Longfellow’s Christmas Grief

bells10cby Judy Bushy
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote one of my favorite Christmas Carols on Christmas day in 1863. He was a 57 year old widowed father of six children. In 1961.His wife, Fannie’s dress had caught fire.His face was so burned trying to save her that he couldn’t even go to her funeral,. In 1963 his son, Charles Appleton Longfellow left home to join Lincolns Army to fight in the Civil War. Charley got typhoid fever and was out for the Gettysburg battle, but went back. December 1st Henry received a telegram saying Charley was seriously wounded and moved to New Hope Church. When he went to his side, he was told that he might be permanently paralyzed. Fortunately, the bullet missed his spine by a fraction of an inch but the doctor wasn’t sure about his recovery. Back home on Christmas Day, he wrote, I heard the Bells on Christmas Day:
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play, and wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
‘Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead,nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

A friend, neighbor and sister for 45 years posted on Facebook that this time isn’t so happy for some, and is lonely for others. So, please, share a smile, or greeting, or some time with those who may not have such a joyous celebration. Forgive those who you’ve counted as enemies as the One whse birthday we celebrate has exemplified. And there is plenty of ways to cheer others this time of year. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_16?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=christmas+carols+songbook&sprefix=Christmas+Carols%2Caps%2C329&crid=3IS136133PLNR&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Achristmas+carols+songbook

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day!”…Peace on Earth, Good Will to men!

by Judy BushyPeace on Earth
What do you think of when you remember Christmas as a child, a youth, and through the years?
My early Christmases were spent at the large two story home that my grandfather, Granville Ainsworth Hudson, had built over fifty years before as home for his new bride, my grandmother, Lena. There was plenty of space for five daughters, son, all the spouses and at least a dozen children for breakfast. No one could do anything until breakfast of oatmeal and cherries, was eaten together and the dishes all washed, except look at the beautifully lit tree, We’d first seen the tree that morning as the adults decorated late Christmas eve. After dishes, we opened presents and then my mother would gather us to leave for church. I’d put on a red choir robe for the junior children’s choir. The organ would play out the joyous music as the bells in the tower rang and we began the processional singing down the aisle.

It is such fun to see the joyous anticipation of children at this time of year. At a department store in Minneapolis while in High School— two Christmas seasons. It was especially fun when I got to help the elves make handmade candy canes that were given out by Santa Claus! Cleaning up the orange soda that was stuck everywhere from the tykes dropping them wasn’t as much fun, but it was so neat to see people thoughtfully buying gifts for the children in their lives!

After meeting my husband the week of high school graduation at seventeen, we were busy driving from Minneapolis to Bayfield, Wisconsin each Christmas Eve. After time with my family we drove 300 miles to Dan’s family on the shores of Lake Superior for Christmas morning. Usually there was a blizzard. It was always beautiful and we loved the snow. The years went by and we added pur little ones, and they kept growing up fast.

As they years went by I’d usually have first five or six and then ten or more children every day for daycare. We’d make something new, ornaments, gifts, wrapping paper and cards; projects of artwork and stories, songs and games each day in December.. That was always fun!

But sometimes this isn’t such a happy time of year. There was 1976, when my mother was in the hospital, mostly unconscious from before Thanksgiving to New Years eve.. We were grateful for the years the Lord had given us with her as she was expected to leave us six months after the diagnosis/ Instead, by the Lord’s mercy, was able to be present for four grandchildren thirteen years later.

I remember in 1990, crying for months solid. It is unbelievable how much tears a person has capacity to shed. Anytime “I’ll be home for Christmas” was sung or another program suggested families all being together, would bring on another cloudburst, since our oldest son had gone home to be with the Lord October 26th.

Even when it isn’t a time of great grief or sorrow, this time of year it just seems like there should be gatherings of friends and family, When that isn’t possible, missing them is hard. So sometimes this time of year isn’t the joy and excitement as it is at other stages of life.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written at a time of civil war and hardship, speak of the truth of the joy of the season. “I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat, of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth the cannon thundered in the South,And with the sound the carols drowned,
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent the hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn the households born of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head, “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong,And mocks the song Of peace on earth good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
With all the hate and war on the earth, lets remember the way of peace on earth, good will to men!

