NEWS FROM THE HILLS

A half-hearted snow fell during the night, and morning reveals a skift on the ground with a few scattered snowflakes still falling. The sun peeps out occasionally, but the air is bitter cold.

Dry tufts of grass poke up through the thin white covering on the ground, and the trees are stark and black against the gathering whiteness. Their limbs sway against a gray sky as the wind blows their branches back and forth.

Already the month of February is gone; the days used up and discarded. Time flies by on silent wings, dropping the days softly as a feather drifts downward. Trying to hold them is like catching a snowflake in your hand. It disappears before your eyes, as does the days.

Looking through Grandpa O’Dell’s old pictures has put me in a pensive state of mind. There are pictures of little babies, dressed in frilly dresses—boys and girls alike—with fat cheeks and cherubic smiles. They have already lived their lifetime and are gone.

Flapper girls with bobbed hair, short dresses and impish smiles—so alive in the pictures—also are gone. Great-grandpa Huey O’Dell is distinguished and handsome with his white mustache and stern countenance, looking as if he is ready to start preaching at any minute. His wife, Mary Bailey O’Dell, with her long black dress and shawl is holding the hands of two little ones, while another tot hangs on to her dress.

I remember looking through these pictures when I was a youngster, and laughing at the straight-laced matrons wearing hats that looked like huge chocolate cakes. With their nipped in waistlines and button shoes, they were in the height of fashion.

There was a snapshot of Mom and Daddy when they were first married, looking so heart-breakingly young. Mom is slender and beautiful with a happy smile on her face, and Daddy looks solemn and thoughtful. Looking at this long-ago picture, it is hard to comprehend that so many years have passed.

I remember my oldest grandson, Jeremy, reciting the Robert Frost poem that ends, “The woods are lovely, soft and deep, and I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” I looked at his little face, still softened by babyhood, and wondered at the miles facing him. It seemed such a long journey then, viewed from a seven year old perspective. I wanted to tell him how short it really is. Now that he is almost 30, I am sure he is beginning to realize it.

It seems such a brief time since I leaned against Mom’s knee and begged her to tell some more stories of “the good old days” when she was a little girl down on Big Laurel Creek. She would oblige, and I realize now that her childhood days seemed only yesterday to her, but so long, long ago to us even then.

Daddy has been gone for over 26 years, and Mom is settled in a personal care home. Her memories of Daddy and her childhood have been obliterated, but when she speaks of wanting to go home, she is referring to the old log house down on Big Laurel Creek.

Now it is my great-grandchildren who lean on my knee and ask for stories of “when you were a little girl.” I am sure that it seems so long ago to them, but to me it seems like yesterday.

No wonder that the Bible tells us that “we spend our years as a tale that is told.” We may have miles to go before we sleep, but how quickly the miles speed by! In Psalms we are told, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

How we need to number our days, to count them out carefully, one by one, that we may live each one of them to the best of our ability. They are too precious to squander.

We received some information about the ingredient “Ten-B-Low” from Carol Kerns of Bethany Beach, Delaware, Karen Joseph of Whitesville, and an anonymous reader who all agreed that it was a heavy, concentrated ice cream mix that was popular in 1949. Sounds good!

The words to the song, “How About You” requested by Darrell Stockwell were sent in by Wanda McClung, Willo Runion of Hometown, Janis Smith of Clendenin, and Merilyn Fisher of Clendenin. Many thanks. 

 

HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

How well do I remember how Jesus brought me through
I walked the floor and prayed a night or two.
I said, “Lord, take and use me, that’s all that I can do,”
Then I gave my heart to Jesus, how about you?

 

Chorus: How about you (oh, how about you) Oh, how about you (yes, how about you)
I hope my Savior is your Savior too (your Savior too)
I said, “Lord take and use me, that’s all that I can do”
And I gave my heart to Jesus, how about you?

 

When shadows overtake me, and troubles start to brew,
And when I’ve done the best that I can do,
My best friends talk about me, sometimes my kinfolk too
But I take it all to Jesus, how about you?

 

2nd Chorus:
How about you (oh how about you) oh, how about you (yes, how about you)
I hope my Savior is your Savior too (your Savior too)
My best friends talk about me, sometimes my kin folks too
But I take it all to Jesus, how about you?

The Waynedale News Staff
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Alyce Faye Bragg

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