SOLON & BEYOND: Somerset Wood Trustees to celebrate Earth Day

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

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

Received an e-mail from the Somerset Woods Trustees with an invitation: “Will you join Somerset Woods Trustees to celebrate Mother Earth on Earth Day?”

One way to celebrate Earth Day is to spruce up the Kennebec Banks Rest Area for spring. The trustees own and operate the rest area, an attractive, welcoming gateway to Skowhegan on the banks of the Kennebec River.

Many friends and visitors enjoy the covered picnic tables while enjoying the view of the mighty Kennebec. It’s the same view that Benedict Arnold’s soldiers saw on their way to Quebec City on a cold October autumn of 1775 as they prepared to portage over the falls.

They supply contractor bags to pick up trash, stain for the kiosk, and tools to attack invasive plants. All you need is to bring gloves. They’ll supply the doughnuts and hot chocolate. The date is April 22, 1 – 3 p.m.

For more information, please contact Nancy at with any questions.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on March 10 for their fifth meeting with Cooper Delarma presiding. The members voted to donate a theme basket to the Somerset County Leaders Association Luck of the Draw Auction, to be held on May 5 at the American Legion Hall on Route 201, in Skowhegan.

Several members did their demonstrations. The rest of the members will give theirs at the April meeting.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, April 14, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

Because of the big storm last week, we were unable to pick up and deliver The Town Line papers until Saturday…. and speaking of all the snow… I’m not going to tell you what year it was, because perhaps Peter would not like you to know how old he is! Anyway, when Flagstaff was flooded out, many of us in the Rogers families moved to Solon, and Frank and I had purchased the Barney Wooster farm on the Solon River Road. Our first son Mark was born in Flagstaff, and David was born in April after we moved to Solon.

Then two years later Peter was due on March 7, and along came that BIG blizzard…. we were snowed in and they were not able to plow the River Road for awhile, but then, knowing there was a pregnant woman about to give birth on that road, they were able to plow as far as our house, and I was never so happy to see anyone in my life! But……the story continues: We had an old 1925 Studebaker car that was tired on the night I needed to get to Farmington Hospital, and Frank had to stay with Mark and Dave so we had a problem! But, one of those miracles happened, the doctor that I had was in North Anson, and he said he would be over to pick me up.

It was in the dark of night and the roads weren’t the best, and I really needed to get to the hospital, and I did feel better that at least I had a doctor in the car! It was a very cold night also, and over on the Anson Valley Road we came upon a very drunk man who definitely needed a ride, and so we picked him up and continued on our way!

It wasn’t too long after we got to the hospital when Peter entered the world, all nine-plus pounds of him and I welcomed him with open arms!

It seems to me that quite often we get a big storm around March 7 and it always brings back memories of days gone by, my apologies if I bored you with one of my stories.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled, The Joy of Unselfish Giving:

Time is not measured by the years that you live
But by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give–
And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone
That would brighten the life or lighten the load
Of some weary traveler lost on Life’s Road —
So what does it matter how long we may live
If as long as we live we unselfishly give.

(words by Helen Steiner Rice) She is my favorite poetry writer.

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon town meeting one of shortest in memory

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

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

The Annual Solon town meeting was held at the Solon Elementary School on March 3, with voting for candidates for officers in the morning. One hundred residents got out to vote and those returned to their positions were Leslie Giroux, Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Robert Lindblom, RSU #74 Director. Gary Bishop was elected Road Commissioner and Keith Gallagher as the new selectman, taking Mary Lou Ridley’s position, (she was retiring). Mike Foster has also retired as road commissioner, after doing a good job for six years.

Elaine Aloes, first selectman, presented Foster with a plaque for his six years of service to the town. Elaine also presented a plaque to Mary Lou for her many years in the position of selectman. The Solon Fire Department was presented with the Spirit of America Award by Mary Lou.

Was unable to find out how many attended the meeting in the afternoon which started at 1:30 p.m., with Peter Mills as the moderator.

The 27 articles on the town meeting warrant were voted on and approved in one hour, with very little discussion. It was the shortest town meeting I have ever attended.

Eleanor Pooler thanks all those who purchased food and attended the 4-H sponsored dinner on town meeting day. She said $208 was taken in on the food sale and will be given to the food cupboard. She was very pleased that more people attended the dinner this year, there were 32 in attendance.

