Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Foggy days deserve respect

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Visibility zero.” “Visibility one-eighth mile.” “Visibility one-quarter mile.”

Any of those forecasts are time for alert. Actually best just stay home until the report changes. A quarter-of-a-mile allows some vision, but one-eighth is treacherous.

Zero visibility means there’s no way to see. Like the dark of night with cloud cover, no moon, no stars. A person can’t see anything period. It’s essential to stay off the highway for personal safety and well-being of any dumb one driving in the fog.

Needing to fill up with gas before heading to work, turned right to town, roadway ahead could hardly be seen. Not very far. By the time came out of town heading north, there was fog, but could see enough to feel safe.

Next morning, another group of cows and calves to work before grass, crew was to be ready at 8 o’clock. Barely seeing the road, arrived in ample time, but the gate couldn’t be seen let alone any cows with calves.

Starting time delayed an hour, and it was still foggy, as cowboys horseback headed east to gather the pairs. Somehow everyone was accounted for when the makeshift panel corral gate closed.

Wasn’t long before sun was shining bright, no inkling that one could barely see minutes earlier.

Whenever the fog is that bad, can’t help but remember many years ago driving to Concordia for a farm show. It was foggy for sure, but driving slow carefully, wasn’t worried about hazards.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Powers of floodwaters devastating

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s better to have too much rain than the opposite.”

That’s the comment heard reflecting dry conditions of a year ago compared to now.

Obviously local opinion is legitimately countered with disagreement from those suffering irreplaceable, financially devastating flood damages.

Deepest heartfelt condolences are expressed to those experiencing terribly dramatic forever life altering acts of nature.

Vastness of loss remains incomprehensible to outsiders despite vivid news coverage of extensive flooding horridness.

Worst loss is human lives taken by uncontrollable, no escaping raging high waters.

Everybody in the nearby flooding region has been lifetime diversely harmed. Farms of generations destroyed, never to be replaced. Richest soils of the world were stolen by rampant overflowing.

Entire livestock operations morbidly were taken with no reprieve despite distinct natural instinct and owner-operator management assisting tactics.

Even with government programs and broadest generous financial assistance, life as was never again, no matter how evaluated.

Money cannot buy what has been lost. No way to start over, begin again. Life goes on in an entirely different direction, never expected or imagined in the scariest dream.

No actual semblance, yet cowboys are experiencing dilemmas with local flooding now, too.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Good sides of weeds

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Favorite flowers on the ranch are dandelions.”

At least that must be the case as the entire yard has been covered with the colorful yellow blooms.

Interesting the response for roll call at a recent meeting when members were asked their favorite flower. More than half of those attending said: “dandelions.”

Evidently, everyone’s weed control methods are identical. Nothing was done and the little pretty yellow flowers thrived.

One time years gone by, a broadleaf herbicide was spread over the lawn when green started showing. Believe it or not, hardly one dandelion lived.

Even worse than the lawn flowers are the white fuzz balls replacing pretty blooms and now intensely seeding dandelions. If it’s possible, next year’s yellow flower bloom crop will likely extend the present one.

Now just wait one minute, perhaps instead of complaining entrepreneur business enterprises should be started.

It’s been contended that dandelions can be used to make wines not generally available at most places selling alcoholic beverages. Promoters proclaim the prolific yellow lawn weed is easily crafted into a “tasty true elixir of health.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Barn hole actually blessing

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Marvelous Magnificent Maggie kicked a dinner plate size hole in the steel siding of the indoor riding arena this morning.”

That note on the ranch house kitchen supper table greeted a cowboy returning from a long day at the office.

Wasn’t any use getting upset eight hours after the buckskin mare had been “making laps, bucking, running and kicking.”

Still, laughing about the rambunctiousness and damages sure wouldn’t have been the right take on the hole-in-the-barn either.

Most importantly: “Was Maggie hurt?” Apparently not, at least there weren’t any obvious cuts or lameness.

“So what caused her to get so excited? Was she scared of something?”

Perhaps, a piece of paper blew across the arena? Maybe a mouse scampered under her feet? Strong winds might have rattled the tin or the big sliding door?

