In the 1940s, in McDonald County, even in a rural area without TV or much radio there were things I feared. I was afraid of the “white face” bull kept next property over and when we drove, whether by wagon or car, the bridges that crossed our many rivers, were they safe?

Later, in the ‘50s we feared the atomic bomb and schoolchildren learned how to hide under their desks and we worried for our safety. What do children fear today? So much more aware of what is going on worldwide, my first graders in our church group share their fears with me. Parents would be surprised at what a first grader will share. At this age it’s usually something in the family – what might happen, what might not.

This is probably why the Norman Rockwell exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum is so popular. Highly recommended as something for a family outing, almost walking distance from McDonald County (off NE J Street in Bentonville, take 88 exit off 540 and go west on Central Ave. Travel three miles and turn right on John DeShields Blvd.). Signs will bring you to the museum entrance. Open every day except Tuesday, 11 a.m. and free! Norman Rockwell! (Remember covers of the Saturday Evening Post?)

Was life ever as simple as artist Rockwell portrayed? It’s nice to think so. Family, home, safety, comfort, security.  Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter.

Returning from the Chicago downtown last year it was reassuring to return to our little town in McDonald County, where there are people you know, people who care and for whom you care. Where we can rest in the assurance that “for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that  day.” (2 Tim. 12). And where we are reminded: “Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs… (2 Tim 14).

When we take the focus off of ourselves and we look around for others needs we will find that many of our fears diminish. At this Easter season it is my hope that yours is a life without fear, a life blessed with love and a spring that brings a time of renewal as the “sarvice berry” tree, the dogwood, the redbud remind us of life that is good.

We want you to remember that next month the McDonald County Historical Society will be inviting you to join us. The pageant cut-off date is May 15, raffle tickets are available for the Doug Hall painting, we look forward to the horseshoe tournament, so much to look forward to. Go to for more information and do make it a point to appreciate your blessings and enjoy a beautiful spring.

Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.