There will be an open installation of Keystone Chapter #78 Order of the Eastern Star of Solon, Installation of Officers on Friday, March 16, at the Masonic Hall in Solon.

Beginning on Tuesday, March 6, and continuing all the way through May, Mary Lou Ridley will be hosting Knit Night from 5-8 p.m., at Happynits. Grab that UFO and come on in for a fun time. Oh, and of course, there’s no charge!

That is all the real news I could gather up this week, with this privacy thing no one wants their names and activities in print anymore. I have some of the old, old clippings from when I was writing years ago and there were many very long accounts of who visited who and where they had been. The times, they have changed! Had been writing about some of the things Lief and I have been doing, but didn’t want to bore you this week. But… I can’t help stating that I would love to hear from you with what has been going on in your lives!

And so, for Percy’s memoir I’m going to write some more of the Ten Commandments for good manners. Thou shalt not criticize: A person with good manners is above criticzing others or complaining about circumstances. Negativity in any form is to be avoided. If you hear gossip, don’t join in, be indifferent to it.

If you disagree with others, do so respectfully. Don’t verbally attack or condemn them. You may win the argument, but lose a valued friend.

Thou shalt be punctual: Appreciate the value of time, yours and others. If you make an appointment, arrive on time. If you must be late, call first.

Never arrive early for a social engagement: your host may still be getting dressed!

Don’t overstay your welcome. Lingering good-byes merely cause frustration and can ruin an otherwise good time. A quick, simple exit at the proper time is usually appreciated.

Thou shalt not embarrass others: Treat others as you would like to be treated, and think of how you can put them at ease. The feelings of other people can be as fragile as fine crystal. Never demean anyone with rude jokes or an unwelcome nickname. Be considerate. In conversation, never ask embarrassing questions such as how much was paid for a new item or about matters of the heart. It’s always good manners to think of others first. (there are still a few more that I may be able to get in another time).

And now for Percy’s memoir for this week called, “Your Own Version.”

You are writing a Gospel,
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel According to You?

(words by Paul Gilbert.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon school opens preschool registration

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

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

It is time to begin the preschool application process for the fall of 2018 at Solon Elementary School. If your child will be four years old by October 15, 2018, you can apply for enrollment into the RSU #74 2018-19 preschool program. The program is open to all four-year olds regardless of family income.

Applications can be picked up at any of the elementary schools, you can have one mailed to your home by calling the school at 643-2491, or you can download one from the district website.

You will need to provide income verification and a copy of your child’s birth certificate, MaineCare card, and immunization record.

If you have any questions about the preschool program, please contact the school at 643-2491.

Grades 3-5 students at Solon Elementary are preparing for State Assessment Tests.

Grades 3-5 students are getting ready to take the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA), which will start the week of March 19. Students in all three grades will take tests in reading, writing/language, and math. Later the fifth graders will take a test in science.

This test will be taken on the computer. The test will be administered over multiple days so that students do not get too tired. Teachers are using practice items and teaching test-taking strategies with the students to help prepare them. Please encourage your child to do his/her best on this important test, which helps us to assess each child’s achievement level as well as the progress of our school.

Again this year Solon Elementary School scheduled some fun activities to brighten the winter season. The Solon Kids Care Club sponsored a Secret Cupid activity in which each of us decorated a heart with some kind words for another person in the school. The hearts have been displayed on the bulletin board in the lobby.

Received this e-mail from my good friend, Nancy Whittemore, and she wrote: I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the folks in the community of Solon, and surrounding communities for all of the many kind deeds and encouraging words to me during my difficult journey with Terry’s illness and death. It meant so much to me.

And now an e-mail from the Happyknits Crew with some news that perhaps many of you didn’t know about. “We’re starting to notice that the days are lengthening and the temperatures are shifting as we move in fits and starts towards spring. Happyknits is making a bit of a shift too. Julie Cooke, who first opened this yarn shop on her own and gave us all a little place for yarn paradise, has decided to change directions and move on to other interests. We’d like to express our gratitude to her for being our partner and good friend for the last several years, and we wish her the best in her new adventure!

Sarah, Mary Lou and Karla are looking forward to continuing to serve you all. They are grateful to all of you for helping to make Happyknits such a happy place and we hope to see you soon!

Percy’s memoir this week is entitled, The Magic of Love:

Love is like magic.
And it always will be,
For love still remains
Life’s sweet mystery!
Love works in ways
That are wondrous and strange
And there’s nothing in life
That love cannot change!
Love can transform
The most commonplace
Into beauty and splendor
And sweetness and grace!
Love is unselfish,
Understanding and kind,
For it sees with its heart
And not with its mind!
Love is the answer
That everyone seeks –
Love is the language
That every heart speaks –
Love can’t be bought,
It is priceless and free,
Love like pure magic
Is a sweet mystery!

(words by Helen Steiner Rice)

SOLON & BEYOND: Please patronize 4-H’ers at town meeting

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

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

When I sat down to write this week’s column, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it. For quite some time I have been receiving e-mails saying if I didn’t do such and so, my computer would be shut done. I was told I should delete it every time it came up, which I had been doing. This morning, I had to call Peter for help with this problem and his advice worked again! (I admit to being completely ignorant about anything electronic, especially after how scary it was when Lief got scammed!)

Don’t forget that the annual Solon town meeting is coming right up on Saturday, March 3, at Solon Elementary School. Election of town officials from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and the town meeting at 1:30 p.m.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Clubs annual bake sale is 8 a.m. to noon. The bake sale proceeds will be donated to the Solon Food Cupboard. The 4-H annual luncheon will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The proceeds benefit the 4-H Club.

Every year I almost plead with you to please come to this luncheon and support this wonderful club and their great leader. Eleanor gets more discouraged each year when only a few people show up.

A few weeks ago I wrote in this column about asking the two people who were running for the position of selectman, that if they wanted to put something in this column, I would print it. Keith Gallagher came down with his story, and visited with us, and it was in this column. So just a few days ago, I still hadn’t heard from Gaye Erskine, who was also running for that position, and I called her to see if she wanted to have something in also. She said she had withdrawn her name because she had taken a full time position at a hospital and had withdrawn her name.

Received the Solon School News letter, and thanks so much for sending it! The Second Quarter Honor Roll was enclosed. All A’s: Katelyn DeLeon ardis, Kaitlin Dellarma,Gavyn Easler, Brady Goguen, CourtneyGrunder,Macie Plourde, Desmond Robinson, Jillian Robinson, William Rogers, Aaron Soosman and Ciarrah Whittemore. All A’s & B’s: Brice Agren, Gavin Atwood, Karen Baker, Delena Cabral, Kaylynn Clark, David Dixon, Caden Fitton, Emerson Golden, Teagan Goodwin, Zachary Hemond, Veronica Hoffman, Cody James, Madyson McKenny, Aiden McLaughlin, Joseph McLaughlin, Ciara Myers-Sleeper, Abigail Parents, Riley Pelky, Machaon Piece, Allison Pinkham, Cailan Priest, Paige Reichert, Thomas Roderick, Gerald Rollins, Brooks Sousa, Fisher Tewksbury, Carl Ward and Braden Wheeler. Congratulations to all!

Also from Solon Elementary; it states, Fifth Graders To Be Radio Stars: Mr. Corson’s fifth graders will be immersed in a poetry unit during the month of March. During that unit, students will read poems they wrote or found and will be recorded by Mrs. Peggy Hamilton, who works for radio station 98.1 FM WXNZ, in Skowhegan.

The recordings will be played on the radio on a Saturday during the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. We look forward to giving students a real audience for their work!

The Snow Day Winner at Solon Elementary School is third grader Emmy Golden after guessing the first snow date. She accurately predicted that January 4 would be the first day school was cancelled due to snow.

KITTY KATS BASKETBALL FUN NIGHT will be held at Solon Elementary on Wednesday, February 28, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Students in grades K – 5 will perform their basketball skills for families and friends. See the new T-shirts purchased with funds from the Solon PTO. PTO calendar raffle tickets will be on sale at this event and by students throughout the month of March with drawings in April. Come and join the fun!

And now for Percy’s memoir: “Do something today to bring gladness To someone whose pleasures are few, Do something to drive off sadness… Or cause someone’s dream to come true. Find time for a neighborly greeting And time to delight an old friend; Remember, – the years are fleeting And life’s latest day will soon end!”

SOLON & BEYOND: 4-H’ers provide fruit trays to elderly

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

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

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on Saturday, February 10, with Cooper Dellarma presiding.