A sparrow or mourning dove may have flown in close over her head or came in suddenly from her backside? Possibly one of three barn cats out hunting ran by her unexpectedly?

No logical explanation could be given.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Exceeding speed always hazardous

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Driving too fast is dangerous to all concerned.”

Preface conversation with legitimacy of thoughts having received too many “traffic citations.” Friend mentor decades ago, Warren Gilman, Chamber of Commerce leader, got “tickets” on occasion. Each one just shrugged off: “They’re manmade laws and can change upon a wisp.”

Certainly, that’s true with frequency that speed limits have gone up and down. Likewise, varying stringency, leniency, inconsistency of enforcement, such enforcers often exceed posted signs.

Still, no question, wrecks increase with heavy footed automotive driving.

Interesting though speeding on roadways was considered dangerous resulting in fines long before cars were invented.

If President Grant were alive today, he’d probably have quite a few points on his license by now.

While Grant was president in 1866, accidents forced Washington, D.C., authorities to crack down on speeders. For policeman William West, the last straw was when a woman and six-year-old child were seriously injured on West’s corner by a “driver of fast horses.”

The next day, West caught Grant’s buggy going at “a furious pace.” America’s top elected official was immediately pulled over.

“Mister President,” said West, “I want to tell you that you were violating the law by driving at reckless speed. It is endangering the lives of the people who have to cross the street.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Blaze best for grass

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“That’ll stop the smoke.”

Longtime farmer friend accessed another pour down walking out of church.

For several days, Flint Hills had been ablaze with smoke apparent in the sky every direction.

It was a haze drawing critical attention from a handful or so of large urban centers.

They were offended at the contamination and fright of hazardous damage to the environment.

Such a controversial issue has been pasture burning since beginning as necessary range management tool.

Fact is prairies were free of most intruders until ranchers started productive grazing programs.

Nature took care of itself, it’s said; lightning started fires, pastures burned, lush grass grew. Buffalo, deer, antelope, prairie chicken and creatures of the wild thrived on native rangeland.

Farmers and ranchers started planting trees of various sorts for windbreaks, home shade and landscaping.

Worthwhile endeavor until wildlife and wind were seeding trees all over the lands.

Then environmentalists encouraged various additional herbaceous plantings in attempting to slow land erosion.

“Helpful” plants soon were nature spread beyond eroding draws, washouts and steep acreage into land never intended.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Old ways still best

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Just a newspaper.”

That simple phrase brought ire from a dedicated reader when writing about checking the mailbox and finding “just a newspaper.”

“Oh Frank. How could you write it?” she questioned.

“Having spent my entire adult life in the company of print journalists, my heart sinks at the words: Just a newspaper,” the lady continued.

At first alarmed, the sting quickly left realizing that “off the cuff” comment could be taken offensively. Even more so emphatic for “a print journalist myself from time to time.”

Clarifying her point, she added, “I’ve seen your stories in other newspapers, so I know you have respect for an audience of readers.”

Guilty as charged, immediate apology was in order seeking reprieve for wrongdoing.

“Ooooops. You are right. As a lifetime dedicated writer, newspapers are always important mail. Subscribing to nearly two dozen daily, weekly and monthly print publications; it’s only disappointing when one doesn’t arrive.”

Briefly relating newspaper career spanning high school, college and 46 years professionally, apology insisted. “I’m sorry for my bad stepping across the line. In modern times, seldom does anybody edit stories. Had a smart knowledgeable person like you critiqued the piece, suggestion could have been made to change that offensive terminology. Unquestionably, there is room for improvement of most writings.”

Fortunately, the concerned reader, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, accepted the cowboy’s penitence.

“Thank you so much for your response to my rant. My late husband had a lifelong career with The Kansas City Star and Times. Big urban newspapers have shrunk drastically in recent years, but smaller papers continue providing news that is the lifeblood of small communities.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Reaping what is sown

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Reflections of this heroine keep returning in the memory.

Farm girl, cowboy’s wife, encouraging mother, never ceasing community thinker, lifetime friend Donna Muller passed away several weeks ago.

