Trip to the Fair

I love fairs, and it's never too early for you to start loving them, too.

John Deere Green

A little about my fascination with green tractors.

Swap Meets

The best part of going to swap meets is that you may expect not to find anything, but you'll likely discover something that's just too awesome to live without.

The Abandoned Farmhouse

Do you like to reuse and repurpose? Well, here is a new use for abandoned houses!

Changes

Technology changes so rapidly within a lifetime.

A Pen of Premium Berkshires

I find an old newspaper and discover we aren't so very different in our modern interests from our ancestors.

Enjoying the Season

Winter may seem long and cold, but if we remember what it was like to be a child in winter, we can recapture some of that joy.

That Person Inside You

There is your body, and there is you. Make no mistake, your body will betray you!

Winter Outside

A short story of me taking pictures in winter.

Christmas Lights

Looking at neighborhood Christmas lights was the highlight of the season.

Combines

A short story about combines.

Old Fashioned Deer Hunting

My dad was an avid bow hunter and although I was never bitten by the bug I learned about it from his stories.

The Sunday Key

The author takes a trip down memory lane remembering the days when she rode horses with her friends.

Patriotic Music in America

America’s patriotic music reflects the heart and soul of this great country we call home.

Santa's Visit

Reminiscing about winter and the times when Santa would visit.

Boys and Girls

What happens when you try to show a teenage boy something and you are a preteen girl.

Boys In The Fruit Orchard

A short story about what happens when you turn two boys loose in a peach orchard. Even when they are supervised.

Back to (a One-Room) School

As fall begins to settle in, Donna Rae fondly recalls those first back-to-school days as a child - as well as those experienced by her father.

Family Camping and Fishing Trip

Man recalls a fun-filled fishing trip that included camping, swimming and roasting hot dogs over the campfire.

Dear Santa

A letter to Santa requesting Christmas miracles

Winter Stories

CAPPER’s readers share their winter stories of unfortunate adventures in tricky weather conditions.

Pretending to Be

Pretending to be what you are not does not mean you are crazy or insecure.

The Joy of Sledding

Hank remembers sledding as a kid, and bringing that joy to his own children.

Art Oddities

tree carvings, dogs made of staples, houses decorated to keep out the vagrants

My Trip to the Zoo

Questioning why we still have zoos when it is available on-line and documentaries on TV.

Hard-Headed People

Watch out for the heat over this fourth of July. Don't be a hard-headed person like me.

My First Ghost Hunt

My first ghost was interesting but the next one is going to be intense.

My Bike Riding Adventure

Riding a bike is not as easy as shown on TV commericals, it is a skill that should be left to children.

Memories of Summer Fun

CAPPER’s readers share stories of their memories of summer fun and family traditions.

Summer Fun at 4-H Camp

Mississippi woman recalls a hilarious canoe incident during some summer fun at a 4-H camp.

The Freedom to Work

Flags flying high at a local cemetery on Memorial Day weekend.

Creative Mailboxes

A look at some country mailbox owners displaying their creativity.

Catching Fish

One reader relates how catching fish led to a big fishing adventure.

Good Ol' Days

CAPPER's readers recall what life was like in the good ol' days, before modern conveniences came along.

A New Family Member

A Life Time Friend was Born for this Illinios Reader When the New Family Member Came.

Sibling Love

Throughout our lives nothing defines sharing better than sibling love.

More Wedding Memories

More stories from readers about the matrimonial happenings that made their wedding day memorable.

Wedding Memories

In the Heart of the Home section of Capper's, readers share matrimonial happenings that made their day memorable.   

Severe Weather

Readers share personal experiences of severe weather and what they do to prepare for it.

Winter Projects

Readers share stories of how they keep busy inside when the weather outside is cold.

Together wit God: Unusual Holidays

Spending Christmas away from home and family will always rank No. 1 on the unusual holiday scale. Take a minute to think of our military men and women during the holiday season. They give up so much to serve our country. Their routines are broken, their childhood traditions are denied, and their loved ones are so very far away.

Unusual Holidays

Readers share their personal stories of unusual or nontraditional holidays.

Getting to Know Chickens

Living on the farm, I came to greatly appreciate the elegant partnership we can develop with chickens. We fed them garden waste and food scraps, and they gave us delicious eggs.

Together With God-Pen Pals

Having a pen pal is educational and fun, and most people, including the men and women who make up our Armed Forces, are always happy to receive a letter in the mail.

More Pen Pal Friendships

More stories from readers about their pen pals, including friends from Australia and Egypt, as well as in the United States.

Pen Pal Friendships

Readers share stories of their pen pals, some whose friends are from England and Germany and other countries.

Serving Up Rural Religion

Cowboy churches are a fast-growing phenomenon across rural America today, an outgrowth of the days when circuit-riding preachers brought salvation to the American frontier.

More Hometown Heritage

Readers tell what makes their hometowns special, including such things as the Dan River in Danbury, North Carolina, where many visitors enjoy tubing, the Whittle the Wood carving competition in Craig, Colorado, and the annual Homecoming celebration in Puxico, Missouri.

Hometown Heritage

Readers share stories of the heritage of their hometowns, including the Pony Express, Willa Cather's Childhood Home, Arthur Capper's ties to Kansas, the 1966 tornado in Topeka, Kansas, the American Falls in Niagara Falls, New York, and the takedown of the McCarty Gang in Delta, Colorado.

Open Session: July/August 2010

Readers comment on previously published Capper's articles, and another reader share a photo of an award her brother received from Arthur Capper in 1918.

Broomcorn Capital

Lindsay, Oklahoma, was once known as the "Broomcorn Capital of the World" because of its production of the plant, which was used to make straw brooms.

