By Joseph Mazzella,

It was a beautiful summer's day, yet I was pulling into a nearly empty elementary school parking lot. I was taking my children to the first day of Energy Express, a summer reading program that gave college age kids a job working with elementary school children. Still, my young daughter didn't seem too enthused about it. She was moody, sullen, and not too happy about spending part of her summer vacation back at school. That changed by the end of the day, though. She came home happy with a joyous light in her eyes. She talked about all the fun activities, games, and crafts they had done that day and how much she liked her teacher. She showed me her new books with a smile and we reread them together.

It was another summer's day and another elementary school parking lot. I was there to pick up my daughter after work. She was in college now and had taken a job as one of the teachers at Energy Express. I waited patiently while the laughing children ran out of the school to get on their buses to head home. My daughter walked out behind them, smiling peacefully. Just then, one of her students, a young boy with very curly brown hair, turned around and gave her a goodbye hug. I smiled when I saw it and we discussed her day on the drive home. I was so proud of her. She had taken all of the learning, laughter, and love that her Energy Express teachers had given her as a child and now passed it on to a new generation of children. I wondered whom they would pass it on to as well. One thing I was sure of, it would never end.

The truth is that if any one brings beauty, love, learning, or goodness to our world, it lives on. It lives on in our minds. It lives on in our souls. It lives on in our lives. It lives on in Heaven's heart and God's smile. Share all the love you can, then! Create all the wisdom and beauty you can, because it will live on!

Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

Myra's Musings


To know the love of a good dog is to know true love.

I'm extremely lucky; I know the love of two wonderful dogs. Please don't let them know they are dogs. They think they are little boys. And to me, they are!

Pistol and Texas have been my saving grace. Literally. I am also thankful for my wonderful friends here in Glenville and my friends in Williamson and Pikeville. Retired WVSP Troopers and current WVSP Troopers have jumped in to help me and I could not be more thankful.

While God has certainly blessed me, he is testing me, too. He truly believes I am stronger than I am. I keep giving my problems to him and he keeps multiplying mine.

One problem he has solved for me is getting me a snuggle buddy. I have missed someone holding me. Especially at night. Just when I was getting used to being alone. Texas decides to sleep with his back up against mine. That felt good. Sometime during the night, he rolled over and threw an arm and a leg over me. In my sleepy state, I was fine with that, but when he decided to push me out of bed, I changed my mind.

He is strong enough to plant himself in the bed and use his arms and legs to push me. In the past, he has actually pushed me out of the bed and onto the floor. But, last night, I refused to allow it. He was working diligently to remove my presence from the bed, but I pushed back. I grabbed his arms and pulled him to me and then I wrapped my arms around his body. I held on tight. If I was hitting the floor, so was he. Nothing like making decisions at 3:16 a.m.

Within seconds, he realized what was happening and sighed. He's a smart guy! He then decided there was plenty enough room in a king size bed for his brother, him and me!

Pistol is aloof most of the time. But, he is the best kisser you will ever see and is very giving with his form of love! When you see me and my glasses are a mess, it's Pistol. He is a kissing fool! He always wants to sleep in the bed with me and he never tries to push me out. But, and that is a very big but, if he beats me to bed and lays on my side, I'm in for a fight! He doesn't like it when I move him. He moves fairly easily. I can ask him to make room for me. Sometimes he does. Sometimes he doesn't. But if I pick up the covers and give him a little push with just the covers, he's on the other side of the bed in a big hurry!

These guys have filled my gap. Their unconditional love reminds me of the way Jesus loves all of us. Through our pushing, our hanging on, our best times and our most horrible times, God is always there. He knows our needs without us saying them and he hears our cries for help.

I tend to believe that the greatest commandment given to us is in John 13:34 - 35 by Jesus Himself: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” That is remarkably simple and easy to remember. Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Easy, right? Only by reading the Bible, especially the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John can you find out how Jesus loved people. Did He condemn the sinner? He told Mary Magdalene, the prostitute, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”

Each of the Ten Commandments is based on love. The first four commandments tell us how to love God and the last six commandments tell us how to love each other.

1 John 3 is one chapter that all of us should read carefully. It tells us in verse four what sin is. It tells us where all the sinning comes from in verse eight. It explains that if we hate someone, especially a brother or sister of our family or church or school or club or of the world, we are considered murderers. If this is true, think about what talking about someone, running them down in any way, might just be the beginning of murder in our hearts. We are told in Leviticus 19:16 through 18: “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people. . . Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart. . . Thou shalt not . . .bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 5 shows us that Jesus looks deeper into the laws such as “Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). The Beatitudes that pronounces blessings on us are the first few verses in the first part of Matthew 5. Hopefully, you will read the whole chapter.

