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Van Horn Advocate


Tuesday, Aug. 26, 1997


Peggy McCracken

Power-saving crusade
evokes `before' ramble

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You can't turn your back around here without the boss turning off the computer to save electricity and monitors. It reminds me of LBJ when he was in the White House, turning off lights in every room he passed through.

Energy conservation is a concern, I realize. Paying the electric bill for August is certainly a reminder that it costs money to cool the house, run the refrigerator, watch TV and operate a myriad of appliances.

Think for a minute. How much do we rely on electricity to do the hard work we used to do by hand? Not to mention things like computers that didn't exist - and couldn't exist - without electrical power.

Right off hand, I think of the weed whacker. Do you remember how we used to get rid of weeds? Either with a hoe or pulling them by hand. I bought expensive leather gloves to pull up the sticker-filled white weeds that plagued my lawn at the Airbase. Now I mow what I can get to with the tractor or push mower, then whip the rest of them to death with a nylon string.

I was 14 years old before we got electricity. We cooled our milk by wrapping the jug with towsacks and setting it in a trough where fresh water from the windmill swirled around it. And we drank the morning milk at night and the night's milk the next morning before it could turn sour. Everything else was eaten the same day it was cooked, so there was little need for refrigeration. Now I can't imagine living without a ready source of ice, a freezer for long-term food storage and a cold place to keep fresh fruit, vegetables and left overs.

Television is something I think I could live without. And my CD player just gathers dust. I suppose a pump organ would work, but I'm not in a hurry to trade in my small electronic organ.

Don't forget the pencil sharpener. It is so handy to stick a wooden pencil in a slot and pull out a sharp point. Beats whittling it off with a dull knife. But is it so hard to turn a crank on the old-fashioned sharpener?

Not all power tools use electricity, of course. I'd like to have a gasoline-powered chain saw. After cutting down a tree with a small bow saw, I can really appreciate such luxury. If someone could guarantee I wouldn't cut off an arm or leg with it, I might get one.

Although I have day dreamed about using a horse to pull the plow on my "God's Little Half Acre," I think I will stick with the tractor. It will break up the entire lot in 15 minutes, then grade my walking track. (It used to be a jogging track, but has slowed down in its old age).

Lights. How sweet it is to walk into a room, flip a switch and have instant light! You don't have to study by a kerosene lamp very long to appreciate the electric light.

I would add my steam iron to this list, but it is used to seldom, it doesn't deserve a mention.

"The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!" Psalm 118:16b, NIV.

Editor's Note: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and website manager whose column appears each Tuesday.


Chief in the home guides children aright

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Where have all the fathers gone?

Fathering is in short supply. Permissiveness is widespread. Youngsters are often unruly, rebellious and irresponsible. All for the lack of fathering, says Dr. Reuven Bar-Levav in Every Family Needs a C.E.O.

Growing children do not become self-disciplined unless they have been disciplined first by consistent fathering.

Values are not learned merely by listening to sermons. Reasonable pressure to do the right thing and to not do wrong is usually needed.

Mother is often the fathering parent, so the author's advice is aimed at both genders. It will help:
* Single and married mothers and fathers who want to improve parenting skills
* Anyone concerned with crime, drugs and alcoholism.
* Parents-to-be concerned with raising emotionally healthy kids
* Grandparents, relatives and friends of families with difficult children
* Anyone who sees the urgent need for character education and basic values
Every Family Needs a C.E.O. makes clear that democracies cannot survive for long unless the majority of their citizens know right from wrong. Dr. Bar-Levav offers a manual full of practical solutions to the deterioration of our values and of civility itself.

For practical answers to hard questions, purchase this hardback book at a discount through the Pecos Enterprise online Bookstore by accessing

Retail price in bookstores $19.95. Published by Fathering Inc. Press, ISBN 0-9644177-0-7.

--Peggy McCracken

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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