Well, the rains finally came! Here at my home, this week I had just at four inches, I know we are never satisfied with how much we receive, and truly as dry as it has been, a little more would have been nice. However, I’m thankful that we didn’t have so much that there was flooding, and also that there were no bad storms with it.
My week was not as busy as it could have been, we had a meeting/installation of officers for one of our church groups and it involved the officers from five different towns. I had never been involved in this before, as this is the first time in a while that our group was host for it. Four of us were assigned to make casseroles as we were serving a meal. (The recipe for this is at the bottom of the column, it was simple, and not as difficult to make as I thought it would be and tasted really good.) My sister and I were part of the color guard and escorted the flag into the meeting; and then after prayers, the installation began. It was very moving and very interesting, and I now have a better take on what the different officers are supposed to do.
Now, it is Saturday afternoon and time to decide what to write for the last column of June. Since the 4th is on Wednesday, I decided just to go into my files here at the house and see what I could find. It’s been printed before, but some of the information is still timely and I thought you might not mind a little step into the past.
In years past it was a simple matter to write a column that would be printed just before July 4th. St. Joseph Church had their annual picnic and homecoming on that date for over 50 years and it always generated information for my column. Now, however, I’m on my own. So, when this was written the first time, I went to the office and did a little research in some older papers and the following is what I came up with, from the magazine section that was a part of The Devine News during the 30’s and 40’s. (When we had the column “Lines from the past”, that was begun by Beth Anne Haass and then continued by me, I got used to delving into the old papers and Trina would hear me laughing and tell me; “I don’t think you are really working, you are having way too much fun with these”.) These are directly from the old papers, errors and all!
June – 1937 A Saner and Tamer Fourth – Newspapers have long been advocating a saner and tamer celebration of the Fourth of July. Formerly, they had much to say about deaths from fireworks; these were frequently horrible deaths of children after prolonged suffering from lockjaw, the germs of which had gained entrance into the bodies of the victims by means of slight wounds caused by toy pistols or other forms of explosives. There has been a slight diminution of deaths from this cause, but the Fourth seems to be bringing an added increase of deaths from drowning, automobile and other accidents.
We hope our patriotic day will not continue a harvest of casualties; that we will learn to celebrate it sensibly and cautiously; that boys will not be too venturesome in water; that drivers of automobiles will realize the Fourth as the most dangerous day in the year when more people are on roads, many of them without sense or discretion.
For the entire nation, there were nearly 400 killed in accidents the Fourth of July, 1936. Is it too much to hope that such number may be cut in half this year?
(Don’t we wish that we would only have as few as 400 killed in this day and time on the Fourth, alas, those days are gone forever!)
From The Devine News in a 1967 paper, this is what Dr. Glenn Smith had to say about patriotism. Flag Waving – Do not feel ‘corny’, or ‘square’, or ‘out of date’, if you felt a little stirring of patriotism in your heart last Tuesday, July 4th. That feeling is never out of date, although it would seem so in this day. It is still a good thing for Americans to be proud of being Americans. It is still noble to have a “lump in the throat” when you see “Old Glory” flying on a staff or passing in a parade.
No one is born patriotic. It is acquired through teaching and experience, like religion. Like religion, it has to have habitual practice lest it fade and wither. Patriotism is instilled in the next generation by the teaching and example of the previous generation.
What are you doing to pass on pride of homeland to your children? What kind of citizens will they be? What will be their reaction to the flag, the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance?
That was in 1967, today in 2018; those words are still very apt. Since then we have not only 9-11, but also many other terroristic acts against our country, so hopefully we have an awareness of freedom and pride that we didn’t have back then.
Independence Day, more commonly known as Fourth of July, is probably the most important secular holiday celebrated in the United States. It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence, which announced the breaking of ties between the 13 American Colonies and England.
