SOLON & BEYOND, Week of September 21, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
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
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
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
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
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.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 17, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Was very pleased this morning when I turned my computer on and discovered the August letter from the New Hope Church, my many thanks for that.

There was a great turnout for the benefit supper for Zack Corson, which was held at Solon Elementary School. Zack has been struggling for years with kidney disease and related complications. Nearly $5,000 was raised that evening.

Since their last letter, several in the shelter have been saved, which Pastor Tim said, “This is what it’s all about!”

The property in Windham that was offered for use as a women’s shelter is on track. The parties involved have gotten together and are making arrangements to set up and use the property as a shelter to be patterned after the one in Solon.

In May, Pat and Tim were able to take their first real vacation in a very long time. The church had taken a collection and had purchased a gift certificate to a B-B in Bar Harbor right close to the waterfront. They spent a few days in early May there and had a wonderful time exploring the beautiful area and just plain relaxing.

Because of a grant given to the church for staffing, they are pleased to announce the addition of a new position at the shelter and the hiring of a wonderful lady from their volunteer pool to fill that position.

They have also added two new members to the shelter board; Brent Small, who is an associate pastor at Faith Evangelical Free Church, in Waterville, and Charlie Pratt, a member of New Hope who has been greatly involved with the shelter from its beginning.

On July 30 the New Hope Church was blessed to have Temple Veil in concert.

They have started a landscaping project around the shelter and have set out some shrubs and plants. Again, my many thanks for sharing your news with us.

Had been dreading last weekend for a month or more, but as usual, I shouldn’t have worried! Lief and my family were each having a reunion on the same weekend, his was on his mother’s side was to be held in Massachusetts and mine was to be held up at Dave and Pete’s camp at Flagstaff as always, on the second weekend in August. Lief and I had talked it over and agreed that we should each go to our own family reunion. Both Lief’s father and his mother had come from very large families. His mother’s family had come over from Norway and settled in several states in the U.S. so there were family members who came from shore to shore at his reunion, he thought there were around 200 people at the Massachusetts reunion. Feel really bad that I missed meeting all of them, but I haven’t yet figured out how to be in two places at once!

There were 29 of us at the Rogers reunion up in God’s Country where peace is beyond understanding. This was to be more special than usual if possible, Jeremy and his family were to travel from North Dakota for the reunion, and hadn’t seen them for several years.

As always, Peter and Sherry brought up their portable breakfast wagon and served everybody delicious breakfasts. Dave had built another bunk house, and there are five bedrooms, a spill over room, a screen porch and a tenting place for sleeping. Dave had set up his smoker for delicious ribs, Pete had cooked a huge pot of chili and everyone attending had brought lots of food, so we enjoyed feasting. Again, Mark and Karen had come up with designing another game which everyone always looks forward to. There were four different groups competing, and I happened to pick the winning team and we all received a medal.

There was so much laughter and love shared on this special wonderful weekend, but several people commented on how much they missed Lief, as did I.

The days at camp were beautiful skies of blue and so Percy’s memoir this week is entitled, Master Artist; “God paints countless pictures For his children to behold, From the lovely sunrise To the sunset tinged with gold. He made this earth His canvas While the brush is His great hand; With true and glorious colors Every landscape He has planned. The artist can but copy From God’s own masterpiece … He paints the perfect pictures, His glories never cease.” (words by Lois Anne Williams.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 10, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The very first thing that I need to do this week is apologize to Dotty Dunphy for the wrong name under the group picture in last week’s paper, I am very sorry.

The next Embden Historical Society meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 14, at 7 p.m. at the Embden Town House. Jean Schipke will give a presentation along with slides on “My Memories of Devereux.” Refreshments will follow. All are welcome. My many thanks to you Carol for being so dedicated with sharing interesting news, keep up the good work.

Many of you have told me how much you enjoy the stories I sometimes write about living in Flagstaff before we were flooded out. This last weekend was our “Old Home Weekend” held at the little chapel in Eustis.

