by Tamara Hillman
February came quickly for me. After a very busy Christmas Season, and everything to be put away, and the old routine restored, it seems as though it took me all of January.
Though I sometimes miss the early snows of winter back home in Washington State, I don’t envy the horrible blizzards and freezing cold they’re having this year from Kentucky to Maine—could it be GLOBAL WARMING? Tsk-tsk! As you might surmise, I’ve never been a big believer in that premise. The weather is what it is, and it changes accordingly. The “Ice Age” never would have happened if it were true that Global Warming, or any huge weather change was man-made—man wasn’t around back then, nor cars, airplanes, hairspray & deodorants, or anything else that would pollute the atmosphere to the degree it would take to cause such a huge change. Besides, the world is falling apart in front of us, and I believe there are MUCH more important things to be concerned with than weather changes.
Our forefathers must be spinning in their graves. The Constitution is being made a worthless piece of paper by an administration that seems to think they are ABOVE THE LAW OF THE LAND. Ok, so I’m a CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVE, (not of either party represented in DC.) I just want MY AMERICA back—where entrepreneurism thrived, capitalism worked, freedom meant you were truly free, our military was revered (and when called to duty they came home WINNING the wars they fought to give others the same freedom we took for granted here at home), our flag was honored, our presidents, senators, and congressmen believed in SERVING the people—not themselves, we had laws, morals, teachers, churches, and parents who were strict, money was valued and not wasted, aliens from any country could come here seeking all the wonders America offered by following our laws of IMMIGRATION to become a legal citizen, and EVERYONE had a chance to BE SOMEBODY if they had any grit in their craw and half a brain…. All the frustrations I see and feel on a daily basis now are huge because of these losses, while my own grandchildren have been made good little Socialists in the public school system—THERE, I’VE SAID IT, and I’m not sorry!
But I digress….
Back to the troubles I remember of snows piling high, blizzards blowing across barren land filling in all the low places with drifts making everything look level while cattle and other animals (wild and tame) fell into them, and floundered—such fun being a rancher or even small farmer when you had animals to care for no matter the storms brewin’ outside your window as you huddle ‘round a warm, cozy woodstove. Sometimes, even a trip to get firewood could be hazardous to your health. Just the task of bundling up took fifteen minutes before you set foot outside, and woe to those who had to milk twice a day by hand in a freezing-cold barn with wind blowin’ through the cracks.
I often think, “Those were the days,” but were they? It wasn’t all fun and games—most of the time it was just hard work from dawn to dusk trying to survive.
I remember, as a kid, the new had worn off any meager toys and gifts we may have gotten for Christmas by February, and my two brothers and I were mostly house-bound, and bored to death. We’d played so many games of Rummy the cards were wearin’ thin, and put together every picture-puzzle we could find. After school and weekends, shut inside because of the cold, usually meant lots of time to pick fights with each other, and keep the house and Mom in a constant uproar. After I had kids growing up during long, snowy winters, I could relate to her frustration, but kids will be kids, and fighting seemed to afford us time to let off steam, and do something energetic in an otherwise boring existence ‘til spring finally broke through about mid April.
Come spring, especially when my brothers learned to spit, (every five minutes) it really annoyed me to the core. In the first place, I never could do it right, nor could I make the guttural sound they made since wee babies to imitate noise for their toy cars. I never could whistle through my fingers either, and it drove me to distraction, (being quite the ‘Tomboy’) not being able to do everything the boys could do though I was eldest. And we won’t even discuss how they could pee standing up without having to get undressed to do so…Should I have been a boy? I think maybe—I would have been happier. I still think like a man, vote like a man, and compete like a man. I think that’s why 98% of the cowboy poetry I write is from a man’s point of view.
My poor mother must have been very disappointed in raising me since she was “ALWAYS A LADY.” She never had a hair outta place, her makeup was done to perfection, and she donned clean (if not well-worn) clothes every single day. She got up well before dad just to make sure she at least had lipstick on, and her hair combed neatly to make him breakfast before he left for work. Maybe that’s why marriages lasted in those days—my folks made 67 years together. Oh my, I can’t imagine being with a man that long, though I’ve been with ol’ Stevie-boy 40 years now. Not without our ups & downs, you understand, but even though my folks fought in front of us, it seemed always to be without venom or bitterness.
Ok, I’ve told you young sweethearts the truth about “Married Valentines”, so if you’re still single, you may feel all gushy and limp when your dearly devoted enters a room, so milk this “LOVE” holiday as long as you can. Buy (or accept) the candy and flowers, engagement rings and all to have a memorable day, but remember what Mama used to say, “Love is blind, but Marriage is an eye-opener!”
Soft are the snowflakes that fall from above
reminding me of my first true love…
So pure, so clean, so refreshing,
the first snow always was.
So were the glimmers of first love—
those moments that gave me pause.
Beautiful snow engulfed me
as virginal white flakes fell.
But, oh, when first love’s embrace grew cold,
‘twas quite like the depths of hell.
Too soon crystal white can be damaged
melting into a black mire.
Too soon young love can desert you
taking with it hope and desire.