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Brownstown-Sefton News

Autumn is in the Air…
… and is very refreshingly cool in the early mornings, which makes our hot cup of coffee taste even better as we drink it out on the porch. It’s kind of like camping out and drinking it by the campfire … which really sounds tempting, to build a little campfire in the yard.
   We used to do that when we still lived in the woods on the south end of the lane.  Sometimes on Saturday mornings, we would even cook breakfast out in the yard over a campfire.
Sometimes we would have biscuits and sausage gravy and fried taters. I have to admit though, I would bake the biscuits in the house and they would be frozen biscuits, which are really better than my homemade ones.
You see, when the kids were young, we really enjoyed going to the Meramec River in Missouri in the summer to camp out and cook on a campfire.
Then, when we moved here, to the woods, we did not need to go someplace else. We could stay home with our animals and be in the woods, too – perfect! I love to sit by a campfire and listen to the woods night sounds (owls, frogs, crickets, etc.) 
This probably dates back to my childhood, when my dad fished in the Kaskaskia River, south of Vandalia and west off of U.S. Route 51.
In those days, it was legal to fish with large hoop nets and wooden slat traps.
Dad worked as a mechanic in the daytime, and he would go to the river to check his traps and nets in the evening, and it often got dark when he went.
My mother and I went with him and waited on the riverbank for him as he rowed in his rowboat up and down the river, checking his traps and net and re-baiting them  (with horrible smelling fish bait cheese.)
As it would get dusky, my mother would build what she always called “skeeter-smoke” to jeep the mosquitoes away. She would get a fire going, then lay green leaves on the flames, which did result in a light smoke … and it worked.
In my mind’s memory, I can still imagine sitting by the skeeter-smoke, listening to the night sounds and hearing the sound of the oars coming over the water as my dad was rowing back to us in the dusk, and sometimes almost dark night.
It was always a welcome sound, and I will never forget it. But I was never scared as we waited. 
My mother and I talked, and she taught me to answer the owls by putting my hands up to my mouth and blowing across them. (I seem to have lost the ability to do that over the years.)
Of course, we ate a lot of fried fish in those days, and fried catfish is still my favorite meal. When we get to go to Effingham, Bill always makes sure I have my favorite – fried catfish, okra and turnip greens with a few drops of vinegar, with biscuits.
My mother always fried in lard or Crisco in her iron skillet, and she made cornbread with cracklins in it; sure don’t get that anymore – can’t find any cracklins.
I think she melted down something in the woodstove oven and cracklins came out of that. My mother made our cracklins when Dad butchered a pig.
Needless to say, I was always sent to the neighbors’ house for that day. I always named our pigs and thought they were so cute when they were little.
I loved living in the country, but I guess I wouldn’t be a good farmer’s wife. Here on the Homestead, we buy our meat at the stores.
Notice to Fayette County
HCE Members
• The Get-Acquainted Day potluck and auction fundraiser, which was scheduled for Sept. 15, has been postponed at this time.
The Sefton Unit’s regular September meeting will be held on that day (Sept. 15) at 1 pm at the Golden Years Building.
Special Request
On the last Sunday of each month, each church is asked to donate some canned food for the food pantry. It is badly needed.
If you have any extra jars with lids, plastic bags (quart or gallon), the Helping Hands Food Pantry could use them.
Young Mason Eli Feltner loves to see …
… the  mailman bring cards  to his house. Mason is receiving chemotherapy for leukemia. His address is: Mason Eli Feltner, 421 South St., Brownstown, Ill. 62418.
Local Celebrations
Birthdays: Mary Kronenger, Lakin Evans, Randy Carpenter, Carol Behrends, Tony Elam, Dale Henna, Jordan Evans and Sharon Harris.
Brownstown United
Methodist Church
Aug. 23
Pianist Bette Stolte played the prelude as the congregation of the United Methodist gathered for Sunday morning worship service. Tara Schnarre and Junior Williams served as ushers. Carol Henna was Liturgist and Tara Schnarre lighted the altar candles.
Pastor Don Thomas greeted all and recognized the August birthdays and anniversaries. He shared the prayer list and requests, and led in prayer. Following the Scripture lesson, he delivered the morning sermon. Pam Orr led the adult class.
• Thursday at 6:30 p.m. – Bible study at the Golden Years building.
Aug. 30
Pianist Laura Ann Feezel played the prelude as the congregation of United Methodist gathered for Sunday am services.
Junior Williams and David Arnold served as ushers. Flo Allen served as liturgist, and Marlys Thomas lighted the altar candles.
Pastor Don Thomas greeted all, recognized the birthdays and anniversaries,  shared the prayer list and requests, and led in prayer. Thomas delivered the morning sermon following the Scripture lesson.
Flo Allen led the adult class, and Pam Orr was in charge of the children’s worship.

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