The common oxeye daisies are blooming now, heralding the school term that is almost over.
It seems that this flower (the day’s eye) always bloomed whenever we finished the school term and greeted us as we ran down the hill from Hagar Grade School. How we shouted and rejoiced in our newfound freedom, and the summer beckoned us to come and play! High school graduation time was mixed with some sadness, and then as we were older, we were more subdued.
I can still remember that lighthearted feeling in knowing that we no longer had to trudge to school every day. We could sleep later and greet the morning with no other thought than what game to play that day. We had no TV, no computer, no electronic games or other manufactured activities, but the woods and fields were ours! I can remember waking up in the morning and smell the rambler roses blooming outside my window, hear the songbirds warbling their spring songs, and feeling so safe and secure.
This must be the happiest time in a child’s life—no burdens to carry, no worries about the future— just knowing that Mommy and Daddy were there to love and take care of us. That is such security, and I wish every child now had that same feeling. When I began writing, I thought that everyone had the same childhood that I did, but sadly I found out that many, many children are deprived of this. Broken homes are common, some are raised by one parent, and many are abused. When we were growing up, we never realized these things existed.
It is hard to fathom that it has been more than 60 years since I left Hagar Grade School, and things have changed so much since then. Children are much more advanced, and more worldly-wise. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, as we were much more innocent and didn’t have to carry world problems on our shoulders.
We need to teach our children to learn early that we have a Heavenly Father who cares for us and will take care of us. Sadly, many parents have not realized this and try to carry their burdens themselves. America has come a long way and has forgotten that our nation was founded on God and His principles. The name of God has been ridiculed, and His mercies trodden under foot of man.
America needs to wake up and remember the Bible verse in ll Chronicles 7-14, which says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” In Proverbs 14-34 we can also read, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Like many older people, I seem to dwell on the past a lot, and memories of older times linger in my mind. As the cold May rains are now leaving us, it reminds me so much of my mother. (Have you noticed that when the weather first turns warmer, and we put away the winter clothes and dig out the spring ones, that the cold May rains come?) Mom would tell us at that time their supply of wood was diminished and she and her mother would hunt old pine stumps that were rotten and bring hunks of it in to burn in the fireplace. We merely turn the thermostat on the furnace up a notch.
I have been asked by many why my column was missing for several weeks, and without going into a deep organ recital, I will tell you. I have been in the hospital four times this spring, and I am still battling vertigo. Anyone who has ever suffered this ailment knows what I am talking about. It was not my inner ear that caused it, but as different doctors told me, it could be a long lasting symptom. “Just be patient and continue your therapy,” I’ve been told. I’m trying!
With the sun shining out of a blue sky, red and pink roses blooming beside my front porch, and our world growing greener each day, why not be happy and enjoy it? Springtime in our hills is a wonder to behold, and the majesty and splendor of it is to be enjoyed. Take time to breathe in God’s gift to us, and be thankful. This is the 83rd spring I have seen, and it never gets old.
GOOD NEWS FOR 80 YEAR OLDS
I have good news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest. The second 80 years are a succession of birthday parties. Once you reach 80, everyone wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget your name or anyone else’s name, or an appointment, or your own telephone number, or promise to be three places at the same time, or can’t remember how many grandchildren you have, you need only explain that you are 80.
Being 80 is a lot better than being 70. At 70, people are mad at you for everything. At 80, you have a perfect excuse no matter what you do. If you act foolishly, it’s your second childhood. Everybody is looking for symptoms of softening of the brain. Being 70 is no fun at all. At that age they expect you to retire to Florida and complain about your arthritis (they used to call it lumbago) and you ask everyone to stop mumbling because you can’t understand them. (Actually your hearing is about 50% gone.)
If you survive until you are 80, everybody is surprised until you are still alive. They treat you with respect for having lived so long. Actually, they seem surprised that you can walk and talk sensibly. So please folks, try to make it to 80. It’s the best time of life. People forgive you for everything. If you ask me, life begins at 80!