Monday, January 16, 2017

BHS: Babic Magic

Because of health and weather problems, twice over the past few weeks a duo of music magicians waved supernatural wands over make-up performances. When they did, groups of harmonious Bayard students fed back sounds spawned from hours of preparation and practice. 

Their efforts culminated into two Christmas Concerts of marvelous sounds, mixed with applause that echoed throughout the hallowed halls of BHS.

During the first Christmas concert, Bayard’s Grade School displayed up and coming tuneful aspirations for an appreciative audience. From the elementary band to the elementary choir, the exuberance of learning how to liberate sounds that meet in the Western Nebraska atmosphere and become rhythmic arrangements took center stage.

The musicians smiled, the conductors glowed, and the eyes of parents, grandparents and well-wishers glistened. I’ll even surmise that Christmas cherubs, drawn to the auditorium by the melodies, strummed their harps in appreciation.

Yes, a delightful evening for all.

When their night came, the Junior High and High School concert began with the 21st Century Singers stepping in rhythm to Christmas songs that emanated from their hearts, their way lighted by the symbolic Christmas candles they carried.

Seeing this procession of musical talent each year is never repetitive.

In solidarity, they sang carols as people walked into the auditorium. In solidarity, the procession stopped in front, and on each side of the reception hall. They harmonized to those seated in the assembly room; the arms of the audience held high holding cell phones to capture the serenity of the moment, for forever.

The Junior High Band followed that opening by taking those seated in anticipatory tension into outer space via rockets of sound. They provided music from the never-get-old, in Mr. Babic’s humble opinion, “Star Wars” soliloquy.

(Admittedly, most people never tire of music from that classic.)  

The High School Band followed with musical treats from “Christmas Comes Anew.” 

To close an evening worth waiting for, the 21st Century singers had an encore performance that was followed by the Junior High Choir.

During their turn, the High School Choir sang three songs that put an exclamation point behind the evening.

On behalf of we who partook of those two delightful evenings that musically glorified Christmas, Thank you Bayard's Grade School, Junior and Senior High music students, along with your instructors.

You all work well together.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Are You Part of Bayard-nesting?

Along with fans, the wild and wooly winter winds of Western Nebraska chased Bayard’s High School sports inside the school. Likewise, Bayard’s Pep Band followed and assumed their position on the north end of the east side of the gym.

The Tigers exchanged their prolate spheroid, ( oval) pigskin, which is really cowhide with synthetic lining, for a synthetic fiber round ball. (a basketball) Now, by hitting shots at a hoop that’s attached to a backboard, both sexes of Bayard round ball score points in the school’s gymnasium.

However, in a different setting, Bayard’s Pep Band scores points by hitting precisely-placed notes printed on a sheet of music. But, when a basket or a note is hit the responses in the arena vary.  

When a Tiger hits a basket mass pandemonium erupts in the gymnasium, and that may be repeated 15-30 times, depending on how many baskets are made during the game.      

When the pep band, though, hits notes on a sheet of music it can have a calming effect in the sports center. Fans listen as musical strains from renditions of Hang on Sloopy, Tequila, and Wipeout permeate the gymnasium.

The trumpets tones are clear and accurate while the drum beat is precise and definite. Add the rest of the ensemble that compliments Bayard’s Pep Band, and what the fans hear is compatibility. They all hit the correct notes at the correct time.

Bayard’s faithful fans sit in the bleachers every game and enjoy it all.

Are these three entities something BHS orders and they come complete with instructions about how to put together? No, it’s a living triangle and each of the points strives to improve…as one.

Individual athletes work to correct their deficiencies; the coaches teach five to mesh as one.

The Pep Band practices, daily, at home and at school, to hit those elusive notes on the sheet music. Their instructors endeavor to find ways to raise the bands level of musical comprehension.

Fans rush home from work to grab a bite to eat before the game, or have to gag down fast food entrees as they drive to out-of-town games. Week after week they open their billfolds to watch and listen, good, bad, or indifferent.  

