Country Whispers

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March 2014

Ok, I hear yah! This has been a long, hard winter for my friends & family up North…and it continues—could it be ‘Global Warming’? I hope this proves once and for all, that’s a FARCE. Climate changes like your underwear, and if it were MAN-MADE, this earth would have ceased to exist in the late 1700’s when factories billowed pure soot and smoke into the atmosphere twenty-four-seven, year after year for over a century, and people heated their homes with a wood fireplace in every room. No one wants to use ‘Common Sense’ anymore, and that truly galls me…

Along with the prolonged winter, I just HAD TO get one of the miserable colds my senior villagers were passing around fast & furiously in February. After I tell you of the ‘Wonders of Spring’ eventually to come, (maybe in April) I know a soft couch is waiting to rest my weary, cold-ridden bones.

I remember for farmers, ranchers, and country folk altogether, it was a long wait, and freezing cold to be out in the weather everyday keeping stock fed and sheltered in a severe winter like this one. And I also know, having a really harsh winter that never seems to end can give one the blues.

I can only go on the hope that there ARE four seasons, and spring will be here soon. The days are already stretching out a bit to give a little more sunshine, so have faith, ‘This too shall pass!’

When we were kids, spring was much welcomed. Too much indoor activity can give one ‘Cabin Fever’. The fighting and boredom with my siblings would be at its peak by March, and Mom would be dreaming of turning us out, and planting her half-acre garden. (That woman put in a beauty, and thank God for it because it kept us in fresh vegetables all summer, and canned veggies all through the next winter.)

No such thing as ‘lazy’ on a farm or ranch in my day. Everyone pulled their own weight, and dealt with the necessities of life on a daily basis. Survival and foraging for next year’s food-stuffs was actually something we did fret about. Lest we forget that goal, Dad was there to remind us with a boot in the butt, and hoe in our hands real quick. But I wouldn’t trade that upbringing for anything because after the mud dried up, and pollywog ponds were gettin’ scarce, we knew we had a whole summer to enjoy new adventures and explorations away from house, and classroom.

Once the snow had melted, and buttercups and blue-bells were bloomin’ in the field, we lived on tomato & mayo (Tang) sandwiches, peanut butter too if the jar had any in it. Everything smelled fresh and clean, even the mud. Great yellow sunflowers covered the lower hills surrounding our valley, but they stunk to high heaven. After a few bouquets of those picked for Mom with our own grubby little hands, we figured that out. She’d have to set them out on the porch in a fruit jar full of water to be able to stand them.

Dad would be back to logging by the end of March, usually, so that gave us a bit more freedom to put off chores ‘til just before we figured he’d come roarin’ in our driveway. In those days, everything stopped when the man of the house came home, and we were under his command until further notice. I must admit, calling him Sarge, or Warden under our breath was a close rendition of the truth. Moms and grandparents were pretty much assigned the task of showing great love and affection to kids back then. I’m so glad its not like that a lot anymore for most kids.

Well, the couch is calling, and I’m weakening by the minute, so will leave you with a short poem I just dashed off…..




I’ve looked, and I’ve looked,
but I can’t find spring.
No flowers, no mud,
just snow the clouds bring.

Winds are still fierce—
for sure, not a Chinook
no melting of ice packs
wherever I look.

Frost on the windows,
wood on the fire—
just one glimpse of sunshine
is all I desire.

Please hurry, God,
bring the warm rain
so I can feel cozy
and warm once again.

Under an afghan
I’ll watch the snow melt,
while on the rooftop,
I’ll hear the rain pelt.

I’ll feel renewed,
happy at last
as I peek from my window,
and see the green grass.

Tamara Hillman

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