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Carol Perkins: Little things can have a big effect

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By Carol Perkins

When I read Peggy Goodman's account last week in the Glasgow Daily Times, I was surprised that she had been through two bouts of cancer. Peggy and I taught at Metcalfe County for years and became good friends. I retired, and she began teaching in Allen County. She and I also have in common our love for writing; she has published children's books, and I have published memoirs. I never lost contact with her because she became part of the Barn Lot family in Edmonton, acting in several productions as have I, but I didn't know her struggles.

One thing that struck me deeply was her account of the house that she drove by after having a treatment. It was decorated for Christmas and she recalled that looking at it brought her joy, yet the residents never knew. In Edmonton, we have many people who decorate, and they will likely never realize what happiness they bring to others. For those of us who take the "Christmas drive" each year, up and down streets, admiring the beautiful lights and greenery, we see the love that went into each display. Beautiful decorations can uplift our mood.

Most of us decorate the inside of our house for our enjoyment, but we decorate outside for others. When our children were growing up, we went "all-out" both inside and out. I wondered if I would have the same level of interest after they were gone. I admit that a couple of years found me on the Scrooge side, and the thought of excessive decorating seemed much of a chore; I was having a little pity party. That party didn't last long because Guy loves Christmas and decorating, so who was I to be an old fuddy-dud?

When Guy and I are stringing lights across the front of our porch, attaching the garland to the railings, and hanging wreaths on the doors, we are doing it for the spirit of the season, but we also hope to bring an "awe-ha" moment to those who drive through the neighborhood. (Some of our attempts are been less than awe-ha ones.) We even put a tree with big, colorful bulbs on our back porch just so our neighbor to the back of us can enjoy it. I hope those who drive by will feel the spirit of Christmas and the merriment in the air on Oris Lane.

With that in mind, Susan Chambers and I came up with an idea we call "The Candle Project." This is our third year to encourage residents in the county (and elsewhere) to put at least one candle in their window beginning December 1st and leaving it until the new year. Not only do the candles look lovely burning in the night as drivers pass, but more importantly, they symbolize the Light that guides us each day.

I'm confident that Peggy's story will remind us that sometimes the slightest things we do may have a powerful effect on others, whether it is in the form of Christmas decorations, a single candle in a window, or a kind word from a stranger. Her words brought a blessing to me, and I know they did to all of you. May the Light continue to shine on my friend.

Follow Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss in Edmonton on Tuesdays from 10amCT to 11amCT and replay on Sundays from 4pmCT to 5pmCT. Listen to Carol's podcast at for entertaining stories and a replay of Susan and Carol-Unscripted.

This story was posted on 2019-11-07 05:57:12
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