July 30, 2014

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Jim Langham

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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