Let me start by saying that the New Bethel School committee is having a fun day on Friday, Oct. 25, beginning at 10 a.m. Volunteers can play Tom Sawyer and help whitewash the fence at the old school. There will also be a picnic under the oak tree and a special guest, Ethel Picken Marinelli, will share her memories of school days at New Bethel.

I mistakenly gave the wrong date for the event in a feature story, so I want to correct that. It's Friday, Oct. 25. (If there is inclement weather, it will be the following day, Saturday, Oct. 26). New Bethel School is 3 miles west of Anderson on Route F and 3/4 mile north on New Bethel Road. I'm sure everyone will have a grand time, and it will surely help with the restoration of the school.

The government shutdown has made life different at the Hively house these last two or three weeks. Our usual weekly shifts at the hatchery bookstore have come to a halt and we miss being there. Also, being heavily involved with the Friends group, we normally made two or three trips there for other reasons.

Since the mailman was not even allowed on the grounds, Dave Hendrix has picked up the mail at the post office. If the Friends had mail, he brought it to our house and then we got it to the person who needed it. We didn't want to default on a bill or miss some important news. But not being open has set us very far back. Our income has dropped to nothing and we are not putting in orders, with Christmas coming. We did order the Missouri Department of Conservation calendars and as soon as we are open, they will go on sale. Each year, we always run out of them and have to make another order. I don't know if that will happen this year because after a while, they are no longer available.

So, when we are allowed to open, if you depend on us to supply your calendars, I suggest you get right down and get yours. Several customers use them as Christmas gifts. While you are there, have a look around and think of holiday giving. We know we cannot make up for our losses, but we will be there for you. So drop by and at least say "hello."
We had a nice little cool snap this week and it felt good. We lit the wall heater a couple of mornings. It is still nice weather and I'm hoping for a long fall with lots of color in our hardwoods. Some of the trees around town that have a reputation for being colorful have already blossomed out. It's a good time to be a leaf peeker in Neosho and in the entire four-state area. The price of gas is lower, so we can at least take some short trips to see autumn's colorful dress.

I hope you can enjoy all the gifts that Mother Nature provides. There's a song that says "The best things in life are free." That's very true.

Kay Hively writes a column for the Daily News.