All three points of the above mentioned triangle are part of “Bayard-nesting”.

The oneness is catching. If you’re not part of “Bayard-nesting” give it a try. It’s good for what ails you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Senior Citizens and Reading

Usually I go online to get ideas for Senior Savvy. However, because I’m within the parameters of what’s considered a Senior, I went onhugh for inspiration.

While searching www.allaboutseniorhugh I found the subjects reading and writing, (but fortunately no arithmetic.) I chose to write about reading because penning thoughts on a Microsoft Word page is a personal thing, and, truthfully, I don’t understand it. Writing something is just there when I need it; if that makes sense.  

Reading, though, is a conscious activity and worth the time and effort. I wile away hours turning pages in topical magazines, specific venues of paperbacks and books that tickle my intellectual taste buds. Right now, I’m reading a quartet from the aforementioned genuses, and I try to read a little from each every day.

What is it about reading?

For many Seniors, too much time with nothing fulfilling to do is a problem; reading can fill empty time slots.

Reading is easy: Even if you’re a Senior who’s never read much before, as long as you have access to a City Library you have no reason not to explore that special art.

Reading can quash the travel bug: Would you like to go somewhere but don’t because it’s too far away and you don’t like to fly, or you’d have to go by yourself? Hint: Decide where you want to go and read about it in a book. Reading absorbs you into the pages, the scenery envelopes you and you become part of the landscape.

Seated at home in your favorite chair, with your pet in your lap, you’re where the book takes you.

Maybe you’ll become friends with a serial-character and follow them from book to book because they’ve become part of your life. Learn about specialty cooking, sewing, do-it-yourself, how to fix or make something. Whatever, you’ll find the answer in a book.

If you’re not sure what kind of book you’d like, go to the library and browse. Check out whatever title trips your trigger and take the book home and read it. Chances are you’ll enjoy the experience.

Finally, reading is inexpensive. With no charge you can read every piece of literary material in your town’s library, challenge yourself.

Simply enjoy reading. Be that Little “Senior” Engine that Could.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Shiny Heart for God

While a breeze whispered through the woods that bordered the west side of their property, Papa, Mama, and Junior Kodiak relaxed on the deck that unfurled behind their home.

Sundays were for ritual-like feasts from Papa’s prized charcoal-powered grill, and this Sunday was no different.

Mama sighed. “Delicious dear, I think I’ll make it through the rest of the day. If I were in charge, a week would have more than one Sunday; oh my, look at the sun shining through the trees. It’s sooo peaceful, however, we need to clean up our mess.”

Junior patted his stomach. “I may burst, Papa.”

Papa slid his chair away from the table. “You need some exercise. Use this steel-wool pad on the grill. That’ll keep your hands moving to match your mouth.”

“Which side of the pad do I use Papa?”

“Use either si…what do you mean which side? Wow, a gotcha. I’ll give you an attabear for that one. Try using the side that’s facing down.”        

While wiping the table Mama looked up. “Stop it, both of you. Must I get my referee’s shirt?”

Papa and Junior pointed fingers at each other. “He started it.”

Mama slid opened the patio door using her free finger “I can’t take anymore; after I put these dishes in the dishwasher I’m going catch up on some reading, until I fall asleep. Keep your voices down.”

“Yes dear. Enjoy your book-nap.”

“I intend to,” and she disappeared into the house.

Papa scratched behind his ear.

“I’ve got a question, Papa.”

“It’s your nickel, Junior.”

“In Sunday school Mr. Grizzly said God gives us a shiny heart. I’m not sure what that means. He said he’d talk more about it, but I’m curious. I don’t remember anything about a shiny heart in the Bible.”

“You’re right Junior, it’s not in the Bible per se; however, it refers to your spiritual life. A shiny heart refers to spiritual maturity.”

