn at Wesserunsett Lake, Madison, from 6 – 8 p.m.

We are excited to announce our award winners for this year: Conservation: Alfred Jackson for his generous donation of land in Madison. Stewardship: Jeff Lloyd for his generous donation towards the creation of a new trail at Coburn Woods.

Schedule for the evening: 5:45-6 p.m.: Check in. Meet “Louise Coburn”, 6 – 6:45 p.m.: Hors d’Oeuvres and cocktails (cash bar). 6:45 p.m. Speaker: Andrew Barton (forest ecologist, science writer and professor of biology at the University of Maine at Farmington): “The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods.” 7:15 p.m., Auction, 7:30 p.m., 90th birthday cake cut by Louise Coburn and Trustees, 7:50 p.m., Conservation and Stewardship Awards, 8 p.m., raffle – drawing by Louise Coburn.

The cost is only $30/person which pays for the hors d’oeuvres, service and venue. Please come and enjoy the night. It’s the last time we will all meet “Louise Coburn.”

Here it is Labor Day as I write this column, not sure where our summer went this year, it was short to say the least! Lief and I took a leisurely and beautiful ride up to Greenville on our anniversary yesterday, and were amazed at all the red leaves that had turned from green. It seems rather early for that to be taking place, but it does make for beautiful scenery to paint…. which leads me to reminder that our Painting Club will be starting up again at Skowhegan Adult Ed and we always like to see new faces there, along with long time friends. It is starting up on Monday, September 11, and is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the school. Tuition is free, but there is a registration fee of $5. You can sign up at the school and it is for painting in any medium that you prefer. We welcome you to join us in lots of fun.

I’m going to let Percy have more words in his memoirs than usual, and this one is entitled, “Gratitude:” When the frost has spread a silver shawl, And the leaves have turned to gold, When the fields of fruitful harvest Are a glory to behold – When dear friends and kinfolk gather For the feasting and the fun, And the cheer of home and hearth fire Fills the hearts of everyone – Then it’s time to count our blessings For the wondrous gifts we share, Reflected in each joyous heart With grateful praise and prayer. (words by Elisabeth Weaver Winstead).

Since I’m low on actual news, I’m going to print a wonderful illustration of someone’s version of “Life”. Life gives us friendship along the way to cheer our hearts on the darkest day. Life gives us the joy of a baby’s smile full of affection and free of guile; Life gives us the thrill of a mother’s care though days be cloudy or days be fair. Life gives us sleep to ease our pain; and gives us sunshine through the rain. Life gives us knowledge to understand and gives compassion to everyone. (words by Alva Trafton Gosselin.)

I found the above poem hand printed in beautiful script in a frame at a yard sale this weekend, and when the new friend, (who reads this column faithfully) and I read it together, I knew I had to print the good news about life to all you readers. The new friend gave me a great deal! Hope you like it.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 31, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

On August 13th Betty Lightbody, of North Anson, was honored with a wonderful 90th birthday party put on by her daughter, Carol Oliver. There were 25 family members present and a total of 57 friends and family who were there on this special day, some coming from far away places such as North Dakota (where Carol lives), Colorado, Oregon and North Carolina.

Betty said she was so pleased to see so many of her nieces and nephews who she doesn’t see very often, along with her children and many friends. In Betty’s words, “It was unreal to have so many show up!” She also commented on “All the lovely food.”

Carol and her husband Guy had traveled from North Dakota. Betty’s grandson, Jeremy Rogers and his family also came from North Dakota and spent a week in North Anson. Again in Betty’s words, “They came all that way. It was a great gathering!”

Then on August 15, which was Betty’s actual birthday, 25 family members honored her again with their presence and another smaller get-together. My congratulation and best wishes to you Betty, on your wonderful 90th birthday celebrations.

The September 11 Embden Historical Society meeting has been canceled. Many of the members are involved in putting on a huge luncheon for over 400 bikers from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at the Embden Community Center. This is a major undertaking. The annual meeting, election of officers and committee reports will be given at the October 9 meeting. There will also be an Antique Show & Tell at that meeting.

The Country Sunday/Open Mic has been canceled for September 10th. The next Country Sunday will be September 24th and then on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

My many, many thanks go out to Carol Dolan for her faithful sharing of this news with us, it is very greatly appreciated.

And now from the First Congregational Church of North Anson’s bulletin: The Fellowship Committee is selling calendar raffle tickets again this year to benefit a church mission trip.

On August 31, at 6:30 p.m., the first choir rehearsal for the 2017-2018 church year will be held at the church. On September 1, 2, and 3, the annual Church Camping Trip at Cathedral Pines, in Eustis; Sunday Morning Worship in the Pines at 11 a.m. and church picnic to follow. Sundays starting on September 10, at 9 a.m., Adult and Teen Sunday School; 10 a.m. Children’s Sunday School during the worship service; 6 – 7 p.m. Pilgrim Fellowship; Tuesday’s starting on September 12, at 6 p.m., Yarn etc. Fellowship; Wednesday starting on September 13, at 5:30 p.m., Weekly Soup and Evening Devotional; Thursdays starting on September 14, at 11:30 a.m., Bible Study at the Parsonage, Choir Rehearsal at 6:45 p.m., and September 16 at 8 a.m., Women’s Devotional and Coffee.

