Bright sunshine greets us this morning; so cheerful after the gloomy days that we have endured. The daffodils are thrusting their bright yellow heads through the muddy soil, and are ready to burst into bloom at the slightest provocation. Songbirds are beginning to flit from bush to bush and awaken us at daybreak with their song of pure joy; I know how they feel—it seems that winter has been very long indeed.
There have been much colder winters, and winters with more snow, but it does seem that this winter has been long and drawn out. With the mud, the snow, and the cold, it seems that we have been cooped up in the house forever. I remember my late friend, Amma Brown, commenting that she had been staying in her house “snuffing ashes.” That was a new expression to me, but that is exactly how a person feels. My brain feels as dull as my body. Maybe a big dose of sulphur and molasses would help.
The first few warm days of spring brings a sudden urge to the housewife to really dig in and clean out winter’s dirt. (It is really too early to tackle this. We need warm, balmy days to throw open the doors and windows, to air out everything.) This is the scroungiest time of the year. The yard is strewn with the debris that the winter storms have left behind, with a good deal of help from our two Jack Russell dogs. They seem to find old bones from somewhere, and dig holes for their treasures. They guard fiercely their finds.
The house has been shut up tight against winter’s whims, and has accumulated a greasy film of dust and dirt. The bright sunlight streaming through the windows reveal cobwebs and grime that the dull days of winter had hidden. There is so much to do that a person hardly knows where to start. It makes a person want to leave the house, go out in the sunshine, and bask on a comfortable rock like a lizard.
My problem is that I am a pack rat—not as bad as Patty who collects everything. I can’t bear to get rid of things that people give me, although when I am gone, it won’t mean anything to anyone else. I have stacks of paperwork—grade cards for six children through the years, plenty of art work which they did during their school years, even essays that they wrote. I gave our oldest child, Michael, who will be 65 in May, all his grade school papers last year. I am making some headway!
Books must be my biggest downfall. I have hundreds that I have not read, and never will be read, but I love them. I will be glad to share them if anyone will come and tell me. I reckon this hoarding is inherited. I remember Grandpa O’Dell and his mysterious trunk. He lived with us for the last ten years of his life, and we young’uns were always curious about the hump-backed trunk where he kept his treasures. He kept everything—pieces of string, worn out shoe heels, bent nails, dozens of combs, (sometimes we couldn’t find a comb, for some reason they all mysteriously disappeared!), pieces of scrap metal, old shoestrings—they were carefully hoarded in his trunk. We children were sure that he had something valuable in it, as he was so secretive.
He kept it locked, and every time he opened it, we children would crowd around his knees to see what he treasured so. “Now you kids don’t plunder in that stuff,” he would say testily, and we would stand back respectfully while he lifted the flat tray from the top. He would search for something that he needed or would stash something else away. It had a peculiar, metallic odor to it that I can smell yet today. Maybe I need a trunk like this to store my treasures in!
I remember when we collected aluminum foil during the II World War. Grandpa would scour the sidewalk in Charleston, picking up every scrap of foil. He had a big ball of foil from cigarette packages when the war ended. I wonder now what he did with it? Grandpa was a valuable person himself. He could neither read nor write, yet he could travel anywhere that he wanted to go.
He had two sisters and a brother who lived in Oregon, and their extended families. Now I wonder how they ended up so far away from the hills here, and I would love to get in touch with these distant cousins. There are so many questions that I would like to ask Grandpa now, but when I was young, I never pondered these things. (Old age gives you plenty of time to ponder!)
I would like to take this time to thank my dear friends for the cards, notes, and e-mail messages that I have received. The prayers, good wishes and the love shown has gladdened my heart and helped me get better. My primary care doctor told me today that I am in good shape, and I can expect to get back to normal. I reckon that the good Lord is not through with me yet!
I NEEDED THE QUIET
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside
Into the deep recesses where we could confide
Away from my work place where all the day long
I hustled and bustled when active and strong.
I needed the quiet though first I rebelled
But gently, so gently my cross He upheld
And spoke to me sweetly of spiritual things
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings.
To heights never dreamed when active all day
He loved me so greatly He drew me away.
I needed the quiet, no prison my bed
But a beautiful valley of blessings instead
A place to grow deeper in Jesus to hide
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside.