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.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of June 29, 2017

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

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

Solon Elementary School held a Math Night and barbeque on May 25. Families enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs and listened to Math Coach Brian Twitchell talk about a free app called Bedtime Math that parents can use with their children over the summer. Then parents visited their children’s classrooms to engage in some math games and activities.

This district sponsored career days for students in grades K-5 this spring. Three career days were held: one for grades K-1, one for grades 2-3, and one for grades 4-5 on three Thursdays in May at the Garret Schenck School.

These Career Days were part of the MELMAC Partnership Grant to introduce students at a young age to career options for their future, and the plan is to offer these again next year.

RSU #74’s new Community Literacy Team sponsored a book swap at the Solon School and the other elementary schools this spring. At Solon the Book Swap was held on June 5. Students could bring books to swap for new books for summer reading. Even if students didn’t bring books to swap, they were still allowed to find new books to take home.

The school has rescheduled the CSA week to stage a musical production of, The Elves and the Shoemaker for the week of September 25-30. Information and permission slips will go home to parents when students return to school in the fall.

The Embden Community Supper will be held on Saturday, July 8, at 5 p.m.

The Beyond in my column takes in quite a few other surrounding towns, thanks to Roland’s patience with me, and I’m always very happy to get the e-mails. Especially, when I’ve been thanked by three very appreciative people from other towns that I got their news in The Town Line, and being a nosy reporter I like to know what is going on out and about.

Was happy to receive an e-mail from the East Madison Historical Association with July events. On July 6, from 1 – 4 p.m. Jenny Oby, formerly of Skowhegan, will be at the East Madison Historical Association building to discuss and sign her new book on the History of Lakewood Theater. Light refreshments will be offered.

East Madison Days are set for July 14-16. The East Madison Days celebration, sponsored by the East Madison Historical Association is set to run from 7 p.m., Friday, July 14, with an evening with local authors and music through Sunday, July 14-16.

Friday’s event will be at the East Madison Grange building and will feature authors Bob Clement and Katie Ouillette. Bob will talk about his path to becoming an author and do some readings from his books.

Katie will read from and sign her book Two Birds in a Box. Bob Choiniere will entertain with his piano tunes as well, also poems by Florence Burrill Jacobs will be shared.

Saturday’s events begin at the historical building and will feature a yard sale and the first East Madison version of the Antiques Roadshow with Tim Pomelow as the appraiser from 1 – 4 p.m. The public is invited to bring up to three items to be appraised. There is no fee but a $5 donation is suggested. All proceeds benefit the EMHA.

I’m running out of room, but will put in more of the East Madison news next week.

Until then I want to share Percy’s Memoir with you to give you good cheer, it is entitled, You’re a Winner. You were born to be a winner, There’s no way that you can lose, You just hang in there and whistle, When you’re bothered by the blues. When a best friend disappoints you, And you’re crying deep inside, You just somehow grin and bear it, And your heartaches always hide. You don’t run to catch a rainbow, But the pot of gold you find, When you stop to smell the roses, You’re a winner, every time! (words by Julie E. Jones) It is true, my roses are blooming profusely, and they are a great pleasure!

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of June 22, 2017

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

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

The Stewart Public Library, in North Anson, will hold its annual book sale on Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the North Anson Fire Station, rain or shine. Books, magazines, audio books, DVDs, and CDs will be available for sale. New this year is a small area hosted by the volunteers, of collectible and newer books at higher prices. This area will only be open 9 a.m. to noon. Come and stock up on your reading needs.

The monthly supper at the Embden Community Center will be held on Saturday, July 8, at 5 p.m.

There are many public meals being offered in North Anson during the month of July. Every year the North Anson Congregational Church does a public breakfast every Saturday morning from 7 – 10 a.m.,; this year the dates are July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.

The North Anson Methodist Church is having their baked bean, casserole and salad suppers on the following dates at 5 p.m. June 24, July 22, and July 29.

My thanks to all who sent me the news to share with all of you.

The other good news was the Solon School News which started out with, “Best Wishes to Fifth Graders.” We want to extend our best wishes and good luck to our fifth grade students who will enter sixth grade at Carrabec Community School in the fall.

The students attended a Step-Up-Day activity at CCS on June 6 with the other fifth graders from across the district. They met their teachers, saw the school, and did some team-building activities run by the high school’s JMG students.

“We will miss our fifth graders. We wish them the best of luck in the next step of their educational journey. Goodbye and Good luck to Emily Baker, Tehya Caplin, Jayden Cates, Dusty Corson, Sarah Craig, Cooper Dellarma, Sascha Evans, Reid Golden, Levi Hills, Nevaeh Holmes, Elisha Ireland, William Lawrence, Summer Lindblom, Jackson Pease, Alyssa Schinzel, Lucas Vicneire, Hailey Wyman and Dystany Young.

