Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Saturday, May 21, 2016


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

Sybil Sanders Niemann died recently. We were both Gibson County kids, but I did not know her, for she went to Patoka High School and I went to Oakland City. I probably saw her, though, for, it was noted in her obituary, she was a Patoka cheer leader. She would have been there when Oakland City played basketball at Patoka, or when they came to our gym. I probably thought she was cute.

She was an accomplished woman, only one of two women in her IU dental school class of 87. She taught dentistry at the University of Arkansas and at the IU School of Dentistry in Indianapolis.

What caught my attention, though, was the phrase in her obituary, “She died at the old home place in rural Patoka.”

“The old home place” is such a wonderful and evocative phrase. We all have an old home place. I can’t go back to mine, literally. It is gone, strip-mined into oblivion. Except in my memory, where it beckons, and where it takes me in, whenever I need to go there.

I’m pleased to know that cute cheer leader got to return to the old home place.


I tweet as yooper1721.

NOW THAT I HAVE CANCER I AM WHOLE: Reflections on Life and Healing for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them, is published in two editions by AndrewsMcMeel, in audio by HarperAudio, and in Czech and Japanese translations. It’s incredibly inexpensive at many sites on the web. Naturally I’d rather you bought it, but apparently you can download it for free on, It says “Download 2048.”

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