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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Bloom where you're planted!

Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007, at 3:25 PM

(Photo)
Autumn comes to the DeJournett pond in beautiful rural Tillman, situated in the northern hills of Crowley's Ridge, just minutes from the busy metropolis of Advance and the sleepy village of Bell City.
Autumn came today in Southeast Missouri, and now we all remember why we love it here in the foothills of Crowley's Ridge, perched above the Sikeston flatlands and the Poplar Bluff plains. (Okay, so my geographical terms may not be out of the book, but it works for me!)

Throughout this hot, dry summer, I've questioned my family's decision to ever come to this God-forsaken place of humid, 105-degree summers, riddled each July with drought and plagued each spring with floods. Friday's Statesman gives us the list of the 22 Missouri counties that Governor Blunt has requested be declared natural disaster areas: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Jefferson, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Stoddard, Washinton, and Wayne. Yep, there it is, folks. Early spring, followed by severe freeze - Then drought. It's a wonder we have any trees left.

But look at it now. Wow. Aren't you glad you didn't sell out and move to... where? Do you think there's a perfect place in these United States? And if there were, wouldn't it already be over-populated? I've heard that California used to be the "promised land," but from what I've heard of the urban sprawl, air pollution, and over-population, I wonder if folks didn't just pave over paradise and make it a parking lot. (Love that song!)

When I taught in Fairbanks years ago, I had a bright little poster on the wall of my English room. ElFreda modified the quote for the Oct. 10 NSC: "Bloom where you are planted!" One of my students, troubled by her family's move up to the frozen north, told me how much that poster helped her through a hard time.

I suppose we can always do like my goats and look to the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but I wonder if we would really improve our situation if we just picked up and moved to those greener pastures...

Then we'd miss these golden days of autumn, for sure. Robert Frost's poem bears restating:

"Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower,

but only so an hour.

So leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief.

So Dawn goes down to Day.

Nothing gold can stay."

From the green and gold hills of Tillman, this is your philosophical goat herder, Madeline, signing off...


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Madeline,

Thank you for ringing in autumn with your wit and wisdom and a dash of color! Makes all of us want to dash out in the morning in search of some orange!

-- Posted by bringwine on Sun, Oct 21, 2007, at 10:26 PM

Yes, it does. Hopefully, we'll have some color this year. With the drought it may not be much.

Don't you just love Robert Frost? Thanks, Madeline. I'd expect from such a wonderful teacher. You may be retired, but in fact you've just switched to teaching different classes.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 12:57 PM

Reading your blog today took me back 20 years. I remember sitting in your English classroom listening to you read this poem and watching The Outsiders. And listening to stories of your teaching experiences is Alaska.

My dad turned me on to your blog several weeks ago, they have been such a joy to read.

-- Posted by Vam on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 1:39 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Oh, oh, oh!!! What a treat to check my blog today and find a former student here!! I well remember "The Outsiders." Every time I read the poem, I think of that movie!

And, my lovely, lovely child - I have figured out who you are and can tell you what an absolute treasure you were to have in class! Of all the memories I have from teaching, those years were some of the very best!

Thank you so much for letting me hear from you!

Well, phooey! Our beautiful orange autumn didn't last long, did it??

NOW we get rain! Where was it all summer??

Southeast Missouri weather! Gotta love it!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 7:52 AM

Ms Madeline, I enjoy reading your columns, and must ask, are you the one who supplies goats to the annual Puxico Homecoming??????????? No offense now, people say I have a weird sense of humor. My little 2 year old grandson fought me for my goatburger 5 years ago in Puxico, just had to ask!!!!!

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 11:14 AM

Aggghhhh! Run, dexterite, run! Don't let Ms. Madeline hear you talk about goatburgers! From what we can tell from these blogs and her columns, hers are pets - particularly the house goat, Patsy (who thinks she's a dog). I don't think she's gone so far as to knit them little sweaters for cold weather, yet. Run for your life!!!!!

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 12:48 PM

In hushed tones,"Run Dexterite,run and don't look back or the sharp keyboards of MJ and Goat Lady will be the weapon of your undoing."

Poor,poor foolish Dexterite,will you people never learn? You don't mess with Minnie,or spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,and you don't make jokes about eating goats.

Dexterite,we hardly knew ye.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 12:56 PM

WHAT??? EAT GOATS?! You cannibal, you! I hope your Puxico goatburger sticks in your throat, elevates your cholesterol to epic proportions and causes your sleep to be filled with nightmares that make Freddie Kruger look like Snow White!!!

Just wait till our dear Madeline gets off from work: She'll give you a tongue-lashing you won't soon forget!!

