It was just one star one star in the last hours before morning
as I lay awake looking through my bedroom window. It was framed in
the casing of the window as though it was a picture of hope, just
for me. And then in a matter of moments it disappeared from my
sight. A cloud must have covered it, I assumed, as I waited for its

My star did not reappear before I dropped back into a troubled
sleep. I dreamed one of those senseless dreams about rushing around
looking for something I could not find. The one glimpse of this
star had been so reassuring, the chaos so tiring. The face I
presented to my husband at 5:30 was not a happy or serene one. He
wanted an early breakfast and I was exhausted from battling with a
dream. But by the time the combination of these two wore off, just
a little, I knew what I must do. I must write this column right

Now the sky is clear and blue as I look up at the top of a still
leafless tree in late April. From both my bed, and my position at
my typewriter I can see only sky. Now the treetop is the picture in
the frame. It is all in the way one looks at things it would seem.
An occasional bird flutters by. There is even animation in my
picture of the morning. But let me tell you what happened four or
five years ago in August.

It was one day when I presented a crude and disgusting picture
of myself to two of my readers. It was a hot day, unbelievably
muggy and hot. I was wearing only two pieces of clothing, one a
positive necessity to decency, and the covering of a shorty nighty
to complete the scanty ensemble. As noon approached I grabbed a
light weight cotton skirt from the closet and covered myself a bit
more. Who would come on a day such as this, I reasoned.

When Mr. B came in and saw my attire he promptly pulled off his
shirt and sat himself down at the table. This had always been a
prohibited act at our house. You didn’t come to the table
without a shirt. Never. But that day we let it go. It was too hot
to argue or fuss.

As the listless foursome around that table picked at their food
there was a knock at the door. I groaned a little as I dragged
myself into movement, folded my arms across my front to aid the
ruffles in covering my embarrassment and answered the door.

Here stood two of the neatest, coolest looking people one could
imagine. I have often wondered since if their car was air
conditioned. They soon introduced themselves as readers of the
Ladies Page. They wanted to meet me and so they had stopped in.

I don’t remember what I stammered in reply, but I did have
the presence of mind to invite them into the house. But here sat
Mr. B. at the table shirtless. We offered them some chairs,
finished our meal, and conversed in spite of our humiliation. I
took down their name and address, mislaid it, found it again when
we moved, mislaid it again. I think you were from Illinois, Mr. and
Mrs. Somebody.

They wanted a snapshot of the two of us so we asked to be
excused while we changed into something more fitting. They
graciously agreed and we all went outside. I suffered through the
rest of that day in proper clothes. Never again, I vowed. The next
day I went to town, bought material for a cool, attractive dress,
and made it immediately. And I bought a cotton slip in place of

I don’t believe I had the courage to bring this up in the
column before. I can’t go through over ten years of columns
every time I write a new one. I was too mortified for a long time
afterward to even think about it.

During January I received a letter from a reader in
South-Western Montana. He suggests I have three whacks with an
unhexalled cornstalk for calling a hexal machine a hackle machine.
He can drop in and administer these someday if he wishes. I’m
wearing more clothes now. We have air conditioning in our new
house. I am subject to being overcome with the heat if that is any
excuse for my scanty attire of several years ago. Thank you for
your interesting letter, Mr. Rennewanz. I hope to get around to
answering it one of these days.

However, I am a little let down that I had not one letter in
response to my last column. Remember we were going to have a prayer
operation ‘IRON MEN ALBUM.’ I would really be discouraged
on that point if I didn’t know how easy it is for all of us to
intend to do a thing and then not do it.

So our mailbox is still waiting, and our country in crucial
need. There were three of us, myself, a lady from Kansas, and
another from Iowa who had a prayer Round Robin letter going for
several years. One of the ladies passed away after a long, painful
illness during which time the other two of us sustained her as we
could. The second lady has grown too old and here letters became
mixed up and one could tell they were a burden for her to write.
But it was a great experience while we shared one another’s
trials and joys, our concerns and small bits of humor at times.

On one trip to see our daughter and family in Kansas City, we
stopped in at both their homes. We had met, only by mail, but we
chatted like old friends. Surely prayer can tie us together, and
together to God. We may, sometimes, be almost overwhelmed by the
picture of riots and unrest we see in our world, but remember, the
star is still there as it was so many years ago. And while the star
and all it symbolizes is there, hope remains. And while hope
remains, we must have faith.

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