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Just Outside My Door

November 7, 2013
Elaine Cole , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

I had forgotten how November came

Across the hills in quiet shadows of gray;

My heart was full of bright October's flame,

Of bittersweet and sumac, then today

I lifted solemn eyes and found the world

Threaded with silken floss of wind and rain?

Found crickets mute and summer's creatures curled

In sleep, dreaming of tender roots and grain.

I had forgotten how November hummed

Her lullabies until I heard the wind

And rain today. Her silver fingers drummed

Upon my roof, her notes were sweet and thinned.

And so I vowed to keep November's song,

Her gentleness, her beauty all year long.

I like the way Cosette Middleton describes the month of November. Some folks say it's a dreary month, but I like it because it seems to brings a time of quietness after a bush summer and harvest. Then it ushers in the holiday season.

As I ponder the thoughts of November, I think about what it was like when the Pilgrims first came to our country. I know they had many hardships, but they also had some blessings. One of them came from the native Indians that were already living in what is now America. No doubt you have read how they taught the settlers to plant corn. Those earliest Indian tribes had also began to use the corn in a variety of ways. It could be used for decoration and recreation. The little white "flowers" formed attractive garlands and corsages; the kernels, when thrown into the fire, could, according to Indian legend, revealed the future.

The white settlers soon began to depend on the corn for food. If they had not began trading with the Indians they wouldn't have learned about planting corn. Thus they would never have escaped famine and starvation.

Through the development of the Indians and settlers friendship the latter learned to make popcorn, too. The tradition of growing it was continued by nearly every farmer throughout the next two centuries.

It became commercialized when in 1885, Charles Creators of Chicago invented the first popping machine. It was mounted on wheels and powered by steam. The machine could go anywhere and everywhere. Popcorn venders made sure of that. Poppers were seen on street corners, at political rallies, fairs and band concerts. Circuses and other outdoor gatherings had it, too. The taste and aroma made it fascinating wherever the new machine went.

When the improved flavor of oil came about, its success was guaranteed. The wet popping had increased its flavor. Prior to that in the 1880's, the popcorn was made dry.

During the depression in the 1930s, theater attendance suffered a severe decrease. To bring business back, theater operators reluctantly decided to let vendors bring their popcorn machines into the theaters and put them in a place where the attendees passed by to get to a seat. After doing that people only went to theaters that had the popcorn and any one I ever went to, still sells it.

I even like popcorn when watching a video inside. I don't use oil on it, I like lots of butter instead and a tasty beverage. Next time you make some popcorn, think about the Indians who introduced it in our country to the early settlers. Give thanks for them and also because it is so easily made these days. One can pop it in an electric popper, a microwave or by shaking it in a heavy pan on the stove or over a fireplace.


November 7: Katie Murdock

November 8: Bethany Williams, Justin Brown, Owen Nickerson

November 9: Brian Gibbons, Johann Munger, Wayne Smith, Zackerie Williams, Dawn Zemeik

November 11: Larry Rater, Micaela Young

November 12: James Robert Breads, James Robert DeLellis, Mark miller, Christopher Wassink

November 13: Scotty Baran, Autumn Jane Eimers, Matthew Ohman, Janette Robson, Kristin Rowan Irwin.



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