CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Our hills are locked in ice and snow today, while the land is held in the frigid grip of an arctic blast. There is not much movement, except for the feeding frenzy around the bird feeder. The earth is having her long winter's nap, while she is storing up strength for another growing season.
The month of January has made a slippery exit now, and February has come to take her place. January really was a month reminiscent of some of the old time winters we used to endure, with lots of snow and frigid temperatures. I remember one winter when I was in grade school that we had deep snow on the ground -- so much that we were out of school for two weeks.
Poor Mom! Seven youngsters underfoot for two solid weeks must have really tested her endurance. We have had very little school since Christmas, and mothers are undergoing the same thing. The only difference is -- now we have electronic toys, computers, television and a number of things to keep the children occupied. We played a lot of board games then, worked jigsaw puzzles and played outside. (And dragged in snow and wet coats, boots and sundry other items.)
This winter, most of the time, has been too cold for the children to play in the snow. It's hard to get enthusiastic about snow now that we've had a steady diet of it, but Nancy Brown of Williamson sent me a poem that puts a new light on it.
The Snow Came
By Mary Anne Martin
Quietly as new life stirs in the womb
Quietly as the beautiful flowers bloom,
Quietly as the clouds float in the blue,
Quietly as prayers are said in a church pew,
The snow came.
Quietly as God places the rainbow high above,
Quietly as He showers each of us with His love,
Quietly as He gives us strength to face tomorrow,
Quietly as He comforts us in our troubles and sorrows,
The snow came.
While we are still housebound, we can organize papers, sort out old clippings and rearrange our files. I'll never get done. It has taken me half a day to go through one file, for I keep reading the clippings that I have saved for years. Some bring a chuckle of amusement while others bring sad memories and a tear or two. These yellowed clippings are really a chronicle of our life down through the years. Pictures of newborn babies (some of these babies are in their 30s now) wedding pictures, obituaries, school honors, scribbled notes from the grandchildren and snapshots.
It is a chronicle of our lives lived in the holler, on Summers Fork, Clay County, West Virginia. I have been wading knee deep in memories today. It's not just our family that is recorded there. Some of the clipping date back to Mom's family and life on Big Laurel Creek.
I found a poem by my late Aunt Addie written several years ago that I would like to share.
By Adeline Samples Dawson
Warm corn bread and fodder beans
Salt side-meat and wild field greens,
Sassafras tea; dried apple pie,