Clare County Review & Marion Press

Postcard from the Pines: Thirty days to Christmas, yikes!

This week’s photo is of Sylvia Compton, Martin Blackledge’s grandmother, standing in front of her little log cabin in Middle Branch Twp.

With Thanksgiving in the mirror and Christmas square in the headlights, it’s time to kick it into gear. I know, you thought it was going to be a leisurely, thoughtful season, the kind you plan in early October. If you haven’t done anymore than plan, it’s too late. Christmas crunch time is fast approaching. So, edit that list and pick your biggest priorities. Do you really need to make two dozen crocheted and starched snowflake place card holders anyway? Change that sit-down to a buffet and breakout the holiday paper plates.
But, most of us aren’t wired that way and we will muddle through, and wish we had been timelier. It seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago when I first gave some thought to Christmas cards. I reckoned I had plenty of time and would wait for a bit of snow. The snow came in earnest a week ago. My cards are still in the box on a shelf in the closet, where they are likely to remain until December 1. So much for those best laid plans.
In my defense, I have to say that the cards are only a blip on those early plans. I’ve checked off several items on that list, including hauling out the skinny four foot fake Fir and plugging it in. I even snuck a few Christmas things in among the Thanksgiving turkeys.
There’s a mini warm-up in the weather forecast. So, if you haven’t strung those outdoor lights yet, you have a fair weather reprieve. I have always enjoyed having some snow in the air when I string the lights, but these days avoiding the cold is has become a big motivating factor. Our outdoor halls will be as decked as they are going to be by Monday and another item will be checked off my list.
We are so very blessed to have a houseful of family join us for Thanksgiving dinner. It is the best way we know to begin the Christmas season, or any season. Tis’ the season to be happy and thankful for what we have; not miserable over what we do not.
* * *
We were sorry to hear of the passing, this week, of long-time Marion Twp. Supervisor Martin Blackledge. There are a lot of adjectives which apply to Martin, and as we all do, he wore many hats in his lifetime. He was a brother, dad, grandpa, successful farmer, businessman, office holder, Marion native and life-long resident to mention a few.
Blackledge was at one time the owner of the Marion Elevator; he farmed and raised both pigs and dairy cattle. He served Marion Twp. as supervisor for more than 30 years and very recently joined a citizens committee, representing the township in the drive to create a Marion District Library.
It as Martin Blackledge who donated his grandmother’s (Sylvia Compton) log cabin to the Marion Area Historical Museum, thus preserving it and her story. The refurbished cabin has been a popular point of interest, especially with kids, since it arrived in town. The little cabin is one of the first things northbound travelers see as they approach Marion.
Martin Blackledge will be missed by a good many people; his family, many friends, various organizations and committees and of course by the people of Marion Twp. He will certainly be missed at the Museum’s next Log Cabin Day in June. He was a faithful attendee, enjoying both the strawberry shortcake and one more visit to the cabin.
The Marion community was also saddened this week to learn of the passing of Linda Raymond. She was a long-time and dedicated Para professional with the Marion Schools and sat on the school board for more than 20 years, just winning re-election to another term on November 8. Her dedication to education will be hard to replace.
Our condolences to the Blackledge, Raymond and Coleman families.

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