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
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.