Brownstown-Sefton News

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By The Staff

A Funny Thing Happened…
…as friend, Flo Allen , and I were having a telephone conversation.
All of a sudden, in mid-sentence, she exclaimed, “Oh My!,” in a rather distressed voice.
Fearing some terrible happening, I asked what was the matter and she replied, “A big mother ‘possum just went past my window with six baby opossums on her back.” I asked her to be merciful towards them, because, after all, we just observed Mother’s Day.
However, I understand her concern, because there would probably be an ugly scene if “Buster,” Flo’s little adorable doggie, would suddenly run out the door, surprising both of them.
It reminded me of an incident here on the Homestead in last year (or two).
Papa Bear Bill was down the lane cleaning up some debris and when he lifted an old board, he uncovered a mother ‘possum nursing her babies. He quickly put the board back in place and did not disturb them.
A few months later, a ‘possum was causing trouble up here by the house, and he said that it was probably one of the babies he uncovered. That could have been true, because this ‘possum wanted to stay right by our house. Maybe its mother told it about the nice man who did not destroy their home or lives, and it feels secure and safe close to Bill.
While cleaning our yard this week, we noticed a lot of fishing worms near the surface of the ground and even in a moist pile of leaves. We also noticed several little baby frogs, bugs and flying creatures.
We didn’t see any snakes, nor mosquitoes, which surprised us. We like to hear the frogs’ sounds. We don’t care for snakes, and we consider it good that we have actually seen very few since we have lived back here in the woods for quite a few years. However, I know they will get the baby frogs and toads, so I don’t care for them.
We are thankful for our domesticated critters, but we also enjoy nature’s little (and big) wild creatures, even our (sometimes resident) wolf, “Sneaky Pete.” He is a vagabond, as we sometimes don’t see him for months, then he comes by for a visit to the neighborhood.
Our good neighbors at the other end of the lane, Denny and Deb Ward, saw him in their back yard one day.
A Special Remembrance of  Richard Kasten…
…who passed away Sunday evening at St. Anthony’s Hospital. In Effingham. Richard and Elizabeth have lived in the area only a few years, but they have contributed greatly to the community.
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Elizabeth, Cindy and Greg and their families.
Remember – “Relay for Life” …
… is drawing near and gives all the opportunity to remember or honor someone with the illuminated bags called luminaries.
This year, there is an opportunity to remember the caregivers with a special purple bag that you may decorate yourself. The Relay for Life will be held June 2-3, from 4:30 p.m.-5 a.m.
Dropping In to Say Hello to Joanna…
… at her Words, Wicks, and Woods bookstore in Vandalia, it was a surprise to find more friends seated around the customer-friendly coffeepot area. Present were Joanna, Catherine Bowen, Saundra Helm, Janet Potts, Joyce Flowers, Jacque Rush and Berniece Etcheson.
Stopping by the Brownstown Branch Library today, I was again impressed by the interior and contents of it.
On the right, as you enter, is the cheery children’s corner with its bright, colorful, kid-oriented rug, the mural on the wall, which was very-well done by the high school art class some time ago, the activities for the younger children, and, of course, books.
The old vault room holds Brownstown memorabilia, and, at present, a John Deere tractor exhibition, and, to make the walls interesting and fun, they are papered with newspaper pages of stories and photos pertaining to Brownstown. Added to these points of interest is the computers table, movies, DVD’s, and, of course, books!
An added attraction right now is a new book (to read on the site) containing a story written by a Brownstown local gal, Alice Fisher Thompson, who now lives in Colorado. She has written stories of her life in Brownstown, and this one is about her mother, the late Gladys Fisher. She is also in the process of writing a book.
Computer Camp…
… will be held May 21-25,  at 10 a.m., for Brownstown Students entering the third, fourth and fifth grades at the St. Elmo Library. The state requires this program for the students, and this will give them a jump-start.  
“Clifford, the Big, Red Dog”…
…will be at the St. Elmo Library in person on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the “Dad/Grandpa and Me” reading night at the St. Elmo Library. Dads and grandpas are encouraged to come and share in reading with their sons/grandsons. There will be new books out, and Clifford, the Big, Red, Dog will be the special guest.
Food Pantry Needs for May…
… 1 box corn bread mix and 1 package dried beans. Anything is appreciated.
Brownstown High School Dates
Wednesday: baccalaureate at 6 p.m; and Sunday: graduation at 3 p.m
Fundraiser Dinner for “Meals on Wheels”
…at the Vandalia Senior Center on Sunday. Reservations are requested by Thursday. Call 283-1040 from noon-1 p.m.
Summer Reading Program
The Brownstown Branch Library is again offering a Summer Reading Program, with registration May 21-25. The program will be held at First Christian Church at 10 a.m. on Thursdays, beginning June 7.