The members taking foods and nutrition are planning to meet with Mrs. Burbank during the February vacation.

Mrs. Pooler did a demonstration on how to make chocolate chip bars. This was to show the members how to do a demonstration.

Plans were made to do a food sale to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard and a dinner to benefit the club. on Saturday, March 3, which is town meeting day.

After the meeting the members put together 20 food and fruit trays for the elderly. This was one of their community services for the year.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, March 10, at 9:30 a.m., at the fire station. Last years members will be doing demonstrations.

The Solon Congregational Church will be having a bake bean and casserole supper from 5 – 6 p.m., on Saturday, February 17, at the Solon Masonic Hall.

Last week I wrote about the e-mail I had received from the Somerset Woods Trustees about them wanting pictures of ” the most creative, exotic, or elaborate ice shacks” that they will post them on their Facebook page! Another statement on that e-mail read, “Love your forests? Do you want to leave your land to your family but not sure how? There is a video provided by the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine.

The other item in this e-mail starts with, “Are you curious about owls? Owls are now calling to find mates so this is an excellent opportunity to learn their calls. Do you know the call of a barred owl? By mimicking their call, I can attract one or more to my deck!” The person who sent this e-mail, stressed that owls are magnificent birds (but keep your cats inside night AND day)

Speaking of birds Lief and I really enjoy all our little visitors at our bird feeders. This year, for the first time, we have some cardinals, there are three of them, a male, a female and we can’t figure out what the third one is, it has the colors of a female’s body, but it’s head is red. (Can anyone out there explain this?)

A few weeks back I wrote about the 10 commandments for good manners and didn’t have room for all of them and said I would write more when space allowed, so this week I’m printing another of them; Thou shalt speak with kindness: Before speaking to others, consider what effect your words will have. Pause and weigh your words carefully and say them with a quality of softness. A slip of the tongue can inflict needless hurt. Also, remember the language of the body (your posture and your mannerisms) is as important as the language of words. (I have a real hard time with that one, because I have been told by friends and family that my face gives me away every time!)

I would like to thank the Solon Pine Tree 4-H members and their leader, Eleanor Pooler, for the wonderful plate of cookies etc., that was delivered to our door by one of the members recently. Lief and I greatly appreciate being given this gift of love.

And so for Percy’s memoir entitled, The Meaning of True Love: “It is sharing and caring, Giving and forgiving, Loving and being loved, Walking hand in hand, Talking heart to heart, Seeing through each other’s eyes, Laughing together, Weeping together, Praying together, And always trusting And believing and thanking God For each other… For love that is shared is a beautiful thing — It enriches the soul and makes the heart sing!” (Words by Helen Steiner Rice.)

Hope all of you had a wonderful Valentines Day!

SOLON & BEYOND: Questions to make winter interesting

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

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

Was pleased, as always, to receive an e-mail from Somerset Woods Trustees and it starts out like this: “It’s Winter. Not that I needed to tell you! Here are three questions to make winter more interesting: Do you have some great pictures of ice shacks you might be willing to share? 2. Do you love the sound of owls and wish you knew more about them? 3. In this low winter light, are you enjoying the view of snow-draped firs but wondering how to pass along the forest you love to your children?

I’m going to just take up the first question in this column, because I have a wonderful story to share with you about a special ice shack. And the first question from the Somerset Woods Trustees is as follows: If you enjoy walking on frozen water and love to fish, then you may already be ice fishing. Or perhaps you are admiring ice shacks through double-paned windows. In either case, please send us pictures of the most creative, exotic, or elaborate ice shacks you see! We will post them on our Facebook page! Please give us permission to publish your photos and approval to include your name as the owner of the picture. Their mailing address is Somerset Woods Trustees, P.O. Box 833, Skowhegan, Maine 04976.

The story I am about to tell you is about what happened when two friends, Scotty Robertson and Gary Cote took part in the Wyman Derby on Wyman Lake on January, 27. They were fishing from Scotty’s ice shack, and he got first place with an almost four pound togue, and he received a beautiful trophy for that. At first it was announced that he got second prize in the splake category with the two pounder he caught. Later he was called and told a mistake was made and he got first place in that one also. His friend Gary got second place in the event with the salmon that he caught; and Scotty proudly stated, “So we placed in three spots out of my shack.”

