Is there any hope yet of spring this April? We can only pray you folks up North, and in the high country have a reprieve this month. It’s been a long, hard winter except in the South where its been unusually warm…Weird, huh? Everything is bloomin’ a month early down here, (including hay fever) but I fear the summer may be more intense than ever if temps continue to climb, and stay ten degrees above normal as it has been.
I have a heavy heart this week as a dear friend and neighbor has given up her home to move into assisted living. Hard to watch folks get too old to manage on their own. My brother says the only names he recognizes in the hometown paper are the old timers we grew up knowing as parents of our friends, and pals of our folks. So many new comers have moved into the valley where I was raised, it seems to be full of strangers now rather than the lively little ranching/logging town it was back in my day. The mill burned down some years ago, and when they opened the North Cross State Highway over the mountains to the Westside, the liberals from Seattle moved into our town, and immediately ended logging because of that ‘Hoot Owl Habitat’ nonsense, and stopped the irrigation ditch farmer’s and rancher’s needed to water livestock and grow their own hay for winter feed, all because there just might be a lost salmon found swimming up it. They took over the schools, newspaper, and most other businesses in town, and now the town struggles financially, and can’t keep young people from going elsewhere to survive when grown. Who says “Growth is good?” It wasn’t for our little cowboy town.
My feelings on the matter below:
I’ve been chasin’ my tail trying to entertain company, and take some side trips recently. My cousin and her hubby were here a few days, and we crammed as much fun and pinochle games into the visit as humanly possible. Next my son and his wife are coming in early May to dry their bones awhile in the Arizona sun after a cold, rainy winter in Tacoma, Washington. I sure don’t miss the rain up there…
When I was in my youth, ‘bout this time every spring, we kids were sheddin’ coats, gloves, boots and hats to run in the mud and cool breezes of spring. We’d sweat even on a day reaching only into the fifties after a freeze-your-butt winter. We still would get a freak snow storm dropping a skiff of snow now and then into mid-April, but it was melted by noon, sunny and warm.
On Easter, we still had a few snow banks left to leap, but we could ignore them and hide eggs all over in newly budding tree and under bushes. The lawn would still be brown from winter-kill, but we knew we were FREE of the house by April, and spring was on its way, followed soon by summer to run the fields, and swim in the ditch—Kids, if you let ‘em, feel the seasons change like wild critters. We knew when to hunker down and avoid the cold, and when to burst forth like spring blooms as it started turning warm again. We listened and watched the Robins come back, and saw the greenery on every bush and tree, watched the river rise with the winter run-off from the high country. Sun flowers would cover the lower hills around our valley while we watched snow recede from the higher mountains beyond. Days grew longer, and we actually caught the bus in daylight and returned home before dark. Everything seemed alive and new. Adventures were planned for the coming summer, and our bikes were greased and tires blown up. We were on-the-run again, and anxious to drift from neighbor to neighbor playing with the kids and catching up with old folks who were quick to give us treats. Honey bees were buzzin’, and Mr. LaRue, (a dear old Christian fellow down the way) was setting his bee-boxes out among the apple trees. It was a ‘summer yummy’ to look forward to when we’d gather ‘round for fresh honey right off those dividers in the boxes. He seemed to love kids though he’d never married. He told us some wonderful old stories about ranchin’ and bear-trappin’ when we’d stop by for a rest at his place as we made the rounds to all the neighbors when spring finally arrived.
My brothers would build go-carts from wood scraps found down on the old lumber pile by our well, and baby buggy wheels at the city dump a mile or two up the road. We’d wash and shine our bikes, (sometimes add a coat of paint left over in the garage from a project last summer.) The garden would be plowed up making ready for plantin’, and winter-kill weeds and such raked up around the yard and barn. There would be a big bon fire started to dispose of all the tumble-weeds, and dead brush after winter was over and a nice wet spring begun.
Yes, my memories of each and every season take me home to the Methow Valley, and a little cowboy town called Twisp, (Indian name for wasp).
Have a great Spring & Happy Easter! Keep family and friends close while making those wonderful memories you’ll carry forth…An Easter poem below:
He could have called in Legions
of Angels to His side
to take Him from that cruel cross—
with His Father then abide.
But that was not His mission,
He knew what He must do
to die for all the sins of man—
save the souls of me and you.
He was more than just a carpenter,
Mary and Joseph’s son
who came to live as common man
until His work was done.
His miracles were many,
but still some would deny
the prophesied Messiah—
they called for Him to die.
Disciples would betray Him—
He knew that Judas lied,
and in His wisdom, He foretold
how He would be denied.
And in the Garden, as He prayed,
some would seek His doom
calling on the soldiers
to detain in dungeon’s gloom.
He chose to take the punishment,
the nails in hands and feet.
He chose to suffer tortures,
His Father told Him He must meet.
He hung with lowly thieves of men,
degraded and defamed
tho’ the title, “King of Kings”
was His true and holy name.
He rose from cold and darkened tomb,
and ascended into Heaven—
from that day, we know He lives,
and our sins are all forgiven.
So, don’t tell me He was just a man,
a prophet of those days
who walked the earth in pauper’s clothes—
from Jewish Law He strayed.
I know He lives—works miracles,
the Holy Spirit’s in my heart.
I know each day, He walks with me,
and He’ll not soon depart.
I know there is a promised land
without pain, sin, or pride,
and there I’ll walk with Jesus—
eternally by His side.
Now, we celebrate this Easter,
this wondrous spring season,
for we know His resurrection
truly is the reason.