"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, December 12, 2011

what I learned from the waltons

The other morning I found myself alone for a few uninterrupted hours and was excited to do a little present making for the ones that are always around.  I gathered my supplies and season 3 of The Waltons, put in disc 3 side A and watched the first couple of episodes.  It's the second one that got me.  I've seen it before and I like it.  Yes, they are all a little sappy, but I love the big old farmhouse.  I love wise daddy and mama.  I can relate to grandma who spends all of her time slapping away at grabby grandpa and pretending that she's irritated when all the while she loves her 'old man'.

So, at the end of this particular episode I found myself crying, and because I was alone I could actually put thoughts to my feelings.  John Boy has been 'asked' to tutor another scholarship student (who is in danger of failing) over the coming break.  He is outwardly gracious but inwardly he's frustrated to give up this time. Tom is embarrassed at the request and the time that will be sacrificed on his behalf.  They agree to meet after football practice (Tom's is a football scholarship).

John Boy invites Tom (since he's a dorm student) to stay at his house for the long weekend giving them more time to study.  Everyone likes the gentle giant and the tutoring is successful.  On exam day all is going well until the last question.  Tom is unsure of his answer and glances at the paper next to his to see if he wrote the same date.  John Boy sees.  Someone else sees John Boy see.  Therein lies the conflict.  The university exams are run by a code of honor.  There is no professor present and if you see someone cheat and don't report it, it's as if you cheated yourself... immediate expulsion.

Long story short, Tom gently but emphatically insists that John Boy turn him in.  In the end, the University's question is, "how can we let him stay on when he has broken our code of honor?  The argument is that this quiet young man (who wants to become a lawyer so that he can go back to his little town and represent the coal miners of which his gentle, uneducated father is one) who gets up early to work, stays late for practice and insists on justice for his friend is exhibiting honorable character.

I cry toward the end when I see the argument presented and imagine all of the injustices that happen daily.  I cry at the verdict.  I cry when Tom and his father (who though they have no money for travel, is present at the hearing) are talking at the end... but those are not the tears I wanted to remember.  I cried because I was thinking about all of the people that come across our paths.  Some to make an impact and move on, some to stay and become a permanent part of our lives... all making a difference if we allow it.  In uncle Tom's Cabin there is a part when spiritually sensitive Eva is moved by injustice and she says, "Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I've thought and thought about them."  Yes, Eva...

So the final summation by author Earl Hamner (speaking John Boy's thoughts) said pretty much the same thing... about people coming into our lives and touching us in a way that will always be a part of us.  I may be mincing this up a bit but it's what I heard at the same time I was thinking it, and just like Eva, it sunk into my heart and went down deep!  I was filled with that crazy joy that can only come from the Lord and the truth of His gifts.  He gave me a gift yesterday... and that's the long story short.

Blessings, Debbie  


  1. No matter how strongly we protest and deny, we are always ultimately touched by those who enter our lives, no matter how fleeting the aquaintance may be.......we should never close our hearts and minds to the joy, and sometimes sadness, we find in others, there is always something new to learn, something we can take and use in our own lfe journey.

    Lovely images of your daughters trimming the tree.

    lily x

  2. I knew we had a lot in common....the wee one and I watch the Walton's everyday during rest time. The Walton's are one of our favorites and yes, I do know the episode you wrote about. The cast was just interviewed on the Today show and I don't think John Boy has aged at all.

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  4. I always stand in amazement of the many gifts(people) that God brings into my life, and how perfect His timing is. You are so right about how they touch our lives in ways that stay with us throughout our life...
    The Waltons are watched around here very often,( i think a disc stays in the DVD player at all times, lol)and each time a new lesson of life is learned.
    As always a very inspiring post.
    enjoy your day.
    So sorry for the previous deleted comment, I was logged in on another account. It's Monday and I haven't got my wheels going yet. ~grin~

  5. The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie can always get me choked up! I love how relaxed I feel whenever I watch either show :)

  6. Love the short story long and the long story short, Debbie. I read a story this morning that you would like (similar!) called Exultate Jubilate by Katherine Patterson. You are SUCH a good writer. I love reading your words.