Scotty loves the outdoors, and especially likes to go fishing.

Was also very excited when I heard about the following bit of news. The CCS Carrabec girls varsity basketball team has finished their Central Maine season undefeated. The team of eighth grade girls includes : Courtney Rollins #50, Trinity Slate #10, Brook Welch #23, Cheyenne Cahill #11, Aliyah Hupper #15, Julia Baker #3, Cassidy Smith #24, Lilly Augustine #13, Aislinn Slate #2 and coach Eric Carey whose dedicated coaching has brought the team to where they are. Congratulations on your great victory.

And now for some of the events taking place at the North Anson Congregational Church: On Friday, February 9, there will be a 6 p.m., Movie Night, “The Shack” This is a Bring Your Own Snack and comfy chair fellowship event. Come and Enjoy!

February 10, 8 a.m., Women’s Fellowship Devotional and Coffee. February 11. Church’s potluck lunch and Hearts Game following the morning Worship Service.

February 14, 7 p.m., Ash Wednesday Service at the First Congregational Church of Norridgewalk.

I would like to thank the board and staff at The Town Line newspaper for the beautiful Sympathy card, and all of the friends who have sent cards after the death of my stepfather, Clarence Jones; it meant so much.

Percy’s memoir for this week:

Measure your lifetime in blessings, Not in the years you have known…Count up the people you’ve touched, Add up the love you have shown… Measure your days in the gladness That you and your loved ones have shared… Tally the smiles on the faces of friends, Total the times you have cared… Yes, measure your lifetime in blessings, And you’ll always remain in your prime— For youth is a feeling you keep in your heart Whether seven or 79. (words by Larry Sandman.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Observations from budget committee meeting

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

After the Solon Budget Committee meeting had ended the other day, I went over and introduced myself to Keith Gallagher, who is running for the selectman position, and told him I write for The Town Line newspaper, and asked him if he would like to have me put something in the paper about this fact. He said he would like to and brought it down to me one day this past week. The following is what he wrote:

“My family and I moved to Solon in June 2016 from Montana. We have developed our property on Hole In The Wall Road into an off Grid Home. We are also striving to become self-sufficient . I am a father of four children under 10 years old. I have a strong faith in God and believe that living and acting with integrity is very important. I am a former successful business owner and put 110 percent into everything I do. I feel like Solon needs more involvement from younger people. I currently serve as vice chairman of the Solon Planning Board and look forward to serving Solon on a bigger scale.”

I also went over and spoke to Gaye Erskine, who is running for that same position, and told her the same thing, but at this writing, I have not received a response from her. Mary Lou Ridley is the selectperson not running again.

I have been rather bothered since that Solon Budget Committee meeting. Something happened there that I never would have dreamed would take place in Solon, Maine. The meeting started with the solute to the flag and one member of the committee did not stand and salute the American Flag. I am a strong believer that everyone has a right to their own opinions, but…. in this case, my thoughts are that America needs more Love than Hate.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Guidelines for Sane Living: 1. Strike a balance between work and play – between seriousness and laughter. Go to church regularly, and also to the ball game. 2. Stick with the truth, even if it makes you look or feel bad. Falsehoods are like wandering ghosts. 3. Forgive your enemies as part of the price you pay for the privilege of being forgiven. Realize you are sometimes a pain in the neck yourself. 4. Walk. Gets lots of air and sunshine, and occasionally get some rain or snow in your face, some dirt on your hands. 5. Talk through your troubles and mistakes with someone you trust–and your dreams too. 6. Don’t underestimate the ability of God to straighten out a situation even when you can’t, and give God a little time! 7. Discriminate among your fears. Learn to tell which ones are useful and which ones are destructive. 8. Remember that the ultimate death rate is still 100 percent. You would be getting short-changed if everyone got to die and you didn’t. 9. When you can’t sleep, say, “Aha! Here’s a chance fror a little privacy and creative thinking. All day I’ve been too busy to pray, and now I can get around to thanking God.” 10. Fall in love with life – with children, older people, (that’s hard to find for me these days!) middle agers, sports cars; the theater, music, books, cities, hills, the sea, the Bible – with everything except money. (words by James Angel) This from another one of those old yellowed papers I saved, not sure it kept me totally sane, but I hope it will help you, who may read it!