Together with God: Joys of Summer

A prayer: Father, thank You for the life-giving sun You have made for us. The warmth of that sun brings beautiful flowers and fields of wheat to sustain life, and it warms us after a cold winter. Thank You, Father, for the slow days of summer when we can play and enjoy life.

God Always Leads the Way

A mother speaks out about being thankful for the people God has brought into her autistic son's life.

More Joys of Summer

Readers share even more stories about their favorite summertime things.

Joys of Summer

Readers share stories of what they enjoy most about summer.

Open Session: May/June 2010

One reader shares a photo and remembrance of her brother, another tells how long she's been reading CAPPER'S, another comments on an article about farm animals, and another shares a story of how much her mom enjoyed CAPPER'S.

Working Community Garden

This summer Ogden Publications employees are trying something new: a community garden, in which both the work and the fresh produce will be shared.

All Apples Are Not Equal

Orchards produce heirloom varieties of fruit that taste much better than any fruit purchased at a grocery store.

Open Session: March/April 2010

Several readers share their thoughts and opinions about previously published articles, fellow readers coming to their rescue, and the new design of CAPPER's, while another reader shares a story about her grandson, and another about her childhood pet.

Blessings in Disguise

Readers share stories of things that have happened in their lives that at first seemed tragic, but later became looked upon as blessings in disguise.

Faithfully Give of Yourself

People are looking for ways to get involved in their local communities, enrich lives and make a difference, and getting involved has become easier and less expensive than ever as corporations, nonprofits and schools have actively encouraged citizens worldwide to volunteer their time to those who need it most.

Living Dreams, Sharing Stories

Editor K.C. Compton shares her dreams, as well as those of her mother, and encourages everyone to reach for their dreams. She also invites readers to send us their stories about lard for a new lard cookbook CAPPER'S is putting together.

Open Session: January/Februay 2010

Readers share their thoughts, memories and opinions about paper dolls, a Heart of the Home article from the September/October 2009 issue, and the CAPPER'S format change. Another reader shares a photo of her husband and great-grandson.

Hopes and Dreams for the Future

Readers share their wishes for themselves and their loved ones, including such things as traveling, health and success.

Why I Love My Church

In response to CAPPER'S asking, readers share what they love about their places of worship.

Far from Home for the Holidays

Readers share touching stories of spending the holiday season away from home, whether it was because of being in the military, choosing to visit family in another state or country, or some other reason.

Open Session: November/December 2009

Readers share opinions on the new format of CAPPER'S, comment on stories that have appeared in previous issues, and show off photos of a letter from Arthur Capper, a mother who enjoyed life to the fullest, and a mother cow providing shade for her calf.

Putting Out the Welcome Mat

We could all be a little more conscious about putting out the welcome mat. Being a stranger can be awfully uncomfortable, and a little graciousness goes a very long way.

Learning to Receive

Editor K.C. Compton tells how a car accident helped her learn to accept help from friends and family.

Praise for Country Churches

A city boy who moved to the country and started attending a rural country church shares his feelings on why smaller churches are better than bigger ones.

More Reunion Recollections

Readers share even more stories of their special family reunions, including one with a theme, one with a pig roast and one in which the family came together to help their elderly parents on the family farm.

Reunion Recollections

Readers share stories of family reunions that were heartfelt, funny, interesting, competitive, historical, playful and traditional.

Together with God: Family Reunions

Family reunions connect us to a special unit of loved ones. Our family members know who we were then, and who we are now, and they love us anyway.

New Look, Old Friend

A look at the newly designed CAPPER'S, which looks different, but continues to embrace the same rural, feel-good values since it began in 1879.

Open Session: July/August 2009

Readers show off a yo-yo bouqet quilt created with antique buttons and a parade float designed to honor the 50th wedding anniversary of parents-in-law, and another reader shares her experience of working at CAPPER'S Publications during the war.

Open Session: June 2009

Bob Brown’s Starting Over fiction receives praise, a quilter expresses gratitude for information, and readers share photos of a “cookbook” and centenarian Lee Barth.

Story Inspires 4-H Club

The Good Luck Clovers 4-H Club of Sioux City, Iowa, bakes and ships cookies to troops overseas after being inspired by CAPPER’S article.

A Letter from Kate: Dad's Advice

My dad wasn’t a philosopher. He was just an average man doing his best to help raise and provide for his family. Because of the man he was and the lessons he taught me, I will carry a part of him with me for the rest of my life.

Together with God: Dad's Advice

Fathers play an important role in our lives. Not only do they protect and provide for us, they also teach us about life, love and faith.

Pack with Peace of Mind by Purchasing Travel Insurance

While no one likes to think about what might go wrong on a vacation, planning for it can not only bring peace of mind, but also valuable assistance when needed. Find out what type of traveler's insurance is right for you.

Fiction: Dad’s Birthday Surprise

A fiction story about a boy maturing and making his parents proud as he works toward earning money to buy his father a birthday present.

Open Session: May 2009

Readers share tips for fixing homemade meals for pets, enthuse about our fiction series, and show off a yo-yo quilt made with thousands of fabric rosettes.

Fiction: Starting Over

A fiction story about a young girl whose parents are killed in a car accident, leaving her in the care of her mother’s father, whom the child has never met because her mother and grandfather were estranged.

Faith: Believe in miracles

Miracles are awesome, unexplainable, life-changing events that occur by the divine power of God, and that come in many different forms.

Together with God: Graduation Day

Graduation day can be a bittersweet moment – happiness at the completion of a difficult task, and sadness at saying goodbye to those who have shared the experience with us.

A Letter to Kate: Graduation Day

I can remember each of my graduations as if it happened yesterday. I can still feel the pride in what I accomplished on each of those occasions.