I am going to print an old, yellowed clipping that I found among my treasured memories that a dear friend had written just before she moved at the fast approaching flooding of the town.

It is entitled, Flagstaff – My Home Town:

” ‘Twas just a sleepy little town in a valley,
The prettiest place that I know.
In summer ’twas covered with flowers,
In winter, with a blanket of snow.
Our store was all that it needed,
The houses were all on one street;
The school offered all you could ask for,
And a quaint church made it complete.
The lake was handy for fishing,
(On hot days the swimming was grand),
“Twas also a nice place for boating,
Or a picnic nearby on the sand.
In winter, the lake was for skating,
Or you could ski up on the hill while the wind blew the snow all around you and gave your nose quite a chill.
The forests were pleasant for hiking or for camping out in the fresh air;
In winter we used them for hunting,
With our pick from raccoon or bear.
Now all of this is over – The cheerfulness is gone.
Thye people are moving far away,
And the place seems quite forlorn.
The trees have been cut by the woodsmen,
The lake filled with birch-bark and wood,
At first we swam in the river,
Now that no longer is good.
The houses left empty by neighbors,
Have been filled with men I don’t know;
They have ripped out the walls and the finish,
Leaving enough to keep off the snow.
The church has been robbed of its windows,
They have found a new home above town.
Even the graveyard is empty –
The green grass is now dark and brown.
Yes, the town is almost deserted Of all the folks that I know,
And I myself will be going,
Perhaps before the snow.
Yes, this is my home and I love it!
It’s beauties will always be mine;
And ’twill linger on in my memory From now till the end of time.”

This was written by Avis Burbank.

This poem says it all and each year there are a few missing that gather at the little chapel, which looks much like the church that was in Flagstaff. The same beautiful colored windows, the old bell and at the service on Sunday, as always, tears nearly fell as I held the old Pilgrim Hymnal (copyright 1931) as in days gone by. My good friend and classmate, Isabelle Burbank Milbank, and I graduated in 1947 from the Flagstaff High School and she called us the ‘dinosaurs,’ (now I’ve been called a lot of names, but that was a new one!) But along with her husband, Floyd, I am sure we were the oldest people of only 18 in attendance. They had traveled from New York to take part in the Old Home Days.

Now for Percy’s memoir, he and I both loved the inspirational poetry of Helen Steiner Rice. “People everywhere in life from every walk and station, From every town and city and every state and nation Have given me so many things intangible and dear, I couldn’t count them all or even make them clear… I only know I owe so much to people everywhere And when I put my thoughts in verse it’s just a way to share The musings of a thankful heart, a heart much like your own, For nothing that I think or write is mine and mine alone… So if you found some beauty in any word or line, It’s just “Your Soul’s Reflection” in “Proximity with Mine.”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 3, 2017

The Solon Alumni Association gathered on July 15 with these members of the class of 1967 celebrating their 50th reunion. Front, from left to right, Dotty Padham Lightbody, Eunice Waugh Kenn, Gary Farnham and Maurice Robbins. Back, Mike Bishop, Billy McDonough, Cheryl Hanson Edgecomb and Brent Brown. Contributed photo

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Don’t have any real news to share with you this morning, so I am going to answer a question that has been asked by many recently, “Have you sold your house yet?” The answer is YESS!

Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine that I would have the courage to attempt to sell it myself! Being empty for a few years while I was attempting to dispose of memories and stuff didn’t do it any good, so decided to try and sell it myself. There were three people who had expressed an interest in it last year and I thought the first one who asked really wanted to buy it. After it was completely empty this spring I asked him if he still wished to buy it and he had changed his mind. So I called the other two who had showed an interest and took them through it and the last one decided to buy it, which pleased me greatly! I was not born to be a salesman, and was definitely not into selling real estate.

