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COUNTRY RAMBLIN'S

by Tamara Hillman

January Snowy number 2Snowy number 0Snowy number 0Snowy number eight

 

Ahhhhh, Christmas is over and the hustle-bustle of the holiday has ended for most—unless you have left over company along with that ham or turkey!

I feel very blessed to live in this great country where we have the freedom to celebrate Christ’s birth in whatever way we choose, religious or otherwise. I especially am thankful for the boys and girls serving in our military in foreign lands at Christmastime and throughout the year, keeping the freedoms and blessings God has so long bestowed on us Americans. Let’s never forget the sacrifice they make being away from home and loved ones at this special time of year.

I, for one, look forward to January as much as I do the fun celebrations with family and friends at Christmas because it’s a quiet time to hunker down and reflect on the past year, and hopefully on the New Year we’re facing. I may be living in a warmer climate now but I reminisce daily about winters where snow was deep and had its’ own kind of beauty and peacefulness. Those wonderful childhood days of sledding, ice skating, skiing on top of crusty snow, jumping from the upper loft into the soft hay below in our barn where mice and hoot owls lived in comfort, and many more memories come rushing back now—in the “dead of winter” as we called it then.

The pace naturally slows down during these winter months. Farmers and ranchers are at rest, hopefully until spring crops and calving season begins. Crisp sunny days weave their magic across the land, as catch-up work mending harness and oiling the old hay baler can be tasks to be done inside a warm barn with the animals safely in their stalls sheltered from cold and winter storms.

Is there anything more pleasant than sitting in front of a crackling fire with a comforter draped over your lap and a book you’ve been trying to find time to read since last spring? Not to me…And with Christmas food leftovers each day to nibble on until, alas, we have to start meal-planning again. Yes, this is the life….lounging about, and feeling like a lazy cat.

Now is the time to drag out that quilting or picture puzzles, or maybe call an old friend just to talk awhile, or to jot down your life history and childhood memories for your grandkids to read someday. Slow down and watch the snowfall make everything appear clean and white outside. You can’t control the weather so stop complaining. Get outdoors and play with the kids. Go ice-skating, or tobogganing if it’s snowy and cold where you live, and if you’re in the southern warm temperatures, go horseback riding or to the Go-Cart tracks. Young and old can have a blast together. Who says your sense of fun vanishes after you become adults? Only bodies age, surely not minds in seeking fun and new adventures. These activities can be real memory makers for kids, and wear off some of those excess pounds we all pack on at the holidays.

Maybe you can do some indoor chores you’ve been putting off, such as cleaning out closets or going through an old trunk or chest of drawers to sort and remember with great fondness the things you might find there.

Embrace life while you have this quiet seasonal time before you start the New Year…I wish each and every one of you all the Lord’s blessings in 08!

 

Granny Tam

Many a poem I’ve written about winter, and also about this lovely time of year when life slows to a point in which you can catch your breath and not have too many duties to fulfill in one twenty-four hour period…Here are a couple of my favorites…

 

snow flakesA SNOWY DAYsnow flakes

snow flakesWindowpanes are glistening—

ice crystals circling ‘round,

reflecting peaceful images

of home secure and sound.

 

snow flakesWarm and cozy by the fire,

my eyes behold a scene

of snowflakes light and fleecy,

floating softly—most serene.

 

snow flakesThe wind stirs up such bluster,

the snow swirls in great drifts.

I feel the warmth here by the hearth,

my soul takes flight and lifts—

 

snow flakesFor outside powdery snowflakes

blanket o’re the bare,

transforming distant mountains

encircling village square.

 

snow flakesFascinating, tiny flakes—

each shape unique and white,

illuminating sunbeams

with glorious hues of light.

 

snow flakesI’ll burrow ‘neath my quilts tonight,

embracing winter’s sleep,

and by morn’ I shall awaken

to snows piled high and deep.

 

 ©2004

 

THE OLD WHITE CHEST

 

In the bottom drawer

of the old white chest,

she keeps memories

she loves best.

 

Some preserved

from days of youth—

pictures, emblems,

flags of truth.

 

Cards and notes

discolored—saved,

a broken romance,

trials once braved.

 

It holds sad memories,

a child now lost—

through personal items,

she counts the cost.

 

Her life, not measured

in this small space,

or genealogies

one might trace,

 

Or in those things,

there tucked away

where she finds solace

on a quiet day.

 

But thru’ the years

she has been blessed,

viewing treasures

in the old white chest.

 

Tamara Hillman

©2006

 

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