Saturday, July 19, 2014

_The Hancock News_ Column--July 2, 2014

I am a reader. I love reading. I read books about parenting, homeschooling, cooking, and health. I read adult fiction, children’s novels, picture books, and even telephone books. That’s just the beginning. I pore over junk mail, email, catalogs, magazines, and blogs. However, the reading I absolutely can’t wait to find in the mailbox is “black and white and red all over.” Yes, the newspaper.
With taking care of and homeschooling six children and assorted pets, I’m a busy mother. There’s simply not enough extra time every day for me to sit down with a daily newspaper. Sure, every once in a while my husband will bring home a newspaper from a larger city, but my mainstays are my two weekly newspapers.
My grandparents were born and raised in North Dakota but moved away and spent most of their lives in the Seattle area. As long as she could read, Oma received her small hometown’s weekly newspaper in the mail. She kept tabs on births, deaths, wedding anniversaries, and any news worth telling. This is one way she stayed connected to the community she’d left so long ago. 
In the same vein, I page through my own hometown newspaper each week, searching for familiar names and faces so that I can keep in touch with the place I will always call home, even if I never live there again. Losing touch with home, to me, would be losing a part of myself. I imagine I’ll subscribe to the Grant County Press until I can read no longer.
Now I call a second place home. Ten years ago my husband and I, along with our newborn baby, moved to Hancock, the location of my husband’s first call out of the seminary. I remember so clearly driving in the dappled late afternoon sunshine on the shaded country road approaching our new church and home, sight unseen, and wondering excitedly what this new place, this new life would be like. It was a complete mystery to us.
It was The Hancock News that helped fill in many of the question marks. In its pages I found library story times, yard sales, store advertisements, and information about Canal-Apple Days. I read about the people who make up the community, some whom I’ve met, some who remain strangers, and some I won’t see again until the final homecoming. 
The Hancock News helped me fit into my new home. That’s why small town newspapers are vital still today. They forge a strong community, helping us connect with each other in a fast-paced, quickly changing world. It was true for my grandmother, is true for me, and I hope will be true for my children, too. So thank you, Hancock News, and happy 100th birthday!


There’s no better recipe for a summer birthday than a cool and refreshing Jello cake. I’d never had this classic until I met my husband; the recipe is how my mother-in-law makes it. Instead of a fork, she uses the handle of a wooden spoon to pierce the cake to make the holes slightly larger. She freezes leftovers, and her children actually like this cake even more as a frozen treat. Also, if you prefer real whipped cream to whipped topping (like I do), go ahead and slather it on instead. 

Jello Cake

1 white cake mix (or your favorite homemade white cake, prepared)
1cup  boiling water
1pkg.  (3 oz.) Jello (any flavor, but I like the red ones best)
1/2 cup  cold water
1 container (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
fresh berries to garnish, optional

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch pan. Cool cake in pan 15 min. Pierce cake with a large fork at 1/2-inch intervals.
Add boiling water to gelatin mix in small bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water; pour over cake. Refrigerate 3 hours or longer.
Frost cake with whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

*This post was shared at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth's "The Art of Home-Making Mondays" Link-Up.


  1. What a neat way to look at newspapers. I never read them much but you have piqued my interest! Your jello cake looks very easy and VERY tasty! Thank you for sharing your recipe! Don't worry about the link up picture, you will get it eventually :) Thank you for taking the time to link up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week :)

    1. I really enjoy the link-up because then I can see so many other posts in just one spot. Thanks for hosting it :)