Wednesday, January 29, 2014

COLD WEATHER

I can remember when I was a little bitty girl on Horseshoe Bend, the winters seemed to be a lot colder than they are now. Wonder if they really were? It may very well have been that old pot bellied stove that always went dead during the coldest parts of those dark winter nights or it could have been the cracks in the old wooden plank floors. Cracks that were big enough to stick our little hands in. Don’t get me wrong, the cool air that drifted up through those old floorboards during the summer times felt real good…but during the cold winter nights…well, that was a whole different story.

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Yep, it was colder back then. I remember standing on our front porch during the wintertime and tippy toeing on the banisters to be able to snap off those long glistening icicles that hung from the roof, so we could suck on them. Did we worry about how clean they were? Heck no! They were our popsicles!

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Seems like we got more snow back then too. My mama would go outside when it snowed, carrying her old white enameled, red rimmed dish pan and begin to scoop clean snow into it. She would bring that snow in the house and mix milk, sugar and vanilla  into it, making us kids some snow ice cream.

These days, kids get ice cream about anytime they want it, but back in those days ( to us anyway) it was a real treat just to be able to have any ice cream and snow ice cream was the best of the best! Mama always made sure that she got the clean snow…not any that was near the ground or nasty looking. I remember her letting me help stir it up with a big spoon.  I couldn’t have been more than 4 years old at the time. Man,  I thought I was doing something..and I guess I  was…

I was making memories.

Those folks up north don’t understand why we Georgians get so excited about snow. It’s simple when you stop and think about it…Northern folks get more snow in one or two winters, than we usually get in our lifetimes!

They just don’t understand though and they have the best time making fun of us for running to the store, getting bread, milk, gassing up the car and anything else we can think of to help us make it through the snow storm.

I got news for those northerners. Not only do we rush to the store, but we rush home, so we can look out the windows and doors. We are anxiously searching for that first snow flake! Then, when we finally do see that little bitty thing, we’ll immediately be calling our family and neighbors to alert them. We’ll be as excited as if we have just seen Santa and all his reindeer and I can guarantee you this, as soon as we get off that phone, the ones we called are running to their doors and windows trying to see their own snowflake!

Now days we have Facebook too and let me tell you, we southern snow hunters were burning Facebook up last night in Georgia! We had snow hunters on every side of our county and state on watch for that first flake!

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Also last night, due to some bad judgment calls by certain officials, there was a gridlock on the interstates. There were school busses loaded with kids, a whole lot of other folks, (both elderly and the young), who were stuck on the interstates all night...in freezing weather. A lot of them gave out of gas. The interstate was so blocked even a lot of the emergency vehicles were not getting by, so they couldn’t get the big trucks in there to clear the way.

Soon there were some true heroes that braved those horrible conditions. When these folks found out that they couldn’t get any vehicles down the interstate to the stranded, they began walking in the snow among those folks in the cars ,offering warm drinks, water, food, etc. to them. 

We southerners may act out on occasion, and we may get overly excited about a few snowflakes, but by gosh most of us have a big heart when it comes to helping someone out in need…and of that I am real proud.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Monday, January 13, 2014

All about Christmas and Lessons Learned

Well Christmas time came and went, and it would be almost two weeks later that I was actually ready for it. I don’t know why, but I didn’t actually get to feeling the Christmas spirit until after the tree is down! Weird huh?

Of course this past Christmas, we had some sick family members. About a month before Christmas, Dan and I both had bronchitis and each of us had to have two sets of antibiotics and steroids before we got rid of it. Then two weeks before Christmas, I got hit with the stomach bug that was going around town. It was awful and the very day I got sick, my mama was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia! Mama was as about as sick as I had ever seen her…literally unconscious at first. I was truly worried she may not recover, but thanks to all the prayers from friends and family, to the good care of Dr. Rhodes, and most importantly, to our Heavenly Father, she finally started coming around about ten days later. This was after Christmas had come and gone…but talk about a wonderful Christmas gift!

Oh, and on the day before Christmas Eve, Dan got the stomach virus that I had! God bless his heart.

The grandchildren loved all the toys that Uncle Dan ( I call him Uncle Santa!) gave them, especially their shiny new bikes! Their first gifts from me were clothes and new coats, hats and gloves..you should have seen those two little boys when they opened them! ha-ha! They were just pulling the clothes out of the wrapped packages, slinging them one way and the other! I don’t blame them , I didn’t want clothes as a child either! They did get two real ( a child’s version) digital cameras from Mawmaw , which were a hit! William and Wyatt had a ball getting pictures of their mama and daddy!  ha-ha Little Kenzie wracked up on clothes too, along with a doll. Uncle Dan gave her a phone almost like her mama’s and she LOVED it!

Dan and I spent New Years Eve down at Kelvins and Amanda’s house, just sitting around watching the celebration on TV and enjoying ourselves. 

It was so good to be with family when the clock struck twelve.

I was looking through the online yard sales one day when I came across a wood burning heater just like the one we had back in the country. Back  when I was a little bitty thing. This is the first time I had ever seen one just like it in all these years since we lived on Horseshoe Bend.

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I got permission from the owner to post the picture in my journal here. Now, I know this old heater may not look like much of anything to others, but to me…well, you would have thought I came across a pile of gold! Lord, it brought back so many memories and let me tell you, I wrote the seller and thanked her for letting me get a glimpse of this small part of my childhood history!

That heater sat in our front bedroom / living room area. It was a living room because that is where everyone gathered to talk during the day. It was a bedroom because it also held two old iron beds for us to sleep in. That old wood heater had a long metal pipe that went into the wall of the fireplace. I was chasing Susan once and she ducked under that pipe, but I ran slap into it and carried a goose egg on my forehead for a good long time because of it.

As I studied the picture of that old heater, I could see my mama taking the fire poker and carefully raking ashes from that little part in the bottom front of it into a metal bucket. I can also see her putting the wood in the door of it. Wood that she would nearly freeze to death chopping into smaller pieces on those cold winter mornings, just so that we could be warm. Even though she had a scarf wrapped tightly around her head and her old black woolen coat that hung way down to her feet on, many a time I can remember her coming in from outside with her eyebrows frozen and her hands red as fire.

You can’t see it, but there is a round disk shaped ‘stove eye’ on top of that stove that you can lift off. Mama use to pop our popcorn on that…a real treat to us little Horseshoe Bend children. I remember her putting the pop corn into little bowls and giving each of us one. We children would all sit on the old wooden floor around the heater eating it, being careful not to lose one popped kernel!

The heater sides would glow a fiery red when it was at it’s hottest, and as a little bitty thing, I thought it was soooooo pretty! I can distinctly remember mama telling me many a time to; stay away from it, not to touch it. Well, I was always hardheaded and one day when I was around 3 or 4 years old or so, curiosity got the best of me and ignoring my mama’s warnings, I stuck my little hand to that pretty red glow.

Let me tell you, I never did it again. 

As in life, I reckon some lessons are remembered best when learned the hard way.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.