Linda K. Ballard

Linda K. Ballard

When I was a child and growing up in a small rural town, the nearest public library was 30 miles away. Periodically a book mobile (a library on wheels) would arrive at the school and we could “check out” books.

To peruse the shelves in that little mobile unit was a thrill beyond words, and the books were treated like gold. About that time, one of my aunts joined a library club of sorts and she received books in the mail. She treasured each one and kept them in a built-in glass hutch near the living room of her pristine home. She would allow the children to read them only if you sat on the floor near the hutch and take one out a time and put it back. And it was a cardinal sin if you ever dared to turn the corners back on a page.

Those books were treasures, and she taught us we could travel anywhere in the world whether we could afford it or not if we had the right book in our hands. She was loved by children of all ethnicity and known as “Ainee” because the smaller ones could not pronounce her given name of Frances (Kuykendall) Chastain.

Ainee became prematurely gray (actually silver) at an early age, and perhaps it was the reading of Silver’s Redemption’s by Patty Wiseman along with her main character’s personality of stubbornness and will power to overcome that brought my own memories to surface.

Patty’s latest novel is a work of fiction about a woman by the name of Silver Fellowes, who at the age of 56 finds herself being told she no longer “fit the company image.” When a younger woman steps in to take her position, Silver attempts to close the door on “city life” and heads to her father’s abandoned ranch in West Texas. After all, she determines, “I’m still useful, I have more to give.”

A story of loss and a new beginning, Silver’s Redemption is a good read and a good choice. It’s a book about reclaiming your life and using knowledge gained. It will, as the author claimed, have you cheering for the spirit of the woman and will leave you inspired and motivated at whatever age.

Patty currently lives in Woodlawn and is available for autographing and speaking engagements. Silver’s Redemption can be found on Amazon or check out her website at www.pattywiseman.com.

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A delightful read for children of all ages can be found in The Santa’s Coins, written by Jeannie Faulkner Barber. We are fortunate that Jeannie lives in the neighboring community of Liberty City.

The Santa’s Coins begins on Christmas Eve with Santa’s Master Elf and ends with a special message about Christmas. Perfect to read out loud on Christmas Eve or use as a stocking stuffer. Also found on Amazon, if you are a last-minute shopper, you may can talk her out of one of her own. She can be reached at (903) 983-2608.

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Christmas in the Woods Drive-Thru Nativity ends Saturday night at Forest Home Baptist Church, located at 15746 County Road 173 North, Kilgore. Hurry now, it starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. The drive-thru brings thousands through its parking lot to view the miraculous scenes that unfold before them.

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“Don’t miss Christmas was Pastor Riley Pippen’s plea and message last week at the pulpit of Forest Home Baptist Church.

He said, “Sadly, many will miss it.” He spoke of the billions of dollars spent each year for Christmas that didn’t have anything to do with the real meaning of the day. Treasures, time, troubles and traditions would be the four areas that would cause those to miss the reality of Christmas.

Pastor Riley had the congregation laughing over his knowledge of the most popular toys throughout the years and surprised at the amount of money spent through Christmas this year. It was such a valuable message; I wished I had written it. If you would like to hear his whole message on the meaning of Christmas, the Dec. 6 service at Forest Home Baptist Church both can be viewed both on their website and Facebook page. It will be after the testimony of a father and a dedication of a precious baby.

Speaking of toys, there are toy (and adult) drives for the needy throughout our communities. Right now, toy drives are taking place at Planet Fitness of Kilgore, Melissa Azzam’s Allstate Insurance Co. in Kilgore and at K’z Chicken in Overton.

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Overton is thriving instead of the pandemic, as they are working toward unity throughout their community as well as other neighboring community. Be sure and look for their special business page in Wednesday’s paper.

May his love and laughter fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or (903) 984-2593.

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