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.

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

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SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

Special Thanks

Thank You so very much, darellphilip, for nominating me for this award. I appreciate your support of my blog posts. It means much to work in a mutually supportive environment with like minds. I believe that is what this award is about. By supporting each other we create a light that shines on those involved in this mutually supportive effort. The resulting “Sunshine” warms our hearts and soothes the soul. It is a blessing from God. Again, Thank You, darellphilip !

To those reading, if you have not visited his blog, you should go to https://darellphilip.wordpress.com/ and see what he has posted. He supports the work of others and consistently searches for more to include in this circle of ‘Sunshine.’ Check it out!

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Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 people and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their posts.
  5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.

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darellphilip’s Questions:

  1. What are you thankful for right now and why?
    • I am thankful for God’s love — the strength, clarity, love for others He instills in me; for my family — my children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins; for each person with whom I come into contact — face-to-face, in social media, and on this and other blog posts, I am truly blessed by each; for my ability to express myself in written form — both prose and poetry, for this blog page — it has helped me to expand my horizons with regard to who I am and the purposes for my writing ability, and I am thankful for the necessities of life which are provided in abundance.
  2. Who inspires you?
    • my fellow bloggers, other authors, other poets, journalists, academics, family, friends, the news. I often am inspired to pursue a new line of research or thought by the written or verbal expression of others.
  3. Where is your favourite vacation spot?
    • It varies, but typically the Ozarks in the heartland of the United States. It is where I grew up and I am enthralled with the lay of the land. I feel very close to nature and to God when I am there.
  4. When did you first realize your love for blogging?
    • About a year ago, I realized that I truly had the ability to write poetry and prose worthy of sharing with others here on my wordpress.com pages rather than saving all of it for future publication. It has actually helped me with my projects planned for traditional publication too.
  5. Why does Black Lives Matter?
    • For me, saying specifically–Black lives Matter–excludes all other races as negligible and unworthy of mattering. I believe one race is as important–and matters as much–as any other. I believe singling out one race is much more racist than most other racist statements because it excludes ALL other races. I believe God sees the color of our hearts, not the color of our skins, when He determines who is important and that persons of all races matter to Him. Thus, persons of all races must matter to me, not just one race; I believe my responsibility is determining what one projects from his / her heart and then promote those whose projections are aligned with those of Jesus Christ. The riots that are being presented as peaceful protests are harmful to others and to the property of others, as well as to the cause they are purported to support. Thus they are against God’s will, and–as such–I cannot condone them in any form. Peaceful Protests are never violent or demeaning to others. I appreciate you asking this question, because it allows me to say these things with purpose. They have been weighing heavily on my heart.
  6. How many pets do you have?
    • none — I have had pets in the past, right now it would cost more to properly care for a pet than I can manage.
  7. What new skills have you acquired during lockdown?
    • I have been able to take the time needed to improve on my health through nutrition research and finding new and better recipes to utilize in this endeavor. I have also been able to better visualize the end product in my poetry book(s), my novels, and my non-fiction endeavors.
  8. Where does your inspiration to blog come from?
    • It comes from many sources: from reading–the blogs of others, news articles online, journal articles, poetry, and even during sleep. Inspiration comes from all about me, from within me, and from a spiritual connection with God and His Son.
  9. Who is most important to you in your life right now and why?
    • God, my children, and my grandchildren because they are God given gifts. I will never receive a better gift than my children and my grandchildren.
  10. Why should bloggers follow your blog?
    • I try to reflect on events happening in our world as I write. I try to always write with honesty and integrity in a way which allows others to take what they like and leave the rest. I am honored to know others see enough value in my posts to want more people to see and read them too. These award nominations have humbled me much. All praise, I believe, goes to God and His Son, Jesus. I strive to live my life in a manner pleasing to them. Hopefully, the value of that will continue to be seen by others. Thank You for asking this question too. It has given me the opportunity to reflect upon what I do and why. Thank You for nominating me!
  11. When will racism end?
    • I fear–because evil roams the world seeking ways to destroy all efforts for peaceful existence–I fear it will not end until the Lord comes to call us home.

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My Nominees:

  1. Tangie @ https://www.tangietwoods.blog
  2. Blanca @ https://journeyinfindinggod414907732.wordpress.com/
  3. ChallEngEr @ https://ministryin.wordpress.com/
  4. Nomison @ https://artnomison.wordpress.com/
  5. Sarah @ https://studywys.wordpress.com/about-myself/
  6. Anju @ https://thinkbigcom529246297.wordpress.com/about/
  7. Maurice @ https://soulrenewed.wordpress.com/
  8. parneetsachdev @ https://timelessmind.org/
  9. Maxine @ https://heavensreef.wordpress.com/
  10. Terese @ https://teresebelme.com/
  11. Saania @ https://saania2806.wordpress.com/

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My Questions for My Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite color and why?
  2. Who is your favorite author and why?
  3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  4. What is your favorite quote? Why?
  5. In your education, what has had the most impact on you? Why?
  6. What is your favorite course of study? Why?
  7. Who influenced you to begin your blog? Why?
  8. Do you implement your own writing style on your blog, or do you follow that of someone else? Why?
  9. If you could correct one aspect of the world right now, what would it be and why?
  10. Who do you look up to and why?
  11. What, or who, is your greatest source of strength? Why?

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Again, Thank You, darellphilp, for nominating me for this award! To those whom I nominated, I look forward to reading your responses. Please remember to link back to my site when you complete your post. Thank You!