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January 5, 2006


Three things happened this week that caused me to choose this word as my guide for 2006.

First, I read a book, “Hannah’s Hope,” written by Karen Kingsbury. This story tells of a 15-year-old girl, who lives with her very reserved grandmother in a huge house in D.C., while her parents are serving as ambassadors in Sweden. She attends the best private school and has private lessons in many cultural activities. She seems to have everything she wants, but something is missing in her life. She has dreams of her very young childhood and a Daddy who played, sang and read with her. This dream father is so different from the business and public servant father she knows in real life.

Her parents’ plans change at the last minute because of political obligations and they will not be coming home for Christmas. Her mother tells her a very private secret and hopes this will keep Hannah occupied during the holidays.

The chauffeur employed by her grandmother is a Christian and probably talks to Hannah more than any other person in her life. He always offers to pray for her. When she asks him to pray for a specific Christmas miracle, he gives her a pair of red mittens. These mittens remind her that her miracle can be fulfilled through prayer, but she has to believe.

Second, I saw a program on television, “Home For Christmas,” about three children whose parents were killed in an accident. Their single aunt wants to adopt the children, but her housing is inadequate to meet the regulations. Just as one requirement is met, another one comes to the surface. Her small home is moved several miles down the road to become an addition for the children’s home. She is very discouraged when they have only five days left to install electric, water, gas and sewer. The community and a social worker who believes in prayer help her to beat the clock and have the home ready for Christmas.

Third, we celebrate the influence of Glena Pitts on future generations of Calhouners. Glena was a believer! She believed that her students would be successful. She taught for 35 years. She would have at least 20 children each year, a direct impact on more than 700 children during this time. Adding in the extras influenced in Cub Scouts and Sunday School could mean over a thousand during her career!

Mrs. Pitts was the second grade teacher for five of my children. One group of students had an intense interest in dinosaurs. She told me that she taught dinosaurs in reading, writing, arithmetic, social studies, music, art and physical education.

Another group of students had the experience of seeing fondue made and dipping cubes of bread in the mixture to taste it. Then they were asked to write about what they had learned. I remember one boy was very honest. He wrote, “I hate fondue!”

All of my children love to read because of early grade teachers like Mrs. Proudfoot and Mrs. Pitts. One of the stories introduced in her second grade class was “The Boxcar Children.” This was a story about children who were trying to live together in an abandoned boxcar after the disappearance of their parents. It was a story about believing.

A school administrator in our county once said, “Glena and Jean Pitts are master teachers. They could meet with their class in the middle of the street, with no teaching aids, and still the students would have a learning experience.”

Mrs. Pitts is a powerful memory for my family as well as others in the county. Thank God that she believed.

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