Monday, September 26, 2022

Milliron Monday: Hunting Watch

The Athens News, November 25, 1987, Photo by Susan Mitchell

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

"I don't want hunters from New York City
to mistake my ox for a deer."
― Abbott Pete Smith

The Athens Landowners for Responsible Hunting was an active group in 1987. The photo taken by Susan Mitchell shows Eric Eisenberg, Wenda Sheard Hayes, Alex Sylvia, Susan Sylvia, and Dr. Smith with Boom, the Smith ox. Hunters on private property was/is a problem. There are four hunting seasons for white-tailed deer in Ohio and one of them, bow season, began yesterday, September 25. 

Terry Smith, journalist for The Athens News, reported about this concern on November 25, 1987:



Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

  

Monday, September 12, 2022

Milliron Monday: All Things in Moderation

Jody and Starboy, Colorado USA (right)

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

I will write it down so it will not be forgotten.
Time spent in thoughts, feelings will not be lost.
When we are starry dust and time remembers us no more,
Passages will come alive, resurrection will occur.
And emotions will run deep again, and mortality will rise;
Words will thread the cloth, life will weave the pages.
Sentences of loveliness held tight to my breast,
Dust assuaged, remember me, the manuscript of ages.
― Gina McKnight

Inside the large box of old papers are stories of adventure, suspense, and drama. Yellowed and fragile, not touched for many years, they smell of dust and cobwebs. Together, they create a collection of short stories and poems that reveal an accomplished young woman. 

It is exciting to share with you All Things in Moderation: A Collection of Stories and Poems, Volume I by Virginia Joyann “Jody” Haley Smith. Let us know your thoughts on this engaging collection.  Special thanks to Noah, Jody’s third grandson, for writing the Foreword:

Foreword

    My grandmother — equal parts strong, stubborn, resilient — was the matriarch of my family. Jody could be found weekly on summer evenings in a camp chair with a dog of choice outside of Ohio University’s Memorial Auditorium enjoying the free concerts on the College Green.
    Jody would frequently go to the West State Street Dog Park followed by a short trip to Larry’s Dawghouse, Athens, Ohio, where she would take advantage of her senior dis-count on Weenie Wednesdays with her usual order of a raspberry ice-cream soda and regular hot dog with everything but pickles. Without fail, her grandchildren could al-ways count on seeing her in her proud Federal Hocking grandparent hoodie (…ironically, I went to Athens) sitting in the stands of our football, basketball, baseball, soccer and swimming competitions. She walked faster than her grandsons despite being nearly a foot shorter in stature.
    Her competitive nature extended to the animals she cared for so diligently. The individual accomplishments she was most proud of were her top four finishes in numerous trail riding competitions and winning AKC “Best of Breed” with Puff, her beloved Belgian Sheepdog.
    Jody’s love for animals served as a refuge for her: Acknowledging that their love was built conditionally, she knew it was pure, constant, and could be counted on in times of difficulty with personal relationships. In such times, she put her energy into caring for the variety of animals at Milliron Farm. During these points in her life, she turned away from writing, returning to creative expression when she felt a greater sense of stability.
    Jody’s reverence for the written word tied in with her spirituality. She believed in words as a pathway to greater connection with self, and she kept a careworn Bible on her bedside table, its pages faded to yellow from years of perusal in times of duress. She wrote Letters to the Editor of the local paper in abundance. For her, the collaborative nature of the editing process created the opportunity to delve into another’s perspective, allowing a glimmer into a reality divergent from her own.
    Honoring that connection to language, I’ll share a memory of Grandma Jody that I feel speaks to the nature of her personality. July of 2011 was a sweat-soaked month, temperatures easily topping 100 degrees. It’d just reached double digits, and the Athens County fair was weeks away. While training my dog, Skipper, to win the novice category in the dog obedience competition, I planned to live with Grandma Jody for a few weeks (she was unparalleled in her ability to connect with animals). She drove Skipper and I to the vet clinic before we walked over the cattle guard at the base of her driveway together. There, we embarked on our first challenge: a race up the steep, gravel driveway leading to her house. The only rule: you couldn’t run. Fast walking, jumping, skipping, and even crawling were permitted. Skipper took an early lead up the first half, capitalizing on his freedom to ignore the rules set for the humans. Being a dark, triple coated Australian shepherd in the mid-July heat, he quickly fell behind his pack. Worried for my dog, I stopped as I was about to pass him to give him a pet and check if he was okay. (He was). This was the opportunity Jody was looking for - she didn’t wait for opportunities - and she surged past us to reach the towering white oak at the top of her driveway, thereby earning bragging rights over her grandson 62 years her junior. While Skipper padded over to the house looking for a grassy bit of shade, Jody first hugged and then proceeded to kiss the oak tree and asked me to do the same. Despite the fact that we were alone, as well as my prior knowledge of this custom, I blushed with embarrassment.
    Eventually, I relented, placing my lips to the bark. She was grandma, after all, and she had beat me fair and square. Until that tree fell in a derecho, I always kissed that oak when I walked to the top of her driveway.
    Now ten years later, when asked to introduce this collection of writings by Jody Smith, I am at a loss for words to explain how or why she authored these writings. I do enjoy the thought that she was not much older than I am now. Although her life’s circumstances were much different from mine, it is a gift to read her thoughts and stories from her young life.

