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February hearts calendar2008

by Tamara Hillman

I must admit, I had to drag myself to the computer to get the business of writing my column done this month—You see, when all you folks who live in the cold northern states are huddled around the fire, we in the southwest, are enjoying the outdoors. It took me a while to figure out why I didn’t want to lay about with a good book or write all day long when we moved to the sunshine state, it being the winter months. Then, it dawned on me, this is our time to go out and enjoy the cooler than normal weather in the southwest, and in summer months when it’s 110 in the shade, stay indoors and do something lethargic to avoid the heat. It’s in reverse down here, and it took me three months to finally get it!

Having my husband around in semi-retirement has also been a real eye-opener. Either he’s underfoot all day, or wanting me to go do something on HIS agenda and schedule. His projects somehow always need extra hands to help or cleanup after, also. Hmmm, I’d been warned about this but one has to experience it firsthand before one really gets it! Guess the old adage, ‘you’re never too old to learn’ is sure true.

My decorating the house is coming together, slow but sure—those rooms that are finished, that is. I hit the White Sales in January and found just what I wanted in bed sheets, quilts, and towels—Whenever I come in with bundles of shopping bags, Steve always says, (tongue-in-cheek) “So, how much money did you save me today?”

I’m not all about sunshine and bliss tho’. In the months of January and February, I do let my mind go drifting back to deep snow, and the freedom without fear we kids knew from the mid forties, fifties, and early sixties when I was growing up.

What great fun we had sleigh riding off Cemetery Hill!

sledding on Cemetery Hill

I feel the chill of it on my cheeks, and the heat on my backside as I stood close to the old tire we set afire to keep warm.

I see in my mind's eye crystals frozen to tree limbs, and smell the freshness of the clean, white snow.

I hear cars going by on the lower road, and the echo of voices rising up from the valley floor—some were moms calling their children home to warm up with hot chocolate before returning to the hill.

Oh, the feelings of serenity and innocence I glean from those pure memories of a carefree childhood.

One such event was: My best girlfriend, down the road, and her older brother once drug the hood off an old Hudson car, (with their dad’s permission) up the hill, and my brothers and I were invited to ride along down the slope in the monstrous thing. Whatta ride! There was no way to control it, and it spun like a top all the way down, flying along the crusty snow like sixty, then over the irrigation ditch, and right out into the middle of the highway beyond—thank God, traffic was very light in those days or we could all have been killed. The danger of a car hitting us didn’t stop us from doing it again and again with the same laughing results. Ours Moms would have throttled us for the wonderful fun we had that afternoon, but we were smart enough not to tell ‘em. It makes for great memories today!

Anyway, LIFE IS GOOD thanks to the blessings of our dear Lord…I have no complaints…

Ya’ll have a great February, and “Happy Valentine’s Day” to you lovers!!!

Happy Valentines Day From Granny Tam

Granny Tam

 

Since winter isn’t quite over, here’s a couple poems that’ll chill ya to the bone…

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Ranchin’ ain’t easy
an’ it don’t get no better
when chores are plum’ awful
on account a the weather.

Storm clouds start gatherin’
above the horizon.
I dig out long-handles—
I hate ‘em like pi’son.

A cold wind starts blowin’—
chills a man to the bone,
the future is troublin’
out here on my own.

The house starts to creak
but stands up to the storm—
one more log on the fire
keeps it cozy an’ warm.

I pull on my old coat
‘n boots—pretty worn,
turn up my collar,
an’ head for the barn.

Snows blowin’ sideways
an’ stingin’ my face.
I think I’m half crazy
to stay on this place.

Wind keeps a howlin’,
snows pile up an’ drift—
if I don’t find them cattle’,
they may fall off some cliff.

With my trusty ol’ horse,
we herd some to corral—
we’ve been long together
so he’s more like a pal.

This task is repeated
in hastened routine
while the storm grows
more fierce—angry, an’ mean.

I take to my bed
in wee hours of morn,
tired an’ half froze,
wish I’d never been born.

The fire’s dyin’ down—
burrow deep ‘neath my quilt,
complain to my maker,
an’ feel plum’ fulla guilt.

‘Cause I know He saved me
from that terrible storm
as my limbs start to thaw
an’ body gets warm.

Last thing on my mind
as I drift off to sleep
is; “Lord, I’m sure grateful
this cowboy you keep.”

©2004

 

 

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