Travel: Spring Travel Savings

Everyone seems to be on a tighter budget these days. Many families are looking for effective ways to trim back or manage costs so they don’t miss out on a much-needed opportunity to get away.

Faith: Dealing with fearful thoughts

If we busy ourselves in a constructive activity while leaving fearful thoughts in the back of our mind, like background music, they will soon fade away, and we will realize that things aren’t usually as bad as we fear they will be.

Fiction: Starting Over

A fiction story about a young girl whose parents are killed in a car accident, leaving her in the care of her mother’s father, whom the child has never met because her mother and grandfather were estranged.

A Letter to Kate: Volunteering

Volunteers are great people. They’re the ones who lend a helping hand, not because they’re getting paid, but because they want to be of service.

Open Session: April 2009

A reader enjoys barn quilt idea, and another shares how the thoughtfulness of others is helping her granddaughter with multiple sclerosis continue baking and fundraising.

Open Session: March 2009

Readers share a humorous poem, their enjoyment of working with ceramic, and a request regarding the new Lincoln pennies being released this year.

Faith: Scriptures say to bridle your tongue

Because words pierce our minds and hearts, shape our egos, and impact our ways of thinking, it’s important to think of the consequences our words will have before speaking them.

Fiction: Starting Over

A fiction story about a young girl whose parents are killed in a car accident, leaving her in the care of her mother’s father, whom the child has never met because her mother and grandfather were estranged.

Travel: Girlfriend Getaways

Getting away from work and personal responsibilities, relaxing, laughing and bonding with friends are just a few of the reasons why girlfriend getaways are becoming more popular than ever.

Letter to Kate: Natural Disasters

In my lifetime, I’ve experienced wind and ice storms, flooding and a devastating tornado. What I remember most is how everyone came together afterward to help those in need.

Flooding stranded expectant mother

One reader tells about the time she and her husband were surrounded by flood waters during a time she was expecting her first child.

Storm brought out charity in folks

Tragedies have a tendency to bring out the best in people. After a devasting tornado, neighbors helped neighbors get through the aftermath.

Hurricane drew neighbors close

Long before Hurricane Katrina, another hurricane brought neighbors in a New Orleans neighborhood together.

Open Session: February 2009

A reader shows off a patriotic crochet wall hanging based on a pattern dating to World War I, and another shares how a recent issue stirred memories of old-time radio shows.

Raise children who give back by volunteering

To interest children in volunteering, first set a good example yourself, and then let them choose a cause that interests them. Follow these and other tips to spark a sense of civic responsibility among young people.

Together with God: Furry Friends

Puppies and kittens are so cuddly, how can anyone resist them? We should be thankful for thier companionship and be responsible for their care.

Fiction: Mom's Crazy Quilt

A heartwarming and nostalgic story about a mother who shares stories with her daughter about the different fabrics used to make her 'scrapbook memory' quilt.

Dog and cat good hunters, friends

Dogs and cats are both good hunters. A reader shares his story of the dog and cat her had who were both rabbit hunters in thier own right.

Faith: Faith forms a family

With patience and persistence, a stepmother earns the love and trust of her new husband's daughter.

Travel: Keeping Fit While Traveling

You don't have to give up your exercise routine when you're traveling. Staying active can actually make your trip more enjoyable. Check out these tips for staying fit while on the road.

Pastimes can keep mind and body fit

Staying active mentally is just as important as keeping fit physically, especially in later years. A reader shares ways she stays mentally and physically fit.

A Letter to Kate: Staying Active

Exercise may be a dirty word to some, but it is beneficial to all. The new year brings a commitment to be more active and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Help spread availability of safe drinking water

Many people take drinkable water for granted, but 1.1 billion people worldwide still don’t have access to clean water – a problem that leads to nearly 2 million deaths a year. There are a variety of ways individuals can help solve this problem.

Open Session: January 2009

Readers share their Christmas quilting traditions, news of the arrival of Katahdin triplets, and foot care advice. Also, see a giant sweet potato that sprung from a garden.

Editor's Notebook: New Deal-era spirit lives on

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal created jobs and built buildings, roads and lasting arts projects. In these difficult times, a similar program could put millions of Americans to work in programs that create new public works that will also inspire pride and appreciation.

Stress Less During Holiday Travel

December is one of the busiest travel months of the year. When you add the normal stresses of travel to the holiday rush, you can feel a lot more manic than merry.

Faith: World change

There are lots of changes happening in the world. The topic of world change is on the minds and in the hearts of many people who are not sure how to respond in a positive way.

Fiction: The Dragon Robe

Fiction: The Dragon Robe is a story about a young girl who falls in love with a boxer. When he leaves to further his career, she clings to the boxing robe he left behind. By the time he finally returns, she knows she has found true love.

Make a joyful noise

The phrase, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord," makes me think of my father, a preacher, who realized even though he sings off key, it is important to sing anyway, to sing your praises to the Lord.

A Letter from Kate: Unforgettable Events

Certain world and national events have had such an impact on us that the very mention of a date or place can conjure up memories of those events – World Trade Center, Pearl Harbor, Columbine, Hiroshima or Dealey Plaza.

Falling meteorite frightened sisters

In the spring of 1948, my mother raised frying chickens, and my sister and I would take them to the local grocery store and sell them.

Fiction: Video Grandma

Fiction story: A grandmother learns to play her grandson's favorite video game in hopes of having something in common with him. Many things transpire in the process, though, and the grandmother learns a valuable lesson.

Nick Engelbert's concrete art lives on

An organ grinder, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Swiss patriots, a viking in a boat – this motley group welcomes visitors to Grandview, a home outside of Hollandale, Wis., where an artist’s imagination came alive in concrete creations embedded with stones, shells and pieces of glass.