“How come you know so much about it Papa?  I’ve never heard you mention it before.”

Papa winked, “Lots of things I know that you don’t think I know.” Besides, awhile back Mr. Grizzly gave me a book to read about having a shiny heart for God.”

“Gee, good thing you and Mama don’t read anymore than you do; I’d have to use a library card to get an appointment with either of you.”

Papa faked a scowl. “It’s a really neat book, Junior. A shiny heart is a three step process beginning when God draws someone to Himself.”

“You mean salvation?”

“Correct, then the next step is illumination, which is God shining in you, and the third step is sanctification, and that’s when God shines through you.

“Tell you what, beings you’re younger than I am, why don’t you run into the house and grab a Bible? Don’t forget Mama’s reading, or napping, either way be quiet.

“Yepper, be right back.”

In a couple minutes Junior slowly slid the patio door shut and had a Bible in his hand.

“Glad you’re back in one piece, which means you didn’t bother Mama. Look up Matthew 22: 36-39 and read it, please.”

“Don’t think she even knew I was in the house, Papa. I’m stealthy. That’s why you two never know when I get home at night.”

Papa grinned.

Junior found the passage underlined in the worn pages of Papa’s Bible that he’d grabbed from an end table in the living room.

“Matthew 22: 36-39 says ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And He said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’

Papa symbolically put on his teacher’s hat and yanked it down. “Those verses refer to a Christian’s shiny heart. So, let’s look at a shiny heart through the lens of salvation, illumination, and sanctification.  You remember what they mean?”

Junior stared into space. “Uh, salvation is God drawing me to Him, illumination is God shining in me, and sanctification is when God shines through me.”

“Good, I’m impressed, Junior. Let’s talk about salvation first. You remember back when the three of us went for a walk in the woods and ended up finding honey?”

“That was a good time.”

“Why’d we go on that walk?”

Junior frowned. “I really don’t know. Maybe exercise, fresh air, togetherness, or maybe we just felt we wanted to walk.”

“Right you are. We just had the itch to walk and see if we could find it, whatever it was. It could’ve been one of those things you mentioned, but, it wasn’t. Instead, we found what we really needed, honey."

Junior’s eyes radiated question marks.  

Papa rolled his eyes. “Stay with me, it’ll come together. Think back how we’d walked and walked that day and were pooped and stopped to rest, and while we rested we discovered the honey?”

Junior nodded.

Remember how good it tasted, energized us, and warmed our insides?”

“Certainly do, Papa, and don’t forget who looked inside that tree trunk lying on the ground and found the honey.”

“Ya, I know, you’re the hero, but the bees flying around were a clue. Still can’t figure out why there weren’t more. But now read Romans 3:10-11.

Junior found these verses also underlined, “‘as it is written, there is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks after God.’

He looked at his Papa, “Wow, that’s powerful.”

“Junior, those verses explain the nature of mankind. What’s God saying? ”  

“Gee, He says no one is righteous, understands or seeks Him. The emphasis is on none. So, that means if no one seeks after God He uses other ways to draw people to Himself.”  

Papa’s face lit up. “And that He does. It’s like us when we found honey that day. We weren’t looking for honey, but when we found it we realized it’s what we needed.

“We wander through life and wear out, and thru the Holy Spirit’s guidance we find the log of salvation. We find that Jesus Christ is the honey that tastes good, spiritually energizes us, and warms our heart.

“Jesus satisfies that spiritual need gnawing at us.”

“That’s awesome Papa; now what about how God shines into and out of us?”

“Ok, to illustrate illumination and sanctification, let’s continue with our experience of finding honey.”

Junior pointed towards his stomach. “Hurry, because now I’m starting to crave earthly honey. We may have to go into the woods tonight and find some.”

“When we get done talking, Junior, you’ll have enough to think about within the boundaries of our property. And, as for me, I’m sweet enough.”

“Gimme a break.”