  7. And, you just gave US a gift through your writing. Amen and amen. Thank you, Debbie. Blessings ~ Tanna

  8. I haven't watched the Waltons in ages. I will have to see if I can get them on Netflix.
    Years ago at a Bible study, a Christian author described the way a believing woman should influence those around her much of the time. We are to aim to leave the "essence of Christ" in the places we go. People may not necessarily remember our name, but they will know they have been touched by the Lord.

  9. I love the Waltons...it has been a long time since I've watched them. Maybe, I should see if Netflix has them and watch them with the girls.

    It is so very, very true what you say about how people come into our lives and touch us. I just wrote about some people like that in an email to a friend who I am penpals with.

    We can never, ever underestimate the little things.

  10. Oh the Waltons! Didn't we all want a family like that? They really knew what mattered in life.

  11. Debbie, that prayer was a beautiful gift for a new life coming into this world, now come and get your cheesecake...and take several so you can take some home to share with the girls!

  12. Everyone touches our lives, some memorable, some not so much. I love to match the Waltons.

  13. loveliness all over in this world and glad to have found your blog love your words you share! Merry Christmas.. hugs

    side note; because of internet issues which has made posting in my blog a huge time issue I am leaving it for now - but will still pop in to visit with you,,

  14. That is how I feel about some of my blogger friends.
    Some touch our our lifes, then leave. Others are close and stay close.

    Must watch the Waltons again.

  15. Such beautiful words and thoughts. I know this wasn't the thrust of your commenting, but I think it's applicable...sometimes, I think (I know) that I don't make time for those outside our immediate circle...but truly, each and every person we come in contact with is not there by accident. Our paths cross for a purpose and could be useful if only I took the time...

    We need to get the Waltons from the library again...I always fondly watched the episodes (right after Little House) and enjoyed them immensely.

  16. I got the idea while reading this, that your tears are important - in the body of Christ, some teach, some preach, etc., and some have a gift of tears and a feeling for their fellow man.

  17. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for this sweet blessing, my friend.

  18. Debbie
    It's so neat the way the Lord will use unconventional ways of speaking to our hearts.
    The Walton's was one of my old favorites too!

  19. The good things that happen the bad things too, the many, many people who come and go....all things to draw us in to Him and His purposes for us. I really loved what you wrote today. Thank you.

  20. That is a very nice story and I do remember that episode. You know when my son first went to college, he was a bit... oh innocent I guess is the word. Being totally home schooled he sat at a table where some kids were cheating on home work.
    The teacher flunked the whole table and he didn't understand. He went later to the teachers office and apologized. He still flunked the homework. I asked him about it the other day, " He said it was one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. It doesn't matter if you are guilty or innocent if you are with the wrong crowd." He told me then that he never again sat at a table with people like that.
    His teacher told me later at the end of the year that in 20 years of teaching he was by far the best student she ever had.
    Sorry this is so long. It just reminded me of that episode. Sometimes those hard lessons are the ones the stay with us the rest of our lives.

  21. Moving a lot, God has brought so many people in and out of our lives. I'm so thankful for each them, even when it hurts to say goodbye. Thanks for the sweet reminder!

  22. I thank you for your words of love and comfort! You , my friend, are one of those people who have come across my path and have made an impact! I thank God for you! ♥

    Hugs...and tears (the good kind)...

  23. We watch The Walton's still, when we can catch it on tv.

    Such richness in many of those episodes...

    Even online friendships come into our lives and make us richer for the knowing...

    I am thankful for you!


  24. You keep talking about it, and I have never read it, so I am going to ask for Uncle Tom's Cabin for Christmas. I remember crying at most of the episode, too...Thanks for sharing.

  25. It's been so very long since I watched the Waltons. It's time to see if I can get my hands on them. I think my girls at least would very much enjoy them.


  26. We LOVE the Walton's...we never tire of watching our dvd sets of that series!! A lot of sweet lessons in them.

    Your photos are beautiful!!

    Happy Christmas Season to you!!



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