Brighten Your Corner Where You Are
My daughter forwarded a joke this morning about someone asking for a favor, to water their plants while they went on vacation for two weeks. It was cute in connection with the picture above. The picture can only bring a smile to your senses, when you see what a clever group of neighborly friends came up with -- to brighten the corner where they lived.
That lovely vision of beautiful and lasting cooperation, made me think about some things that many of us seem to be forgetting in these unsettled times -- our own forgotten corners -- in our minds, our homes, our gardens, and our neighborhoods. We could all use a little beautification and visual comfort as stress relievers.
A Hymn Etched Into The American Backstory
Back in 1874, a Methodist minister organized a Sunday School workshop of sorts on Lake Chautauqua, in New York. Whole families signed up to two week long camps that while they included Sunday school training sessions -- they also included recreation and entertainment. This became a hugely popular summer vacation option, and soon the concept spread to other parts of the country.
Performers, musicians, lecturers, and motivational speakers were added to the camps. Many of the headline participants traveled the country and had huge audiences. This was so well-liked that it grew to include Broadway stars, popular plays, and even included stars from the Metropolitan Opera.
In 1912, a woman named Ina Duley Ogdon, was invited to be one of the motivational speakers in the Chatutauqa Circuits (as they were called). This was a huge honor and she was very excited about the prospect of being able to inspire thousands of people. The night before she was to leave, her father was injured in a car accident and she had to cancel out on the lecture series. In the depths of her despair over postponing her dreams and distress over her father, she wrote a poem:
"Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do; Do not wait to shed your light afar; to the many duties ever near you now be true. Brighten the corner where you are."
Later, that poem was put to music written by Charles H. Gabriel, and caught the attention of Homer Rodeheaver (musical director for evangelist Billy Sunday). He in turn, made it the evangelistic campaigns ministry theme song for the next twenty-two years.
As the song became more commonly known, largely thanks to Hollywood, this old time hymnal song, Brighten The Corner Where You Are, has survived generations. Even in modern day American television and movies, new listeners are introduced to the song -- without knowing it's history. Some examples are:
- Donna Reed Show
- Beverly Hillbillies
- Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
- Sopranos (Season 7)
- Meet Me In St. Louis (an example of one of many movies that this tune pops up in)
Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about Ida Duley Ogdon's poem, that became a song, is the fact is that her dream of speaking to thousands, in reality became a song that spoke to and inspired millions. Even Teddy Roosevelt, used it as one of his Presidential Campaign songs and it is well-known that it was President Ronald Reagan's favorite hymn. Some examples of those who thought to record it are:
- Ella Fitzgerald
- Liliana Rose
- Red Foley
- Londonerry Choir
- Metropolitan Boys Choir
- Mills Brothers
- Joan Crawford
- Alice Faye
- Tennessee Ernie Ford
One thing everyone should know about the author Ida Duley Ogdon -- She was from small town, Lamberville Michigan. In recent years, this town's people (population less than 10,000) have been trying to raise funds to restore and brighten the little corner of their world -- her old home -- to serve as a museum. Those kinds of community endeavors, sort of remind you of the women who banded together and brightened the corner of their own world in the first picture in this article. I wonder how many missed opportunities people in other communities are unaware of?
Help Save The Ina Duley Ogdon Home
Sense Is Our Helmet
Now, to my way of thinking Ina Duley Ogdon, had a lot of common sense. She knew that in the face of having to walk away from all that she had worked for -- that you had to take time for the real priorities in life (ie. what's best for your family), and make the world around you tolerable by adding a little sunshine to every day life.
I think that is as important a message as anyone of us could learn in the face of today's troubled world. One of the ways that you can relieve your own personal stresses, is to throw your creativity into making this world a brighter place -- even if it is only designing your own private place to contemplate the great opportunities that any problem in life brings you.
English poet, Edward Young (1681-1765) once penned:
"Sense is our helmet, wit is but the plume; The plume exposes, but the helmet saves. Sense is the diamond, weighty, solid, sound; If cut by wit, it casts a brighter beam, Yet, wit apart, is a diamond still."
Sometimes it all comes down to common sense, without that diamond in the rough in the first place, we becomes just educated fools. If you look around at the pages of history, one thing is very plain -- those whose who have sense and tact, are generally the ones who succeed in whatever endeavor they attempt. Even if they make a mistake, or an error in judgement or business, they will land on their feet -- try again, and eventually obtain their goal.
Those with common sense, often understand one key ingredient that insures success -- is knowing how to take advantage of situations that others are defeated by.
It isn't any wonder that people today are drowning in a sea of negativity and to my way of thinking a lot of them have forgotten their common sense. Now isn't the time for great despair, it's the time for reinventing themselves and brightening the corners where they live.
Geraniums are one of the most unique and versatile flowers to grow. It's especially intriguing that they come as perennials, but also have many annual varieties to choose from. The best things to know about when growing geraniums are:
- Keep in mind that like with any other plant, the variety of species you select will largely determine your success. In other words, pay attention to what geraniums grow best in your individual climate.
- Understand that there are many types of geraniums, a few examples are: 1) Zonal (have a specific dark pattern on their leaves; 2) Fancy Leafed geraniums; 3) Ivy geraniums (perfect for walls and container grown); 4) Martha Washington (aka Regal) which are very showy in flower; 5) Scented geraniums; and 6) Stellars (star shaped).
- Many and most varieties of geraniums don't tolerate cold weather very well.
- Geraniums love love love the sun!
- Geraniums are thirsty plants and seldom can be over-watered.
- Geraniums are heavy feeders, fertilize often.
Not to be forgotten, wild geraniums are a common woodland plant, flowering in early summer.
The stem is erect and from one to two feet high, with leaves that are rough and fiary. The leaves are five-parted, with the deviations lobed and cut."
The flowers are quite large, magenta or pale purple, and grow in clusters at the ends of the branches. The corolla is regular, with five petals. The calyx is hairy and have five sepals.
The beak-like appearance of the fruit, which splits at maturity so elastically as to discharge the seeds to some distance, gives the common name that geraniums were once known by (Cranesbill). Geraniums is the Greek word for "crane."
Cultivated geraniums are quite different. Herb Robert is another geranium very similar to the last, but is somewhat smaller. Its leaves are smaller and more deeply cleft, and the flowers are coarser in texture. The stem is usually stained with red, and both stem and leaves emit a strong odor when bruised.
Begonias and geraniums are similar in that neither do well over winter without help. I like to think about the fact that the plant world is still waiting for us to discover all the unknown varieties of begonias that are still emerging each year.
In the wild, some of them are very rare, delicate, and in danger of becoming extinct. In that same wild, some of them are exceptionally hearty, yet like all plants are endangered as man destroys their natural habitat.
If you love begonias and don't live in a warm climate, remember that they can always be grown as a house plant, quite successfully.
Not Your Grama's Begonias
If You'd Like To Know More!
- Gardening tips growing begonias
- Liliana Rose eMusic.com download for Brighten The Corner
Download the full Postage Stamp album or specific songs. eMusic also has compilations such as greatest hits and rare classic albums. Thousands of other similar artists are also featured on eMusic.com.
- Save The Ina Duley Ogdon Home - Save Ina\'s Home
Brighten The Corner Where You Are, Save This home of World Famous Hymn writer Ina Duley Ogdon, Sign the petition today and let your voice be heard.