Open Session: November 2008

Readers share their memories of drive-ins and picnics, as well as a photo of a prize-winning quilt

Faith: Are you walking in line with God's will?

God owns everything in the earth. That means He has numerous resources available to work out a matter in our favor. We need to get on the same page with God by spending time with Him. We need to empty ourselves of our own limited understanding and listen for His voice.

‘Be still and know that I am God’

A scripture from Psalms popped into my mind. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10 NIV). Suddenly, I realized I hadn’t spent much time in prayer that day. Was I too busy to utter a few words of thanks to God? I can be quiet on my patio and spend a few minutes alone with my Savior.

Faith: Who Threw the Stone?

In the Academia Gallery in Florence Italy stands Michelangelo's statue of David. If you have seen it, or pictures of it, you know it depicts David with his sling, shortly before taking on Goliath. It is truly an awesome sight.

Storyteller

Occupations, Alike, and New Duties.

Heart of the Home

Admiring God's work easy in autumn, Fall sparks memories of beauty, enjoyment, and more.

Feature: Radio's Halloween hoax spooked the nation

Listeners who tuned their radios in to The War of the Worlds in 1938 found themselves listening to a program that blurred the line between fact and fiction, creating a sensation like no other broadcast has since.

Heart of the Home

Time alone with grandma a special memory, Grandma takes pride in grandsons, Students celebrate Grandparents Day, and more.

Canadian island noted for quilts

Anne of Green Gables isn't the only thing that puts Prince Edward Island on the map. It's also famous for its quilts, in fact, L.M. Montgomery herself was a quilter.

Feature: Green Gables author always saw value in her book

For the past century, L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables has captivated young and old. Published 100 years ago last month, the novel relates the adventures of a redheaded orphan mistakenly sent to a stern spinster and her quiet, bachelor brother on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Heart of the Home

Creativity passed on to granddaughter, Art class led to fulfilling hobby, Festive salads make great summertime fare, and more.

Heart of the Home

Fourth of July picnic filled with music, Brother arrives on Independence Day, Family created own holiday celebration, and more.

Storyteller

Patient Information and Emergency stories

Heart of the Home

Daughter appreciated what father did for her, others, Call leads to reunion with Dad, Eighth child came as Father's Day gift, and more.

Heart of the Home

Unexpected child becomes a Mother’s Day blessing, Son’s homemade card precious gift, Mother’s ring remains treasure, and more.

Feature: Memory

Chance conversation at work revives son's precious memory of his mother

Heart of the Home

Simple pleasures discovered during Depression, Kids found fun in family barn, Appetizing recipes, and more.

Story Teller

Animal Sounds and Pre-Computer Era.

Heart of the Home

Farm life was simple, happy time for her, Growing up on farm was great experience, Father’s Day Memories, and more.

Feature

Gift of theater organ keeps musician, 88, at play and learning

Heart of the Home

Husband's last words still a comfort to her, Daughter fondly remembers parents' romance, Sincere gestures are romantic, and more.

Heart of the Home

Family has loads of fun making funny snowman, Blizzards meant parties and no school, Keep these ideas in mind for easy wintertime entertaining, and more.

Laura Ingalls Wilder historical collection is a must-see attraction

For the people of De Smet, S.D., bringing to life the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a labor of love. As the setting for four of Wilder’s books about prairie life, The Little Town on the Prairie, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter and These Happy Golden Years, the small town relishes in preserving, promoting and passing on the pioneer lifestyle illustrated by the beloved author.

Storyteller

Making Money, Final Answer!, and Heritage Questioned.

Heart of the Home

Christmas Gifts: Readers share stories of favorite gifts.

Couple's covered wagon serves up meals fit for pioneers

The pioneer life has always fascinated Linda Korthanke. As a little girl, she was captivated hearing of covered wagons and open-air camping, of meals cooked in large black kettles and served with freshly churned butter.

Heart of the Home

CAPPER's readers share their thoughts on what modern-day conveniences made life better and/or easier.

Country music fan enjoys concerts at 106

Vera Peace never misses a show at her favorite country theater. You can find her every first and third Saturday sitting in the front row at Country Time Music Theater in Coffeyville, Kan., anticipating the tunes that will be on tap for the evening. There is nothing remarkable about this scenario except for one thing - Peace celebrated her 106th birthday this year.

Heart of the Home

Man outlives nicknames, Girl gives teacher lasting nickname, Dad and uncle give child a lifelong nickname, Enjoy Breakfast for Dinner with Your Family Tonight, and more.

Storyteller

Quick Learner, The Only Way, and The Rule of Physics.

Heart of the Home

Years spent with husband was her dream vacation, Dream vacation taken each year, Trip across country was dream vacation for couple, and more.

Heart of the Home

Fly away with our loyal readers as they share their favorite airplane memories in this month's installment of Heart of the Home.

Editor's Notebook

Here's what editor, K.C. Compton is saying about her ailing relationships with airplanes and their pilots.

Open Session: What Readers Think

Readers express appreciation for answered requests and share fond musical memories in this month's Open Session.

Open Session: What Readers Think

D-Day memories, favorite songs and loyal words for CAPPER’S are among the topics discussed in this issue's Open Session.

Editor's Notebook

Here's what editor, K.C. Compton is saying about her youthful money-making antics and the memories they created for her.

Heart of the Home

Loyal readers share stories of struggle, persistance and success as children venturing into the world to earn extra money.

Heart of the Home

Catchy little tune caught husband, Faulty piano made duet unforgettable, Mom's song made kids feel special, and more.

Editor's Notebook

This is one of my favorite issues because so much of it deals with one of the things I like best in life: music. Raised in a musical family in which even doing the dishes was an occasion for four-part harmony, I have music clear down to my cells.