There will also be a Scholastic Book Fair from May 21-25 at the St. Elmo Library.
Red Cross Blood Drive June 1 …
… at Brownstown Elementary School from 1-6 p.m. All donors, ages 16-21, are eligible for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship. Everyone who donates will receive a rock ’n roll-themed T-shirt and a chance to win a Gibson guitar. The goal is 40 units of blood.
Brownstown Village-Wide Yard Sales
The village of Brownstown will be holding its annual yard sales on Friday, June 1, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
You may contact the village hall to have your name and street address added to the village’s yard sales map at no cost.
The maps will be at the village hall, Brownstown First National Bank, Mark’s Café and Victory Lane.
School Update
Last day of student attendance was Wednesday, with early dismissal.
A Reminder from Sandra Stine…
The Brownstown Alumni reunion will be held on July 21 at the Vandalia Moose Lodge. If the alumni reunion committee can help your class organize your reunion by providing class addresses, contact President Nancy Pryor (427-3056) or Secretary/Treasurer Stine (283-9211). If you have updated addresses for your class, let the alumni committee know that, as well.
From the Homestead Mailbox…
…a note from Donna Langley offering some of her pretty Iris plants. She is downsizing her flower beds and would enjoy sharing some of the plants with our readers. Some of them have special meaning because they were her dad’s plants. Call her at 283-4493 if you want some beautiful flowers.
Local Celebrations
Birthdays: Bill Smith, Judy Pilger, Rosie Enlow, Earl Pemberton and Samantha Wall. Anniversaries: David and Vicki Hipsher, Morgan and Phyllis Pryor, and Ervin and Joyce Garrison.
Coming and Going
Pat Rhodes speaks at Sefton Unit HCE meeting.
Helen Klitzing and Dee Dee Diveley, who have attended past meetings as guests, joined the 16 Sefton Unit HCE members and one guest, Pat Rhodes, who were present for the Mother’s Day potluck dinner. Chairman Flo Allen gave the welcome, and Panzi Blackwell asked the blessing for the meal.
Following the meal, Allen called the meeting to order with the pledge to the American flag. All signed a thank-you card for the Rev. Don Thomas and for Carol Oldham, who had sewn the new table skirt. Appreciation was also expressed to Majestic Drapery Fabricators Inc. for its donation of  the material.
Sally Behrends, acting for secretary Joyce Fisher, took the roll call with the question, “A fun thing I did with my mother.”
Allen then introduced the guest speaker, Pat Rhodes, who explained the free Summer Lunches for Kids program.
The program is well-established in Vandalia and Ramsey, and will be sponsored in Brownstown by the Sefton Unit, with the United Methodist Church as the distribution site.
The lunches consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a packet or box of fruit drink, a pudding cup, an individually-wrapped snack cake, an apple or orange, and a Pop Tart, which can be saved for the next morning’s breakfast, if desired.
The lunches are bagged individually and given to each child to take with him or her. In Brownstown, the meals will be distributed every Wednesday, from the first Wednesday in June until the first Wednesday in August.
The meals are free for all children, including high-school age.
Donations of creamy peanut butter and grape jelly are needed and appreciated, or, if more convenient, monetary donations are appreciated to purchase the items. Rhodes also noted that if there are lunches left over, they are taken to the CEFS Food Pantry for distribution that day. “No food goes to waste”, she said.
For more information, you may call Pat Rhodes at her home (283-5372) or the Northside Christian Church (283-1970).
The lesson, “Cool Cooking Tips,” was given by Debbie Swain, with suggestions of preparing salads, raw fruits and vegetables, or meals that required little cooking time. She also gave tips for safe summer grilling, including cleaning the grill before using and using a meat thermometer to assure the meat is fully cooked.
Phyllis Pryor followed with a lesson on “Go Green,” listing small steps to reduce home energy use. She advised checking out the light bulbs used, heating and cooling systems, and appliances used, and making a commitment to reduce your home energy used.
Ginny Wilbur gave a lesson entitled, “Are you ready for a tornado?” She advised preparing a disaster supplies kit and listed suggested supplies which may be needed. She also advised to stay tuned for storm warnings with a dependable weather radio and what to do when a warning is issued; warnings of what to watch for following a tornado.
Shirley Mattes gave a lesson entitled, “Soy Or Not To Soy.” She brought samples of different soy products. After sampling, most agreed that the peanut butter tasted best and is more like the real peanut butter. Hand-outs were given for each lesson.
A collection of items for the food pantry were prepared and given to the CEFS food pantry. The members bring food pantry items to every meeting.