Papa winked. “Anyway, through the Holy Spirit God shines into us when we walk our lifelong path of learning about Him. He illuminates Himself to us. 

“Illumination is like spiritual honey. What God teaches us about Himself flows into our spiritual heart. As our heart pumps this knowledge into our system its sweet aromatic richness permeates the soul of our existence, and, everyday, we are the light of God.

“The flavor of learning about God has no equal. After the first taste, the core of our spiritual being yearns for more. We make many trips to the hive of knowledge about God because the experience never loses its flavor, and we’re never satisfied.”

“Wow, Papa, I kinda feel that way now.’

“Told ya you wouldn’t need honey from the woods tonight.”

Junior began to put it together. “Then, when God shines in me the knowledge of Him He uses sanctification, or my spiritual maturity, for Him to flow from me, right?”

“You’ve got it Junior. As part of God’s Church you share your spirituality with others, and God’s Church matures through salvation, illumination, and sanctification.”

“You know, Papa, “these God-given gifts are like waking on a spring day from hibernation and not being starved. The spiritual energy we receive satisfies, and we never hunger for holiness.

“Our spiritual life is a world of honey; it’s sweet, nourishing, and never ending.”

“Well said, Junior.”  
All scripture from the NASB.

To God goes the glory for all He has done.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Federation Wrestling Meet

People, people, people, from every direction it’s people. People are standing, people are sitting, and people are meandering. Most of them with their eyes, their thoughts, and their hearts fixated on a basketball court that’s divided into six sections…

It’s Bayard’s annual Federated Wrestling Meet.

My wrestling experience consists of once watching Verne Gagne, a professional wrestler going back over six decades, when I was in grade school. Back then wrestling was not part of most public schools, so, fast-forwarding over those six decades, my next experience with wrestling is watching three of my grandsons perform in Federation wrestling.

All said and done, what I know is that my grandsons who wrestle know a lot about it and do well…without me. So, between their matches I have all sorts of time to sit and enjoy my favorite hobby…watching people. Watching people at wrestling matches is a gem because fans move around more than other sporting attractions and are less inhibited.

At wrestling matches, the most mobile and vocal parents are on display. They’re animated and they grimace, contort, and vocalize. They holler instructions to their child as the child is wrestling, as if in the heat of the battle the child can concentrate on what their parent is yelling at them.

This is also assuming that even if the child heard them they’d pay attention to what the parent says. But that’s another story.

The next segment is the vocal parent/grandparent seated in the bleachers. (Few grandparents are in the vocal/mobile group because we’re too old. Once we’re sitting we’re not gonna move.) Anyway, the vocal-in-the-stands-group explodes like a thunder-clap when their child/grandchild wins.  

The third group is also in the bleachers, and maybe like me don’t fully comprehend the ins and outs of wrestling. We intently watch but may not holler because we don’t know what to holler about, and if our child/grandchild wins we politely clap, once we realize they’ve won.
However, believe me, that doesn’t mean we’re any less involved. 

Wrestling matches are an entity unto themselves, and with children/ grandchildren participating I understand why they’re addictive and emotional. If properly handled, though, I believe wrestling is a bonding sport while other sports are more spectator oriented. Wrestling is a sport where parents and child can grow together over an extended period of time, whether or not the child hears the parent during the match, or if they win.

How neat is that?   

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Christmas and New Year's Day Thought

Interesting facts: The exact birth date of Jesus Christ is not known; nevertheless, each year the world celebrates his birthday on December 25.

Also, each year the world celebrates New Year’s Day on the first day of January, but that’s not a supposition because in 45 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a 12-month calendar with the first day of the year being January 1. That calendar served as the official date-keeper until the fall of the Roman Empire.

After that a calendar based on Christian holidays took precedence, nevertheless, the new year still began on January 1.

Since then the calendar’s been adjusted numerous times, but, in 1752, the Gregorian calendar became the world’s official appointment keeper. If you have a calendar hanging on one of the walls in your home, it’s a Gregorian, even if it advertises an area funeral home, or a bank.

