It was a beautiful snow while it lasted; it draped the hemlock boughs in shawls of white and covered the shrubbery in fluffy cotton balls.

All the muddy landscape was covered with a pure white blanket unsullied by any ugliness. It was our first significant snow of the winter, but it didn’t last long. Today, under a sunny sky, it has all melted off—just in time for Groundhog Day.

If Mr. Groundhog came up out of his burrow and saw a snow-covered landscape, I’m sure he’d dive right back in his warm bed and sleep for six more weeks—or longer. As my wise mother always said, “Spring will come—it always has!” Winter has been very mild, but we still long for warm breezes and springtime flowers. I have found the tiny yellow coltsfoot flowers in February. What a harbinger of spring!

Have you ever heard of Murphy’s Law? It’s that law that says if anything can go wrong, it will. Every housewife learns early about Murphy’s Law of Housekeeping. Just try cleaning your kitchen range (I don’t try very often—I’m allergic to elbow grease) from top to bottom including the oven. An uncontrollable urge to bake a fruit pie will overcome you. Whether it is berry, apple or cherry, you can be sure that it will run over in your nice clean oven and send up clouds of smoke from burned-on spill-over. That’s Murphy’s Law in action.

It’s the same thing with the refrigerator. You can spend a whole morning cleaning it out, dumping the accumulated containers of left-over food—and that’s another phase of Murphy’s Housekeeping Law. Why can’t we throw away the dibs and dabs of food that remains after a meal is eaten? No, we have to scrape the cupful of macaroni and cheese into a plastic container, wrap the last slice of meat loaf in a neat foil package, and seal the last tidbit of green beans in a little bowl.

It is only when the meat loaf grows a beard, and the green beans are covered with blue mold, that we feel justified in dumping it. Why didn’t we toss it in the beginning? It’s Murphy’s Law, that’s why. Criss cleaned the refrigerator for me a few weeks ago, and he swore that he dumped 17 little containers of leftover food. I’m sure that he exaggerated; but then, I operate under Murphy’s Law.

There is such pride when the refrigerator is defrosted, cleaned completely and sparkling.  Now is the time to spill a pitcher of Kool-Aid down through its gleaming interior. A quart of tomato juice works just as well, and a can of evaporated milk is even better. Murphy’s Law of Housekeeping has just kicked in.

Did you ever wonder why a freshly mopped and waxed kitchen floor immediately attracts children and grandchildren who come galloping through the house, and across the wet floor with gobs of mud falling from their shoes? My husband can be in the next county, and as sure as I mop the kitchen floor, he is suddenly there, tracking across the floor before it dries. I hate that wretched Murphy’s Law!

I’d love to get hold of the Murphy who put this law into effect—I’d tie him by the neck to the clothesline with a dirty sock, and beat him about the head and shoulders with a wet mop. My daughter Patty and I felt the power of this law one day last week.

We planned a “girl’s day” to Charleston to do some shopping, eat a leisurely lunch and just be together. I’ve always loved going with Patty as she’s so much fun, and I don’t get out much anymore. Things went along smoothly; we shopped and then decided to go to Southridge Mall and eat. As we motored happily along, right before we got to Walmart, Patty remarked, “Do you hear a funny noise? It sounds like a flat tire.”  “Nah,” I answered. “It couldn’t be a flat tire—we have four new tires on the car.” Besides, she wasn’t having any trouble steering.

We pulled in at Red Lobster, and sure enough, the left front tire was flat. We ate a “leisurely” lunch and then fretted about whom to call. We called son Mike, who in turn called WV Paving office to locate son Andy. He wasn’t working that day, but in a little while here came a WV Paving truck equipped with an air compressor and all the works, and two mechanics who cheerfully rescued two damsels in distress.

With a “donut” tire, we carefully made our way homeward. Murphy’s Law wasn’t through with us yet, however. Driving at a moderate speed because of the tire, everyone the road passed us. A trio of pickup trucks went around us, and one of them shot a gravel that hit our windshield and cracked it. Patty moaned, as she was already leery of facing her father. Murphy’s Law had its way with us that day!

In retrospect, I realize that God did have His hand over us. Many times, we are not even aware of it at the time. A blown front tire can throw a vehicle out of control, and we could have had a bad accident. A larger pebble could have shattered our windshield and injured us, as well as causing us to wreck. And last but not least, we could have had a flat tire somewhere out in the boondocks, instead of in front of a favorite restaurant!

I love the words in Isaiah which says, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”Isa. 41:10

It makes me realize that our God is mightier than any earthly law.

(We received a letter from Gary Hensley of Big Chimney recently, and he was inquiring about his grandfather, Frank “Doc” White, and old time country doctor and dentist who lived at Ivydale. He died at the age of 85, but I’m sure many of our readers have heard of him.)

My good friend, Dixie Love Jarvis (now of Summersville) sent a poem she wrote when she turned 70 in October.  I think many of us can relate to it.


     I long for the days

     Of the Toni Home Perm

     When my outlook was new,

     And my skin was still firm!

     My back didn’t hurt

     And my knees didn’t ache

     That sweet grade school crush

     Could still make my heart quake.

     The Clay County Fair

     Was our annual thrill

     With its colorful lights

     And that carnival smell.

     Going to Kilroy’s

     Was such a great treat

     Where you and your friends

Could safely meet.

We could dance til we dropped

Stay out until ten!

Ah, life was so sweet

And innocent back then!

Now medicine bottles

Line my bathroom shelf

I’m no longer my young,

Healthy, carefree self.

Yes, I yearn for those days

Of long, long ago

But, I am wasting my time

I’ve no more “wild oats” to sow!