Outdoor Family Fun and hikes around Happy Camp!

A view of Happy Camp, California - from the top of the town trail, on the south side of the Klamath River.

After climbing the Town Trail, you get to rest at the top at a picnic table, and enjoy this beautiful view of Happy Camp, California

by Judy Bushy
The beautiful little town of Happy Camp is a very well kept secret! The theme has always been Outdoor Family fun! This area along the Klamath River certainly lives up to that.

We traveled 729 miles this week within three days, leaving Thursday and coming home Saturday. The one best thing about a grandparents Christmas is the joy in seeing the tykes and getting all those hugs! At the same time, t was good to get back to the quiet forest, and be able to find the post office, and be close to home!! Reminders of how nice it is to live in Happy Camp, among our Klamath Neighbors!. Only thing better would be if all the children and grandkids could be airlifted in on a regular basis and not so very far away.

Earlier in the week, Jeff Ellison at the Happy Camp District of the Klamath National Forest shared news about new signs. Signs have been added along Highway 96 to welcome visitors to our community. . The Forest service has new signs that help travelers know where to go for information and restrooms. CalTrans has added the information that the Road over the hill goes to 199 the Redwood Highway, in only 38 miles, but that snow isn’t cleared in winter.

That is vitally important for travelers not accustomed to our area. Just the week or so before there was a case of a couple and children and dog who followed their GPS up the road from the Oregon side of the mountain. They got stuck. There was no cell service. They had to spend overnight there, but thankfully, were fine when rescued the next day. They were happy that even though they didn’t have cell phone service, 911 works anyway!!

Jeff is the Recreation expert at the local Forest Service office. He also shared a wonderful new handout for visitors to our area. Not only does it welcome them but shares the ample opportunity’s for everyone, boating, fishing, swimming, biking, the museum, recreational mining, scenic drives and the hikes. The community river Walk is a nice easy hike with an interpretive information following along the Klamath River.

Then there are the moderate hikes, up Town Trail, Elbow Springs, Elk Creek up at Sulphur Springs, Fort Goff, Grider Creek and the Benjamin Creek Trail going from just over a mile to five and a half miles. For more strenuous trails one can follow clear Creek into the Siskiyou Wilderness over 23 miles from which I’ve seen beautiful photos taken. The Bear Lake Trailhead is also nearly three miles climbing into the Marble Mountains to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Come to think of it, one who wanted a very long strenuous trail (for months) to take the Pacific Crest Trail to Mexico or to Canada. And to think that it all is available right here in Happy Camp. One can start with the easy, move up to the moderate and end up hiking for an extended summer vacation!

Thanks to Jeff for all the helpful information to share with travelers who contact the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce all the time. They keep us busy answering letters, e-mails and phone calls!

Can Anyone tell me What Christmas Is All About?

by Judy Bushy
We are going to see a Charlie Brown’s Christmas. I know, it is old. When I was working at the Art Instruction Schools office in 1965, Charles Schultz was one of our artist instructors for those who wanted to learn cartooning. At the same time, he was having his first full length movie, Charlie Brown’s Christmas. I’m sure you ‘ve heard it. It has a lilting little tune that stays in your head even when you haven’t heard it for a very long time but brings to mind Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and all the gang.

Last time we had to venture out of town, we did a little shopping. Mostly window shopping since trips usually fall before payday!!. It is ironic that one has to drive, usually at least an hour and a half, to go into the doctor’s office for fifteen minutes for lab tests! I shouldn’t complain, that’s better than the trip to Redding or Sacramento for the same lab tests!! But once one has driven all that way, some refreshments if not a full meal are required, gas and usually some little thing you’ve been waiting a week or a month to get out to where purchase is possible!

I was surprised. There were lots of decorations, snowmen, snowflakes, red ribbons and baubles and bows….but didn’t see one single thing that would tell whose Birthday we celebrate at Christmas. There was a interview on the street asking many people who were the people at the first Thanksgiving in America and none of them knew it was “pilgrims.” The only exception seems to be in the greeting card department, maybe only grandparents send cards anymore?

