NEWS FROM THE HILLS

OVERHEARD IN AN ORCHARD
by Elizabeth Cheney

 

Said the Robin to the Sparrow;
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”

 

Said the Sparrow to the Robin;
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”

 

This little poem was sent to me by my friend Donna Kyle, who adds, “May each one of us slow down and remember that we do have a Heavenly Father who watches over and cares for us.”

It seems that too many times we forget that we don’t have to carry our burdens alone, or try to work out our problems that crop up from time to time. My grandson-in-law Doug reminded me this week of what “casting your burdens upon the Lord” really means. He said, “When you cast, or throw something, you turn loose of it.”

Too many times we lay down our burdens at an altar of prayer, only to pick them up and shoulder them again. This is a lesson that I have to learn over and over. I don’t know why we seem to think that we can work out our problems better than God can.

After several serene, sunny days, the air is cooler and a misty rain is falling. It is still a day which the Lord hath made, and we can rejoice and be glad in it.

The vase of yellow daffodils on the table has been replaced by the golden branches of forsythia. Daddy always called this shrub “showers of gold,” and it is easy to see why. They are blooming in their fullness now, great masses of flowing branches dripping with golden blossoms.

The redbuds are showing their pink blossoms all along the roadsides. This is also called “Judas-tree.” According to a myth, Judas Iscariot hanged himself on the related Judas-tree of western Asia and southern Europe, after which the white flowers turned red with blood or shame.

The flowers can be used in a salad, or dipped in batter and fried. I have used the tender beanlike pods in stir fries with soy sauce and garlic. They are good. They must be picked while they are young and tender, or they will be unpalatable.

The spring rain and sunshine are calling forth new leaves on the trees, woodland plants and flowers, and apple and pear blossoms. The tiny pink flowers of the spring beauty appear now beside the blue violets, and new growth abounds. The songbirds trill their springtime song through the light showers, and all the earth looks fresh and revived. How could we not rejoice in these days which God has made?

Grandson-in-law Doug has been learning a lot about farm living this spring, from feeding cattle to helping to “pull a calf.” He has been exposed to many old farming expressions which we use, yet are strange and new to him.

The boys had to “pull a calf” yesterday evening. The heifer was too fat, and the calf was huge. Andy spearheaded the operation, assisted by Criss, Doug, Aaron and Jennifer. I guess it would be called a forceps delivery of a baby, as the front feet were attached to a rope and with the use of a lot of baby oil, the calf was gently pulled out.

He was a solid black bull, with a short nose and a bewildered air. It was a happy moment when we saw him struggle to get on his feet. He is fine today, and so is the mother. When we went up to the barn to check on him, the other cows were crowded in the stall with him. I told one of the girls it was just the way we received a new baby in the family. As soon as it comes home from the hospital, we all gather to welcome it.

Another old expression we use is “running the fence line.” Doug asked what Poppaw was doing, and I told him he was running the fence line. He looked puzzled, and I explained to him that it meant going around the pasture fence and making repairs that winter weather always brings

Spring always brings a slew of warm weather chores (by the way, how long has it been since you heard that word? –we still use it.) Criss proudly made a large lettuce bed, sowed the seed, and covered it with panes of glass. It was just starting to come up good, and he removed the glass to water it.

My cat Chester, who loves the great outdoors, took one look at it and decided it was the biggest litter box he ever saw. Needless to say, he is in the dog (cat?) house. Criss says, “It’s not funny!”

I had a new word thrown at me this week. My daughter-in-law Sarah asked me if I had ever heard of the word “firninth.” I hadn’t, but Criss said his mother used the word “firnint” all her life. He said it meant “close to” or “nearby,” such as “The creek was firnint the meadow.”

The Waynedale News Staff

Alyce Faye Bragg

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