First are ruminations of Donna wearing a summer dress appropriate for the ’50s in her lawn chair collecting rosettes.

Husband cowboy Kenny was showing home raised Quarter Horses, winning purple prizes pitched to Donna ringside at the county fair. It made a lifetime impression on a wannabe cowboy who didn’t even own a horse.

The family acquaintance went back decades earlier when Mom was Donna’s country school teacher. A prized scrapbook possession is the photograph Donna had of her and Mom on the first day of school.

She actually followed footsteps teaching country school for a while. Both sides of Donna’s family were lifetime Four Mile community farmers; always Buchman’s Grocery customers.

Fair time was a highlight for Donna since her 4-H club days. A Four Mile 4-H Club leader, helping members, Donna guided her own children Suzanne and Richard to statewide titles.

Donna’s cinnamon rolls and county commissioners’ cookie jar entries were always fair champions.

Her certain knack for helping develop project talks and demonstrations earned many youth blue ribbons. Donna was often called to judge such competitions, including FFA speech contests, many years.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rains bring in spring

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Get ’em out of the mud.”

The statement has many connotations but been heard more and more as moisture continued coming down.

“It’s a tale of woes,” whoever’s relating their difficulty in caring for cattle in this “most unusual year,” comment added.

Certainly cattle in confinement even with highly coordinated drainage systems, there’s no relief from the mud.

Major cattle feeders report reduced gains from combination – sloppy pens, mud packed cattle backs, record cold, then too warm.

Problems expand for cow-calf operators with first calf heavy springer heifers behind the barn.

Even those with high maternal instinct can’t find a dry spot to birth. Drop the newborn in the wet mud, sometimes even a waterhole, because no alternative.

A certain mud reprieve comes when ground freezes overnight, but that’s less often, and the icy cold creates its own havoc.

Calving in grassland is generally satisfactory for mature mommas with more knowledge of caring for young, but not this year. Finding dry grass for birthing is difficult, more so with every additional sprinkle, let alone shower or downpour.

Hazards of water filled draws, fast running creeks, and ponds are always a haunt for newborns. Now, there’ve been more reports of finding babies in flooding streams, on ponds frozen tight, or stranded alive.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go ahead do it

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Can’t is over in the ditch.”

That was first grade teacher Mrs. Gibson’s response, 62 years ago; when classmates said something couldn’t be done.

“Don’t say it can’t be done; just find another way to get accomplished what’s needed.”

That was coworker Sean Carter at the recent Farm Profit Seminar when somebody said there was no more display space.

While not always completely accurate in either scenario, both statements encourage efforts for finding solutions when quitting is easier.

Looking around the ranch front, office situations, community needs, and seemingly unconquerable projects everywhere, “can’t” is a common analysis.

An excuse of one kind or another can be determined for nearly every project that requires extra effort, coordination and cooperation.

In grade school long ago, it was easy for any kid to readily contend: “I can’t do that.” Whether printing their name, erasing the chalk board or adding one and one, the teacher proved everyone could do it.

Finding places for late arriving sponsors at last week’s seminar was as simple; crowd together, share areas, use smaller tables. Can’t was sure not the solution when all originally planned sponsorship areas were filled.

Of course, getting everything accomplished that the majority first insist can’t be done isn’t always nearly that easy. Still all things considered, generally, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” quoting a common longtime philosophy.

That’ll require a bit of give and take from everybody involved. Certain ones are not going to get exactly their method. It must be united effort for best results.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cold night healthcare rewarded

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Could you please come help a heifer with a prolapse from birthing her calf?”
It was 2 o’clock in the morning, below freezing, winter moisture, herdsman calling the veterinarian 25 miles away.
Less than an hour, not smiling but ready for her job, the bundled-up animal health doctor arrived.
Heifer and wet but alive newborn were in protection of the barn. That is a major deal compared to the wet, cold, snowy mud dim shadowy corral.
Or, in the middle of the half section pasture miles from civilization with pickup headlights and low-battery flashlights. Through the decades there have been all of those scenarios thankfully with understanding yet inner-grudgingly cooperating veterinarians.
Such medical assistance is difficult in the best of environment softened some being inside despite tightness of confinement. Sanitation is of obvious importance with barn straw bedding considerably better than sloppy germ-ridden barnyard conditions.
Sure not knowing much about the physical aspects of it all, for the even less informed, simple explanation seems appropriate. Mr. Webster said, “Prolapse is to slip or fall out of its proper place in the body.”
What comes out must go back in, stay there, combat any infections which might arise, and heal up. The very good doctor adjusted, manipulated, pushed, medicated and got everything in place again sewed up tight.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Are medicines really needed?

