A Chat with Vicki and Walter

Is it really possible to attend a meeting without being there?

Past State Master and Maine State Grange Treasurer Vicki Huff chats with Piscataquis Pomona Overseer Walter Boomsma

As many know, Vicki was greatly disappointed when she had to cancel her plans to attend our Pomona Picnic. While discussing that, we came up with the idea she could at least share some thoughts with us “virtually.” We always enjoy Vicki’s laugh and positivity! Of course, this isn’t quite the same but it was fun to reminisce and share thoughts and ideas.

More Honors at Valley Grange

During a very “non-traditional” Community Celebration, Valley Grange Secretary Mary Annis announced recent membership recognition awards. Referred as “Golden Sheaf Members,” William Baird, Sherry French, and Joan Wright were all recognized for fifty years of continuous membership. Carolyn Campbell, unfortunately recently passed away just short of her seventieth year of membership.

Somewhat at the opposite end of the membership spectrum, Program Director Walter Boomsma congratulated Kylie Warman “for being the first baby born to a Valley Grange Member in forty two years.” Kylie is the daughter of member Heather Burgess and Charlie Warman. The award was accepted by her great grandmother, Pat Engstrom.\

December Meeting Changes!

Friday Meeting will now take place on Thursday in conjunction with Piscataquis Pomona Meeting

After careful consideration, we’ve decided to combine the Valley Grange “Breakfast for Supper” with the Piscataquis Pomona Meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2020! That means our supper Thursday night at 6 p.m. won’t be the traditional Pomona Potluck… but folks are encouraged to bring a breakfast-type dish to share. Walter will provide his classic “Apple French Toast” casserole… Bill says he’ll bring beans, they’re for breakfast too… Mary’s makin’ bacon! Questions regarding the meal are welcome!

We are scaling back a bit… which means we’ll eliminate the optional gift exchange usually held during the December Pomona Meeting–these are challenging times, and we’re trying to simplify! We also won’t be collecting items for a food cupboard, instead, we’ll consider cash donations to a food cupboard or the Parkman Grange SAD 4 Santa Project.

One activity we’ll be looking for some help with is labeling dictionaries! It looks like we’ll just be dropping off the dictionaries this year. I did manage an in-person presentation at PCES but that will probably be the only exception.

To further clarify, we’re talking about Thursday, December 3rd… Breakfast for Supper at 6 pm, primarily the responsibility of Valley Grange… the meeting at 7 pm will be a Piscataquis Pomona Meeting and we’re hoping Pomona Lecturer Dave Pearson will regale us with an appropriate “Lecturer’s Program.”  And this takes place at Valley Grange. Frankly, we don’t expect a crowd so we should be able to respect physical distancing… bring your facemasks. We’re Grangers; we can make this work!

Parade of Pirates

Additional Information and Resources

New information being added regularly! Keep checking back!

Our communities and schools are a great place to live and learn! That’s worth celebrating! We also want to provide our kids with some sense of closure–the last day of school may be bittersweet, it’s also exciting!

Breakfast for Supper? Sure!

It’s an annual tradition! Grange Cooks get organized and plan a breakfast for supper featuring special dishes like Judy’s Muffins, Walter’s French Toast, Mary’s Bacon… and everyone is invited to help either by bringing a dish to share or helping us eat what we have or both! Yes, you can come in your jammies! Kids and families are welcome!

The date is Friday, December 6, 2019, and the time is 6:00 pm. The Grange Hall is located at 172 Guilford Center Road, on the corner of Butter Street in Guilford. You don’t have to stay for the optional Holiday Program starting at 7:00 pm, but we hope you will!

If you have questions about what to bring or how to help with the menu (both are optional!) call Mary at 564-0820 or Janice at 876-4131, Take a break from shopping and decorating to enjoy good food and friendly fellowship with friends and neighbors.

There might even be some Christmas Cookies!

Secret Shoveler Strikes!

snow-shovel-2001776_640I headed to the Grange Hall yesterday with a deep sense of foreboding, trying not to imagine how much snow would be piled up on the steps and porch. There’d been at least three significant storms since someone was last there. I’d even loaded several types of shovels in case I encountered layers of ice and hard crust.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find only a little light snow to remove. It seems a secret shoveler had arrived at some point during recent weeks and removed the major accumulations. If you happened to drive by at the moment I discovered that you’d have seen me leaping for joy at the base of the steps!

The identity of the secret shoveler at this point is, well, a secret! The only evidence remaining was a pink snow shovel left on the porch. Since the shoveler was probably wearing gloves, it will not be dusted for fingerprints. It will, however, remain on the porch either to be reclaimed by its rightful owner or to be used by those who might be inclined to stop at the hall after a snowstorm and clear off the steps.

