March delivered the hills another blow last night, with a winter snowstorm that covered the landscape and roadways. A cold wind prevails today, although the sunny is shining from a bright blue sky. The yellow daffodils shiver in the breeze, but bravely hold their golden spears aloft. This is truly March.

The plowed garden awaits sunny days to warm the soil, and welcome the seeds and plants that are in the planning stage now. In this swift-changing world, I thought of how many basic things are still the same. We have more modern equipment and a great variety of seeds, yet they are planted in the same fashion that Grandma did. The ground is prepared; seeds are sown, covered, and cultivated in basically the same way.

We have the same needs for our gardens—sunshine, rain and labor. Grandma in her sunbonnet, down on her knees planting the seedlings in the ground is not much different from us, down on our knees in the same fashion, patting the earth around the tender plants. Some things never change.

Many, many things have changed, and are still changing in my lifetime. God our Father has never changed, and never will. I think of the song, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand/ All other ground is sinking sand . . .” Right and wrong, good and evil is still the same, no matter how people may twist it around to suit their own conscience. The Bible is still our guide book and our lifeline to Heaven, no matter what scoffers may say.

I found a poem that was sent to me some years ago, written by Anna Mae Murphy of Birch River. I think it is relevant to our day.


What if:

We could go back to olden days

Mend our fences, change our ways

Let gay mean happy, as it should

Know just where our neighbor stood

Let God be ruler o’er all the land

Share time together, walk hand in hand

Slow our pace to a country crawl

Forget there is a shopping mall

Go to school in just one room

Have another “baby boom”

And just as soon as baby weans

Start him out on pinto beans

Love your sister and your brother

Show respect for Dad and Mother

Hunt and fish, but one rule heed

Never kill more than you need

Work all day and sleep all night

Always get up at daylight

Eat three square meals, right on time

Don’t eat dinner at suppertime

Salute our flag, never burn it

It stands for freedom, heroes earned it

Go to Church and Sunday School

Always live by the Golden Rule

Make our clothes, grow our food

Be polite instead of rude

Suppose we could turn back life’sclock

Would we change or would we not?

~By Anna Mae Murphy


While most of us are sick of snow and wishing for spring weather to arrive, the snow can be a blessing. Darlene Workman of Princeton writes that her grandpa always said that we need snow and freezing weather to kill the bugs and germs. My sister-in-law Alice quotes the Bible as saying there are treasures under the snow, and she is sure that the treasures are morel mushrooms. If that is true, then we should have a bumper crop this year!

While our minds are meditating upon our gardens, I want to pass this hint along. Darren Porter of Kentucky says that Reba, his mother’s friend, wouldn’t hoe her garden past June—said it did better with weeds because they held moisture. Do you think this is true? I do remember one year, a long time ago, when we had a garden up at our neighbors. It got ahead of me, and weeds grew up around my cucumbers.

Their garden was neatly groomed, and their cucumbers failed. I had a bountiful crop of lovely cucumbers growing in my weeds. Mrs. Everson told me, “Now I know how to raise cucumbers—let them grow up in weeds!” These good folks are gone, but I still miss them.

Marti Marshall of the Clay County Free Press staff writes, “Early transparent apples sure bring back memories. A lady across the street from my grandmother had them in her yard. My first cooking lesson consisted of making apple butter from those apples. Mrs. Shumate would add a bag of “cinnamon red hot” candies to perk it up!”

Early transparent apple trees are almost a thing of the past. We had a big tree in the yard when we lived at the Jackson County farm. They were large, soft apples that were delicious. We also had a flock of chickens that roamed around, and when they’d hear a ripe apple fall off and plop on the ground, they raced to the tree to gobble it up. We canned 80 quarts of applesauce that summer.

Barbara of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is trying to find the words to an old song that her mother sang to them. All she remembers is the two lines, “I love to climb an apple tree/ Though apples green are bad for me.” Can anyone help her find this?

My granddaughter Abigail is home-schooling her children, and year-old Wade is always full of questions. He asked his mother if she thought they could survive if there was no land and only oceans. She gave him several reasons why this wouldn’t work and he said, Oh, that’s right—what would we eat? Walmart would be sunk!”

He hasn’t felt well the last couple of days (a stomach virus or some kind of a bug.) When Katie said her bedtime prayers, Wade said, “I can’t believe you didn’t pray for me, Katie—did you NOT hear me over here groaning?” There’s never a dull moment in the Becker household.

Speaking of children’s prayers, I want to share a serious situation with you. We have a little friend, Hunter Mitchell (grandson of Brenda Mitchell and great-grandson of Linda Johnson Arbaugh) who is in need of earnest prayer. In May, 2009, a stage 2 neuroblastoma was removed from his spine—I think he was two years old.

In December of that same year, the cancer returned at stage 4. He underwent chemo, surgery, radiation and stem cell transplant to replace his bone marrow. In July, 2013, the cancer returned for the third time. He is now undergoing chemotherapy at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

The doctor at the University of Kentucky Hospital said the cancer will probably continue to return. He will be treated each time unless a cure is found for neuroblastoma. The family is hoping for a cure for cancer, but Hunter is in the hands of an Almighty God who is able to heal him. Please pray for him.

Here is the prayer that Hunter prayed for a little baby girl who is starting chemo there at the hospital. He prayed, “God, she is just starting out, and she hasn’t been going through this for a long time like I have—make her tough.” He knows it takes toughness to get through what he’s gone through in his short seven years of life.

If we all had compassion like this—