I sold it to Solonely Acres LLC, and the closing was last Friday in Skowhegan. My blessings and prayers are with them as they take on the task of tender, loving care to bring it back to a beautiful house as people drive into Solon on Ferry Street. The new owners had already started clearing away all the bamboo that had really taken over the yard, I had done my best when I lived there to get rid of that stuff, but it just takes over!

I have faced many challenges in my long life, but clearing out my house of memories, (when I wrote for several different papers, before Percy, I closed the column with, “from Salada Tea and me! And many people sent me Salada Tea tags to use). On days that I came across some of the boxes of the tags and dumped them, were not my best days. Frank and I bought that house when Mary was ten months old and the boys were four, six and eight, it was a good place to bring up a family.

Came across a good piece of words for anyone struggling with a foreseen challenge, and it is, “Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth… Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.” (Very true, words by Noela Evans.)

The other day a little book was loaned to me from a friend who reads Percy’s wise words, and as you all must know by now I love inspiring and humors quotes. This is one of them calle “Belief Is All You Need!” A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to read a map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn’t injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.

“Warwick can get you out of that ditch,” said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the haggardly mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, “Yep, old Warwick can do the job.” The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and Warwick made their way back to the ditch.

The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins he shouted, “Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull Warwick!” And the mule pulled the car from the ditch with very little effort.

The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer; patted the mule and asked, “Why did you call out all of those other names before you called Warwick?

The farmer grinned and said, “Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he’s part of a team, he doesn’t mind pulling.” (words by James W. Moore) Thanks so much Henrietta!

And as always, I’m waiting for your news to share, just call me, or write, or e-mail, or I’ll come and get what you write if it isn’t too far away.

And so for Percy’s memoirs, they are short this week so I’m going to let him have two short ones! “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” (words by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809-1894) and “Don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened.”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of July 27, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The Solon Alumni Association met on July 15 at the Solon Elementary School for their annual meeting with 65 members and guests present. The class of 1967 celebrated their 50th year with eight members present. The ones from that class who attended were Michael Bishop, Gary Farnham, Cheryl Hanson Edgecomb, William McDon­ough, Dorothy Padham Dunphy, Eunice Waugh Kenn, Brenda Whitney Padham and Brent Brown, who traveled from California to attend this important occasion.

Others who celebrated were Alice Davis Heald, 77th class, Arlene Davis Meader and Albert Starbird 76th, Mary Bishop Heald, 75th, and Theona Brann Lagasse 70th.

The reunion was catered by the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club under the leadership of Eleanor Pooler.

There was a $25 door prize won by Arlene Meader and she donated it back to the scholarship fund.

An auction was held and $753 was raised for the scholarship fund.

In the column that I wrote about the upcoming alumni meeting that didn’t make it to the paper it mentions the ones who had lived in Solon and graduated from the high school, who had died, and they were: Norris Padham, class of 1943, Connie Coombs Hopkins, class of 1950, Jack McCarty, class of 1951, Partricia Tolman Reed, class of 1956, Harold Wood, class of 1963, Colby Waugh, class of 1969 and also Ray Greenlaw.

The Embden Historical Society will be having its annual cookout/potluck meal on Monday, July 31. Social time is at 4:30 p.m.; meal at 5 p.m. If you plan to come bring a casserole, salad, bread, pickles or dessert. Drinks, plates and plastic ware will be provided. It will be held at the Moore camp at 4 Fern Drive on the West side of Embden Lake, located 2.7 miles from the fork in the road of the Embden Pond Road and Cross Town Road.

Received the following in an e-mail from Somerset Woods Trustees: “If you have already been helping build the new trails at Coburn Woods, thank you. If you haven’t or are ready to do more, here’s another opportunity. The trail system, designed by Brian Alexander, will be built for mountain bikes but hikers will also enjoy the new trails winding through the woods. Once completed, we believe this will be the longest mountain bike trail in Somerset County!

