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Jim Langham

Epiphanies may cause life changes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 4:09 PM

By Jim Langham

Ironically, this year, the church celebration of the Feast of Epiphany actually fell on a Sunday that represents the date, Jan. 6. For many around the world, the concept of "Epiphany" adds a depth to Christmas that many of us in the United States don't fully experience.

In many places, Christmas would have just ended on Jan. 6, following a 12-day celebration that actually began on Dec. 25, known as the, "first day of Christmas." What we have come to know as, "Christmas Day," has been celebrated in many places as the initiation of a 12-day celebration of Christmas, which culminates with the opening of gifts on Jan. 6.

Better to give than receive PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:23 PM

By Jim Langham

Earlier this week I was having a conversation with an elderly lady in a nursing home; our discussion about her perception of an, “old fashioned Christmas,” brought back heartwarming memories of long ago Christmas and stories my grandmother used to tell about her Christmas experiences.

The lady I was talking to explained that she and her mother used to spend two weeks before Christmas making cookies and candy to be given away to people who wouldn’t be receiving anything for Christmas. There would be one week of making candy and a second week of making cookies.

Then, her mother would visit the grocery store to salvage small boxes suitable for packing with Christmas goodies. But, it wasn’t only cookies and candy that would be stuffed into the boxes. For months before Christmas, her mother would crochet, making doilies, pot holders and handkerchiefs to add to the Christmas box.

Coach creates special moment PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5:07 PM

It was a moment that Continental varsity basketball player Brandon Schmidt will never forget, and neither will most of the fans, players and coaching staffs attending Paulding’s boys basketball visit to Continental on Friday evening.

And, it was all thanks to the good heart of Paulding head coach Shawn Brewer.

But, then it happened to a very special person, Brandon Schmidt, a Down’s Syndrome young man, who has spent his life watching his beloved Continental Pirates from the bench.

Included in those teams have been two older brothers who started earlier on the varsity squad.

More Thanksgiving memories PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 3:10 PM

By Jim Langham

Add another special Thanksgiving to memories I eluded to in last week’s column. It was spent in Chicago with our daughter, Sandi. Our other daughter, Julie, took the train out of Waterloo and joined us on Thanksgiving morning. Then Sunday, we joined up with son, Jason, and granddaughter, Kirsten.

Thankful? What more can you say when you hear those 22-month-old feet come running across the floor and that little voice yelling, “Papa, moo moo?”

But there was another special moment that was an integral part of this Thanksgiving. It was a young man who was a high school junior born with spina bifida. He has spent his entire life either riding in a wheelchair or, on rare occasion, walking with crutches.

The love of grandchildren PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, November 29, 2012 1:22 AM

By Jim Langham

She was a little while getting here, but on Jan. 14, 2010, a bubbly little girl was born to Jason and Cindi. I had always heard about grandchild moments, but from personal experience, I was going to be able to experience those moments on my own.

Recently, at age 22 months, our granddaughter has begun to talk effectively, in her own language and in her own way, but with communicative authority that really wins the hearts of her grandparents, Papa (that’s me) and either Moo Moo or Gamma (that’s Joyce).

This past weekend, I was busy part of the day while other family members enjoyed and entertained her. Late in the afternoon I was able to join up with the rest of the family.

Priceless Thanksgiving memories PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:44 PM

By Jim Langham

As I look back and reflect on past Thanksgivings, it really strikes me that none of those reflections that I cherish the most had anything to do with money or wealth.

So often, when we are asked to produce reasons why we are thankful, it is easy to respond with answers such as, “food, shelter, warmth, cars” and other items that have price tags on them. While we are certainly encouraged to thank God for the everyday “care things” that he provides, the real special gifts moments are not ornaments.

These days, I think of the Thanksgiving we spent with my Grandma Langham in Woodburn, when Aunt Alice played the old pump organ and we sang such songs as, “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” “Now Thank We All Our God,” and “Come, Ye Thankful People Come.”