We now celebrate with fireworks, picnics and get-togethers in general and try to have a good but safe time. Don’t forget to fly your flag on this day. (Next week, on the 4th, I’ll give you a little more information about this wonderful holiday.)
If you are planning a trip over the holiday, always remember to be careful of the driver of the car, in the car behind the car in front of you! In other words, pay attention to what you are doing at all times. Keep your mind on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, stay off the cell phone, do not text, and keep your eyes watching your surroundings, be aware of what is taking place around you. (If you absolutely have to use the phone, pull over to the side of the road until you finish talking.)
If you are planning on staying at home, keep as cool as it is possible to do. Drink plenty of water, and take care not to get too overheated. You do not want to have a heat stroke or other heat related problems that could be controlled by staying indoors during the heat of the day and by replacing body fluids with liquids, other than alcoholic beverages.
Do not forget to protect yourself with sunscreen. Sunburn is one of the most uncomfortable things there is. The best cure is prevention, but milk of magnesia, kept in the fridge and gently patted on the skin, is a great antidote. Also, cooled, brewed tea patted on, or even just cloths repeatedly wrung out in cold water will help ease the burning. There are some excellent commercial remedies on the market, but these three are all old timers!
Do not ever hold fireworks such as bottle rockets, firecrackers or anything else in your hands, this is one of the foremost causes of injuries. Also check the ordinances in your city as to whether you can use fireworks there or not, and if you are out in the country, be sure there isn’t a burn ban in existence.
Also, never, under any circumstances should you fire a gun into the air. The bullet comes back down at a considerable speed and can kill on impact. A young girl in San Antonio lost her life in just that way, several years ago. This sounds like common sense, but sometimes that is sadly lacking when everyone is having a good time and/or adult beverages are involved. Be safe, follow the rules.
Both of these recipes will travel well to a picnic or potluck dinner. Mine was kept hot in one of the insulated bags from the grocery store until we were ready to serve.
Spaghetti and Chicken
2 lbs. cooked chicken (I used leg/thigh quarters, but you can use any combination you want, as long as you end up with 2 pounds of meat).
2 or 3 ribs of celery
1 onion, quartered
Salt and pepper, garlic if desired
1 large green bell pepper
1 medium onion
½ stick butter or margarine
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can RoTel® tomatoes and green chilies (we used mild, but you can use any heat you like)
(Alternative to Ro-Tel® tomatoes, is a can of petite diced tomatoes)
1 package spaghetti or other pasta (12 to 16-oz)*
1 to 1½ cups shredded cheese
After the chicken is cooked, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Cook chicken with celery, onion, salt and pepper until done. Remove from pot to bowl or other container until it is cool enough to handle, pick meat from bones, dice or cut to bite size and set aside. Strain and reserve broth, reheat broth to boiling and cook spaghetti until al dente; while it is cooking, dice green bell pepper and onion and sauté in butter or margarine until nearly done. Add soups and tomatoes and stir to mix. Drain spaghetti, reserving a cup or two of the broth;** add to the soup/tomato mixture and stir; add the chicken and pour into 9×13, lightly greased baking pan or casserole dish, bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, top with cheese and bake an additional five to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned. *Since many people, especially when eating spaghetti with a plastic utensil have trouble keeping it on the fork, I used Rotini type pasta and used the 16-oz box. **If the mixture seems dry, add some of the broth, you don’t want it ‘soupy’ but it does need to be moist. My oven is out, so I baked it in my microwave at 80% power for 15 minutes, stirred it well, and then added the cheese and baked another 15 minutes. The cheese was melted, but not browned and no one even noticed.
Fudge Pound Cake
1 box yellow cake mix, any brand
2 small packages instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
½ cup cooking oil
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag (12-oz semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Mix together oil, water, eggs and vanilla; beat on low just to blend. Add cake mix and pudding mix and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Fold in chips; pour into Bundt pan and bake 55 to 60 minutes. Frost with a can of chocolate fudge frosting melted and drizzled over cake if desired.