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2009 Adult writing contest and youth art winners

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The holidays have a special meaning to all of us. It could be the sights and sounds of the children sled riding down the hill behind the farm house or the late nights making holiday treats in the kitchen. Or it could be the traditions we have in our families that we celebrate every year. […]

The Win-win

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Honorable mention: Sharon Sweda, Huron, Ohio Jacob slumped as Katherine cleared the table around him. Sensing he’d skip choir rehearsal, she chose to pray, rather than argue. The foreclosure notice had changed everything at the farm and Jacob became more withdrawn as the deadline approached. “Where’s Jacob?” Pastor Thomas inquired. Rumors circulated that Jacob was […]

The gift of remembrance

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winner: Alejandro Villalva, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army Reserve, 42, San Antonio, TX Richard sat silently, transfixed, his entire attention riveted to the photo that he found in the illustrated book of the Vietnam War which his grandson had just given him as a Christmas gift. The photo was a hauntingly brutal depiction of young […]

Uncle Leonard

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Third place: Maryann Lepovsky, 65, of Lucinda, Pa. All the lights were out in town except for the bright orange Rexall sign on the corner drugstore. The soft snow as falling onto the frozen ground covering the grass and trees with a layer of fine angel hair. The date was Dec. 23, 1966. The peace […]

The Stocking Surprise

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Second place: Mark Llewellyn, of New Castle, Pa. Doreen’s eyes, glassy in this state of reverie, wandered from one hand to the other. Arthritis found refuge in the aging joints long ago, and her knobby knuckles were testament to a life rife with farm work and household chores. Once the farm had been dutifully handed […]

2009 Adult writing contest and youth art winners

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The holidays have a special meaning to all of us. It could be the sights and sounds of the children sled riding down the hill behind the farm house or the late nights making holiday treats in the kitchen. Or it could be the traditions we have in our families that we celebrate every year. […]

The bootie

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Marie Walker Leetonia, Ohio Honorable mention Tears flowed from my eyes while I hung the little red and white stuffed elf. It was Carol’s favorite Christmas ornament. My 18-year-old daughter had joined the military service. It would be the first Christmas without her. Carol’s letters arrived from the boot camp and I understood that […]

Merry mischief

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Sharon Sweda Huron, Ohio Honorable Mention “Doggone it!” Janet hears Henry’s familiar bellow. She knows, without looking or hearing the stomp of his boots, that in an instant, he and his flannel jacket will race out the door of their 1940’s bungalow. She also knows where he is going. It is five days before […]

Of Christmas chores and country kindness

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Jennifer Bryan Paris, Ohio Honorable Mention The frosty morning air stung my nose as I stepped out the door of our farmhouse. My parents’ boot prints in the fresh snow marked their earlier trek to the barn. I could hear the drone of the milk pump and the calves bawling for their breakfast. Cows […]

Through the eyes of a child

Monday, December 29, 2008

By M. Merlin Acker Wooster, Ohio Honorable Mention Farmer Jim awoke early one bright spring morning, traveling to the steep eastern slope on his farm overlooking a small village. One by one he placed small pine trees in the soil. As the saplings embraced the sunlight and inhaled a few breaths of the crisp air, […]

A question of faith

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Chet Cornman Freeport, Pa. Third place The floorboard creaked and Amy froze. Someone was out there all right. Carefully, oh so carefully, she extended her neck and peeked around the corner. A man, a large man, was sitting with his back to her, rooting under the tree. She held her breath, but was sure […]

An unexpected gift

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Michelle Starkey Mechanicsburg, Ohio Second place The weather had turned cold and dreary with rain clouds hovering over the small town of Mechanicsburg when Jim Samuels decided to stop at the local feed store to pick up supplies for his dairy farm. “Let’s see,” he told Bob, the store manager. “I need oil, boots, […]

The winning Christmas story

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Kim Villalva Millington, Tenn. First place The phone call shocked Vernon Lee. He had won first place in the library’s Children’s Christmas Story Contest. He shifted carefully in his chair so as not to wake the sleeping feline warming his lap. “You happy up there, Genevieve? Honey, now I gotta read that silly story […]

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