Heart of the Home

'Birthday girl' was delighted, Church's 175th anniversary was memorable, Little 'ladies' thoroughly enjoyed family's 'Tea Time' tradition, and more.

Storyteller

What's That?, What Mom Really Wants!, and Weighing the Relationship.

Editor's Notebook

Imagine this: As the first pink tendrils of dawn begin unfurling in the sky, residents of a small South Texas town begin making their way to the hill at the eastern end of town. Most are on foot – the town is small enough that everything is within walking distance of everything else. Some carry Bibles, but some carry birdcages of varying sizes and descriptions.

Heart of the Home

Easter egg hunts are still a delight, Nana made Easter a special holiday, Making dress with mother became a tradition, and more.

Heart of the Home

Cousin's words drove out envy, Envious behavior lowered her grade, recipes for traditional Irish meals, and more.

Editor's Notebook

When I read the article on Page 14 about a basketball camp for women 50 and over, I had an immediate, visceral reaction: Where do I sign up?

Heart of the Home

Glad her admirer wasn't a tennis pro, Husband and wife made lucky catches, Managed to find love when she wasn't looking, and more.

Editor's Notebook

The voice on the other end of the phone was burly and big – a man's man if ever I heard one. The first few words melted my heart:

Heart of the Home

Making snow angels is fun annual tradition, Sister didn’t last long outdoors, Loved playing Fox and Goose, and more.

Editor's Notebook

Many of my best memories of my mother are associated with the kitchen. A skilled and creative cook, she was able to infuse even the simplest fare with flavor and richness far beyond the cost of the ingredients. She taught me how to slice vegetables, cook a roast and especially, how to squeeze the last penny out of the family food budget.

Editor's Notebook

Every day, our customer care group at Ogden Publications handles about 450 calls from the CAPPER’S audience and the readers of our other magazines. This dedicated crew – 10 people who actually work the phones and another 10 who deal with the administrative follow-up – makes sure the problems or concerns you have are answered promptly and politely, whether it is a change of address, a billing question or anything else.

Heart of the Home

Children's happiness was worth the effort, Still has stocking after 60 years, Parents made Christmas special, and more.

Editor's Notebook

The Marine Corps doesn't discuss it openly as it recruits 'the few, the proud,' but the first piece of metal issued in basic training is neither a bayonet nor a sword – it's a sewing needle, accompanied by a spool of thread.

Heart of the Home

Family learned lesson on vacation in Florida A number of years ago, my husband won an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, and we were able to take our two sons with us. We flew out of a Midwest airport to Chicago and then to Orlando, Fla.

Open Session: What Readers Think

‘The Wienermobile’ – I had a nice surprise seeing the article about Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile (“‘The Wienermobile’ still cruising at 70,” August). A few years ago, my friend and I saw it on display here in Mason City, Iowa, to advertise the traveling Jell-O Museum and to honor the Kraft Jell-O factory in town.

Editor's Notebook

October has become my favorite month, replacing its calendar and seasonal opposite April. Maybe as I get older I feel more connected to a month that symbolizes the yield of a year’s worth of work, or the accomplishments of a lifetime. Spring is a time for anticipation and new beginnings. But autumn is a season to appreciate growth and maturity, and to reflect on the blessings we’ve received but might have been too busy in the spring and summer to recognize.

Editor's Notebook

Most of the letters we receive from CAPPER’S readers are handwritten in a graceful cursive that has been de-emphasized to the point of oblivion in today’s elementary-school classrooms. I don’t know that for sure, but I have two sons who went through their primary and secondary schooling in the last 15 years, and their handwriting is nothing to write home about. Which they don’t anyway, except by e-mail. I attribute the decline to computers – children are nimbler on the keyboard than adept with a pen.

Heart of the Home

I hardly ever looked forward to the first day of school that I can recall. I always dreaded the end of summer and going back to a school routine that included homework, papers and tests.

Open Session: What Readers Think

Grandmotherly love – I’ve just reread the May issue, and I was especially touched by the Tennessee grandmother who does not live close to her only grandchild, but hopes that her love is an influence (“Hopes her love has made a difference,” Heart of the Home). Being an old grandchild myself, I assure you that possibility is as real as daylight. My “Mama” and I always lived 150 miles apart. Once or twice as a child, I got to spend the summer with her. Wonderful! Always we wrote, telephoned and took the Greyhound bus. She was always my greatest admirer, and I hers.

Open Session: What Readers Think

Drive-in theaters – I enjoyed the article about drive-in theaters (“Remembering the Drive-in Theater,“ June). It brought back many memories.

Editor's Notebook

Sometimes you find more than you’re looking for. Some years back, my wedding band turned up a day after it had been missing. When I finally recovered it, I discovered I’d found something just as valuable. A lot of people have a kind streak that shows up when you least expect it. I am not unique in this realization. In Heart of the Home, many CAPPER’S readers write about losing valuable or sentimental treasures and how touched they were by the kindness of strangers who helped in their search.

Heart of the Home

Bright sunlight helped her find diamond ring. I had a diamond ring that I wore on my pinkie. It was a bit loose, but not too bad. One day, I went to take my rings off as I normally do, and the ring was gone.

Open Session

Milk memories – The story about Tim and Laurel Iwig’s dairy farm operation near Topeka, Kan., (“Family’s milk operation reminiscent of a 1930s service,” April) reminded me of my first summer job in 1933. I graduated from Topeka High, and my mother found a job for me on a Jersey dairy farm a few miles north of Topeka.

Statue of Liberty harbors some secrets

The Statue of Liberty is a national symbol known across the nation and globe, the iconic image of that great lady in her loose robe and spiky crown is familiar even to folks who have never been near New York City. She holds aloft her famed torch in one hand, in the other, she clutches a tablet inscribed with the date (in Roman numerals) that our nation approved the Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776. At her feet lie broken shackles.