I John 4:8 and 16 both say clearly that GOD is love. Therefore, the Ten Commandments could be considered a transcript of God's character. Some people mistakenly say that when Jesus died on the cross the commandments were done away with. The verses they use for proof of this are talking about the rules for sacrifices and offerings called ordinances, which they had before Jesus came. All those offerings and ceremonies were showing the people the gospel story, how THE LAMB died, and its blood was used to cleanse people, etc. These were done away with because they were merely pointing to Christ, so they were a “shadow” of things that would transpire when Jesus came.

The Bible is a fascinating book and I am sure we will be discovering more beautiful things in it as we go through eternity together.


Cautiously Optimistic


I am happy to see the Farmer's Market open again. Gardens are growing, our blueberries are on. Harry just loves to see the smiles on neighbor's faces when he shares his blueberries with them.

The horrible virus is still raging on and claiming the lives of many.

I think people didn't take the warnings seriously enough from the beginning. We were warned that there would be a second wave and now it's happening. Perhaps the protests played a part in that? They weren't staying home, wearing masks, or social distancing.

I certainly hope our little town stays safe with the restaurants being open again!

'Til next time!


It is more than just a flag


Wayne wants to say he appreciated all the birthday cards, calls and wishes. There were three birthdays in our family last week, Raeanna, Rebecca, and Wayne.

The vegetables are vining and blooming in the garden now. It won't be as long as it has been for new produce to come.

Saturday there will be 4th of July activities for everyone to enjoy at Cedar Creek State Park. See the GGOs on page 6!


Numbers 1:52

Our Flag is a glorious ensign, Our Nation in epitome;

Its red . . . our blood, Its stars. . . our world, Its blue. . . our loyalty!

It is the Mayflower Compact;

It is Washington at Valley Forge;

Declaration of Independence from the rule of tyrannical scourge;

It is Lawrence abroad the Chesapeake, calling, “Men, don't give up the ship!” And MacArthur's grave, “I shall return!”

Stout heart, proud mien, and a firm lip. It is Eisenhower winning a beachhead; and doughboys longing for home;

It is Flanders Fields with white crosses spread;

And Old Glory over Capitol Dome!

To the stains of the Star-Spangled Banner

Loyal hearts of all fifty states swell with pride as they sing of the splendor and valor this epic relates.

But it is more than emblazoned emblem, or poem of our land's history;

It is a prayer for continued freedom and prophetic of what we can be!

Our Flag is our great Constitution; It is Lincoln's Gettysburg Address;

A brilliant banner of freedom to sing, pray, worship, and preach of God's son, our blessed redeemer, who died for us on the cross that we might know Him as Savior form Sin and all of its dross.

Now, with this liberty threatened, we must keep faith with our Flag; Give our best to God and our country. And never let our interest lag. We must pledge to it new allegiance. The republic, too, and then stand one nation under God, indivisible, with justice for all in the land.

Our Flag is far more than a bunting, this poem, and prayer, prophecy. . . is a nation led of Almighty God, America, Land of the free!

I hope you all have a safe, happy 4th of July weekend!

By Jeanette Riffle

I saw on Facebook, in my news feed, where someone up the Tanner Fork Rd. here, had seen a bear. Usually by the middle of May people are seeing them out roaming around looking for food or crossing over to another hill side.

We haven't seen any but one time on Mother's Day we headed for Braxton Co. after a church service , to go have a steak dinner. I wish I'd have taken my camera with me. We got up to the mouth of Dessie and saw the biggest black bear we have ever seen. We stopped the truck and pulled down the little road a ways that led over to a house across the run. A boy was out yelling at his dog to come back. It was barking at that bear and the bear stopped and looked at the dog and the boy. Then, it started running up the road where we were parked and came awfully close to the front of our truck. Suddenly it changed it's mind and headed for the main road and went right in front of a neighbor man's car, coming down the road. Duane blew the horn to warn him. It was the late Raben Frame. I expect he had a bear story to tell after that. I know we sure did.

This week when we were out, we saw a groundhog beside the road , a bunny and then a baby deer before we got back home. I remarked that the coyotes hadn't killed all the groundhogs and rabbits. A friend told me that she and her husband were out driving and saw some bunnies along the road, recently. We have coons hanging around here at night. Our big dog puts them up a tree. He trees squirrels, too. They come to eat seeds off the ground out back at the feeders. The coons are going to the apple trees. Duane had to put a low running wire on the electric fence last year because coons were squeezing under the fence and getting our corn. I don't think they can get under this year.