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Evidently, the ranch ought to become a pharmacy. That would be a “drug store” decades gone by, but it might get wrong connotation nowadays.

Boldface headlines daily target law-breaking news about “pills” and other such consumptions, unknown to ranch life, for “recreational” purpose.

“Getting high,” it’s said, although really wouldn’t know. Horseback ride on a brisk winter morning serves that purpose here.

Perhaps, giant medicine chest would be more accurate description of the mudroom and kitchen.

Except, most of the always very high dollar “supposed preventives, treatments” recommended health improvements aren’t in a cabinet. They’re here, there, wherever, ready for immediate use upon need or suggestion.

Now, this includes both livestock and human medication, or definition derivative thereof, maybe painkiller, to use old timer’s common terminology.

It’d be hard to know which requires more medicine these days: cattle, horses, and cats, or the ranchers. Counting all of the bottles and packages, there’s actually quite a bit more for critters.

That said, neither required such health “necessities” half century ago, can’t remember hardly any. Oh, a colt might get kerosene lard if a cut swelled up, but that was it.

Grandma, when she was in her 80s, would take one of Carter’s Little Pills. Dad was on high blood pressure tablets, and took one whenever he remembered. Mom never had any medicine period until terminal diagnosis.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Dedication receives right reward

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There were five drooling coyotes on the pond dam this morning.”

That was the son-herdsman’s report in the back door after another check on the first calf heifers in the corral.

In the frigid cold, the varmints were anxious for a warm tasty breakfast of afterbirth should a baby arrive. Obviously, they knew the flavor and somehow instinctively readily came into the barnyard in anticipation of free easy taking.

Should a calf arrive when nobody was overlooking the herd, the wild ones would all pounce for food without manners.

If new momma is attentive to her newfound duties, generally the baby wouldn’t be in initial harm. That can change if mother moves away from a cold shivering one or there is apparent newborn weakness.

Attentiveness to assist first calvers is a major ordeal, let alone worrying about hungry canines. It’s an every three hour task day and night confirming if help is required. Having gone through that dreadful ranch task, fortunately the younger stockman and his mom will still do the work.

Typically, especially in the subzero chill index, if there are telltale signs of an arrival expectant momma is moved inside. That far from eliminates problems but reduces elements harshness.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Calving by nature’s plan

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mother Nature does exactly what she wants.”

Cows work just like her. When momma decides to give birth she’ll do it, or do her best trying. Contrarily it’s almost impossible to predict when that’ll be despite telltale signs often turning out differently.

First of February is sometimes considered beginning of spring calving season, although ranches have varying philosophical datelines. Certain operations set later times to begin, and some producers calve in the fall, summer and even summer.

Not nearly as many as used to be, but several cow-calf managers have babies arriving year around. It’s determined when the bull is turned into the cowherd.

Everything being just right, cow is romanced by the bull that day maybe even within minutes fertile embryo starts growing. A baby calf should be on the ground nine months, nine days, nine hours, nine minutes, nine seconds later. It’s seldom exactly that precise and often not even close.

Uncountable tribulations can come into play in this mating game. At the beginning of the season, Mr. Bull is eager and ready to go. Certain sweet, fancy, foxy, young heifers on high nutrition feel the same anticipating action.

More mature mommas, baby at side taking breakfast, generally aren’t so fast. By nature’s intent, inner body parts need a bit of rest, relaxing, healing before starting the process again.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Songs tell county’s history

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hello. This is Monte Selby. I have a grant to write and sing songs about Morris County. Several people suggested I talk to you. Could I come by your office and visit?”

Sure, that’ll be fine.

Reflections from growing up in a farm town became one song Monte and Martin Selby presented in concert.