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon budget committee begins process

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

The Solon Budget Committee meeting was held at the Municipal building on Saturday, January 20, with the following in attendance: Ann Padham, Bruce Hills, Frank Ridley, Barbara Johnstone, Eleanor Pooler, Carol White, Donald Kenerson, George Williams, Albert Starbird, Allen Foss, Joseph Albuit, Jeff Pomelow, Lois Miller and Gaye Erskin . Selectmen, Elaine Aloes, Mary Lou Ridley and Sarah Davis; Treasurer, Sharon Begin; Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Leslie Giroux, Road Commissioner, Mike Foster, Fire Chief, Duayne Rollins. Others there were Keith Galleger, who is running for the selectman position in March and Lief and I.

A meeting of the Coolidge Library Trustees meeting was held at the library on January 18 with the following in attendance: Librarian, Megan Myers, Richard Roberts, Mary Farrar, Jane Ouderkirk, Allen Foss, Lief Bull, and Diane Trussell.

Megan passed out copies of her report and answered questions. The School Bookmark Contest continues to be popular. The winning submission is chosen from each class (Pre K-5) at Solon Elementary School. Megan was this year’s judge, along with the district art teacher.

The annual Summer Reading Program ran June 29 – August 10. This year’s activities were assisted by a local teen volunteer. During the program, Build a Better World, she focused on books and activities that promoted science, engineering, arts and community awareness. There was a small but consistent attendance. Meals were again available to all children and teens from the school’s Summer Meals Program.

Was pleased to receive an e-mail from Ferra Kelley about the following information: Once again, volunteer members of AARP will be preparing & filing Federal/State tax returns, free of charge, to senior and low income families in the area. The Crossroads Bible Church, 705 White School House Rd. Madison have again generously allowed us to work out of their premises, and we are taking appointments for Friday & Saturday mornings, beginning in February. Please do not make calls to the church directly, as they are not otherwise involved in the program. Call Ferra @ 643-2559 to schedule an appointment.

I’m glad that several of you liked the article on manners in this column last week, and as promised I will send more of them when space allows….but, we must leave space for Percy’s memoirs:

“It’s the little things we do and say
That means so much as we go our way.
A kindly deed can lift a load
From weary shoulders on the road.
Or a gentle word, like summer rain.
May soothe some heart and banish pain.
What joy or sadness often springs
From just the simple little things.”

This is from one of those little Salesian Inspirational Books, that I have collected for many years.

SOLON & BEYOND: Today’s world could benefit from old newspaper clipping on good manners

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

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

Have been sitting here at my computer desk cleaning out cubbyholes to see what I can find to write about this week. It’s an awful feeling not to have any real news to share with you, especially after coming across an old yellowed clipping that I had saved with many names telling of who had been visiting who in those long ago times. Now-a-days, people prefer their privacy.

Anyway, my being old-fashioned, I feel that this modern world could benefit by reading the words of this old yellowed clipping (no date on it, or what newspaper printed it) called, Ten Commandments for Good Manners. It starts with, “Good manners is not a typical subject students study in school, yet it may well be the most important skill they can learn for getting a job and succeeding in life.”

For parents who feel that their kids need better manners, Larry Evans may be able to help. He has surveyed the good manners and traits of successful people from Confucius to Emerson to modern times, and distilled the essence into the Ten Commandments for Good Manners. The key to these principles is their simplicity, yet they deal with the most important aspects of life.

Thou shalt be thyself: (my modern computer would not accept the t instead of an L at first) Good manners begin with a good sense of self. Unless you are true to yourself, you can never be true to others. You are unique. Don’t try to shape your personality to meet circumstances. Be natural, and the world will respect you for what you are.

Thou shalt say “Thank You.” Thanking others is a way of praising them and is one of the keys to having good manners. Send thank-you notes whenever someone does something nice for you, or telephone to express your gratitude. This simple act will help build lasting relationships. When someone gives you a compliment, the best response is a simple “thank you.”

And don’t forget “Please,” “Excuse me,” and “You’re welcome,” which are other marks of good manners.

Thou shalt give compliments: A fundamental rule of good manners is to give. Think about what you can give to others, and remember that the most precious gifts cost nothing, When you meet someone, you can always think of a genuine compliment to give. A “Hello” or “How are You?” is not enough. You can also give your undivided attention and interest to others. You can be generous with words of praise, warm greetings, sympathy, love, or other good news.

