My Morning Do . . . Down on the Farm — IV

A Snowy Nostalgia

by tkbrown

20 February 2021 — Growing up in the Ozarks, I was so blessed to experience four distinctive seasons each year. The snows blanketing our country during the past two weeks brought back memories. Just prior to the onset of winter storms Uri and Viola, one of my siblings and I were talking about the winters of our youth bringing much more snow than we have seen in recent decades. We were a bit nostalgic about the memories associated with those snows–at times they were two feet deep or more with drifts three to four feet deep. One Christmas Eve, an older sibling drove in from another state and parked their Volkswagen in front of the house. The next morning, there was just a big hump in the front yard–no visible evidence of the car buried beneath all that snow.

Winter brought with it the excitement of holidays, snows and ice coated trees which I thought were absolutely beautiful with the sun shining through them early in the morning. Riding the bus to school, I often commented on how much I loved seeing that aspect of winter. Other bus riders could not see what I saw. I suppose, in their minds it was too early in the morning and they were still snug in bed and fast asleep. They wanted no part of my icy reveries which threatened to eject them from their warm ones.

On days when conditions were too dangerous for the busses to risk the drive to school, and on weekends, etc., I could enjoy the evidence of Jack Frost’s visit during the night. The etchings on our windows boasted designs far more intricate than most paintings. The beauty of winter escaped many, but I never missed a beat of its cold heart. I loved looking out the windows to see God’s handiwork. Even having to carry in wood and coping with one side of me getting too toasty as it faced the old wood heater while the other side froze could not diminish its value in my heart. To me, even during the season others viewed as representing death in life’s cycle, nature’s beauty surpassed any ugliness that came with it.

My heart goes out to those who suffered hardship and loss during the past couple of weeks. I understand the blessings of modern technologies have allowed many of us to advance beyond the primitive realities associated with the wood heating of my childhood. However, news of the suffering many endured due to the overwhelming frigidness of the temperatures and accompanying snows brought back memories of always being able to stoke a fire in that old wood heater or turn-on the gas heater and kitchen range even as the electricity failed us. Living on the coast and enduring a number of hurricanes, I loved being able to cook a pot of beans and rice or cornbread on that gas range for us to eat until. We never missed a hot meal during a power outage. That is one part of having less than others I have never regretted.

As the days of my childhood grew warmer and steadily longer, springtime dropped in for a visit. When the dogwoods and redbuds began to bloom, I knew spring would soon be in the air. Our springs were long enough to truly enjoy the rebirth of life associated with the cool days of fragrant, variegated greens and yellow greens. The fresh bursts of color in both nature and homestead, and the planting of seeds–as the days grew warmer–from which we would enjoy the produce over the coming year. These were fertile reminders of life budding anew. Springtime in the Ozarks is a rebirth of every aspect of living.

As school let out, days were becoming hotter and longer. Soon, summertime was in full swing. The heat–sometimes blazing heat–in luscious green surroundings seemed to embrace me with appreciation for the growing and reaping to be done. The mouth-waterin’ vegetables, fruits, and berries we harvested each year were my favorite part of livin’ off the soil. I looked forward to the watermelons, the peaches, and other produce peddled to locals by other locals because these were never locally grown in sufficient quantity. The annual hog-killin’ in late July or early August with the fresh tenderloin to follow at breakfast the next morning was usually assisted by cousins from other states. Afterward, we would all gather ’round to enjoy a feast of fresh pork and fresh vegetables from the garden. If we were lucky, the activities of this day coincided with the peach purchase mentioned above, thus prompting a bowl of peaches ‘n cream for dessert. Summertime food was always so delicious. To this day, I love the abundance of produce available during spring, summer, and fall. UUMmMmmmmm!

Fall in the Ozarks blanketed the area with bursts of color on every hillside–red, yellow, orange, and crimson mingled with green and brown–with the cedars etching a bit of evergreen and each frost increasing the browns. Vegetables that had not been harvested from the garden were brought in, preserved, and stored for winter. The Halloween Carnivals (now Fall Festivals) and Thanksgiving only added to the excitement and anticipation of Christmas ahead.

Now, we cannot forget the annual harvest celebration in a neighboring county. As we grew a little older, we could most always see a slew of people we knew at the Hootin’ ‘n Hollerin’ celebration. The Hog Callin’ contest was the most sought after prize of the day. Usually, this prize was taken by a woman ’cause she had looootts o’ practice from callin’ her husband in for supper every night.

When I was young (early childhood–preschool age), the fall also boasted an Annual Pie Supper to benefit the school. I was too young to participate, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching older sisters baking pies to be auctioned off and eaten with the highest bidder. Some of those pies were well-known and sought after–bringin’ a right-good price to compliment and redden the face of some young lass.