We have had so much rain that it has been hard to work in the garden. Seeds were not growing and when he dug down to see what was going on, they were moldy. So, he had to replant. The bean seeds germinated and are growing good. Also, tomato and pepper plants are looking healthy. Once you garden and get used to bringing in fresh vegetables, it is hard to give up.

He had a nice Father's Day. The kids called home and he got a new Lazy Boy recliner at Family Furniture. I baked him a cake and gave him a homemade card. Until next time, be kind and stay safe.

God be with us all and keep us safe from that awful virus.

By Jeanette Riffle

We were talking about the groundhogs being scarce anymore and my husband said during the Great Depression, people ate wild meat and his Grandpa Riffle started seeing big holes all over his place on Bear Fork where dogs had holed a groundhog and someone had dug down after it. Grandpa was afraid his cow would step in a hole and not be able to get out, so he had to put a stop to it. I remember people eating coons, groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, grouse, pheasants and that one time that Dad brought in a big turtle out of the creek. I had a friend from Kentucky who said they ate crow.

We didn't have many deer. People got excited if someone even saw footprints of one that was passing through. Like I have said before, my Dad went several counties away to deer hunt where he had Stewart relatives and he stayed with them while he hunted. Both my parents had gone through the Great Depression and they told stories of how people survived. Mom said they had a hog and when the pork was gone, her aunt, Lula Lowe, was always good for her fried potatoes, creamed tomatoes and hot biscuits. . Her aunt was a wonderful cook and Aunt Alpha could make a gravy out of anything. She took leftover food from a meal, that could be put into a gravy and added it to a skillet of poor man's gravy. Then she made a big pan of biscuits.

People knew what was edible that grew in the wild and they had gardens and canned everything they could get their hands on. Duane's aunt, Susie Perrine, told of man who came to visit them on Bear Fork, when she was still at home. He was so hungry that he grabbed a cold biscuit on the table and used it to dip in the meat grease that was left over in a dish. He ate that cold grease.

People knew how to bury vegetables in holes that were straw lined. I saw my Grandmother Stewart dig up some cabbage one time down in the flat land by the barn. She dug down and got a head of cabbage and covered the rest back up with straw and dirt. People didn't trust the banks and they also hid money. Mom told of an uncle who had a rug over a trap door in the house and he had money down under the floor in a box. Dad said he ate turnips one whole winter but he never got tired of them. They had potatoes, brown beans and cornbread, too. Mom said that sugar was so expensive they couldn't buy much. No body had much money and they only used it for cooking and baking. She said she pinched the lumps out of the brown sugar when no one was looking. She knew they wouldn't miss that. She was always like a child over candy when I was growing up at home and all through the years.

I had asked her if they made fudge when she was growing up. She said sugar had to be saved for the other things. Many stories about this subject, but I will wrap this up for now. Everyone continue to stay safe and stay well. We will all be so thankful when that virus is over and life can get back to normal. Take care and God bless.

By Joseph Mazzella,

It was the middle of the night and I was sitting in a chair thinking about all the blunders I had made in my life. I was working the overnight shift in a Special Needs group home for mentally handicapped adults. While everyone else was asleep, I stayed awake in case of an emergency. Left alone with my thoughts, I had gotten to brooding about those blunders I had already made in my short life. I was a young dad and recent college graduate. I had graduated with a degree in English Literature and it hadn't helped me get a single job. I was wishing now that I had studied business or education where jobs were almost guaranteed. I had also stubbornly refused to move out of state in search of work, which had left me with even fewer job options. Thus, I was sitting here, in the dark, at 2 am wondering where my life had gone wrong.

Little did I know that my life was just beginning and I was set to travel a long and winding road in which all of my blunders would be made right. It turned out that working in that group home would help me prepare for when my two sons were diagnosed with Autism and Mental Retardation and I began a lifetime of caring for them. That jobless English Literature degree, too, would turn out to be a benefit as I began to write about my life, what I had learned, and what God was teaching me each new day. Staying in my home state would also become a blessing as it helped me to spend time with my mom, Nana, and dad in their final years. It helped our relationships to grow deeper, better, and more loving. Looking back now, to that time 30 years ago, I see that I was where I needed to be in order to get where I am now.

