Grin and ‘bear’ it


A blanket of fog beautifully covered the earth Friday morning in the small East Texas corner where I live. Stepping out to breathe in the fog, it was a clear reminder winter is here – the need to embrace it was quite nice after a frenzy of pushing through the holiday rollercoaster and on into the new year.

Always there is a tendency for some people to become bummed-out, and their minds go toxic with thoughts of toxic food, toxic clothing, toxic government, toxic everything to the point of making themselves sick physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Lack of rest, rich foods eaten only once a year is a norm and the toxic become natural. The desire to curl up and hibernate like a bear also becomes a natural instinct and, if you’re not careful, frustration will set in. It is winter, the push is over, curl up in front of the fire and embrace the idea spring will follow.

SEARS HOLDINGS announced the closing of 40 stores which included Sears in Longview. Liquidation sales started in November there.

Saddened by this fact is Kilgoreite Marilyn Gansloser. Marilyn retired from Sears after working for them for 15 years and had stepped into the store last week to check on the liquidation sale.

“They have sold everything including displays and lighting fixtures,” she said. “The jewelry department sold out first; there is nothing left in the shoe department and very little left in the other departments.

“I am going to contact as many of the former employees as possible to see if we could just have time to meet on Sunday to say goodbye,” she informed us at the beginning of the week.

She initiated the help of other Kilgoreites Carol Sherk, Brenda Bonds and a friend, Linda Bloodworth from Longview, to help contact as many of the past and present employees as possible.

“Linda started working at Sears when she was in high school and was there for 30 years before retiring. She has been a God-send,” said Marilyn. “For those whose phone numbers had changed, she actually went knocking on doors to see how many we could get to meet up.

“It takes a lot of courage these days to go knocking on doors but she did it. And so far, over 20 employees have been contacted.”

A cake provided by the store manager will be waiting for them as they enter through the package pickup area, the area where they entered before while employed.

“We thought it appropriate to enter the building just like normal,” said Marilyn. “It is going to be sentimental but at least we will get to say goodbye.”

That meeting’s set for 3 p.m. Sunday.

A LARGE CROWD was seen at Tempest Golf Club as they hosted the Chamber of Commerce Morning Brew. Newcomers were asked to wear blue name tags, red ones for members. Longtime member Charlie Whiteside ended up with a blue one which he was teased about. He brought laughter to the crowd when he asked, “Why is mine the only name tag with an expiration date on it?” Sure enough, his had a spot to enter a date. Only Charlie could manage that.

“IT is definitely a new world,” said Mary Addison, owner of the Country Health Store in Henderson. “My husband went to meet up with some friends at a restaurant and while waiting for them to arrive, he noticed a young couple sit down close by and both were steadily texting throughout the meal. When he got up to leave he went over and asked them if they were sitting there texting to each other across the table. They both simultaneously answered ‘Yes.’ Can you believe it? Not three feet from each other and texting a conversation!”

JANICE CAMERON received a gift of a handmade prayer quilt from friends on Thursday evening at Red Lobster Restaurant in celebration of being announced cancer-free after a major surgery and extensive follow-up testing. “Praise God,” she tells everyone within earshot.

THE CASHIERS at a local Chevron Station are still laughing over the man who recently entered the building, picked up two beers, announced he loved them but wasn’t paying for the beers and left. Yes, the police were called, and he was apprehended. He is now pegged as the “I Love You” guy and it isn’t even Valentine’s yet.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. We may be reached at


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