September 1, 2014

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Jim Langham

Gimpy spared for another Christmas PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham

For Gimpy, 2011 has been a matter of survival. Several months ago, a young man in the area sensing danger for the young turtle, rescued Gimpy, took him to his room, created a suitable environment and adopted the turtle as a special friend. Gimpy was well taken care of and loved as a special pet.

All was well for Gimpy for several months, but that all changed a few weeks ago when a devastating fire destroyed part of the home in which Gimpy was living. The upper and rear parts of the home were completely destroyed, including the room in which Gimpy lived. Unfortunately, when family members were hurriedly trying to remove all belongings they could, no one thought of Gimpy.

That afternoon, when Gimpy's special friend arrived from school, the first thing he asked his father was whether or not anyone had rescued Gimpy. Sadly, the father admitted that no one had thought of Gimpy. To make things worse, the father knew that the ceiling of Gimpy's room had collapsed. Nevertheless, the father climbed to his son's room. Sure enough, he found what he suspected. The ceiling had collapsed on Gimpy's home and the turtle was nowhere to be seen. A dismal day had become even darker.

The music of living PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham

“And you are to them like a love song by one who has a beautiful voice.”

Those words, hidden deep in the book of Ezekiel (33:32) open the chorus books of heaven to a fact closest to the musical heart of God. Everyone has a song within, if they will allow it to flow and fill out the chords of the heart.

Oh, it may not come out in literal musical scores, but the lyrics may express themselves through a well-timed hug, an appropriate word of encouragement at just the right time, or a silent prayer known only to God.

It may reflect personal traits that are meaningful to others or an unsuspected talent just waiting to develop. It’s what makes you “you” and it can often be heard more clearly by others than by self.

I Can't Believe It - Those Surreal Moments PDF Print E-mail

Early Monday morning, I was covering a sentencing in a nearby county courthouse when suddenly, the judge, prosecutors and others in the courtroom looked out the window with a startled look on their faces.

Immediately I glanced to the right and saw huge bright flames billowing and shooting in the wind toward the windows of the courtroom in which I was located.

The judge, just as startled, said, “Folks, I see 20-foot flames shooting just outside the window. We will recess, file orderly from the courtroom and from the courthouse.”

Upon emerging on to the street, I looked to a huge downtown building and said, “I can’t believe it.” There before my eyes was billowing smoke from an old brick structure which, among other things, housed one of my favorite restaurants in the area.

In My Opinion PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham:

How priorities change

I will never forget the fall and early winter that my grandmother spent making doilies to be distributed as Christmas presents for family members. Any time she wasn’t busy with something else, she would be sitting by the old wood stove in the living room, crocheting various designs and colors of doilies to be placed under lamps, figurines and other small items of importance. It was the type of an idea that a grandma would think of, a dear old old lady wanting to leave handiwork behind for family members to enjoy for years to come.

As our family Christmas reunion approached, I, along with cousins of elementary age, began to speculate what we were going to get for Christmas that year. Cars, trucks, baseballs, bats, jack-in-the-box, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, various games, and other items for fun were popular gifts to receive in those days.

In our case, family members would gather together at someone’s house on a rotating basis. While adults would have a name drawing type of gift exchange, everyone brought gifts for all of the kids.

Is life better lived at a slower pace? PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham

“I never saw that sculpture before,” a close friend said one evening as we were sitting around the table talking.

She was referring to a small garden behind a neighbor’s yard that was decorated with various statues, flowers and plaques with meaningful sayings.

“Have they always had those beautiful flowers surrounding their bird bath?” she continued. “And this is the first time their little boy has ever come out to greet me. I didn’t know that he was that friendly.”

Her stroll through the neighborhood produced many things she had never seen when she had hurriedly driven down that street on her way to run another quick errand.

My reverse bucket list PDF Print E-mail

Several years ago, a close friend in Illinois was informed that he had a type of cancer. Through his battle with the disease, he would call periodically and we would occasionally have a visit. Prior to the dreaded news, we had enjoyed many years of an “encouraging friendship.”

He would be one of the few people I would vent my feelings to, talk over frustrations with or seek wisdom in certain situations, one of the few people I would categorize as a “David and Jonathan” type of friendship.

Several months after the treatments were completed, a Peoria newspaper had a call for articles in which people would write essays about individuals or events that had contributed to their lives in a special way.

'Home' is where the heart is PDF Print E-mail

By Jim Langham

When I was a child, my life was centered around elderly people. My grandmother lived in our home and it was as though she were a second mother to me. She would take me along to visit her elderly friends in the small community where I was raised.

As I grew older, I would run errands for them; I would mow their yards, shovel their snow and take goodies to them from our family. When I became a gardner, I would take them goodies from the garden. Giving to the elderly was a way of life for me.

I remember how upset our next door neighbor, Stella, was the day her house caught on fire. I remember the visits with another neighbor, Mary, after her husband, Jake, was killed in an old Model-T Ford. I will never forget the little visits and sugar cookies she shared when I would carry in her wood and water after school.


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