There is a wonderful old saying that goes, “God makes our blunders wise.” I see now His kind hand guiding my entire life, leading me to ever greater wisdom, light, and love. May you do the same. May you allow God to lovingly use even your blunders for your benefit.

Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

No, I did not want to return to reality. My two weeks at Surfside Beach changed my thought processes. The beach has always been soul cleansing for me, but two weeks there was simply amazing.

I truly enjoyed being with my nephews for that fortnight. Point One and I found another niche that we can enjoy. Jack and I played, just like we always do.

And in the process, I learned a little more about who I am again. I had forgotten a lot about me during 25 years of marriage. I always thought of “us,” not me. I don't think I'm fully back, but I'm on my way. One of my Glenville friends has learned a little about who I really am since I returned from the beach. I'm not sure how he feels about it, which makes me smile.

I've always liked expressing myself in a variety of ways. The written word has always been an easy way for me to do that. Always. I didn't realize that until journalism school. It took me going to college to figure out that writing was a great thing for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely verbal also. I don't ever hesitate before I speak, which is a downfall of mine. My Mama used to call me Mouthy Myra when I was in my teen years because I apparently refused to check my mouth prior to letting things fly.

This past election taught me that I have grown out of that. I refused to let people upset me who chose to send me nasty messages on social media. People like that will fall all on their own and need prayers, which I have been praying for her. She obviously needs prayers.

When I first arrived at Surfside Beach, I was able to walk out on that beach and feel my body get some relief from the tension I had been feeling. Laying there listening to the waves crash against the shore is a soothing sound that puts me in a state of happiness that I can not explain. A relaxed, happy state. Feeling the sun on my skin, listening to the birds and waves and oh goodness, I need to LIVE there! And, one day, I will.

While I was at the beach, I learned that Mr. Corcoran wants me to quarantine from the office for two weeks. No problem. I can work from home and spend quality time with my boys!

Speaking of my boys, I was in trouble when I got home. At first they were thrilled to see me, then, they showed me their anger. Texas wouldn't even sleep in the bed with me. He moved to his couch in the bedroom, but by the next morning, they had decided to forgive me and rolled all over me to wake me up. I asked Texas if he had forgiven me and he sneezed in my face. I assumed that meant yes.

Our cousin joined us at the beach with two of her four children. That visit made the second week of the vacation even more fun and exciting. My nephews were thrilled to have them and the swimming and playing increased dramatically.

We had a ball and I am so thankful to have been able to visit one of my favorite places on earth.

So, I'm back and busy again. I will be returning to different beaches a few more times this summer and I am excited about those trips too. Quarantining won't change my mind! Have a great summer! It's my favorite time of the year!

I am using the following article that touched my heart when I read it on Thursday. Thanks to Sherrie Jackson who answered the phone, I was able to contact Samantha Young, the editor and Communications Manager of Reflections, a monthly source of information for beneficiaries of the Adventist Retirement Plan. She then located Mark Willey the author of the story who gave his permission for me to use it, and Samantha then sent it to me so I would not have to retype it. This was by far the easiest Pat's Chat I have ever produced. I hope you will all enjoy it as much as I did when I first read it.

Words of Thankfulness in a Dark Time, By Mark Willey

Mark Willey serves as organist at the Spencerville Adventist Church Silver Spring, Maryland and Director of Music at the Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.

Martin walked quickly down the filthy side street that led to his house, distracted only briefly by a hungry mob fighting over the body of a scrawny and very dead cat. He knew them all, had ministered to them, buried their children, and fed them what he could spare from his meager rations. Today though, Martin carried nothing but an idea, a poem that had come to him as he conducted one of ten funerals he'd performed that day. He needed to write it down before it left his mind.

Opening his front door, he rushed to his small desk and picked up a goose quill pen. Dipping his pen into the well, Martin's mind wandering over the events of the past year as the tip slowly filled with iron gall ink. He could see their faces, hear their cries of anguish. The weeping parents burying their only child, the grieving young widow, sick herself with only days to live. They were almost too numerous to count, but as the town's only living minister and one of just three surviving members of the town council, it was his job to count. In that year alone, he'd buried over four thousand souls, their lives cut down by the Black Plague, but this was just the latest pestilence.