Then there was the Annual Talent Show. Local talent turned out in droves to assist in raisin’ funds for our school. As I mentioned above, I was too young for the Pie Supper, but Mama and Daddy were sure to sign me up for the Talent Show. I began singing at the tender age of three. The Pie Suppers and Talent Shows fell by the wayside by the time I reached school age, but I remember the fun they provided all who participated. All of the excitement added to the bliss of those fall days, which were cooler and reminded me of the holidays and winter wonderlands yet to come.

I look back on my growing-up years, and although there were bad times, I do not remember too many of them. I always felt blessed somehow to be a part of all my surroundings–family, neighbors, friends, and nature. I learned so very much from all that I experienced. You just had to be there and see it through my eyes to understand the level of nostalgia felt at times when engrossed in reminiscing those days of yore.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo at the Top: by MikeGoad @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Extra Hour

~~ by tkbrown
Now finding ourselves in the beauty of fall
as Old Jack Frost ponders, propels a call,
Old Father Time sputters a bit,

finds the hour lost in spring is a fit--
filling the sputter occurring now
as Old Jack Frost to time doth bow.

Wakening early from habit, but seeming not
as bio clock adjustments are sought
but incomplete, leaves us a void

in time and thought, ne'er enjoyed.
Circadian rhythm bereft, not yet replete,
swaying left and veering right

attempting to level, align the glide--
but depleting, tossing that hour aside--
its enjoyment lost

midst the effort spent to reorient
mind and body in time and space,
renewing the voyage with seeming grace.

By the time the body reconciles,
it has physically and mentally traversed miles
beyond enjoyment of the hour refitted

by Old Father Time on a journey committed
to one and all--a juggling of that hour betwixt
Spring and Fall--enjoyed daylight predicts.

Sleeping away the hour saved
ensures 'twill never be extolled or raved
midst talks of 'past' in future days.

Ne'er can be told of bright sunrays
casting vim and vigor upon paths chosen
to be trod with life and limb beholden.

So, choose ye well the spending of your time,
awakened or sleeping in a surreal mime
of what might have been

in that undisturbed hour -- but then . . .
either way, if ye spend it well
there will be a tale to tell.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: copyright Shutterstock.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Calendar Quindecims — September 2020

by tkbrown

September is a  time to look ahead
planning completion of special projects,
mapping special meals for the holidays,
budgeting gifts, shopping, buying no rejects
while looking at winter travel options.
Safety, facemasks, verifying inspects
upon arrival; social distancing guides
for compliance, and monitor prefect,
fees for each fractured crime come into play.
Each will effect memory time collects,
trying to normalize every aspect.
Ads for Christmas appear early this year,
already here as if adding some cheer,
and carols will play when the day draws near.

~~~~~~~~~~

Image Above: by Lena Helfinger @ pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Calendar Quindecims – September 2019

by tkbrown

~~~~~~~~~~

September
The waning days of September
bring memories from days of yore,
of growing-up, learning the ways
employed by those living before.
Comforts not thought to be quite new
by those who enjoy them today —
were considered luxury then
and wood heaters merely cliche.
Summer ends with fall equinox,
cooler nights bring welcome relief,
people start thinking to months ahead
when holidays will seem too brief.
Time will become holiday blur
as days and nights begin to whirr —
and suddenly appears New Year.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo above:
Fall Foliage Homestead -- by Matthew Pla @ Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Cooling Our Fall . . .

Photo by: jplenio at pixabay.com

— a haiku septet by tkbrown

Nights are cooler now,
the days unbearably hot.
Fall will be here soon.

Cooler nights begin
to cool both ends of the days --
morning and evening.

Then the midday temp
brings forth a welcome relief -
color's bright array!

Hills and vales display
bright colors on God's palette -
Fiery, vibrant view!

Apples and pumpkins,
with acorn and butternut -
paint the food display.

Everywhere colors
show mellowing with the age -
quaintly beautiful!

Paving a path with love
as the end appears ahead -
a transitioning!

Summer into Fall . . . a haiku by tkbrown

Summer’s hottest days

are the ones toward its end —

and then, fall begins.

Just some thoughts on 9/11 – Eighteen years ago today – the day known as 911 – the people of this country united as one against ‘the enemy’. Patriotism was at a pinnacle for a long time after that day. Now, patriotism is viewed as ‘far right’. This view is so far left that it does not even recognize itself.

When the best thing that can be said denigrates another, that is not patriotism – it is denigration. I would like to see some more of that patriotism that was so strong after 9/11. I hope it does not take another attack on our country to bring it back.