Laura Mae

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

My whole life, I’ve ridden my horse
Love to be a cowboy – rope and ride
Nearly 50 years, had the time of my life
But back as a kid, I had to bide my time
Mama had work, gotta bide my time

You see, Daddy had an accident on the farm
So Mama said we gotta make money somehow
A few years later what mama found was a
Grocery store in the middle of town
Right on Main Street, middle of town, they’d say….

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

A Cowboy’s Faith: Slow better than ditch

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Weather can change in the blink of an eye.”

Forecasts had been fairly consistent for several days from one predictor to the next.

“It’ll be above freezing with rain turning to snow.”

Exact timing when transitions were to take place varied moving later in the day with the snow.

“If it starts snowing or the sky looks like it’s coming soon, hit the road.” That was the plan.

Nearly everybody had already left the office early with the holiday weekend.

With most work done best possible and procrastinating on the reminder, headed out the door 45 minutes early.

It was raining, had been off and on, throughout the day, now steady, yet not all that hard. Dashboard temperature gauge read 36 degrees.

Obviously others had followed trend leaving work ahead of time with highways pretty much jam packed.

It was moving fast and smoothly with cruise fixed well above posted signs but generally allowable by the cherry top. (That’s what they used to be called when law enforcement was readily identifiable like Andy and Barney.)

Driving with little thought other than get riding done as soon as at the ranch, eat supper and do nothing.

All of a sudden out of nowhere seemingly passing a semi-truck, the roadway became covered with snow and apparent slickness.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Wet waste growth tomorrow

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“This is sure going to waste a lot of feed.”

After a day of rain, then five inches of snow overnight, everything was a mess.

Livestock must be fed despite weather and more so when there’s icy cold water topped with snow.

Better off than another rancher who reported an inch of rain covered by 10 inches of snow.

So, load up the feed and head to the bellowing cows rambling on wet prairie begging for bales.

Always try to find the lowest quality in the hay pile to unroll on the sloppy ground. Greedy, acting like they’re starved, no hay for 24 hours or less, mommas dive into the free food.

No respectful appreciation for the breakfast, rudely stomping hay into the wet snow more than actually being consumed.

Outsider unaware of actual working ranch conditions would air opinions of better methods for less loss.

“Put the hay in a big baler feeder, so they don’t tromp it.” That’ll work with a small herd sometimes, even those 40 replacement heifers in the growing lot.

But for 260 cows in the Flint Hills such really becomes almost impossible.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy never slept in

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I’ve always liked to get up early, there was always lots of work that I needed and wanted to do.”

Generally the day started way before daylight, horse waiting at the gate to be saddled and off to pasture work.

Cowboy has always been his first profession, although Kenny Muller certainly has been successful in many agriculture endeavors.

Slowed down a bit the cowboy still rises at dawn anxious to pursue plans in his sharp forever active mind.

Family was joined by friends of a lifetime for Kenneth Muller’s 90th birthday celebration. Most know him as Kenny.

Moved from the ranch to town residence, it’s been awhile since horseback, but the pickup gets daily use. Conversation always centers on heartfelt cowboy life in the Flint Hills.

Kenny was a grocery store carryout boy’s first and always hero-idol-mentor; wanted to be a cowboy just like him.

Perfect image always properly shaped hat, clean cut, sharp dressed, friendly, outgoing with saddled horse in the trailer.

In high demand for day work, Kenny assisted cattle owners over a wide area with roundup, branding, whatever needed.

Horsepower is essential for top cowboys and Kenny always rode the best. Whether cutting a stray from the herd or roping a sick one for doctoring, his horse knew the job. They were ranch raised result of Kenny’s horse breeding program headed by top stallion power.

Proof of quality came first with local winnings followed by recognition nationwide. Kenny’s horses claimed halter championships then as pleasure riders soon earning reining and cow work awards. Collecting trophy saddles, Kenny put them to good use in his life’s trade.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Jake dedicated to rodeo

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Roll ’em. Come on. Get down on that bull. Put your legs down.”

Jake must have said that a jillion times in his lifelong loving career as a rodeo stock contractor.

