You’d think it’s March instead of December judging by the way the wind is blowing. The leaves in my yard are confused. They’ve been blown to all four corners, and I refuse to rake them. Maybe they’ll blow off to the neighbors’ yards if I just leave them alone. I can’t complain about the variety in temperature, though. It was nearly 65 degrees when I awoke Sunday morning, but it got cooler during the day—down to 50 by mid-afternoon and 27 degrees by early Monday morning. No one can accuse Oklahoma weather of monotony at this tine of year.

Probably the wind has caused a lot of pecans to let go of their hold of the trees. There certainly is a great crop of pecans this year. I heard several people say they can’t get anyone to pick up pecans on halves. Some are offering to let anyone pick up pecans that wants to—and they can keep all they pick up. That sounds like one of my business deals, but I know where they’re coming from. I’d rather have my friends get them than the squirrels.

I have two good-sized pecan trees on my place, and this is the first year they’ve produced any pecans. Actually, there are only a few of them and most of them are dried up and no good, but I am encouraged. They’re young and just getting the hang of pecan production, so maybe they’ll do better next year.

The law of supply and demand is noticeable this year. There are lots of nuts, so the price is low if you sell them—about 35 cents a pound most places. You’ll pay between 35 and 45 cents a pound to get them cracked and blown. If you go to the grocery store and buy pecan halves, you’ll pay more than $6 for 1/2 pound. There must be an awful lot of roly-poly middle men between the pecan grove and the grocery store.

Deer are also in good supply this year. I saw three large does just outside my back yard a week or so ago. I assumed they were finishing off some of the pears on the ground. David Painter said he saw a herd of 10 near his place last week. However, I’ve heard of several hunters who’ve gone hunting out of the county, and they haven’t had any luck,.

To a cholesterol-conscious consumer, the lean meat of venison seems a means of having red meat and avoiding the evils thereof. There are various remedies for keeping the “gamey” taste out of deer meat—soaking it in milk before cooking it is one recommendation. I like to make chili or stew from venison. It’s only when I chicken fry or roast it that I need something to tame that “wild” taste.


Susan Brady had good news this week. She was able to return to her work as a physician’s assistant in McAlester. Admittedly, she had light duty and worked only two days, and she is still taking physical therapy, but her present condition is a 180 degree turn from that following an auto accident October 10. She is a Byng alumnus and is the daughter of the Rev. Kenneth and Beverly Brady of Byng.

Susan was run off the road by a semi truck which forced her across the median where she was hit by another semi. Her own pickup was scrap metal after the impact, and Susan suffered multiple pelvic fractures and a broken collar bone. She was in the hospital for 30 days and was pleased when she progressed to a wheel chair and then to a walker. She is now using a cane but is hoping to be able to give that up soon.

Susan has lived in McAlester for the past 3 years working as a PA for a urologist. She is in charge of dialysis and usually makes rounds, but it will be a little while before she’ll be back to full duty.

Her mother, Beverly, had been staying with her until she returned to work. Susan’s injured collar bone kept her from being as independent as she would have liked.

Beverly says she’s delighted to be home and to be able to think about getting ready for Christmas. “My house has accumulated a lot of dust while I’ve been gone,” she says. “I’ve decided that as I dust, I’ll decorate for Christmas.”


Several of us attended a luncheon at Doc’s last week to hear the testimony of Inguna Gruznina, a native of Latvia, formerly a part of the Soviet Union. The event was sponsored by Richard Bailey.

Mrs. Gruznina said she and her husband, Marais, were in the third generation of people who were brought up in a communistic, atheistic society. “God simply did not exist, according to our beliefs,” she said.

However, in June, 1990, her 18-month-old daughter, Elina, who had appeared healthy the day before, awoke partially paralyzed on her left side. Doctors found she needed surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor although they warned that she was likely to die during the complicated surgery.

Even as a non-believer, she said she prayed, telling God, “God, if you exist and you are real, please save Elina’s life , and I’ll serve you.” Elina survived the surgery, but doctors predicted she would not live past the age of six.

In 1991, American missionaries with International Crusades came to Latvia and witnessed about Jesus to her. The Talsi Baptist Church invited her to their services. She went and began to learn about what it means to be a Christian and she received Him in her heart.

God told her that Elina would not die at the age of six, but she was physically handicapped and would not be able to attend public school. Inguna began to dream about establishing a Christian school where handicapped children would be included.

Her husband was totally against the idea of a Christian school and warned her that if she opened the Christian school he would divorce her. “I knew only God could take care of this situation so I put myself, my family, my dream, and our future in God’s hands. God worked a miracle in the life of our family. Maris became a Christian in America when we all went to America to study for one year in preparation for opening the school.”

Maris then became an invaluable help with Talsi Christian School. He even pastors a little country church in Latvia.

Talsi Christian School was opened in September, 1995 with five teachers for 37 students in grades 1-4. Today there are 202 students and 26 teachers in grades 1-12, and the school continues to grow. Talsi has finished the first wheel-chair accessible building in the western part of the country. This is a meeting place for handicapped adults as well as children.

The school and its staff have undertaken additional ministries including orphans’ camp, seven days in the summer, and they are holding Suinday School classes in the Kakishi orphanage.

Mrs. Gruznina is visiting churches throughout the U.S. telling the story of this first Christian school in Latvia. She encourages prayer for their efforts, and urges mission trips on the part of U.S. church members to help with summer orphan and youth camps.

The school has many financial needs. It is paying off a loan from the bank for the school buildings--$l,200 a month for 10 years. The fuel bill for the heating season from October through April amounts to $20,000.

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