Ever since his appointment in 1617 as Archdeacon of Eilenburg in Saxony, he'd not known peace or plenty. The skirmishes between the various Protestant and Catholic states had metastasized into all-out war in 1618, a war that killed millions. Poverty, sickness, hunger, and death were ever-present for Martin Rinckart, and his life was devoted to the service of those who suffered. Lifting the pen from the well, he set its tip on the paper. The familiar scratching sound of its strokes quickened as the letters formed words, flowing into lines of poetry:

Nun danket alle Gott

(Now thank we all our God)

mit Herzen, Mund und HŠnden

(with heart and hands and voices)

der gro§e Dinge tut

(Who wondrous things has done)

an uns und allen Enden

(in Whom this world rejoices)

der uns von Mutterleib

(Who from our mothers' arms)

und Kindesbeinen an

(has blessed us on our way)

unzŠhlig viel zu gut

(With countless gifts of love)

bis hierher hat getan.

(and still is ours today.)

It's hard to imagine this hymn emerging from such a dark time: plague and famine in the middle of a 30-year long war. Somehow, between all the burials, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and ministering to as many people as he could, Martin found time and a spirit of thankfulness to write these words. Writing them didn't put an end to the plague, or bring peace to Europe, but he seems to have discovered what a spate of recent studies are confirming: gratitude is good for our minds and bodies. Could we, would we write words like these today?

The words of Martin's hymn flow from that time to ours. It serves to inspire us to live with a spirit of gratitude in the face of sickness- even the threat of death. It shows us how to focus our energy on service, rather than fear. The world needs more Martins. I want to be one. Don't you?


Three Things We Need


We had a very rainy and cool week, but the gardens and the weeds are growing fast!

I picked a nice mess of greens this past week.

Toni Wine wants to say Happy Birthday to Natalie (Wine) Vanmeter, daughter of Becky and Bobby Wine! She and her husband live in Charleston.

Wayne says he appreciated all the Father's Day card from the kids and the telephone call from Katrina and the girls.

Get well wishes, and prayers, go out to all those who are on the sick list.

Three Things

I know three things that must ever be, to keep a nation strong and free;

One is a hearthstone bright and dear with busy loved ones near, one is a ready heart and hand to love and serve and keep the land; one is a worn and beaten way to where the people go to pray.

So long as these are kept a live, Nation and people shall survive. God keep them always, everywhere, the hearth, the flag, and the place of prayer.

The Dog Days Continued


Sirius in ancient Egypt:

The Nile River usually flooded each year in late June. The people welcomed this event, called the Inundation, because flood water brought rich soil needed to grow crops in, what was otherwise, a desert.

They didn't know exactly when the flooding would start, but there was a coincidence that gave them a clue: the water began to rise on the days when Sirius began to rise before the Sun. They called Sirius “Sothis.” Sothis and the Inundation became so important to the Egyptians' survival that they began their new year with the New Moon that followed the star's first appearance on the eastern horizon.

The meaning of the Dog Star today:

Due to a very slow wobble of Earth's axis, the Dog Star now seems to rise later than it did in ancient times.

Old-timers believed that rainfall on the Dog Days was a bad omen, as foretold in this verse:

Dog days bright and clear

Indicate a happy year;

But when accompanied by rain,

For better times our hopes are vain.

Dog Days are approaching, you must therefore, make both hay and haste while the sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.

'Til next time!


Last week, my column was about human trafficking. As I came into work on Monday, one of my co-workers had printed out a press release from the U. S. Attorney's Office in Martinsburg.

Yes, I know that Martinsburg is a large town and is a bedroom community for Washington D.C. But, the press release was about a man who has a Maryland and Florida address who was luring young girls on the internet to send him pornographic pictures of themselves.

This is one way human trafficking begins.

This 24-year-old man had talked to a 13-year-old West Virginia girl on an app called “Live Me” and groomed her until she sent him inappropriate pictures of herself. No one knows how far this would have gone if police officials had not intervened.

Maybe he only wanted pictures. Maybe he wanted to continue talking until that child ended up sneaking away from home to join her “love.”

These are scary times we are living in.

Live Me, Snapchat and many other phone apps are becoming a way to meet young people, boys and girls alike, and either get them to send inappropriate pictures or get them to meet them. The adults usually provide the bus or plane ticket and then your child is in the hands of a predator. In a town that is not your own. Alone. And scared.

This isn't just happening to children. Teens and adults are being lured into these activities also. Everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side. But, sometimes that grass is extremely dangerous.

Many, many parents give their young children cell phones for emergencies. It makes sense for children to have a phone available to be able to contact parents when needed.

Kids are smart. They are especially smart when it comes to technology. If they have their own phone, parents need to be diligent in monitoring the apps they download and how they are being used. Once that Snapchat photo is sent, it's gone and Snapchat has been very uncooperative in helping police recover photos needed in criminal investigations. So far, not one court in the nation has been able to force Snapchat to release photos that were sent, but not screen shot.