Cake Lady, where are you?? Get out the vanilla FAST! Our loyal goat troop is in great danger!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 2:10 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, indeed, I have returned, and not a moment too soon! It looks as if an enemy carnivore has crept up on us from over the Dexter hills!

And, as if it isn't bad enough that Dexterite has his/herself indulged in the odious Puxico goatburgers, he/she has actually foisted this carnivorous calamity upon the younger generation! For shame, Miss/Mr. Dexterite person! What would your darling 2-year old grandson think if he could look into the beautiful rectangular yellow eyes of a goat, and know that he had EATEN one??? Zounds! Freddie Kruger, indeed!!

I am shocked beyond words!! (Well, that's going a little far, I suppose, since I've never been beyond words before..) Anyway, I am horrified!

Just kidding my dear friends, just wanted to see if I (male) could raise your 'ire', whatever that is. Please forgive me and I shall never order a goatburger again, will just let them lie there and wait for the next Angus to stroll by. Have a super day, this is better than talking politics isnt it?????

-- Posted by changedname on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 1:55 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Consider your "ire-raising" mission accomplished, Dexterite! And thanks for identifying your gender! It's irritating to have to include both pronouns in every sentence!

Well, I'll be dogged! You were just joshin' us! How cute is that?? I guess we should all try to shake things up a bit on the blogs occasionally. Gets the 'ole heart pumpin'!

You are dead right about the politics, too! Nice to have a choice!

Thanks for the wake up call!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 7:11 PM

Sometimes I think you're more apt to bloom where you're planted if your seed pod has floated around the country a bit first. :)

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 11:00 PM

I know that when I was a young my family would have been considered poor like many others in my community. On several occasions I was very happy to have goat along with those big ole biscuits my mother used to make. Thanks mom for the biscuits and the goat.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 11:02 PM

I.B. LeTruth, you rapscallion! I'll be hog-tied if you haven't resurfaced to bedevil us again!

Hogwash to your biscuits and goat gravy!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Oct 25, 2007, at 6:06 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
True, true. I.B. has the remarkable ability to kick up a fuss in as few words as possible! Quite an enviable talent!

I am not being mean, just honest. It was pretty goooooood and my little pot belly malnourished body stopped hurting and I am thankful for that.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Oct 25, 2007, at 8:11 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Do you HAVE to keep rubbing it in?? We get the point! You were an innocent, starving waif, who merely partook of goat flesh in order to survive and turn into SUPER BLOGGER!!!

Do you have any other crimes you'd like to confess to, while you're at it??

Crimes? Nope.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Oct 26, 2007, at 7:53 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
You do realize that I'm just kidding, don'tcha??

Thanks for all the postings on my Autumn blog, folks! It went a lot farther than I thought it would, especially after we got started on the goat-eating issue!

It's nice to have some simple, funny choices to offer on the blogs, after all the wrangling we've gone through over the dogfighting issue. Everything has its place under the sun! I really appreciate all my virtual friends in the Blogisphere!

Yep, thanks for opportunity to blog with you and relieve some stress.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Oct 27, 2007, at 9:26 AM

Having lived in a variety of places that are as hot, as cold, as windy, as foggy, and darn near as rainy as any civilized areas on Earth, I think 但*申*申Bloom where you are planted!但*申*申 wonderfully sums up the attitude of making the best of wherever you are and whatever situation you happen to be. But then again, there is no doubt that at times the grass can be 但*申*申greener但*申*申 somewhere else, and for one但*申*申s physical, psychological or financial health you should head in that direction. After all, everyone (other than native Americans) either personally, or had ancestors who came to the U.S. from some other country for a variety of reasons that they felt were compelling.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Oct 28, 2007, at 3:54 PM

I saw that for some unknown reason weird character's were inserted in my Post, so I retyped it.

Having lived in a variety of places that are as hot, as cold, as windy, as foggy, and darn near as rainy as any civilized areas on Earth, I think "Bloom where you are planted!" wonderfully sums up the attitude of making the best of wherever you are and whatever situation you happen to be in. But then again, there is no doubt that at times the grass can be "greener" somewhere else, and for one's physical, psychological or financial health you should head in that direction. After all, everyone (other than native Americans) either personally, or had ancestors who came to the U.S. from some other country for a variety of reasons that they felt compelling.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Oct 28, 2007, at 4:05 PM

Well, FJGuy, I'm glad you retyped that posting. I was beginning to think you had some sort of code going on, a mathematical term of some kind that only a brilliant mind could decipher.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Oct 28, 2007, at 7:38 PM


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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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