I realize this is lots of dates into September, but the way time flies, I thought if you were interested in any of these things, you could cut out this information.

And now for Percy’s memoir, Cultivating Friends: Sow a seed of praise today, Plant a kindness seed; Listen to a troubled friend, Help someone in need. Compliment a weary soul Too fatigued to try; Shine forth rays of hope on all, Comfort those who cry. Scatter deeds of love each day, Plant each row with care; Sprinkle joy along your way, Soak each one in prayer. Ask the Lord to bless each one, And one day you’ll reap A harvestful of loving friends To cherish and to keep. (words by Connie Hinnen.)

Percy collected many great friends when he was alive and helping me with this column. One day recently Lief and I were up to the Dam Diner, and one of Percy’s friends recognized me from the picture by this column and greeted me with a big hug! I had no idea who she was, but she introduced herself and said how much she had loved his wise words, and now his memoirs. It made my day! He was a great cat and helped me so much.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 24, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

There is a bag sale ($1 regular size and $2 for larger bag) ‘til August 26 at the Embden Community Center Thrift Shop. The Thrift Shop is open: Wed., Fri. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Lending library is open when the Thrift Shop is open. There have been over 35 books donated to the Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop to be sold at a very modest price. There are a few that are first edition and are signed. They are almost all hard cover with dust jackets; many on the Best Seller’s list. Many of the books for example are by a familiar author, Nicholas Sparks. The Embden Thrift Shop is open Wed., Fri. and Sat. from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Lending Library is also open when the Thrift Shop is open.

Just to let you know that dues are due in August. Dues are $3 per person payable to the Embden Historical Society. You may mail your check to Brainard Tripp, Treasurer, 445 East Shore Road, Embden, ME 04958 (566-7384

Was also very pleased to receive the letter from Charlotte Withee, of Anson, about the 67th Smith Family Reunion. The family of the late Henry and Gertrude (McLaughlin) Smith held their 67th reunion on July 30, 2017, at Lake George in Canaan. The descendants of Clarissa (Smith) Paine were the host.

There were 69 members and three guests present. Elmer’s family: Bert and Eileen (Weston) Cyr. Robb and Stefanie (Cyr) Wainwright. Harry’s family: Lester and Gail Smith, Sylvia Brennau, AmyBrennau, Madeline Therault and Jackson Theriault.

Agnes’ family: No one attended. Oliver’s family: David Smith, Judy Smith, Craig Smith, Anthony Laney, Chris Laney, Rachel Laney, Nick Krajewski, Arianna Krajewski, Chris Gorman, Beth Gorman, Tyler Badershall and guests : Rebekah Powell, Jacob Trauy, Linda Smith.

Gertrude’s family: Ethan, Emily, June and Sam Knox, Diana Michaud (Merry) , Rosemary Merry, Sharon Mellow, JohnZiacoma, Jennifer Withee, Andrea Smith,Nathan Merry, Monica (Atwood) and James Wetzel, Shirley Mellows, Dillinger Mellows, Mary Mellows Marin Celmer, Charlotte (Mellows) and Ralph Withee, Jessica Merry, Brooklyn Johnson and Ava Merry (Michelle,s Daughter.) Cecil’s family: None attended.

Clarissa’s family: Susan Paine, Joan Steele, Darrell Gerrard, Nancy Smellie, Danielle, Jake, Alli, Krish, and Jaxson Gerrard, Daniel and Robin Gerrard, Rebecca Pessy-Weeks, Melissa Perry, Becka Coryell, Caleb, Caitlyn, and Lienna Vinson. Deana Tardiff, Troy Beane, Erik Vinson, Darcie Verrill, Kelli and Christopher Coares, Indie and River, Diana Gerrard Tardiff, and Norma Gerrard. Vincent’s family: None attended.

The oldest member was Rosemary (Mellows) Merry, age 84. Youngest Was Marin Celmer, age 1 month; daughter of Mary Mellows and Brian Celmer.

The weather was blue skies, white clouds and at times a little chilly, a beautiful day.

Somerset Woods Trustees 2017 North Country Challenge will take place September 30. Walk, Run, Canoe, Kayak, or Bike the Bingham to Solon Trail. Rain or shine. Discover the beauty of Maine’s North Country along the Kennebec River and along the future Maine Long Trail.

Challenge begins at North Country Rivers, in Bingham, (7 – 10 a.m.; Breakfast at North Country Rivers (optional).

If you register by September 13, the 2017 North Country Challenge T-shirts will be available for only $14 each. You can register between September 14 – 30, but T-shirt supplies will be very limited or not available.

Registration forms available on SWT’s website: or if you don’t have a computer you can reach them at Somerset Woods Trustees P.O. Box 833 Skowhegan, ME 04976.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled A Smile… “A smile can mean fulfillment Through most any stage of life Or finding peace with nature Far away from crowds and strife. A smile may be approval Or a hint that one may care; A smile may be the start of Two lives that want to share. A smile can be just passive Or a pleasantness self-styled; A smile can show contentment In both mother and her child. In taking on life’s hurdles, There’s strength for every mile In the hope of each tomorrow And another chance to smile.” (words by Irwin William Kaiser.)