Just a glance can make a difference PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 07, 2012 3:16 PM

By Jim Langham

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in an area eatery consuming a sandwich and sipping on a cup of coffee. Suddenly it dawned on me, “the look game,” the waitress glancing my way to see if I was ready for more coffee, or my glance her way when I was desiring some service.

Amazing, isn’t it, how a one second glance across a busy restaurant can bring a quick-footed waitress with a fresh pot of coffee just because I gave a certain glance.

And there are other restaurant looks that speak many words. Such as the:

“When is our food coming out” look,

Simple honest prayers are often most profound PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham

I will never forget my mother’s description of my dad’s first prayer, as she recalled it. My dad, you see, had at one point participated in his share of drinking and “less than Christian” living, as I was told. In fact, there was a point, so said my mother, that she was going to break off the relationship, not because he wasn’t good to her, but she wasn’t going to put up with his lifestyle at the time.

Then, one night, following an evening with her, he decided he was going to do something to change things around. So he drove into the country, sat on the hood of his car, looked at the stars, and said so sincerely, “Okay, Whoever You are, wherever You are, I need You!” Miraculously, he went back to his apartment, poured out his alcohol, and it was done, forever, done.

My search for a red wagon PDF Print E-mail

My search for a red wagon

It was one day last week, when I decided to leave my current world of reality and enter a search that I knew would make a good friend very happy if I hit paydirt.

When I left, due to the nature of the request, I felt that the chances of coming up with a red wagon like I used to ride around in my childhood, were less than spectacular.

I will never forget what seems like a lifetime ago, that I arrived home and discovered a beautiful red “coaster wagon,” as we referred to them, sitting on our property, ready for the ride. Over the years, it became a vehicle to ride leisurely around our neighborhood.

Recently, a good friend asked if I knew where to get such a wagon. She was looking for one because she had an idea of piling pumpkins in such a wagon and use it for decoration for the fall season in the front of her home.

My first stop was at the business of a close friend where I spotted a red wagon behind her floral shop. Since she had one, I thought that she might know where I could get one.

However, upon inquiring, I found that her treasure had come from an antique shop during covered bridge days in a small town nearly 100 miles away in western Indiana.

Ironically, her business is located across the old railroad bed from the small town where I was raised. The small town where I rode the wagon and used it to deliver vegetables to neighbors. Deep inside, I thought, “Wow, if I could come up with a wagon by my own old home place, that would be awesome.” However, the concept seemed too good to dream of, so I started searching through area antique shops. My journey led to an antique mall where I was told the chances would be good.

The entire search was to no avail, so I started back from my illusive search for the little red treasure.

Presently, the thought of discovering a wagon in the little country hamlet where I was raised wouldn’t escape me. I knew that if I didn’t at least make a drive-through search, I wouldn’t be satisfied.

I made the first turn to the north which led to the corner where I was raised. Now I was driving in an area that triggered 60-year-old wagon memories that I hadn’t thought of in years.

By Jim Langham

Presently, I crept past the old home place, allowing myself time to “return” for a few short moments before slowly continuing down the street.

I approached the house where my uncle and aunt had lived, just a few hundred feet from where I was raised. I passed the house, glanced toward the garage, and my eyes couldn’t believe what they saw.

There, sitting against the house was a red wagon just like I had driven. It was located on the property where I had ridden my wagon and 200 feet from the home where my beloved friend, Mert Sprunger, lived. It was there in the neighborhood where my actual wagon experiences had occurred.

With chills and hopes, I pulled into the driveway and went to the door. An elderly lady came to the door and I said, “Is that wagon for sale?”

Supper was family time PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham

Recently at an auction, an old dinner bell was one of the first items to sell and it sold at a hefty price. At first the property owner was amazed at the going price for the old relic, but then we started to reflect on the topic of,“suppertime,” and the realization of its value became more obvious.

At our little country home, suppertime around the old wooden table was absolutely the highlight of our family dynamics for the day. My grandmother would sit on one end and my father on the other. Then my mother and I would fit in between.

While it doesn’t take long to recall the aroma of fresh hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes and home made bread, the alluring smell of hot apple pie and sundry other goodies of our kitchen, the real value of supper at our place was the opportunity to gather as a family to visit.


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