BYNG — Gully-washer, toad-strangler!  How do you want to describe the rain that started in the wee hours on Sunday morning and was still falling on Monday  morning?  It has been so long since we’ve had a rain like this that I can’t remember all the clichés for describing it.     Everybody at church Sunday morning had a silly grin on his face as if he were in possession of a wondrous secret or a treasure known only to him, but if you inquired the reason for his bliss, he’d say “It’s raining!”

Monday, people are rejoicing over the fact that we got more than five inches of rain.  I’ve walked back to our pond and find that for the first time in months it’s holding a bit of water.  Not much, but it’s a start.

The showers we had a week ago had already done some good.  My poor crape myrtle trees which normally bloom from July til frost had no signs of blooming until this week when they began putting out tentative buds.   I expect them to be in full bloom when the sun comes out tomorrow or whenever. My tomato plants had put on small tomatoes and my pepper plants had begun to admit they were not strictly ornamental. (Pepper plants managed to stay green in the driest weather but had few edibles.) Now I expect to have some banana peppers and a few bells as well.

At this time of year, I’m normally trying my best to give away pears.  We usually have so many that bushels go to waste.  This year for only the third time in 50 years or so we have no pears.  Early in the year the trees were loaded but sometime in July or August when the temperatures went up to 108 degrees and  nobody could remember the last time it had rained, all the little pears quietly turned loose and dropped to the ground. The two previous times we had no pear crop it was because of a late frost that nipped the  blossoms.    The drought we had this year was the worst I can remember, but we’re all rejoicing now.   We’ve had five whole inches of rain, and nobody can take that away from us.

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David and Jodi Jackson became great-grandparents again this week.  Rick and Jaime Rodebush had a daughter whom they named Jaycee Rhyan.  She was born Monday, Oct. 9, at 10:59 a.m. She weighed six pounds, one ounce, and she was 17 ? inches long.  She has a sister, Jolee Micah who is four years old.

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All  who know her  have had Margaret Painter on their prayer list for the past several weeks.   She has had so many problems with her heart, and last Wednesday she was admitted to the Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City.  On Monday she underwent surgery to remove a mass surrounding her heart that has been pressing on the pulmonary artery making it difficult for her to breathe.  The family was concerned that she might not have been strong enough to endure the surgery, but she came through surprisingly well.  Doctors said they removed as much as possible of the mass which had grown there within the past few months since previous surgery which installed a window into her heart.  Pathology reports will be forthcoming in a few days.   

Burl Plunkett is at home, but he is extremely weak from treatments for leukemia.   He does not feel up to having visitors, but we can send cards and include him in our prayers as well.  Burl has had a very successful career as a basketball coach.  He coached Byng girls for several years then moved to Idabel for another 10 years.  He spent six years at OU as head basketball coach then went back to Valiant (his alma mater) for the final stretch.  He has been retired at Byng for the past few years.  His first wife, Betty, died in October, 2001.  He married Juneiva Little on Nov. 14, 2003.  His son, Gil, who teaches science at Del Crest Junior High School in Del City, is a frequent visitor.

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New Bethel Church has an official search committee now and they are planning to seek a new pastor.  The committee was elected by secret ballot Sunday night, Oct. 15.  Members include J.D. Thys, chairman; Calvin Nolen, Bill Dixon, Ruth Ann Taylor and Tricia Harris.   Alternates are Wes Eidson, Sterling Henley and Jim  Parks.

During the past several weeks since the retirement of long-time pastor Joe Dixon,  the church has been fortunate in having a good selection of supply preachers. Last Sunday the pulpit was filled by Jasper Ligon.  He is a local Hospice chaplain endorsed by the North American mission board.

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Oops.  When I gave you my new email address last week,  I inadvertently transposed two letters.  It should have read dgmilligan@sbcglobal.net.

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