Editor's Notebook

Americans love bargains, as Kate Marchbanks will show you in this issue’s Heart of the Home section. Loyal CAPPER’S readers recount how they’ve successfully mined flea markets, garage sales and clearance racks to dig up items they’ve treasured ever since.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate Dear Readers, I love finding a bargain, but then, doesn’t everyone? When I walk into one of my favorite stores and see clearance racks, I get a little rush. As I dig through the sale items and find things I like, my pulse actually starts racing, especially if it’s a really good sale. I enjoy the items I buy on sale even more, just knowing that I saved money.

Heart of the Home

Dear Readers, I enjoyed reading all the letters we received about camping for this issue. On a housekeeping note, I’d like to issue a request for submissions for Space Place. I’ve had a shortage of usable artwork over the last few months, and I’d like to ask for your help. I suspect that many of you will have grandchildren visiting over the summer months, and it’s a perfect time to let them flex their creative muscles by drawing, painting, writing poetry, or expressing themselves in whatever form of art they enjoy.

Remembering the Drive-In Theater

At one time, drive-in theaters could be found across the nation, doing business like gangbusters. How times have changed. Nowadays, they are so few and far between, they should be on an endangered species list.

Open Session: What readers think

Old-time grease buster – Recently, a reader requested suggestions on how to clean the baked-on grease from iron skillets. I remember how my aunt did it.

Editor’s Notebook

Empty-nesting is not that much fun. But when the boys return for holidays, the joy is boundless, energizing us before their arrival and remaining pooled up for weeks after they’ve left. We miss them terribly, but we know they’re doing what they were meant to be doing, and they’re doing it well.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate Dear Readers, Well, another Pillsbury Bake-Off contest has come and gone. This year’s was the fourth one I’ve attended, and it was just as enjoyable as the first. And the location, at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla., was perfect this year. It was hard to believe I was basking in sunshine and 80-degree weather while my family at home in Kansas was dealing with an early spring blizzard.

Man amasses amazing music library

Maynard Bertolet is 72 years old, but if he were to listen to every recording in his collection, it would take him another 72 years. He isn’t your run-of-the-mill record collector, his treasure trove is akin to a museum. He has some 250,000 albums, singles, 45s, compact discs and private recordings – a mishmash that’s likely unmatched anywhere.

Open Session

What a guy – My niece in Los Angeles sent me an article about Arthur Winston, who celebrated his first day of retirement on his 100th birthday. The story seems so much like your upbeat kind of article. What a guy! I thought you might want to feature it in CAPPER’S. I always enjoy reading news like this, and I thought your readers would enjoy it, too. I enjoy reading CAPPER’S so very much – it’s my kind of reading.

Editor's Notebook

For my wife, Barbara, and me, the move cross country to San Francisco had all the markings of the good life. We were going to live in one of the world’s most romantic cities.

Heart of the Home

Orchids bring back beautiful memories I admire every kind of flower. I grow as many as I can fit in my tiny garden, even though I am 85 years old.

Editor's Notebook

Earlier this year, we invited readers to tell us about their favorite flowers. The variety of flowers growing around the world is staggering. There are 421,968 flowers if you believe British botanist Dr. David Bramwell. If you don’t, you can split hairs – or stems – with Dr. Raphael Govaerts of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, who puts the figure at 422,127.

Open Session

Treasure in the attic – A few weeks ago, my cousin decided it was time to clean out the attic of her late mother’s home. Her mother has been gone at least 30 years, but no one had ventured into the attic to clean it out.

Sesquicentennial

It was an exciting time for Philadelphians in 1926. That's the year the city put on an international exposition, the 'Sesquicentennial,' in commemoration of our nation's 150th anniversary.

Open Session

Polio insurance ? I can remember CAPPER'S being in our home, and a salesman would come and take a chicken or an old battery to pay for a subscription.

Heart of the Home

Includes four poems regarding snow, winter and Valentine's Day

Hoover Dam

Let's get rid of the big myth about Hoover Dam right now. There are no bodies buried in the concrete of this colossal structure that holds back the Colorado River.

Editor's Notebook

This month, one of the monuments to American industry and ingenuity celebrates the 70th anniversary of its completion.

Blogs

Web logs ? called 'blogs' for short ? have been something of an online sensation. In 2004, 'blog' was the most looked up word on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, by a wide margin.

Editor's Notebook

Editor Kathryn Compton talks about parenting in a letter dedicated to her children for Valentine's Day.

Open Session

Readers' contributions concerning their opinions on articles they've seen in CAPPER'S.

Heart of the Home

Includes reader-contributed letters regarding favorite presidents, recipes, patterns, a prayer and a letter from Kate Marchbanks.

Open Session

I was raised in Kansas, and I love sunflowers. I have plastic ones inside, and this one growing outside.

Crows can count - at least to 16

I grew up fond of crows. The loud, voracious birds made a daily pilgrimage to one of our trees, where they hunted for scraps of yesterday’s bread in the grass.

As Long as There is Christmas

This ol' world may not always hold The charms we wish it would, But as long as there is Christmas, Evil cannot outdo good

Heart of the Home

Enjoyed ball game: One of my favorite toys was called Kitty Kat Kupball, which was basically a basketball game.

