NEWS FROM THE HILLS

Dear Cousin,

 

One of the most awe-inspiring events of summer is a thunderstorm that comes at dusk. The sky turns to a steely gray, and away in the distance is heard the faint growl of thunder. Wind begins to blow away the heat of the day, and the trees begin a joyous dance. Leaves flutter in excited anticipation as the storm moves nearer. There is a lull in the wind and the first spatter of raindrops fall on the ground.

From the shelter of the front porch, we watch the summer thunderstorm rule the evening. Jagged streaks of lightning slash through the darkening clouds, and the jarring boom of thunder shakes the ground. The rain comes down in earnest now, with water pouring off the roofs, down the gutters, and running down the blacktop driveway in rivulets. Rushing and gushing, gurgling and blowing, the rain comes down in torrents, interspersed with sharp cracks of thunder and vivid bolts of lightning. The power and majesty of God is seen plainly in a summer thunderstorm. I can hear His voice in the thunder, and His might in the flashes of lightning and my heart thrills.

In Job 37:2-5 says, “Hear attentively the noise of His voice, and the sound that goeth out of His mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and His lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: He thundereth with the voice of His Excellency; and He will not stay them when His voice is heard. God thundereth marvelously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend.” The storm moves away now, the rain dwindles to a slow drizzle, and thunder fades away into the distance. The garden drinks greedily of the life-giving moisture, the leaves of the trees are washed and refreshed, while the sluggish creek is rippling along once more.

The garden crops are beginning to mature fast now, and it is a rush to harvest and can the surplus. Our cucumber patch is producing prolifically, although they are not as hard to get rid of as the eternal squash. In fact, the squash has not done well at all this year. At least we don’t have to leave it on the neighbor’s porches at night, and then run for our lives. This is the first year in a long time that our half-runner beans have flourished. Our first picking yielded a total of 56 quarts (all canned in one day). Of course it pays to have a multitude of little granddaughters with nimble fingers. Not only are they fun to have around, but they can turn off a lot of work. As they gathered in a circle with their pans of green beans, Mom remarked that in the olden days they used to have “bean-stringings.” Well, I think we were having one of our own.

These little ones are unconsciously funny. When four-year-old Brionna was visiting her Aunt Patty a couple of weeks ago, she got up one morning and crawled up on Patty’s lap. “What do you want for breakfast, Bree?” Patty asked her. Sleepily, she answered, “Eggs.” “How do you like your eggs?” Patty continued. With enthusiasm Brionna told her, “Oh, I like’em a lot!” It sounded so much like Brionna’s mother, Crystal, when she was about the same age. The same Patty was altering some dresses for Crystal, and in pinning up a hem, she asked her, “How long do you wear your dresses, Crystal?” Crystal answered in resignation, “Oh, a lo-o-ong time!” (She did too.)

Morgan and Molly are sisters, just one year apart. At four, Morgan is pretty bossy with Molly, and sometimes screams at her when she is displeased. Their grandmother Sarah was keeping them, and she heard Morgan railing loudly at Molly. “All right young lady, that is enough,” Sarah ordered. “You stop that right now — just chill out!” Morgan disappeared, and Sarah found her in the bedroom with the door closed. As soon as she saw her grandmother, she said with great dignity, “Now Nana, just get out and shut the door — I’m chilling up!”

Molly is a candy addict. The other night after church, she wandered in Mom’s bedroom and came out eating a stick of candy. I told her, “Don’t you think you ought to give Mom-Granny a piece of that? After all, it is her candy.” She looked at Mom and grinned, then said, “Naw — she might get her dress dirty!” There is never a dull moment around here when the little girls get together. Surprisingly enough, they play together peacefully with only a few squabbles now and then. Becca (Rebekah) is only two and a half, but she can hold her own with any of them. She has been talking since she was a year old, but has a lisp. She wanted to take her Aunt Jennifer some “Q-numbers” (cucumbers).

Thank God for all our little girls — and boys, too.

 

Love,

Cousin Alyce Faye

The Waynedale News Staff
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Alyce Faye Bragg

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