Chat rooms are a fun place for teens to visit to meet people from all over the world. The sad thing is, predators know that too. There are sick people everywhere. Literally. Some just want child pornography, some plan to lure your child or teenager to a far away place and sell them into the sex trade.

It's a scary world out there.

The press release I received, just after I wrote the initial column on this subject, said that the man received a ten year sentence. If he behaves while in prison, he will serve 7 and 1/2 years.

You can not talk to your children enough about this subject. Honestly, they may roll their eyes, but the hope is that when confronted in life or on the internet, they will remember what you said and know that you are right. Hopefully, your child will come to you and you can report this person to authorities.

It's real. It's important. Be vigilant.

Remember those who need your help


The Cedar Creek Foundation meeting on Saturday evening was very successful. There was a good turn out!

Zell Jones from our church is in the Mon General Hospital in Morgantown for tests. Remember her in your prayers!

Edith Huffman, formerly of Gilmer County, Cedarville, who was living in Braxton County passed away this past week. Our sympathy goes out to her family and friends on their loss.

It is good to see Marie Wilfong back from a trip visiting some of her family.

Our sympathy goes out to the Parsons, Cottrill, Vanhorn, and Burns families on the loss of their loved ones. They will be missed by family and friends.


Kitchen Hints

Clean copper pots with toothpaste or worcestershire sauce, or catsup.

An excellent thickness for soups is a little oatmeal. It will add flavor and richness to almost any soup.

Don't add sugar to stewed fruits until they have boiled for 10 minutes. They need less sugar then.

Lettuce won't “rust” in the refrigerator if it is wrapped in a paper towel.

The coldest part of any refrigerator is the top back shelf.

Try loosening rusty screws by putting a drop or two of ammonia on it.

Rusty bolts usually can be loosened by pouring club soda on them.


Raspberry Jam

5 cups green tomatoes, ground.

5 cups sugar

1 large box raspberry gelatin

Bring all but the gelatin to a boil and boil for 15 minutes, or longer, then add gelatin. Put into jars and seal. I have made a lot of this good tasty spread for biscuits or toast. Give it a try!

By Jeanette Riffle


Swarms of dragonflies hit our area this week and we heard of them all around us. Our dog was barking and looking up in the air one night and when hubby went to investigate, it was bats after those flies. My friend, Susie Cook, that lives up Tague in Braxton Co., called me and said that she was outside one day, putting things away for the fall and winter, and saw a big cloud of something coming up her hollow and she thought, “What in the world is that?” She called for her son to come outside and see it. They determined that it was a swarm of dragonflies. She said she had never heard of them swarming like that, before. They went right on up the hollow. I think they eat mosquitoes out of the air and they aren't harmful, but I did read that they will bite. I wondered where they came from and why are there so many. I did a search on them and came up with some interesting things. They not only eat mosquitoes, but several fly species, also. They swarm because of the high abundance of insects found in certain areas. They will disturb the small insects in your grass and cause them to fly around more than they usually would do. The prey draws the dragon flies in and swarms form.

The National Weather Service of Cleveland, OH, posted an image of the radar from OH, PA and IN showing the insect invasion. Fox 8 viewers reported seeing thousands of them in five different counties. In Cleveland, massive amounts of dragonflies were spotted over Ohio on Tuesday of this past week. Some people view them with a spiritual meaning and some have a hobby of dragonfly watching just like bird watching. They come in different sizes and different colors. We have had katydids coming in on our front porch and I saw a butterfly one day this week. For some reason , the butterflies will come to the front porch before they take off on their journey south.

The death angel came for two of our friends this past week. Cousin Richard Vanhorn, of Fairmont, passed and his funeral is September 18 at Fairmont where he and wife, Sandy Brady Vanhorn, have lived for several years, now. He was a retired Church of Christ minister. Also, Carrell Leon Burns, of this area, took his journey home. He was a well known bluegrass singer and played guitar. He did music with many bands. He jammed with us here and did bookings back when I had a bluegrass gospel band. He sure will be missed. Until next time, watch for those dragonflies. Take care and God bless!

It's been wonderful to see Glenville State College students back on campus. I love seeing the students walking around and seeing them from the front porch of Glenville Newspapers as they walk up and down Court Street.

Glenville State College and its students are very important to Glenville and Gilmer County. Period. I think the majority of the business owners understand just how important those students really are.