Noah Franklin Fox
August 11, 2022

 

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

September Skies - Art & Story by Sandra Russell

September Skies
Art & Story (c) Sandra Russell

September Skies
by Sandra Russell

A good friend of mine and I were driving back to Athens County from shopping in Columbus some years back and saw in the late afternoon sky what I suppose anyone might consider a gloomy threatening sky ahead. She informed me that the little chunky clouds that formed long horizontal rows of "black sheep" meant lots of water in the clouds (the darkness) and the fact that they seemed to diminish in size as the elevation increased meant that this would also be more than a days' worth of rain or weather change, and the height dropping towards us loaming ever closer, meant just that, it was coming soon. The lateral pattern indicated colder temperatures as well and so this would fall as snow or most likely; the dreaded freezing rain. 

I am not sure if I am remembering all of this correctly, so I looked it up on the internet where there is loads of information on cloud patterns and weather. In fact, too much information to include here. However there are four basic cloud types: high altitude, medium, low lying clouds, and vertical reaching clouds. Within these categories, we have variant combinations of three basic forms. The  pretty pile of mashed potato ones, (or ice cream depending on your mood), those are Cumulus clouds. There are also Cirrus clouds, what my grandmother used to call "mare's tails"...wispy stringing things without a care in the world but can indicate wind movement and direction of weather changes. Stratus clouds cover the sky like a solid wall of blue/grey/white glumness. 

I have just today learned a combination of clouds to watch out for… that is the Cumulonimbus cloud. It is a combination of a cumulus cloud with a vertical reaching cloud and looks a bit like an anvil shape. According to sources, the anvil point indicates the direction the storm is taking. This cloud does indicate lightning thunder and storm. Interestingly Thor, the god of storms, carries a big hammer... so here is his anvil, I guess? Interesting subject which I will take more time to digest later. 

The skies of September and October are some of the most beautiful and various in the entire year. I think we could all enjoy a little sky gazing and weather prediction in the weeks ahead.






Monday, September 5, 2022

Milliron Monday: In Memoriam

Pete, Jessica, and Jody riding the Milliron Farm trails
Photo by (c) Joy S. MillerUpton from the Smith Family archives

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

“With every year that passes,
I aspire to be more like my Grandma
in many facets of my life.”
― Grant Smith


The gray of the concrete steps leading up to the church sanctuary blended with the bittersweet mood of yesterday's memorial service. There were new faces and old, somehow we all needed the final opportunity to say goodbye to Jody. This was her memorial service day, her wedding anniversary, and a celebration of her life.

In early 2021, the pandemic kept Jody from attending church, and she dearly missed her church family. As Rev. David McCoy so eloquently relayed yesterday at her memorial service, "Jody was usually the first to church on Sunday." In the early morning of Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9, 2021, Jody quietly passed away.

Organ music swayed in and out of the full pews, reaching the ceiling, through the rafters, onto heaven. I hope Jody heard the beautiful notes and was blessed by prayers as we thanked God for her life. I hope she looked down and saw her family and friends remembering, grieving, celebrating. Together we sang 'Tis the gift to be simple (Simple Gifts), one of Jody's favorite hymns. Then Rev. McCoy talked about the many ways Jody liked to shepherd people, even strangers. Her opinion mattered and she had a lot to say about many things. And we are all the better for it. 

In Saturday's The Athens Messenger, second Grandson Grant Smith wrote a Letter to the Editor. It is a profound reflection of the love between grandmother and grandson. Jody, so proud of her grandchildren, would have enjoyed reading and sharing Grant's post:
 


 

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Dr. jw Smith, Author

  Dr. jw Smith Barnes & Noble Amazon Riding & Writing Interview Available in Paperback, eBook, Audiobook, Braille www.mondaycreekpub...