August 27, 2014

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Jim Langham

The cardinal and 'cheer up' PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:02 AM

By Jim Langham

This past week, I visited with a close friend from my old childhood neighborhood who was raised in the same cardinal atmosphere that I was. Her house was full of cardinals, figurines of cardinals, cardinal plates, cardinal cups, cardinal configurations, cardinal pillows, cardinal posters and a well-stitched cardinal quilt that recently brought her a first place award in an area quilt show.

There are “cardinal trees” decorated completely with beautiful red birds in the corners of her living room, one tree on each side of shelves stretching from ceiling to floor loaded with shelves of cardinal gifts.

In spite of her rich cardinal background, the beautiful bird came to life when she received a phone call concerning the deteriorating condition of her father in a nursing home.

Winter of 2014 and 1982 seem like weather twins PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:38 AM

By Jim Langham

Never have I felt older than I do at times this winter, especially when young people ask me about the much-heralded winter of 1982.

It was 1982 that set all of the benchmarks that weathermen are comparing to this snowy winter. This winter has already captured one record away from that snowy winter 32 years ago. In January of 1982, Fort Wayne Airport recorded 29.5 inches of snow. This past January dropped 31 inches of snow on the area.

The big record, the snowiest winter on record, has many weathermen and local individuals who follow such trivia excited at this point. That record, too, was set in 1982 with 61.1 inches. Currently, the weather service has recorded 59.9 inches, leaving 1.3 inches in order to become the snowiest winter ever.

It's not heaven, but it's Ohio PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:57 PM

By Jim Langham

I still remember the famous line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” when one of the baseball players that came to an Iowa farm and played on actor Kevin Costner’s cornfield baseball field asked the question, “Is this heaven?”

To that, Costner proudly responded, “No, it’s Iowa.”

I thought of that line on Sunday afternoon when Joyce and I took a traditional Sunday afternoon drive through one of our favorite rustic parts of Paulding County.

Following a scrumptious ham dinner at a little café in Antwerp, I turned left instead of right when I exited around the piles of snow beside the parking lot of the small eatery.

One of those times when the worst brings out the best PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:58 AM

By Jim Langham

This past Saturday morning, I was in a situation where sudden winds came when I was traveling just outside of Payne on Ohio 49. I was stunned, within seconds I was totally blinded. Cars were sliding all over the road; one car slid into a yard and just missed a tree in front of my eyes.

When I stopped to check out the situation, I discovered a man, a pregnant woman who was totally scared and a small child in the back seat. Thankfully, all was well, but the car was buried in the snow.

At 65 years of age, I didn’t know what to do as the blizzard raged relentlessly. I made a couple of calls to seek help. Thankfully, that dilemma didn’t last very long.

Young men in pickup trucks started pulling off the road to come to our assistance. Within minutes, there were six pickups along the road, including one with the rope necessary to pull the car out of the yard.

Bless those behind the scenes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:17 AM


By Jim Langham

Last week one day I was leaving Paulding Hospital, when the most beautiful action on behalf of one of the employees caught my attention.

A lady, no doubt carrying out  her responsibilities, was standing by a door with a bucket and a mop. And, there she was, constantly mopping up the muddy slushy deposits being tracked in by those who were passing through the doors from the thawing snow on the sidewalk on the outside.

Constantly, she swiped the floor with her mop, taking away the slipperiness and making the otherwise slick floor much safer for passage.


Fifty years later, nothing changed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:51 AM

By Jim Langham

When I started to school at Geneva, Ind. in the fall of 1954, I quickly entered a new world of friends and influences. I was picked up at our corner in Ceylon by bus driver Ray Black, who drove bus No. 8. I was taken to the door of the old Geneva School and escorted to my classroom in the southeast corner of the building where Catherine Fravel, who also taught my mother, was the first grade teacher.

Steps in snow represent full circle PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:41 AM

By Jim Langham

On one of the snowy days last week, I decided to soak in nature’s beauty with a walk in the beautiful Flat Rock Reserve located along Ohio 500 between Payne and Paulding. As has been the case in all of my trail walking recently, this experience became a time to listen and reflect.

As I stepped on to the trail, my heart was immediately captured by the beauty of the soft snow on “seed flowers” from the various aster plants, thistles and other winterized seeds waiting for the spring warmth. It is always amazing to me to realize that as brown as things may look, all plants are very much alive, protected, but living and ready for their spring emergence.

On this occasion, there was something intriguing, almost mystifying, about the footsteps left behind as I walked down the snow-covered trails. I looked behind myself several times with a spiritual realization that every step I took left another footprint in the freshly fallen snow.

Thanksgiving brings homelike atmosphere in strange surroundings PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:33 AM

By Jim Langham

It might have been unfamiliar surroundings in a strange house with very few people I’ve met before, but within 15 minutes, Thanksgiving 2014 seemed like the old fashioned ones at our rural home in Indiana.

Oh, geographically, it was anything but that. It was actually in a townhouse apartment in the close neighborhood on Chicago’s north side, not far from the Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville and just a stone’s throw from Wrigley Field.

True Thanksgiving comes without cost or wealth PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:54 AM

By Jim Langham

One of the great sights of 2013 occurred recently when we visited our granddaughter, Kirsten, right after our son purchased a different house. When we arrived, she came running to the door and insisted on giving us a tour.

I’m sure that it’s no surprise to anyone that Grandpa Langham carries his trusted camera with him when he visits with Kirsten. In fact, her understanding of that was clearly demonstrated that night when she took us to her new room. She jumped on the bed, kicking her feet as they dangled, flashed a giant smile and said, “Grandpa, cheese!”

The blessing of unexpected apples PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:38 AM

The blessing of unexpected apples

By Jim Langham

What a precious unexpected provisional gift from the Giver of Gifts a few days ago. I was driving down State Line Road north of Dixon and my eyes caught the glimpse of a pile of discarded apples in the field.

Instinctively, based on childhood vibes, I turned around and went back to what we always called a pile of “cut ups” had been discarded in the field.

When I was a child, we salvaged everything; often, I would sit by the kitchen table and cut off bad spots of apples with my grandma as we saved what would often become a great Dutch apple pie or apple crisp. We would core and save the good parts, even if was only a fourth of an apple.


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