The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:46 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

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A Game of Chess

By Linda H. Barnette

Genealogy is a very interesting hobby that I started doing seriously after I retired from teaching in 2004. Because several of my relatives were interested in family history, I got the research bug from them.

At first, I looked in all of the usual places: cemeteries, books, family Bibles, deed books, and so on. After a few years, I had put together quite a lengthy narrative about my dad’s family, the Hartleys of Davidson County. My son was my sidekick during this process, visiting old cemeteries and houses and editing my work as it went along. At that point, I thought I was finished with my work!

However, it occurred to me that it might also be interesting to study my mother’s family, which I did, and wrote a second narrative about them—Smiths and Dwiggins. By then, I knew I had been bitten by the proverbial genealogy bug.

Of course, within the last few years, many records such as censuses, deeds, marriage bonds, and death certificates have become digitized, making it easier to locate information online. For years I went to the Davie County Public Library and worked with volunteers in the History Room there and realized that the library has a fantastic collection for a relatively small place. Also, Ancestry is free for the public to use there.

At this point, there is no end in sight, and one can never complete a family tree because every generation doubles, going from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on, and at the 10th generation, we each have 512 ancestors. And those numbers grow exponentially the further back the tree goes. The following quote explains it well:

For you to be born today from 12 previous generations,  you would have had a total of 4094 ancestors over the last 400 years.

Doing this work has not proven that I am related to royalty, nobility or great wealth. However, I am proud to come from a long line of people of faith, those who loved the land and farmed it, people who believed public service to be important, patriots, and to all of those dreamers who sought a better world.  None of it was ever wasted!

A Built-In Transmitter

By Stephanie Williams Dean

The Bible has much to say about communication. We were born with a built-in communication system. No matter what happens in the world or what personal situations arise, we can directly communicate at all times with God. We have an internal transmitter – the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, God has intimate knowledge of our thoughts and words. We communicate back with God through consistent prayer and reading God’s words in the Bible. God helps us understand His word and apply it to our lives. When we discipline ourselves to spend time with God, we begin to discern God’s voice from the world’s noise. And in return, God begins speaking to us through His Holy Spirit – and our thoughts, dreams, and visions. We begin to hear Him through our conscience, in the words of those around us, and our daily circumstances. God hears our prayers – and answers.

John 8:47 reads, “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (NIV)

If you think about it – the first communication to exist was from God and through His Holy Spirit. Throughout human history, God communicated by speaking audibly to humans. But communication is more than just talking – it’s also about listening. That’s fundamental in any form of communication, whether with God or a friend. Learn to cultivate a listening heart – by being quiet. Listen to hear God’s words come through your transmitter. And in your daily lives, think before you speak. Talk less and listen more.

Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (NIV)

Being a good listener is essential – in all the ways we hear and with all folks from whom we hear – but especially when listening for the voice of God.

Good Neighbors

By  E. Bishop

What is a good neighbor?  It is someone who lives close to you usually. Hopefully, they are friendly, quiet, respectful, trustworthy and easy to get along with. After reading the story about my mother in the Enterprise, a close neighbor called me saying “yes” she remembered eating possum with my mother.  She didn’t think anything of it; tasted like chicken.   What a testament for being a good neighbor!  She went on to tell me quite a few things about being my mother’s next-door neighbor and how much she loved her.  Some things she mentioned sounded almost like the old pioneer days.

The first winter Nancy and Gene moved next door, Nancy said they almost froze to death trying to heat with a wood stove. Between the two of them, they had four children from their previous marriages.  I’m sure that alone would be a struggle for any newly married couple. Being a considerate neighbor, my mother made them some quilts out of feed sacks for that winter. Nancy still cherishes a few of those quilts.  And, through the years, both helped each other out like good friends and neighbors do.  If there was a big snow, Nancy would make a visit next door to make sure my mother was okay.  Also, they looked through the trees and knew everything was okay if the lights were on.

No one could ask for better neighbors and friends than Nancy and Gene Harris. Nancy just recently helped my daughter, Sarah, with a chicken (Trudy) that had been attacked by a raccoon. She gave some good advice and Trudy, less one eye, is still alive. The couple has earned the right to a good life in retirement. Nancy stated they started their marriage with four children and four cows.  She worked at Heritage Furniture for 38 years and then 14 years for Bayada Nursing, retiring when Gene turned 80. Gene is a veteran, worked at Heritage and Jockey until retiring. However, they have never truly retired. You will still see both of them out taking care of their Angus cows, chickens and quails, and working in the hay field. Their children live close by so they are able to help out, but I don’t think either will ever give up. Hard working, warm-hearted, considerate, willing to offer a helping hand – what else could you ask for in a neighbor?

If you happen to know these two incredible people, please wish them a happy 45th wedding anniversary (May 7th).  As their neighbor and friend, I congratulate them and promise that I won’t be inviting them over for possum unless there’s an extreme food shortage.