Regardless, in what is probably the final calendar edition, Jesus’ birthday is celebrated the week before New Year’s Day. Is that a coincidence, or could there be more to it?

Here’s some food for thought.

Depending on what’s happening, a year can be an extended drag, both physically and psychologically. Sometimes, we can’t wait until January 1 to refresh in a new year. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, that new year’s shower doesn’t always materialize, which can be a yearlong downer.

Contrarily, Christmas Day is usually uplifting. Why? Perhaps it’s the joy of celebrating the birth of a baby with those we love?

For example, after the birth of a baby the mother is exhausted and sore, but generally that’s secondary because the new baby represents freshness, hope, and excitement. When that new life lies on Mom’s chest, she instinctively holds it against her body, and that rejuvenates her.

Her exhaustion is not as exhausting, and her soreness is not as sore. The burdens of her pregnancy are history, and she’s excited about her future with the new baby.

Through it all, her heart expands its capacity for love, and her life has a new glow.

Likewise, when Dad experiences the baby he also feels its warmth. His dimensions for love stretch, and the new baby becomes part of the family.

How does all this relate to Christmas and New Years Day?

Well, on Christmas Day we celebrate a birthday so unique it’s celebrated everywhere. When we hold that special baby close to us we feel freshness, hope, and excitement. Our life radiates.

So, in December, when the cares of the present year threaten to carry over into next year, we know there’s a rest stop ahead, on December 25. The freshness, hope, and excitement we find will protect and propel us through all the January 1’s, from this day forth.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

BHS: Career Exploration Day

When a student begins their four years of high school, a career choice becomes more than picturing their image on a sports card that lists impressive statistics, more than daydreams of rescuing damsels from burning castles, or winning the national barrel racing competition every year.

Nevertheless, other than a divining rod, or flipping a coin, how does someone from a small Western Nebraska town discover the truth, the pros and cons, about what they think they may want to do for the next 40-some years, after they “grow up”?

Maybe they don’t want to go to a four-year college. Can they prepare for a successful career by going to a community college, or trade school? But what if they don’t want to ever again step foot in a school, no matter the shape or form. What are their alternatives?

A positive beginning for those answers is BHS’ annual Career Exploration Day. It’s not a display of grandeur, it’s a “just the truth, nothing but the truth” type experience.  

From 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., in pre-determined classrooms, students engaged in half-hour back-and-forth banter with someone experienced in a specific career. A person willing to share experiences about their chosen livelihood, both pro and con. This year, a few of the available careers students could choose to explore were law enforcement, health management, education, auto service, physical therapist, sales, veterinarians, the Armed Forces, photography, and elder care.

To start the day, Ashley Rice Gerlock, from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, said that coming back to rural Nebraska is a definite career option. She said that manufacturing and agriculture are the two biggest industries in Nebraska and two-year degrees and trade schools open many doors of opportunity.

Continuing that train of thought during her classroom session, along with her Economic Development partner, Starr Lehl, they answered the question “why don’t large companies expand into Western Nebraska?”

“It’s simple; they don’t because of the lack of population.”

However, there’s a simple answer to increasing the population. If, after their post-secondary education, former students stick around Western Nebraska, marry and raise their families, open businesses and hire employees, pretty soon the population grows and companies expand out here.

In addition, students were urged to consult with Mrs. Rafferty, BHS guidance counselor, for feedback about their tentative career decisions.

The consensus of BHS Career Exploration Day is the State of Nebraska has jobs, all sorts of jobs. Nebraska’s population has grown to over 1.9 million, and Nebraska is one of the fastest growing States in the Union.   

BHS students: You have the opportunity to continue your participation in the Western Nebraska experience, and those business representatives you talked to today prove the experience is rewarding. 

Check out Nebraska.Gov for more details about jobs and careers, in a growing Nebraska.