Percy welcomed his many compliments received from the friends he made through our column and leaves you with this thought in his memoir this week:

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” (words by Ralph Waldo Emerson).

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of July 20, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Several people have said they missed my columns the last two weeks, I did write them but one got lost and the staff at the paper were on vacation one of the weeks. I apologize to everyone who failed to see their news in for the event they had told me about. I do try to put in all that is sent to me, if I get it in time.

When Virginia Merrill got done writing for the Somerset Reporter many years ago and I started writing for it, she stressed very clearly that it is a community service and I have tried to follow her words.

I get rather disturbed when important news is not shared with me so I can let the people know what is going on, which happened recently. If it hadn’t been for a good friend, I wouldn’t have known about the special Solon budget committee meeting held at the Solon Town Office on July 12. Those present for this meeting were selectmen Mary Lou Ridley and Sarah Davis, budget committee members Mike Golden, Eleanor Pooler, Albert Starbird, Sherry Rogers, Frank Ridley, Jeff Pomelow, George Williams and Ann Padham and myself.

The meeting was held for permission to use Municipal Building Maintenance Reserve Funds to do repairs and seal the exterior bricks on the Coolidge Library. The estimate for materials to do the job is $485 and labor is $1,040 for a total of $1,525. This estimate is for work on the library. Work to include, cleaning moss off lower section of building; removing excess mortar from entry steps; repairing missing mortar joints and sealing all masonry surfaces including chimney, with ChimneySaver Water Seal. The company which will do the job is River’s Edge Masonry & More; 1133 River Road, Solon, Maine 04979.

The Fourth of July celebration in Solon started with a parade through town which was watched by many people along the street. Young and old seemed to be enjoying it, with much visiting going on. Long before the evening fire works were set off a huge crowd started gathering around the Solon Elementary School to watch the show.

Lief and I were invited to a July 4 barbecue at the home of our neighbor, Ronnie Brown on the Padham Road. There were 33 friends and family in attendance on that perfect summer day, with lots of great food. Ronnie had bought 80 chicken legs and barbecued them to perfection, and those attending had brought lots of tasty food.

When Lief and I were returning home one day this week after having breakfast at Griswold’s, we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw a bear walking across the road ahead of us. It was a very large animal and not something you see very often. Awhile back we had something steal some of our bird feeders ( and break others) and some people thought it might have been a bear, guess it’s quite likely that might have been the case.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on Saturday, July 8, with Hunter Soucer presiding. The members made plans to do the dinner for the Solon High School Alumni on Saturday, July 15, at the Solon School.

Plans were also made to go camping at the Evergreen Campground July 21, 22, and 23. On that weekend members went on a rafting trip from Solon to North Anson boat landing, along with a water safety meeting for the members being done by Cliff Stevens from Moxie Outdoors.

The members did sand art as a craft project. Colored sand was donated by Gary York, of York Signs, in Skowhegan.

The members are planning to exhibit at Bangor Fair and Skowhegan Fair in July and August. At Skowhegan Fair they will be taking part in the 4-H Day Parade on Sunday, August 13.

The next meeting will be on Monday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

Summer hours at Stewart Public Library for July and August are Wednesday 2 – 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – noon.

Have been continuing to go through papers, etc., and came across these words which were in Percy’s and my column one time when he was still with us. There isn’t any date on it, but hopefully you won’t remember it, but I think it is worth repeating in honor of Percy, I still miss him! “In spite of whatever may happen in your day, it’s going to be okay. You’ve made it through difficult things before, right? And you always land on your feet. Maybe not dancing; maybe not always sure about what to do next. But you always manage to figure things out. Especially when you’re able to keep your sense of humor and not lose your smile. If you really think about it, you’ll realize that you are a very strong individual. Someone who may not have all the answers, but who – at least – is willing to hope and try and believe. You can see your way through just about anything; it all depends on how you look at it.”

How I Love that Cat! (The above words were by Douglas Pagels.)