I felt like this summer droned on and on because there weren't any students on campus. I certainly hope the new administration does not make that error again. Only having classes on-line during the summer hurts the town and county. It also hurts the students.

I've taken what was (low those many years ago) correspondence courses. The internet didn't exist. I needed to take my French courses at a time that I wasn't taking 21 other hours of college work, so I opted to take the correspondence courses through the University of Kentucky. At the time, very few universities offered those types of classes.

I was sent course work and completed my tasks. I learned very little to nothing. Maybe I am old (we all know I am) and maybe on-line classes are more interactive than the old correspondence courses. And, maybe you actually do learn the subject matter you are studying.

But, there is nothing like learning in a classroom with your peers and a teacher who actually cares about the subject he or she is teaching. You learn through discussion, lectures and note taking. I feel that classroom learning is important to everyone involved.

When I was in college, I would return to Glenville in the summers to work as a lifeguard and take summer courses at Glenville State College. That is how I took several classes that weren't in my majors. Those classes that I wasn't really interested in were easier to take in the summer. I got them out of the way quickly and didn't have to worry about classes that were not part of either of my majors when I was at Marshall University.

I am advocating for at least one semester of in school summer school classes next year. I hope the powers that be will agree with me. Students need to be in the classroom in Glenville and Glenville needs students to be in town.

Glenville State College is the heartbeat of Gilmer County. Make no mistake about that. We need the college and the college needs the community support. Students add life, too!


Webster's Dictionary defines a dream as a “series of thoughts or visions during sleep.” Biologists say dreams are our brain's way of organizing, storing and remembering what we have seen the day before. Psychologists say dreams sometimes help us work out our issues and emotional problems. Most people, however, think dreams are unimportant and do their best to ignore or forget them.

Lately, my own dreams have had a lot of visitors. While my brain has been remembering what happened the day before and my heart has been working out my issues and problems, I keep seeing my dad, mom, nana and friend Kai. The funny thing is all of them are deceased. None of them have been a part of my daily life for years now. While I remember them all with love, I have no issues or problems to work out with any of them. Why do they visit my dreams night after night?

When I see my dad, mom, nana and Kai they all seem younger and healthier than they were when they died. They have no pain in their faces and their smiles share only love and joy. They seem to be there only to comfort me, to reassure me, and to give me strength to face life and live it with love. Each time I wake after one of these dreams I feel at peace again and thank God for their visit.

Maybe there is more to dreams than just what the dictionary and scientists say. Maybe our dreams have a way of letting us see out of this world and into the next. Maybe our loved ones come to us in our dreams to let us know that they still love us, they still are watching over us, and they are waiting to see us again when our days on this earth are done. Maybe time, like death, is just an illusion and only love is real. I wish you all sweet dreams.

By Joseph Mazzella


I was 10 years old and I was going on an adventure. It was summer break and my family had traveled south, to TN, to visit my Uncle Richard and Aunt Charlotte. But, while my older brothers had been allowed to go all over the place, I had been stuck in the house for most of the visit. Now, however, my mom had decided to let me go alone to a corner grocery store at the end of the block. She had given me money to pick up a loaf of bread and extra change to get myself a popcicle. I felt so grown up as I made the journey, bought the food, and headed back.

When I was about half way back to the house, though, I found my path blocked. A large black dog was looking at me and growling. I had never had a dog look angry at me before and my heart started to pound faster and faster in my chest. I didn't know what to do. Should I run? Should I scream? Suddenly, I felt a calmness come over me. It felt like it was coming from outside of me and within me at the same time. I knew what to do, too. I stood up as tall and straight as I could, looked over the dog, and said firmly, but kindly, “Go home, boy!” The dog stared back at me for a moment, then turned and trotted off.

I walked on, feeling very brave and very scared at the same time. I saw my mom and Aunt Charlotte sitting together on her front porch. I skipped up the steps and sat down in between them. My mom gave me a sip of her soda while I shared what had happened with her. I relaxed in her arms feeling adventurous, but also safe, secure, and loved.

Looking back on that moment reminds me that life itself is an adventure and only the bravest of us fully live it. It is full of fear and love. It is full of lessons and learning. It is full of pain and joy. Yet, through it all we are watched over and loved. God is everywhere and in everything, including us. Embrace all the adventures life gives you, then, be they big or small. Face them without fear. Use them to become the person you were meant to be. Let your entire life here be an adventure of love. And always let God's love live through you.


Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

Welcome back to Glenville and Glenville State College!!! And, to all you new freshmen, welcome!! I hope a new world of opportunities opens up to you and you have a wonderful college experience while you are attending Glenville State College.

People say that your high school years are the best of your life. I have found that is not true for me. My college years stand out as the best! The most fun, exciting time!

Your years at Glenville State College can be the best years of your life. GSC can not only offer you an education that will last a lifetime, but friendships and memories that will too.

I've stolen some common sense items that I am going to share with you to help make GSC the best experience of your life and help you to succeed in your future.

1. Go to class. Period. Regardless of whether the professor says you have to be there or not. Just go. You will learn so much more by being in the actual classroom listening than you will reading the book. It's a good habit and a good mindset for every class you take.

2. During the first day of class, get two people's phone numbers from each and every class. No, not the hot guy or beautiful girl. Get those phone numbers because, at some point during the semester, you will have a question. If you have the telephone number of classmates, you can compare your memory of what was said during the class. If anything social works out, well that would be great, wouldn't it?

3. Take notes by hand. You can't make up an excuse that I haven't already tried. You won't remember everything to type it later unless you are Sheldon Cooper, and most of us aren't. Write the notes by hand, during class with your phone in your pocket on silent. That's how our brains encode information most effectively.

4. If you really want to get good grades to keep those scholarships or just to be as successful as possible, after class or the next day, rewrite your notes. You can outline the information, highlight important points, note what page of the textbook the material is covered on and make a list of questions.

Rewrite your notes! Rewriting helps dedicate that information into your memory.

5. Being a student is your job! If you don't do any of the suggestions in 1-4, simply do number 5, you will probably make it through college with flying colors...literally.

College is your job. Your full-time job is to be a student. So you need to be a student 40 hours a week.

Look at it this way, if you have a 15 hour class schedule, you have 25 hours each week to study or do any assigned work.

I know that sounds like a lot, but if you spend from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. everyday, Monday through Friday, in class or studying then you have every evening and weekend free to have fun!

If you start your college career doing these things, they will become habit and you will be able to better gauge how much time you actually need to spend studying in the future.

6. Go see each of your professors during their office hours. Introduce yourself and get to know them just a little bit. You will have a much better experience in class if you go talk to the professor and introduce yourself. If your professor knows you are making an effort to connect with them and that you are interested in their class, they will look at you during lectures and the look on your face will tell them whether you understand the concept they are teaching or not. They will notice. If the professor can tell you aren't understanding, they will explain it again, in a different way, so that you can grasp the concept.

7. This is the last one, I promise! Do the reading before class. I understand that you have never done this before and that you can usually get away with not doing it at all, but try it. Professors like it when you can participate in class. And seriously, if you want to be successful in life, you have to do things that you've never done before.

To summarize: You are a student and that is your job. Spend 40 hours a week on your classes and you will have a lot of time for fun! Do the reading, go to class, talk to your professors. Take responsibility for your life and your education. After all, the education you are obtaining only benefits you!

Make the most of college! It really is the best time of your life!

An unusually hot and wet spring this year was followed by an extremely hot and wet summer. Sunny skies were constantly giving way to heavy showers, only to be replaced with more sun and heat. This combination has made for a few changes from our regular summer here, in the mountains of my home. The limbs on the trees are growing twice as fast as usual and their leaves are huge. The Queen Anne's Lace, Daisies, and Black Eye Susan's are growing waist high in the meadows and on the sides of the roads. The bush in my front yard is shooting up as fast as a sunflower. The grass in my yards is thicker and taller than ever. Butterflies and bumble bees are everywhere, as are the yellow jackets and hornets. Mama deer and their babies can be seen coming out of the woods to feast on the abundance of crab apples on the ground. Squirrels with acorns are scurrying up the trees and baby birds are flying out of their nests. Everywhere I look there is an explosion of growth and life. It is incredible to see.

We humans are a little different than the rest of nature, however. Yes, our bodies do grow best in optimal conditions. We grow healthy and strong when we have good food, clean water, fresh air, and plenty of exercise. On the inside, though, it is often during the hardest of times that we grow the most. During the times of death, loss, and suffering is when our souls grow stronger and closer to God. During the bleakest wintertime is when our hearts grow more loving. During the worst times of our lives is when we help each other the most.

Why is it that we grow kinder, stronger, and wiser during the toughest times, as well as the good ones? Why is it that the worst in this world often brings out the best in us? No one knows for sure, but I am happy with the mystery. Live well, then. Love much. Grow strong. Be the person God meant for you to be during the winter nights, as well as the summer days.


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