“The Solon Masons sponsored the second annual Bikes for Books program in the Solon Elementary School this spring. This program promotes reading among the K – 5 students. The program kicked off on April 24. Students read books and filled out a form on each book they read, putting the forms in large envelopes in their classrooms. On June 7, an assembly was held to do a drawing for a boy and a girl from each class. Each of those students won a new bike, helmet, and T-shirt provided by the Masons.

“At the assembly, Deputy Mike Pike went over bike safety with the students, especially the importance of wearing a bike helmet every time you ride.

“The students did a lot of reading in this second year of this great program. The total for the K through 5 readers was 410 books. Congratulation to these bike winners and the top readers in each class who received $ 15 Walmart gift cards.

“We appreciate the support of a community organization like the Masons to promote reading and fitness with our students.

“The winners were K students Maxx Caplin and Charlotte Hamilton; Grade 1, Amelia Cooper and Colton Enos; Grade 2 Riley Pelkey and Brice Agren; Grade 3 Macie Ploude and Aaron Soosman; Grade 4,Ciara Myers-Sleeper and Nick Wildes and Grade 5, Elisha Ireland and Dusty Corson. The Top Readers were David Dixon, Karen Baker, Charlotte Hamilton, Ciarrah Whiiemore, Delena Cabral, Amelia Cooper, Jayden Cates, and Dystany Young.”

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled: Love’s Laughter. “There is a place within each of us from which laughter springs. I think it must be somewhere awfully close to the heart. The thrill that leads us to laugh is surely connected to that which leads us to love. Each is as intertwined with the other as music and dance or prayer and devotion. Whether brought on by the candid honesty of a child or the wit of a sweetheart, laughter expresses love and appreciation for that person. And as it bubbles from within and rises to the surface, laughter becomes a manifestation of love.” How very true!

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of June 15, 2017

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

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

This is one of those mornings when I sit down in front of my computer with very little real news to share with you. I did receive an e-mail from Carol Dolan with an update on Embden Community Center events. On June 24, Steve & The Good Ole Boys Band will be playing there from 7 – 11 p.m. Kitchen open. And on Sunday, June 25 Country/Open Mic from 1 – 4 p.m., second and fourth Sundays. By donation. Kithchen open.

I can’t seem to stress enough how much I appreciate any news that is sent to me. But…if I don’t receive it in time for my deadline, I can’t get it in in time.

Some of you have told me how much you like to read about my stories of visiting up to where my home town of Flagstaff used to be. Lief and I went up there to be with Dave and ‘Pete’ at their camp for a couple of days this weekend. Peter and Sherry went up also and we all had a wonderful time.

Each year as I get another year older, my memories are very dear to me. Peter and I were out on the porch and I was telling him that I had been out there trying to figure out just where it was that the house where I had lived was compared to where we were sitting. Of course I have many pictures of how it used to look but it is still hard to pin point the exact spot.

Even though the hoards of black flies and mosquitoes were enough to drive us nuts, (it does seem to me, they were worse than I could remember), we had a wonderful time….and the food, as always, was out of this world! I kind of twisted Dave’s arm, and he made his famous popovers for breakfast one morning. Delicious! Peter cooked breakfast the next morning, and can’t begin to describe how great it was. So you can see we ate well along with sharing some good special laughter and love.

They always request that I bring cookies, which I did, but I got brave and tried a new recipe for a dessert. It looked really simple and easy to make, but I couldn’t imagine what the finished product would look or taste like…. but, it got rave reviews! I’m going to share this most delectable recipe called, “Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert;” 4 cups rhubarb, 1 small pkg. strawberry Jello, 1 cup sugar, 1 yellow cake mix, 1 cup water. Sprinkle ingredients in a 9 x 13-inch pan in order written. Bake one hour at 350° F. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. (Must not leave out that I bummed the rhubarb from Peter.) Hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did.

And so for Percy’s memoir which is called, “Lord, Give Us Words: “Give us cheering words for the lonely, Comforting words that bless… Encouraging words for the hopeless, Smiling words to bring happiness. Give us patient words for the struggling, Courteous words, so that rudeness ends, Kind words for those who upset us… Forgiving words for those who offend . Give us faith-filled words that are positive, That inspire optimism and zeal. Teach us “the time to keep silence” And the “time to speak” and to feel. May we wait on You with prayerful thoughts, For the wisdom You impart. Give us acceptable words to express, The meditations of our hearts. (words by Micky Meyer Mathewson.)