Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Meaningful article found in my mother’s Bible

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Moving can be related as pure and simple “for the pits” but can in a few instances be rewarding.

Such was the case when Shelley’s unpacking came across one of my mother’s Bibles. This particular Old and New Testament volume had her name inscribed in gold on the front.

Most importantly it had a clipping out of a newspaper that I know meant a lot to her. It is entitled “The Art of Happiness.” It was bound to have meant a lot to her because like the Bible, it was well used.

Here is the text of the article:

The Art

“You can’t pursue happiness and catch it. Happiness comes upon us unawares while we are helping others. Happiness does not depend upon a full pocketbook, but upon a mind full of rich thoughts and a heart full of rich emotions. Happiness does not depend upon what happens outside of you, but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit in which you meet the problems of life.

State of life

Happiness is a state of mind. Lincoln once said, ‘We are as happy as we make up our minds to be.’ Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we want to do, but from liking what we have to do. Happiness does not come from doing easy work, but from the after glow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. Happiness grows out of harmonious relationships with others based on attitudes of goodwill, tolerances of understanding and love.

Happiness is found in little things — a baby’s smile, a letter from a friend, the song of a bird, a light in the window. The master secret of happiness is to meet the challenge of each new day with the serene faith that “All things work together for good to them that love God.”

Food for thought

My apologies to Chuck Terrill. This wasn’t meant as a sermon, but I can understand my mother having kept the article in one of her prized possessions.

She often related the story of when she was a young girl, she and her friends made and sold ice cream cones to support the beginning of the First Christian Church. Incidentally, the church began on her mother’s front porch under the insistence of her mother, Jenny Ray, and some of her friends.

Their target stood for decades at Seventh and Gravel streets in Cassville, later serving the Lutheran congregation after the Christian Church built a new building just over 50 years ago.

One of Mom’s later-in-life pleasures was when at the groundbreaking for the new church building, the congregation asked her to be among those with a shovel.

It’s a new month

In comes a new month and it arrived in quite a bluster, with folks scrambling to find covers for their delicate plants or in our case bringing three potted posies inside after Shelley had placed them at our front steps. The cold snap could not have done early plantings any good. It might have been one of those instances where some garden item had to be replaced.

Blustery winds are a possibility toward the end of the month. Areas north of the Ozarks could be expected to have unsettled weather for several weeks toward the latter part of the month

If you are an Almanac believer, you better keep a close eye on the middle of April when some unsettled weather is predicted to arrive in the Midwest. Whether directly involved in the Ozarks or not, will be told when the time arrives.

Remember, there are those who believe Mother’s Day is an ideal time to plant most veggies to avoid anything getting nipped by a cold front coming through and dropping temperatures low enough to harm plants.

Fishing possibilities

With the prospect of April showers being heavy this month, warmer weather would indicate getting equipment ready for spring fishing on Table Rock. Natives that I fished with on Table Rock liked to see high water during spawning, eliminating the “sight” anglers that are out this time of the year.

The rule of thumb goes something like this, “when the Oak leaves are as big as a Squirrel’s ear, it’s time to hit the water”, and that time is now!

Best fishing days for this first part of April, 8th, 17th. through 19th, then 26th and 27th. Good fishing for the remainder of the month, 9th and 23rd.

There are no guarantees on these dates, but, back in my boating and fishing days, it didn’t matter just as long as you were out on the water and enjoying the out-of-doors with a good friend.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.