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GENTLE FEELINGS - November 30, 2006

This is a family season of the year, although, after observing Calhoun people, every season seems to be a family season! Even families, because they are so close, have times when hurtful things might be said. One of my children has a motto on their wall that says: “Feelings are gentle, handle with care!

A friend sent the following story to me and it seemed to prepare my attitude for the holidays. I thought it might help you, too. Families can be our best friends. I have all kinds of families     . . . relatives, co-workers, church, former students, neighbors -- the list goes on. It really seems that no one has to be alone.

“There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us’.”

 FAMILIES ARE FOREVER.

*          *          *          *          *

I am sharing a recipe from our family each week until Christmas. Usually, it will be a very quick choice. These have been tested several times at our family gatherings.

We were searching for a new way to serve green beans and “Great Greek Green Beans” was the requested recipe for each get together. A small jar of pimentos can be substituted for the roasted red peppers.

1/2 cup onion, chopped               1 tsp. oregano, crushed

1/2 tsp. garlic, minced                1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil                          1/4 cup black olives, sliced

2 16 oz. green beans, drained     1/2 cup feta cheese

1 cup roasted red peppers, do not drain

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients, stir together. Heat thoroughly, about 10 minutes.

Serves 6; calories, 84; prep time, 15 minutes.

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