The show must go on, no wannabe cowboy wimping around. Chutegate could just open ready or not.

“The Rodeo and Sale Barn World has lost a great man. John B. “Jake” Jacobsen, 89, rural Delia, passed away Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at his home.”

Obituary opening is the most accurate description one could ever make.

Many have wanted to be rodeo contractors, but none had the business closer to their heart than Jake.

He lived, literally, to produce rodeos with the best livestock for a quality family show.

It’s been more than four decades, but like right now. Rodeo announcer Max Stowell introducing, Jake always rode in the grand entry.

When the national anthem concluded, Jake headed to the bucking chutes, unmounted, bareback riders better be ready.

Jake always opened the chutegate for the rough stock events, no cowboy piddling, rodeo spectators wanted action.

A family business, Jacobsen Rodeo Company contracted rodeos in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Their small trailer house was home as they’d arrive with livestock two days ahead of rodeo time.

Welcome smile drooling lip of snuff, always a bit round, Jake with Pearl, Dale and Sis were friends of everybody.

Nothing makes a rodeo producer grin wider than his livestock bettering cowboys.

Jake beamed to one champion bronc rider, “I don’t know how many you’ve ridden. But, I can tell you every one that bucked you off.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kindness is most important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Life’s changes for betterment ahead are the optimistic blueprint many consider at year’s end.

Annual resolutions are being developed and revised so they won’t be short lived as always before.

Listed for majority are make more money, diet, increase exercise, lose weight and live healthier.

Frequent others include manage debt improving finances, enhance family relations, become higher educated, get a better job, and reduce stress.

Without exception, New Year’s resolutions will be broken, but if only one is partially fulfilled it’s better than before.

Regardless of personal philosophies about all of the vast annual hype of the season, let’s help somebody now.

What else is there in life other than health, happiness and eternity than doing for each other, sincerely?

This is actually very easy, quite simple, yet more uncommon all of the time.

Why not try to make life better for another? Talk to more and different people, even strangers on the street. With few exceptions people like to talk and for others to know about themselves.

Ask how their life truly is? Then listen, look them square in the eye, be interested, and be concerned if there’s that need.

Then, comment, offer thoughts, even suggestions, perhaps points for guidance if sought in the least form.

Make a telephone call to an acquaintance of long ago, or a neighbor living alone, perhaps in an assisted care facility.

Everybody just loves to get mail in the box, write a note, and send a card. It’ll make a day and a memory never ceasing. Go ahead send a text, an email, or other social media to make contact.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth tell real story

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Children’s Christmas programs rightly bring out the true meaning of the season.”

With all of the commercialization towards shopping and buying gifts starting before Halloween, reason for Christmas is often completely forgotten.

Likewise, elaborate decorating seems to have gotten out of hand, for lack of a more appropriate description of all the vast lightings. It sure makes the electrical companies happy undoubtedly.

Through all of this Christmas “hype,” there is NO factual recognition of what Christmas is really all about.

In viewing literally hundreds of community and public Christmas decorating, there has been only one notable exception.

A display with a few strings of lights had a small nativity scene. That’s Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of the world, life eternal for all believers.

Used to be, a number of churches would have at least some nativity scene.  That’s a simple manger with Christ child, Mary, Joseph, sheep, donkey, shepherds, and wise men.

Sadly, this year, none have been seen as of yet. Live nativities became popular for a time, but have dropped out of fad as well.

Notable, Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 to cultivate the worship of Christ. He was inspired by his visit to the Holy Land seeing Jesus’ birthplace. The idea motivated communities to stage such portrayals.

Although, Christmas programs are still part of the season’s celebrations, most do not have any inclination of the true reasoning. Modern songs often leave a seemingly waning feeling.

Reflecting, grade school pageants of decades gone by never reflected the true celebration either. Yet, singing brought swinging joy to performers and audience with nostalgic appreciation and familiarity.

Fortunately, a few churches, hopefully more than realized, still host children’s Christmas plays highlighting Jesus’ birth and purpose.

Six decades ago, it was a special heartfelt inspiration portraying a shepherd, wearing night robe, turban and carrying a cane.

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