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Get in the spirit of the season

“Over the river and through the woods…” for Thanksgiving dinner and pumpkin pie! This year we (my son and I) celebrated Thanksgiving Day with my cousins, Ed and Belinda Harris, their son Ben Harris, and her mother Wanda Dodge (my aunt and the last surviving member of the original 11 Chilton siblings) on their farm near Hillsboro. It was quite a scenic drive as we did indeed travel over the river, through the woods, through one or two communities, past fields, and over and around many a hill and curve.

But it was well worth the drive as we were greeted with warm hugs, and an abundance of food. As always there was also a heaping serving of family news, which is something I can enjoy seconds of without having to undo buttons on my slacks. It was a lovely day, and I am truly thankful for the constancy comfort of family and friends.

If you aren’t already, you’ll be in the Christmas spirit after viewing the Krekeler Jewelers Christmas Parade on Monday at 6 p.m. The annual event hosted by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce will be held downtown and end with the much anticipated opening of the spectacular Winter Wonderland at Long Hall. The theme this year is “Reason For the Season.”

The parade travels through the heart of downtown, beginning at Columbia and A Street, making its way east on Columbia, turning left at Henry, traveling west on Liberty Street and completing its journey at Long Memorial Hall where Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will enter Winter Wonderland and visit with the children of Farmington for the first time this holiday season.

There is no fee to enter the Christmas parade, and prize money will be awarded to the top three parade entries. First place will win $250, second will win $150 and third place will win $100. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at 756-3615 for information on entering a unit.

Come early to attend the Christmas parade and stop by the Farmington Christian Church, 201 West Columbia St. (catty-cornered from Long Hall) for a good old fashioned chicken n’ dumpling dinner with lots of home baked desserts made by those good cooks at the church. Serving will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with carry outs available. Dinners are $7 each and include drink and homemade dessert. Such a deal.

=A Naples wedding …The wedding of Carli Bloom to Casey Lewis was a welcomed reason for area family members and friends of the bride to make the trip to Naples, Fla. Carli is the daughter of Nancy (Eaton) Bloom, and the granddaughter of Larry and Shirley Eaton of Farmington. Shirley, accompanied by her daughter and their families, Larry and Sally Steffleman and two daughters and John and Kathy Kendall, were joined by Nancy Johnson and Barbara Hartshorn on Nov. 7. The formal ceremony was performed at the Hotel Beach Club in Naples on Nov. 10. The Missouri contingent enjoyed a few extra days in the Florida sun before returning to our less pleasant temperatures.

Family visits … Tom and Linda Ray and their daughter, Sarah, enjoyed almost back-to-back visits from their families. Tom’s brother and sister-in-law Rich and Misty Ray of Fenton arrived for two days of jollification on Oct. 28, and were followed by members of Linda’s family from Wisconsin. Her sister and brother-in-law Pat and Jim Brien of Wausaukee, Wisc., accompanied by Linda and Pat’s uncle Dick Grindell of Plattville, spent the Thanksgiving holiday with the Rays.

Mark one off the ‘bucket list’…Tony Miano received an invitation from his son John Miano of California in late October to join him for a short trip to South Dakota. The two made the two-day jaunt to that western state so John could complete his “see every state in the Union before his 30th birthday” goal and mark it off his “bucket list.” John, a Farmington High School graduate, credits his work on Black Knight TV with providing him his education and the experience to pursue his successful career as a freelance film producer.

Potting around…Jerry Chappelle, an FHS alumni, and his wife Kathy are the owners of the very successful Happy Valley Pottery, Inc. in Watkinsville, Ga., and were here in September for the 55th year reunion of the class of 1957. He brought each of his classmates a handsome plate he especially designed for them that featured the school’s emblem of a mounted Knight, both in full regalia. Happy Valley Pottery is part of a thriving artistic development in Watskinsville and specializes in pottery and glass, but also offers many other mediums including jewelry, painted silk, woven clothing and rugs. The Chappelles and their gallery have been featured in Southern Living Magazine as well as many other national publications. They moved from Minnesota to Georgia for Jerry to accept a position to teach at the University of Georgia. If you’re visiting in or near Watkinsville, be sure to visit them at 1210 Carson Graves Rd. or contact them at

Barn art … If you’re out for a Sunday afternoon drive be sure to include a run by the farm of Jim and Delores Plummer where a Pennsylvania Bank barn can be seen at 3211 Old Fredericktown Rd. This unusual barn, partially constructed with wooden pegs, was built by Lewis Hopkins and his neighbors in 1860 after he migrated here from Pennsylvania. Recently Jim and Delores, the current owners, installed a large colorful wooden quilt block, designed and painted by local artist Ernestine Medley, on the street side of the barn. Four coats of paint plus a sealer was used so that the block will endure many years. In their travels throughout the midwest the Plummer’s have enjoyed seeing quilt block trails on barns and decided to start one here in this area.

African hospitality … In August of this year, Kaleb Sutherland, the son of Kraig and Miriam Sutherland of Farmington, graduated from college at St. Olaf, worked the summer at Rainbow Camp in Colorado, and visited his family in Farmington before going on to Young Adults Global Mission orientation in Chicago for an in-country orientation on South Africa. He then left on Aug. 22 and will not return to the states until August 2013. Following is an excerpt from Kaleb’s blog:

“I arrived at my host community, Umphumulo, which will be my home for the next 11 months where I will serve as a volunteer through Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM), a program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I work with my site supervisor, Reverend Khathi, the Lutheran Bishop for South Africa at the Umphumulo Church Centre. It’s a beautiful little cluster of red-roofed buildings that sits near the top of a hill and overlooks the mountains and tiny villages below. I will teach English to the elementary students and biology to the upper class students and have even been fortunate and invited to join a local soccer team, a sport I have enjoyed since grade school.”

You can follow Kaleb’s year-long journey on his extremely well-written blog at:

Now open … The Dusty Corner Antiques Shop hosted a ribbon cutting this past Wednesday to kick off the holiday shopping season and celebrate their recent opening. Stop by, browse the shop and meet owner Patty Thomas. The antique shop is located at 303 North Jackson Street in Farmington.

Then head south on Jackson Street to the BOGO (Buy One, Give One) sandwich shop that is now open directly behind the post office. Sandwiches, soups and smiles are on the menu. Each time you purchase a sandwich from the shop the owner will donate a sandwich to a local help organization. Sales on Friday will benefit the Farmington Senior Center.

Coming Up:

Dec. 6 …The Newcomers Club will meet with a Cookie Exchange (bring 3 dozen Christmas Cookies to exchange). Also, bring a $1 wrapped gift to exchange and canned goods for the Food Pantry. Following the meeting those attending are invited to attend a Christmas Lunch at St. Francois Country Club (at their own expense). The meeting is at the Presbyterian Church, Cayce and W. Columbia Streets at 9 am.

Dec. 1 & 2 … Annual Ste Genevieve Art Guild Holiday Fine Art Show and Sale

The holiday show and sale will be on view in the main gallery at Barnwood & Bedposts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 1, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 2. An artists’ reception featuring appetizers, wine and music, will be held Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Some works will remain available for purchase through December during regular store hours in the small gallery at the rear of Barnwood & Bedposts.

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