Be thankful for turkeys this year

It's that time when turkeys can be spotted strolling through woods and prairies, and ? in tamer environs ? serving as the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving a holiday with a history stretching across Atlantic

Although we associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, they were not the originators of the tradition, nor has the celebration been continuous since Colonial times. Its curious history has roots stretching across time and the Atlantic Ocean, but it would only become the holiday we know it ? taking place on the fourth Thursday of November ? by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. Even this date would be subject to change as recently as the 1930s.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers, This year, as I think about gratitude, many things come to mind. Most of all, I am thankful for my family. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband whom I can?t imagine my life without. And I am grateful for my mother, father, sister and nephews. Together With God: What makes Thanksgiving the memorable occasion that it is? It might be the time the turkey burned, or the year the twins were born, the first time that Grandpa wouldn?t be there, or the year that you cooked your first turkey dinner from scratch. Kind uncle saved her from embarrassment: The Thanksgiving I will always remember is the year I was a newlywed and I invited all of my relatives over for Thanksgiving dinner. Ate greatest meal in an unlikely place: The greatest Thanksgiving meal I ever had was in an unlikely place. About 50 years ago, I was expecting my first baby, who was due two weeks after Thanksgiving. Brother?s visit surprised family: Thanksgiving 1958 was to be a sad day for our family, especially my mother, because my brother would be absent. Joe was a soldier stationed at Camp Breckenridge, Ky.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers, I don't restrict my definition of neighbors just to the people who live next door. In my opinion, a neighbor can be anyone who lives in my town. Sure, I know the people who live next door and the woman across the street, but I feel closer to 'neighbors' such as my friend Nikki, who lives across town, and even some of the people who live in my husband's parents' neighborhood.Together With God: On the north side of me lives a retired couple, Bud and Jean. Bud likes to call me over to the fence to discuss neighborhood news, and Jean has some of the most beautiful quilts I've ever seen hanging on their backyard clothesline.Thoughtful neighbor could win any title: I have always had good neighbors, but the one I have now is the best.Learned to take her house keys: I shall never forget the good neighbor I had back in 1973.Willingness to be pleasant makes a good neighbor: Through the years, I have had several wonderful next-door neighbors. Beginning in the college dorm, our next-door roommates shared everything from snacks sent from home to hair curlers and other items that we couldn't go downtown and buy on the spur of the moment.

Community offers glimpse into Amish way of life

A tour through Harmony, a small town in Southeastern Minnesota, offers insights into the Amish lifestyle. Although they aren't the only ones who live in the area, everywhere one looks are reminders that this isn't a typical American community, from the handmade quilts and expertly crafted furniture to the occasional reminder in the road that a horse-drawn buggy has recently passed by.

Early maps proved difficult to follow

How would you like traveling with a map showing things out of proportion and inaccurately placed? That's the kind of map our ancestors used - when they had maps at all.

Little House sites abound for the curious

Laura Ingalls Wilder's series of 'Little House' books have been enjoyed by generations of readers. Loyal fans who want to get a first-hand glimpse at the locales and way of life that the books describe can visit many of the settings that inspired the books' author.

Nominations being accepted for list of unique destinations

People who have fallen in love with a place with a unique flair can nominate it for the National Trust's annual list of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The Trust honors 12 communities nationwide that have character, dynamic downtowns, a strong commitment to historic preservation, interesting architecture, cultural diversity, locally owned businesses, and walking access for residents and visitors.

Heart of the Home

A LETTER FROM KATE: Dear Readers, I must admit, while reading your letters about country stores, I developed an overwhelming craving for pickles. So many of the stories described the joy of choosing dill pickles from barrels that I couldn't stop thinking about them. Even Kathryn Compton, our new editor, commented on how hungry she was for pickles after reading all the stories.Together with God: Jenkins' store was just over the hill from my house, and my friend Cheryl and I would walk the quarter-mile on hot summer evenings to get a fudge bar. We had to pass the old cemetery at the top of the hill, and we usually started running at the crest.Country store lives on in her memory: During World War II, I was a Crop Corps worker on a farm in upstate New York. We picked string beans, tomatoes, apples and grapes.Looked forward to grocery truck: The country store that has always been in my memory was a grocery truck that came by our house in 1939.Small store seemed large to a child: As a preschooler in the early 1940s, my family and I lived in rural southern New Jersey. With gasoline rationed during the war years, a trip to the store was a big adventure.Wishes she could go back to general store: There were two gas pumps in front, regular and ethyl, and off to the side was a green pump labeled 'Kerosene.' Just south of the pumps, across a short drive, stood a small, white building that was known as Waggoner's Store, which was located on the south side of 51 Highway, west of Hennessey, Okla.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers, Scrapbooks are a great way of recording the important moments and memories of one's life. Although the methods of making scrapbooks have changed dramatically, it is obvious that they are still important pieces of memorabilia. Together with God: When my husband and I worked with the foster care program, we made a scrapbook for each of our children so they could see physical evidence of their life. It also helped to establish a connection between their other family and their new family. Remembrance hangs on wall: I loved making scrapbooks long before it became popular to make them. My first was one my mother helped me put together of baby animals. It was made from a spiral notebook. It wasn't fancy, but I have kept it for more than 60 years. Anniversary book is prized possession: The first experience I had with a scrapbook was a pleasant one. I received it when my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, six years ago. Turned Mother's treasures into a scrapbook: My mother was frugal. I doubt she ever threw anything away. A few years ago, when she passed away at 94, my siblings and I cleaned out her home, preparing to sell it.

Father's homemade bus helped children in Depression

During the Depression, children in the community of Cedar Bluff, Texas, faced having to drop out of school because of a lack of transportation to get them there. But thanks to the efforts of one industrious father, getting to school was not a problem.