To our secret shoveler, we say, “Thanks!” It’s great to live in a community where folks help each other and the community. While we’re being grateful, we owe a big thanks to Jim French of French Construction for keeping our parking lot plowed during the winter!

Valley Grange does our best to remain “open for business” throughout the winter and knowing that it’s a community effort strengthens our resolve. This Thursday (February 7) we are hosting the Piscataquis Pomona Grange meeting with a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. On Friday (February 15) we’ll get together for our regular monthly meeting which also includes a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. We’ll be discussing our annual Community Night in May and selection of Community Citizen of the Year 2019. You’re invited to join us and help!

Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we’re here. To make each other feel safe.

Andre Agassi

Bake a Batch for Valley Grange?!


We’re looking for some bakers to help out with our “Balloons and Bake Sale” at River Festival on July 28, 2018this year… in addition to free balloons for the kids, we will be offering baked goods (individually wrapped portions) for sale to raise funds for our many community service programs. Creativity is certainly encouraged but to give a sense, we’re looking for things like brownies, whoopie pies, cookies… what’s your specialty? One batch will help!

Proceeds will help us maintain our hall and the many community service programs we offer every year such as:

  • Words for Thirds — every third grader in Guilford, Brownville, Dover Foxcroft, Dexter, and Harmony gets their very own dictionary to keep forever.
  • GrowME — in 2017 — we completed agriculturally themed, hands-on activities with nearly 700 kids in the area.
  • Project Linus — we host an annual “blanketeer” event to help produce blankets to help make kids feel safe.
  • Coups for Troops — one of the ways we support our troops is by collecting coupons for use in overseas PX’s.
  • Garry Owen House — one of the ways we support our veterans is with continuing donations of goods and dollars.

For additional information, contact Pat Engstrom (564-8290) or Mary Annis (564-0820). You can also email Mary.

First County Agent in Piscataquis County…

Grangers will likely enjoy this article penned (keyboarded?) by Mary Annis–President of the Dover Foxcroft Historical Society and Secretary of Valley Grange #144 in Guilford, Maine. Set in the early 1900’s, Annis tells the story of how the “young whippersnapper” Henry Bodwell became the first county agent in Piscataquis County and met with a great deal of resistance from “UncleFrank” Merrill, the master of the South Dover Grange who was best described as “240 pounds of pure sarcasm.”

Over 300 farmers and their wives were in attendance to hear “Uncle Frank”, as the popular Grange Master was known throughout the county, expound on what he thought of the appointment [of Bodwell as County Agent]. From his remarks, nobody doubted that the going ahead would be anything but smooth for the young man that “Uncle Frank” had so sarcastically referred to as that little “whipper snapper.”

Well-researched, the article includes stories as told by Bodwell himself and will help readers understand the important role the Grange played in Agriculture and the community in general. The story of how the “young whippersnapper” wins over “Uncle Frank” and his fellow farmers is a timely lesson even though it happened 100 years ago. It takes some creativity on his part, but the young county agent wins an opportunity to explain to Grangers and farmers that his, “job as County Agent can be compared to just what is happening here on your farm today, namely neighbors cooperating with one another to aid in a common cause.”

View, print, and download the article.

Annis, Mary, “Joseph Henry Bodwell Becomes First County Agent in Piscataquis County” (2017). Cooperative Extension – Agriculture. 14.
https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/extension_ag/14

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The exchanges below recently arrived by forwarded email and reminded me of a “performance” long-time Granger Laura Pratt and I did over a decade ago. We used a shorter version of this. I delivered the “My mother taught me…” and she replied with the quote. Those who knew Laura can probably hear her intonation and attest that her replies were very believable! So here’s to her memory and to your entertainment!

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

 My mother taught me RELIGION.

 “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

 My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

 My father taught me LOGIC.

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

 My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

 My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

 My father taught me IRONY.

“Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

 My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

 My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?”

 My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

 My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

 My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

 My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…”

 My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

 My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

 My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

 My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”

 My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

 My mother taught me ESP.

“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

 My father taught me HUMOR.

“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught me GENETICS.

“You’re just like your father.”

 My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me WISDOM.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

 My father taught me about JUSTICE.

 “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Up, Up and Away at River Festival

Here are just a few random images from the 2014 Guilford River Festival… Valley Grange is a proud participant, passing out approximately 300 balloons this year–including some that got away–and having a great time! Thanks to those who came by to visit and a special thanks to those who bought 101 Raffle Tickets! Your support makes our programs possible!

Booth space was provided by Abbot Village Press–hard working volunteers included Bob Carroll, Linda Erwin, Jim and Mary Annis, Roger and Judy Ricker, and Janice and Walter Boomsma.

 

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