12-05-2019 Tri-City History Page

After apple picking This morning the world outside my window in front of the computer is cold and wintry. And I’ve been thinking about the season we are leaving behind. Autumn was beautiful but all too brief, and the days grow short. Robert Frost lived on a farm in New England and he knew about the seasons. He wrote in a poem called “After Apple Picking” the following words:

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree Toward heaven still, And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now.

I married a girl who spent her younger years on a farm. Marion’s folks had several hundred acres, mostly fruit. Every fall one of the last major crops to get in was apples. When the kids were small she would bring them out when they were not in school, and they all picked apples. They loved it and could make some money. Nothing wrong with teaching children the relationship between productive labor and the money it produces! Sunny afternoons and storytelling as they picked the fruit and put it in big boxes. Thus they all had a hunger to earn more, and as I look back I can see the beginning of their work worlds. All three of the girls got jobs later as waitresses or in sales. Son Rob bought a lawn mower and started his own business. There’s something great about working outside except in bad weather. I was always impressed by the expensive machinery it took to run a farm. Just the other day brother Bob and I were sitting in the dining room and he noticed our Vineyard bus sitting forlornly out in the parking lot as it started to snow. He said, “I hope they put that bus in the garage for this bad weather. It’s too expensive to leave sitting out!” He was so right, and in another day they had it put away in the garage. Bob reminded me of his dad… Louis H. Kling was a good farmer and took care of his equipment. I can remember riding with them through the winter countryside, and he said, “Look at that combine… sitting out in the field. It’s too expensive to leave out there to rust!” Farm work is not easy, but as I said there’s something about working in the open and producing a valuable product. I worked on their farm summers when Marion and I were first married and I was still going to school. We hoed long rows of strawberry plants… that’s not easy on the back! I cultivated crops with a tractor as they were growing. We got in the hay and straw bales, and stored them in the barn (in spite of my allergies!). One summer Dad Kling had a back injury and was restricted to light work for a while. He told me on a day to take the tractor and hay baler and do the alfalfa field that was cut, dried, and raked into rows. We needed to get it in before any rain came. With some misgivings I got my equipment ready. The baler had seen some years of use and had a tendency to get out of adjustment. Through an intricate system of hooks and eyes, binder twine was fed into the machine and wrapped around the bales holding them together. I said to Dad Kling, “What if the system gets fouled up and breaks the twine?” He answered, “I guess you’ll just have to crawl underneath and figure it out to rethread it!” So off I went and started baling the hay field. All went well for a few rounds and just as I was getting confident, Bingo! The twine snapped, and the machine started spewing hay all over! I stopped and just looked at the machine! I could feel Dad Kling’s eyes on me through the window across the road. I crawled underneath, traced the path of the twine through all the eyelets and finally got it threaded again. Then I went on my way popping bales out of the rear of that baler… up and down the rows. And I finished it! When I went back to the house there he was waiting for me! “Did the twine break?” he asked. “Yes it did!” “What did you do?” “I crawled under and rethreaded it,” I said. He turned around and back into the house with a smile on his face. I felt some satisfaction as though I had just passed a test. And I guess I had! Dad Kling was quite a philosopher in his own way. I heard him say more than once, “Well begun is half done. Be it large or be it small, do it well or not at all!” Pretty good philosophy for all of us as we weave golden threads into the Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Coloma Public Library News Christmas Holiday Hours The Coloma Public Library will be open normal hours in December with the following exceptions: closed Tuesday Dec. 24, Wednesday Dec. 25, and Tuesday Dec. 31. December Story Times Miss Alicia will host Story Times on Tuesday, December 10 and 17 at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Story Times on December 24 or 31. Registration is not required to participate. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Story of Arthur Truluv” by Elizabeth Berg. Depending on demand there may be titles available for check-out at the front desk. New members are always welcome. Christmas Tree Display The Coloma Public Library is sponsoring a Christmas Tree at the North Berrien Historical Museum. The Library’s entry will be available for viewing at the Museum’s Holiday Open House on December 6-8, 2019.

Watervliet District Library News Story Hour Story Hour for ages 3 – 5 is on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. (choose one) for the months of October to April. Picture books, crafts & fun designed to inspire the love of reading! STEM Kit Programs Snap Circuits – LEGO Robotics – Little Bits Electronic Inventions STEM kit programs for 8 years and up are designed for small groups to work together to make an endless number of inventions. New groups are set up with participants’ schedule in mind. Interested? Sign up at the desk! Free earbuds for an hour of Code, Dec 2 – 7 For pre-teens and teens ages 10 – 18 who codes for an hour at the library will receive a free set of earbuds, all during the week. Try it for an hour; walk away, if you can! Coding website suggestions will be provided. “Ugly Sweaters are Murder” A library murder mystery Thursday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m. Yoga Mondays 9 – 10 a.m.; Wednesdays 7 – 8 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6 – 6:30 p.m.

Lakeland Rehabilitation to host winter Sensory Camp Children age three to 12 who have a diagnosis of autism, sensory processing disorder, or cerebral palsy are invited to experience a fun and active group environment during the Spectrum Health Lakeland Sensory Camp. Led by licensed physical, speech, and occupational therapists, activities are presented in a consistent routine and include sensory motor exercises, balance and coordination, obstacle courses, socialization opportunities, and gross motor tasks, among others. “After seven years of overwhelming success with this program, and at the request of many parents/ caregivers of children with special needs, w