Negativity is all around us. Environmentalists tell us the world is coming to an end because of climate change. Democrats are afraid that President Donald Trump will become another Adolf Hitler. And Republicans are alarmed about Bernie Sanders turning American into a failed socialist state.
Turn on TV news — or pick up a large daily newspaper — and you are sure to hear about war, terrorism, crime, pollution, inequality, drug abuse, discrimination, shootings, and more.
Talk in local coffee shops and our places of employment can revolve around problems with our local city, county and state government agencies and the politicians who run them. It seems few things are done right.
Believe it or not, there are even those who complain about what they read in their local community newspaper.
I have a solution to be able to sleep at night with all this doom and gloom thanks to two motivational speakers who started the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series in 1993, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
They called the first book Chicken Soup for the Soul because they wanted it to soothe and provide comfort, just like their grandmothers’ cooking.
After being turned down by all the major book publishers in New York a small publisher in Florida accepted the challenge. The first book sold 11 million copies around the world.
Each of these books — now over 250 in the series — feature 101 short stories of inspiration and motivation.
The bookshelves at the Warden household currently hold six, including the original and Chicken Soup; Living Catholic Faith and Chicken Soup for the Teachers Soul.
In 2008 Amy Newmark became the new editor-in-chief of the series and has since published 160 new books.
Reading one story at night before I go to sleep helps me end the day on a positive, upbeat note. I just finished one of the most recent books — Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angles All Around.
The books are divided into subsections of stories from everyday people like you and me with inspirational stories. The 101 stories about angles in this book were chosen from thousands of submissions across America.
Each is a true, personal story of angels — some involving miracles, unanswered prayers and maybe divine intervention.
On page 121 is a touching story submitted by Theresa Brandt, one of our staff writers at the Unterrified Democrat about the perfect companion for her grandmother’s final days on earth.
All of these books inspire and comfort the reader.
There are Chicken Soup books for cat lovers, for dog lovers, for cancer survivors, for gardeners, for golfers, for brides, for parents, for tea-lovers and more. No matter who you are there is a Chicken Soup book for you.
And who knows, reading one might even help you forget the day’s doom and gloom and sleep better.
Lenten Fish Frys
Now into the second week of lent those of us who are practicing Catholics — along with many of our neighbors of other denominations — eat out each Friday night of lent at a church fish fry.
This week Connie and I drove to Rich Fountain to see how those in Osage County serve up their fish — we were not disappointed.
At Sacred Heart Parish in Rich Fountain Connie and I were treated to an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of fried fish, potatoes, french fries, hush puppies, slaw, baked beans, bread and homemade desserts.
We were lucky to find a seat at 5:30 in the school’s dining hall with at least 200 other diners taking advantage of the home-cooked meal. Their next fish fry is on March 20 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
At Immaculate Conception in Owensville we offer diners a choice of hand-breaded catfish, ten breaded butterfly shrimp, or a breaded cod square sandwich. They have fish frys scheduled for March 20, 27 and April 3 from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Most Pure Heart of Mary parish in Chamois has their last Seafood Buffet scheduled for March 13 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Knights of Columbus in Vienna will be serving catfish, spiral potatoes, hush puppies, baked beans, mac and cheese, slaw with ice cream for dessert on March 13 and 20 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Gerald Knights of Columbus serves an all-you-can-eat cod fish and shrimp plate with all the fixings including meatless spaghetti every Friday through April 3 from 4 to 7 p.m.