NEWS FROM THE HILLS

THE SNOW STORM
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The steed and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of the storm.
Come, see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly
On coop and kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall
Maugre the farmer sighs, and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

 

The snow began in the evening, just a thin sprinkling of small flakes. By dusk it was coming down in earnest, fine flakes that settled on the ground and soon covered it.

Morning has revealed a fairyland of white. The snow is about five inches deep, and jagged icicles hang down from the eaves of the house. The bare limbs of the trees are outlined in white, and the hemlocks are encrusted with a thick coating of ice and snow.

The creek is frozen over; the gurgling sound of running water is stilled. The sun is flirting with the snowflakes—it peeps out intermittently and sparkles on the snow, then hides behind dark clouds. More snow flurries spin madly around, to settle on hill and meadow.

The expanse of snow across the lawn is virtually unmarked; except for footprints of Sharlie, the German shepherd, it is smooth and white. There are no snow angel images or sled tracks, as it is too cold for the children to play outside. Happy in their day off from school, they are content to read or play their games.

The adults are also satisfied to stay indoors. Snug in our warm houses, we are blessed beyond measure. The enticing aroma of Cousin Bobby’s lentil soup floats in from the kitchen, hot and spicy. I am reminded of the scripture in 1Timothy 6:8 which says, “And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.” I am content.

God has a plan for winter. The little woodland animals are safe and secure down in their burrows, while the brush piles covered with deep snow are insulation for their dens. Deep in the bosom of the earth, under the snow and ice, tiny rootlets are beginning to stretch and stir as they await the warming of the ground.

We can be encouraged. February is a short month, and with the coming of March, we can expect thawing earth and drying winds, spring peepers and budding leaves. Winter is really not that long.

Valentine’s Day approached, and expressions of love was flying fast and furious. I reckon I am the outgoing type; I have no problem expressing love to my family and friends. I’ve heard too many accounts of folks who were never able to say “I love you” to even close members of their family, and were devastated when it was too late.

We were brought up to express our love to our mother and father, siblings, and kinfolk. The very last words that Daddy spoke to me were, “I love you too, Alyce Faye.”

I have been thinking of how to prove our love to others. It is easy to say the words, but where is the proof? Perhaps it can be summed up by the words in 1Cor. 13:4-8, “Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. (Charity) doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; “Charity never faileth.”

My own personal definition of love is “putting another’s needs before your own.” The word “love” has been cheapened by Hollywood’s portrayal of this emotion, and by the blatant use of it on TV programs. It is still the deepest feeling that mankind can have—and the most necessary.

God’s love for us cannot be measured, and we have no words to describe it. One song describes it as “a love without a limit”—and we are so unworthy.

I thank the Lord for all my readers, and wish each one of them a “Happy Valentine’s Day”—and lots of love!

We’ve had some more responses to recent requests, and we are grateful to those who take the time to write. Marilene Bibb of Ansted writes of some of her early experiences with home remedies (castor oil, for one!)

She describes a remedy that her mother would make up when they had a bad cold and/or chest congestion and a sore throat. She whipped up a meringue-like mixture of honey, lemon juice and egg whites. She can’t recall if any medicinal ingredients were used, but she remembers that the mixture was smooth and frothy.

It felt so good on a sore throat, a feverish mouth, and the mix of honey and lemon cut the phlegm from the throat, easing the cough. As for boils, her mother used a poultice of “Curet”—that black salve that was good for drawing infection from a wound. I remember that old black salve, but not the name.

Elmer Bullard of Kenna called to tell us the name of the deli mentioned by Karen Jones-Mynes. He said it was called “Ray’s Deli” and was there back in the 50s.

Regina Thornton verifies the name, and adds that the sandwiches were delicious, and the owners were so kind and friendly. We still don’t have the recipe for the “Almost Heaven” sandwich. Does anyone have it?

The Waynedale News Staff

Alyce Faye Bragg

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