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"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough," said Christian mystic Meister Eckhart. Another mystic A.A. Milne wrote, ""Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."

Here's wishing us all a Happy New Year, and wonderful whatever other holidays you may celebrate. But first of all, be grateful. It's amazing how much happiness a good dose of gratitude can grow.

To warm the cockles of your heart and the bottom of your belly - a spaghetti supper. Brought to you by the Eaton Corner Museum. A relief from holiday cooking, all in support of a good cause. On the menu are spaghetti and sauce, coleslaw, bun, desserts, coffee, tea and juice. When? Friday, January 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Where? At the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. How much? $8 per person; $4 for children under 12. Questions? Call the Museum at 819-875-5256.

Ah, the drama of William Stone. His is a famous leg. It put Eaton Corner on the map 167 years ago. How? Stone was the first person in Canada to submit to major surgery using anesthesia. It was in Eaton Corner, and it was Stone's leg that was amputated. I am sure there's less screaming in this story than in the one about the many persons, before Stone, who submitted to major surgery without anesthesia.

So, an amputation. That's the outcome of the drama, but like any good Columbo murder mystery, we still don't know its whys and hows. William Stone and his leg were at the centre of the drama, but who knows anything about him? All will be revealed on February 15. Check the January 15th Journal Le Haut-Saint-François for the full details.

Oh!, were I a mote in Edna's eye where I could swim in her warm tears and look into that one eye, but then she might blow her nose and I'd be smashed into one of those ghastly green hankies her great-aunt gave her on her birthday when, really, she didn't want any gifts because she was turning thirty and thought she was over the hill, but I didn't think so.

Thus wrote Jerome Krause, and thus he won second prize in the Romance department of the 2013 Bulwer Purple Prose Project. Ahem, he also won first prize in the Crime/Mystery category, and the grand prize out of all the categories. But that was a different snippet of purple prose.

To find out how he did that, just visit the Purple Prose Project's website, There you'll also see how to join the fun for the 2014 edition by just writing the first sentence of the worst-ever novel. All to the benefit of the Bulwer Community Centre, and all to the honour of the famed 19th century Lord Bulwer-Lytton, purveyor of purple prose in penny novels, and godfather of Bulwer, QC.

So mark March 29th in your agenda for the Bulwer Purple Prose awards supper.

Exercise can be fun. That's the philosophy of Viactive.

Viactive is for people age 50+, group exercises you can do sitting down or standing up. A kinesiologist designed them to strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility, and bolster your sense of balance. Participants are encouraged to just do what's comfortable. And most people report they feel better almost right away.

The exercise sessions are free. Just show up. You can come occasionally, or you can come regularly. In the Haut-Saint-François we have three Viactive groups that are in English or bilingual. All three meet Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., starting January 8.

In Bury, Irma Chapman and June Morrison lead a group in English at the Armoury Community Centre, 563 Main Street. They will welcome you with open arms! Info: 819-560-8540 (option 9) or

In Sawyerville, Gérard and Denise Nault lead a bilingual group at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. They're a friendly bunch! Info: 819-889-2630.

In Cookshire, Serena Wintle and Lynn Maisonneuve lead a bilingual group at the new Manoir de l'Eau Vive, 210 Principale East. To enter the upper parking lot, drive in the lane just above the St-Camille church. Park behind or alongside the church.

At the entrance to the residence, use the phone to dial 333 for Reception. The door will open towards you, so step deftlyback. Enter the hallway. Turn right to go to the elevator. Go down one floor. Viactive is on the 2nd floor. Turn right to go to the Activity Room (Salle communautaire). It's on your left, opposite Room No. 207. Both the residence and the volunteers will give you a warm welcome! Info: 819-560-8540 (option 9) or

United: On Tuesday December 24 is a Christmas Eve Family Communion Service in Cookshire at 4 p.m. For details, listen to message at 819-889-2838, and for more info, leave a message and phone number. Note that there is no service on December 29. The regular schedule resumes on January 5, worship in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m. and Sawyerville at 11 a.m.

Anglican: On Tuesday December 24 is a Holy Eucharist for Christmas Eve at 2 p.m. in Cookshire and 3:30 p.m. in Bury. Also - news flash! - a Christmas Eve Service is planned for 7 p.m. at the St. Lawrence Church in Lawrence. On December 29, the fifth Sunday of the month, there are no services in Cookshire or Bury. Instead, all are invited to St. George's Anglican Church in Lennoxville at 10 a.m. for a regional Deanery Service.
On January 5 and 12, Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury (with Sunday school for children) and 11 a.m. in Cookshire (819-239-6902).

Baptist: In Sawyerville, Sunday worship services are at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. On Tuesday December 24 at 7 p.m. is a Christmas Eve Service (819-239-8818).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by January 6 for publication January 15, and January 20 for January 29.

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