Thou shalt not be boastful: Always exercise restraint and good taste. Your voice, your behavior and even your clothing should reflect understated elegance. Only a small person brags about accomplishments; a well-mannered person has no need for self-advertisement. Let your deeds speak for themselves.

Thou shalt listen before speaking: Respect for others is a pre-requisite of good manners. Listening to others is a way to show respect. There is no worse company than a person that does not listen. Be genuinely interested in others; learn their names, and encourage them to talk about themselves. Never interrupt. Look them in the eye, and listen carefully. The listener learns and gains.

Thou shalt speak with kindness: Before speaking to others, consider what effect your words will have. Pause and weigh your words carefully and say them with a quality of softness. A slip of the tongue can inflict needless hurt. Also, remember the language of the body ( your posture and your mannerisms) is as important as the language of words.

Thou shalt not criticize: A person with good manners is above criticizing others or complaining about circumstances. Negativity in any form is to be avoided. If you hear gossip, don’t join in, be indifferent to it.

If you disagree with others, do so respectfully. Don’t verbally attack or condemn them. You may win the argument, but lose a valued friend.

If there is room next week I will print more; but I’m hoping I’ll be deluged with real news.

Now for Percy’s memoir; it is an Irish Blessing: “May God grant you always… A sunbeam to warm you’ a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of January 11, 2018

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

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

Some of this week’s news will be rather old because of the holidays and the fact that The Town Line wasn’t published on the week of Christmas. I find the news from Solon Elementary School very interesting so I try to get as much of it in this column as possible, but it is a little bit late. During the first two weeks of November, the Solon Kids Care Club ran their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to collect food items for the Solon Thrift Shop Food Cupboard. They collected 163 items for needy families. The club thanks students and parents for their donations to this worthy cause.

A Jellybean Contest was held at Solon Elementary School during the month of November to see which student and staff member could come the closest to guessing the actual number of jelly beans in a jar. The student who guessed the number closest to the actual number of jellybeans in the jar (888) was fifth grader Tyler Ames. The staff member who came the closest was Ms. Gleason. Each of them won a Thanksgiving goodie bag.

In December Mr. Corson held a Parent Math Night for the parents of his fifth grade students. He reviewed with parents some of the math concepts he is teaching his students so that they can help their children at home. He also showed them some math tricks and shortcuts that the students are learning.

Solon’s annual town meeting will be held on Saturday, March 3, this year and those who have turned in nomination papers by the deadline of January 3 with the required number of names are Gaye Erskine and Keith Galleger for the selectman position; Gary Bishop for Road Commissioner, Leslie A. Giroux for Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Robert Lindblom Sr. for RSU #74 School Board member.

The annual budget committee meeting will be held on Saturday, January 20, at 8 a.m., at the Town Office Conference Room. Anyone interested besides budget committee members may attend, but only to listen.

Received the following e-mail from the trustees of Somerset Woods. The trustees are excited to announce a new gift of land in Concord Township of 204 acres from Norcross Wildlife Foundation of New York City and Massachusetts. The property was conveyed with the perpetual restriction that the land is to be maintained as a wildlife preserve.

Norcross had received the land from James R. and Diana C. Young in 2000. The Young family has owned the land for about 100 years, having been given to Jim’s parents as a wedding present by his father’s grandfather in 1916 or 1917.

The land contains the headwaters for Martin’s Stream which flows into the Kennebec River. There is an old beaver pond on the property and trails throughout. SWT will be managing the property to provide exemplary habitat for wildlife and trails for passive recreation. In the upcoming spring of 2018 SWT will be organizing a volunteer trail improvement day for anyone interested in trimming trails and enjoying the peaceful solitude that this property provides.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled Charity:

Do something today to bring gladness,
To someone whose pleasures are few,
Do something to drive off sadness –
Or cause someone’s dream to come true.
Find time for a neighborly greeting
And time to delight an old friend;
Remember, – the years are fleeting
And life’s latest day will soon end!
Do something today that tomorrow
Will prove to be really worth while;
Help someone to conquer sorrow
And greet the new dawn with a smile –
For only through kindness and giving
Of service and friendship and cheer,
We learn the pure joy of living
And find heaver’s happiness here.

(words taken from a little book called, “Lift Up Your Heart.”)