So I’m going to get busy and write some letters and watch Charlie Brown Christmas, because Linus knows why we celebrate Christmas!
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
““That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

Klamath Neighbors Cooperation

steelheadsign-2by Judy Bushy
We have so many Klamath neighbors to be thankful for. The Happy Camp Neighborhood Watch met last night seeking ways to solve the mysterious bicycle thefts. While we are sorry there are thieves, we are thankful that others want to work together to help stop them

Some of the High school students are planning a trip to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. They’ve been working so hard with bake sales, car wash, spaghetti dinner, enchiladas and baked potato dinners and Chinese lunch. We are thankful for a community that gets together and supports the fundraising of the youngsters.

There are many who made decorated bras for the annual Breast Cancer Fundraiser as well even though there wasn’t a dinner this year.

Saturday there will be a good opportunity at the Harvest Craft Faire at the Seiad Valley Fire hall 9am to 3 pm. There will be a great array of beautiful craft items available. There will be homemade soup and bread and lunch will be at 11:30 t6o0 1:30. Annie Buma who makes beautiful wooden frames was at the Orleans Craft Fair last week for the Mid-Klamath Watershed (MKWC)group and mentioned that she will be in Seiad next week. They appreciate your support of the local fire department as well.

They’ve sold out all tables, so if you missed these sales, your opportunity will be Saturday, December 3rd at the Grange. Give Ruth Bain 493-2989 a call if you want a table.

So though our community seems to be shrinking from all the Lions, Lioness’, american Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other formal organizations, our Klamath Neighbors are still working to combat crime with the Neighborhood Watch, to support our students, to fight cancer that plagues some residents-our friends and neighbors, and to prepare for the Holidays and earn a bit of spending money with out art and craft creations and even needlework and baking! It is easy to be thankful for a community like Happy Camp and those who volunteer and give of themselves!!

Those “No Monument” Signs you see…

11monument1707purhome by Judy Bushy
With the Presidential election over next week, and a new president to take office in January there has been concern reviving about all the “No Monument” signs that you see up and down the River and Roads in our area. I really like the suggestion that someone made that we should add a not to the effect that PEOPLE ARE WELCOME to make the signs more friendly. However, there has been a great deal of concern in our area about the possibility that a presidential stroke of a pen could turn our whole area into a National Monument which was the reason for signs. We were asked to express our opinion on that proposed expansion to involve all of our area from Dillon Creek , north of Highway 96 and up to the Cascade National Monument by Ashland Oregon. This new area would be called the Siskiyou Crest National Monument, but there were suggestions that at the very least, the monument should not be expanded without a vote of Congress.11monument1686russ

The area around the Oregon Caves just north of us has recently been expanded, which makes more sense as the Caves area is very fragile and any effect on the watershed surrounding it has a n effect on the cave. The 480 acre Oregon Caves National Park will be increased 4,070 acres. That is quite difference from increasing the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument of 86,774 acres with the Siskiyou Crest National Monument to 686,774 acres. Even at that, the Mayor of Cave Junction didn’t expect any economic improvement from the change. In Oregon there is O & C Act that requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)to manage its lands for the benefit of the community which perhaps leads to more input of local residents.

With Southern Oregon and Northern California experiencing catastrophic wildfires, , federally-owned forests need more management, not less, in the opinion of many in our community.. To that end we have seen a great deal of Fire Safe Council work and input in the local Happy Camp District of the Klamath Forest and recent TREX efforts. With Happy Camp surrounded by Federal lands, the residents sporting “No Monument” signs usually believe that these lands should be available for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation that is the hallmark of our community. When the Mill closed, promises of tourism improvements to our economy were presented. Many local businesses are dependant on tourist s, who need the forest to be accessible for recreational use., This leads to the belief that the forest should be actively managed for multiple benefits and values.

Expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument ‘s management under the Antiquities Act would bring about just the opposite to those residents.
Of course Klamath Siskiyou Wilds who originally proposed the idea to the Interior Department, has a large membership who actively writes letters to support locking up the land. Our small population, who may not be as active presenting their view against the proposal except for local signs and meetings, feels greatly disadvantaged even though it is the home of generations of many families in Happy Camp. . In a way, the community’s lack of political action for what they see as the obvious best for the community, is in effect outnumbered by distant vocal strangers who want to see the area changed without concern over devastation of local economy. A www.healthy forest.com website invites participation.

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