B Dear Aunt B, Ok, I know you said not to worry that the first of the year is past and I haven’t started on my stuff yet, but how do I figure out what to start on first and where to begin? I’m sure you are tired of talking about the new year, but I need some assistance. I don’t want December 31st to come again and to feel the same way I do every year.
Columns & Editorials
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B Dear Aunt B, Is it weird that music can completely change my mood? I mean, it’s nice when it helps me to be motivated, but when I hear that one song (you know the one) that takes me back to the heartbreak of my life… dang. I want the good and not the bad.
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I have a story for you today. Welcome to the Christmas column, Dina style. It’s a memoir, of sorts, though not a Gloria Vanderbilt type of memoir. It is more like a Dolly Parton sort of memoir, minus all the kids. Most times, when I write to you, I sort of know a basic outline. I’ll start out with one thing, throw you a contemplative curve ball, then finish with a tale for the ages. That’s not the case today. I’m not sure where to start. I have no idea where we’ll end. I’m not even sure what the point will be. Let’s talk about Christmas when the years are lean. You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy. Put on your stocking cap and recline in your Victorian tester bed, Ebeneezer. Do you hear my chains? I’m the ghost of Christmas past.
My great great great grandfather, Henry Marion Stilwell, was a confederate soldier in the Civil War. At one point, he was captured in Vicksburg, Mississippi and held as a POW. That length of time is debatable, depending on which family elder you’ve cornered at a reunion. It also varies depending on which, if, and how many adult drinks are involved. His capture tale vacillates between a few months and “the entire war.” Everyone agrees on one thing. Henry’s makeshift cell was positioned near the area where the union soldiers kept their horses. Some would see the stench as further punishment, but Henry saw the situation as fortuitous and is said to have survived by eating the horse feed that fell near him as the equines munched. Cancel culture would have us believe speaking about the war between the states is taboo. I say forgetting history means you’re doomed to repeat it. Besides, let us not discredit Henry. After all, there was this thing called a compulsory military draft. Henry was eventually released, thankfully. Thus, I am here entertaining you with such stories. They say he was a scarred man. He winced at the sight of horse feed. A story about war, you say? No. This is a story of how things scar you, mainly bad fashion choices. On the day the war ended, Henry swore he would never wear union blue again as long as he lived. To the knowledge of the Stilwell clan, he upheld that statement.
Giving to charity can be a rewarding endeavor that makes a difference in the lives of people in need. Many people donate throughout their lives, and some people may want to impart a more lasting legacy by continuing to support a charity even after they have passed away.
It was one of those big Catholic churches. The chapel was enormous. The spire was tall enough to interfere with air traffic. Nobody builds them like the Catholics.
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