Editor's Notebook

Change. That simple word can set many people's teeth on edge.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers, I like the taste of a fresh, sweet watermelon in the summertime, but unfortunately, I don?t have any watermelon stories to tell. I enjoy eating it, but not in the traditional way. I usually like to eat it cut up in chunks and served on a plate. Together With God: Every July, my family went to visit our cousins in Berryville, Va., a mountain town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was thrilling. They had a farm, complete with a mean, old bull that didn?t appreciate watermelon rinds. Cousins had contest: When I was a child, many of my cousins lived nearby. In fact, there were 10 of us. Our grandfather was the leader of the cousins. Son?s jumbled garden an unexpected success: When my son was young, he wanted his own garden. The company I was ordering seeds from had a special offer for children ? a jumble packet of mixed seeds for just 1 cent. Kept waiting for melons to get bigger: When I moved to America from Germany at age 19, I?d never heard of watermelons. On my first trip to a grocery store, I saw the huge, green fruit, and I asked my American husband what they were. Family anticipated homegrown watermelons: Like everyone else I know, I have joyful memories of watermelon time in Oklahoma. The wonderful melons ripen from July to frost. When I was a girl, we enjoyed them all summer.

Heart of the Home

A letter from Kate: Dear Readers, Summer is my least favorite season of the year. I truly enjoy all the flowers and plants in bloom and fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak, but I don't enjoy being hot and miserable. Together with God: Isn't it great to get good news? A baby in the family, a wedding, a graduation or a promotion at work are just a few announcements that come to mind. The best thing about receiving good news is being able to share it with your friends. Mother had a scare while at the rodeo: When my son, Alex, was 7 or 8 years old, we attended all the local rodeos. He participated in the mutton-busting competitions that took place before the rodeos. He enjoyed riding the sheep. Streetcar passengers celebrated end of war: I was on a streetcar, going home from my job at one of the defense plants in the area. The car was filled with other people, tired and hot because the car was not air-conditioned. We came to a bus stop, and a man stepped over to the car as if he planned to board. Announcement came in Christmas card: The best news my husband and I ever received came in the form of a handwritten message on a Christmas card. Good news is found everywhere: Good news comes in many forms. One might win a prize, there might be a new baby in the family, the job one has been wanting might finally come through, or the rains could fall at the right time. Yes, good news arrives in many different fashions.

Hat lover keeps baseball caps by the box load

Roy Duncan, of Greensboro, N.C., has traveled extensively in the United States since the mid-1960s. In his travels from California to Hawaii to Alaska, he has accumulated quite a souvenir collection ? more than 750 caps.

Storyteller

Outsmarted: A game warden spotted a camper walking back to his campsite carrying a 5-gallon bucket.New Version: A first-grade class was putting on a singing program for the community in order to raise money for new playground equipment.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers, I enjoy family reunions. They give me a chance to see relatives I haven?t seen in a while and meet new additions to the family. My extended family is small, and we don?t get together all that often. But my husband, Jay, has a close extended family.Together With God: Who thought of the idea of family reunions? The gathering of family from young to old, meeting at one specific place and time to share updates with family members was a great idea.Siblings met at barn: My family held one last reunion on the old homeplace where we grew up. Our parents moved there in 1942. When Dad passed away, Mother continued to live there until 1987. We then sold the house. Returned to Wisconsin: I had moved to Phoenix to be closer to my two daughters after I had a stroke in 2002. My daughters and I flew back to Wisconsin in May 2003 for several reasons. Annual tradition got started in 1929: Our first family reunion was held on Labor Day Sunday in 1929. There were 300 people in attendance ? the families of five brothers and three sisters who had immigrated to America in the early 1900s from the Ukraine.Family planned surprise auction for reunion: I am from a family of seven children. We lived in several states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Pennsylvania. Our mother and three of us children lived in Washington. We tried to get together every other year.

Editors Notebook

By nature, I'm a worrywart. I worry about almost everything under the sun.

Riding the Rails

Fun is had Riding the Rails to a baseball game. The train ride to St. Louis is a  unique experience of the past when times were a bit slower.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers, When I was a young bride, and I lived far from home, I called my mom several times to get recipes from her. She was very helpful and made sure that I had most of my favorite recipes typed on cards before I left home.Together With God: The best recipe I ever had was called a Recipe for Life. It goes: Treat your family like company and your company like family. It is a recipe that I subscribe to and practice whenever possible.Pie had different taste: Our family loved lemon pie, so I always baked two. One day, my son came into the house after finishing his chores. Burgers were a hit: 'Grandpa, please make some Army burgers,' my sons would ask their grandfather when they went to visit. Learned to make Grandma's dish: I have a certain recipe that brings a good memory of my late mother-in-law. A favorite dish of my husband's family later became a favorite recipe of our children and mine.Special recipes are stored close to her heart: My special recipes are kept with all my others, in the wooden recipe box I've had for a long time. However, those special recipes are also in my heart because they mean something to me.

Open Session

Inspirational letters, Make every day count, children's laughter is the greatest sound.

The International Peace Garden: A Symbol of Friendship

The International Peace Garden in Dunseith, North Dakota, is a 2,339-acre botanical garden, nestled on the U.S. and Canadian border. It is a lasting symbol of friendship and peace between the two countries.

Heart of the Home

A Letter From Kate: Dear Readers,The old saying 'actions speak louder than words' has always been true, but never more so than during a time of grief. Like many people, I don't remember everything that was said during the time after a loved one's death, but I do remember the kind things that people did and the show of support. Together With God: It is so hard to know what to say when a friend is hurting. You offer support, you listen to their troubles, and you can even hold them as they grieve, but what do you say to make it better? Comforting words shared with others: When my husband, Charles, died May 2, 1997, one month after our 50th wedding anniversary, I was brokenhearted.An act of kindness changed her mind: Many acts of kindness have been shown to me in my lifetime. The most recent occurred on this past St. Patrick's Day.Actions speak louder than words: I have been in need of comfort several times in my life, so I know what wonderful things people do to try to make us feel better.