Present were Flo Allen, LaVonne Kramer, Carolyn Grames, Delores Kramer, Lura Fouch, Ginny Wilbur, Phyllis Pryor, Alice Scott, Shirley Klitzing, Annettia VanValey, Sally Behrends, Marilyn Yakel, Sharon Wilhelm, Elizabeth Kasten, Debbie Swain, Panzi Blackwell, Dee Dee Dively and Helen Klitzing, and a guest, Rhodes.
Door prize winners were: Debbie Swain, Helen Klitzing, Delores Dukeman, Phyllis Pryor, Alice Scott, Panzi Blackwell and Ginny Wilbur.
“Ladies Night Out” at UMC
“Ladies Night Out” was enjoyed by the ladies of the Emmanuel and Brownstown United Methodist Churches.
The event was planned by Bette Stolte and Betty Miller, and was well-attended. The men of both churches served then dinner. Bette Stolte shared some humorous blonde jokes and also some inspirational thoughts.
The speaker for the evening was Julia Miller of Charleston, a native of Brownstown. She told of how growing up in Brownstown had shaped and influenced her life.
The men of the churches are encouraged to attend “Men’s Night Out” on June 15, when the women will be wearing the aprons to serve the men their meal.
Mother’s Day observed by the Brownstown UMC
Brownstown United Methodist Church observed Mother’s Day, beginning with breakfast for the ladies.
It was sponsored by the youth, under the direction of Jenna Townsend. Jenna led some games.
Brownstown United Methodist Church
The morning worship followed the Mother’s Day breakfast, with Bette Stolte playing the prelude and Jeffrey Kelly lighting the altar candles as the congregation assembled.
The Rev. Don Thomas greeted those present, reviewed the announcements and  prayer requests, and led the opening prayer.
A praise was voiced that Lt. Col. Robert O’Dell is now back in the states after serving in Afghanistan. Jeff Kelly and Hubert Williams collected the offerings. Thomas delivered the sermon and closed with the benediction.
A note of appreciation was expressed for those who helped with the recent UMC rummage sales and with the youth Agape trip last week in Greenville.
• Wednesday at  10 a.m. and 7 p.m.-Bible study led by Jim Green.
• Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – Brownstown United Methodist Women will hold its May breakfast at the church. Joy Lawson will bring the program.
• Sunday – “Singing Strings” and Richard Tucker at Dexter UMC. A group of local musicians and gospel singers will provide and afternoon of worship and enjoyment.
• June 6, 7, 8, 9 – Illinois Great Rivers annual conference at Peoria Conference Center.
First Christian Church
The congregation of First Christian Church was greeted by Ron and Tena Gould.
Mother’s Day was observed as Duane Willms led a standing ovation for the mothers by all the men present.
Several present spoke of their mothers who had passed on, including Charlie Watson, Cathy Haynes and Don Willms. Tammy Wodsey spoke of her grandmother who has passed on.
Deanna Hovious read a poem she had written about mothers, including the lines, “Last Mother’s Day was very hard. We couldn’t give her a gift, or a card. Last Mothers’ Day, to her grave site I went, I placed a card on her grave that couldn’t be sent. Later today, I’ll go back again, and place a card where the other had been.”
Each mother received a potted plant.
Duane Willms led the opening prayer and the praise team, Cathy Smith and Jennifer Lovett, led the congregation in songs of praise, accompanied by Susan Smith-pianist; Kaitlyn Enlow-flutist; Cody Cox, Walt Kinney and Tick Cox-guitarists; and Mitchell Smith-drummer.
Special music was contributed by Jennifer Lovett, followed by the message delivered by Rick Cox.
Delbert Miller led the Communion meditation and prayer. Don Lovett led the gifts and offerings prayer. Charlie Watson led a  prayer of praises.
Also serving: Liz Oberlink-Sunday school nursery; Deb Hunter-a.m. nursery; Barb Tackett and Abby Enlow-toddler worship; Matthew Smith, Chuck Enlow, Charlie Watson-Communion to shut-ins; serving at the table-Duane Willms, Bill Smith, Brent Keyes, Chuck Enlow, Ron Gould; usher-Matthew Smith; PowerPoint-Penny Cox; sound tech-Matthew Smith; librarian-Vicki Hipsher; and Communion preparation-Ervin and Joyce Garrison.
• Xtreme Zone (Grades K-5)-meet on Wednesdays-3:30 p.m.
• WNL (Grades 6-12)-Wednesdays-6:23 p.m.
• 11th Annual Fishers of Men Tourney-Saturday, May 26, at Steve Storm’s farm.
• VBS Sunday June 3 – Thursday, June 8, from 6-8:15 p.m. Contact Billie Enlow or Laura Willms if you can help.
• Grundy Mountain trip-June 9-16 for high school.