NEWS FROM THE HILLS

May in the hills!—what a pleasure! It is only equaled by October, when the warm season says “good-bye” instead of “hello.”

It is a pleasure to get up early and watch dawn break over the hilltops, with pink streaks heralding the day. Songbirds are singing in a full orchestra of sound, trills and warbles all mingling together in one glorious medley.

It is time to take a cup of tea out on the porch and relax in the swing, while mediating up on the goodness of God. No wonder the songwriter wrote, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.” It is such a sacred, quiet time before the rush of the day begins. We need it every day.

A reader from Charleston laments that the Kanawha Valley looked like Death Valley after winter came back. Cheer up, dear reader, spring is here in its fullness and our hearts are glad. I like the little verse that Imogene Burdette of Culloden sent, “Silently, across the dark, and through the whispering rain, with a yellow crocus for her lamp, Spring came.”

Criss took a tramp through the woods hunting morels, and I went along to pick some greens. I took a cravin’ for a mess of old fashioned, mixed greens like Mom used to fix. The woods were alive with new growth, and I found cleavers, wood lettuce, violets, tanglefoot or spring beauty, wild potato and ground hog greens.

We looked in vain for poke greens, came back to Kevin’s house, and found them in the edge of his yard, on the bank. Wild flowers abound in the woods; yellow violets, long-spurred purple ones, wee sweet-scented white woods violets, some purple ones so pale they were almost pink.

New ferns with curled tops, yellow cinquefoil flowers trailing through the grass, pale anemones or windflowers trembling in the breeze, and pure white bloodroot blossoms were scattered about. Common blue violets and dandelions were thick.

To my delight I discovered a patch of yellow root (goldenseal) which I needed badly. There is nothing any better for a sore mouth or throat than a tea made from this. I had been nursing a sore place in my mouth for a couple of weeks, and brought it home and started using it immediately.

When I told my dentist, R. B. that I had been using this bitter herb, he had a story to tell, as usual. He said his father told him that his mother would use it for her children’s sore throats, but she swabbed down in their throats with a chicken feather. His father said if the feather didn’t make you gag, the thoughts of where it came from did.

We have some feedback from last week—Fred Cunningham says his solution to the cricket problem is safer than any we have listed. He sprays them with “409” or “Fantastic” and they seem to dissolve or melt down. He says, “It’s fantastic!”

Richard Cooper of East Bank sent a copy of an old picture of a little girl in old-fashioned clothing which his mother received in the late ’20’s for purchasing black salve. It reminds me of the pictures we used to give out when we sold Rosebud and Cloverine salve.

It was a picture of a little boy and girl playing on a broken bridge with a rushing waterfall beneath them. A misty guardian angel hovered over them, with out-stretched wings. I am sure that guardian angels watch over our grandchildren, and keep them from many dangers.

Thanks to Mary Ruth Boyd of Charleston and Ann Collins of Fairmont for the lyrics to a recently requested song.

Jeanette Riffle of Rosedale is looking for the words to “Red Wing.” This song, along with others reminds me so much of Mom and Daddy in their early marriage. They had an old wind-up Victrola, and these were the records they had. This song, and “Red River Valley” were songs we grew up hearing them sing. Even now, they bring a sweet nostalgia.

Nina Painter of Baker is searching for a child’s song called, “The Old Man of the Mountains.” Her mother sang it to her in the late ’40’s. She remembers this much, “Oh, he had long hair, and his feet were bare, they say he’s as mad as an old March hare. His cares are none; he owes no one, the old man of the mountain.”

Last week June Miller of Cowen asked for the lyrics to the song, “The Old Country Church.” We are happy to print this.

 

THE OLD COUNTRY CHURCH

 

There’s a place dear to me, where I’m longing to be
With my friends at the old country church
There with Mother we went, and our Sundays were spent
With our friends at the old country church.
As a small country boy, how my heart beat with joy
When I knelt in the old country church
And the Savior above, by his wonderful love
Saved my soul at the old country church.
How I wish that today all the people would pray
As we prayed in the old country church
If they’d only confess, Jesus surely would bless
As he did in the old country church.
Of’t my thoughts make me weep, for so many now sleep
In their graves near the old country church
And sometime I may rest, with the friends I love best
In a grave near the old country church.
Precious years of memories
Oh what joy they bring to me (they bring to me)
How I long once more to be,
With my friends at the old country church.

 

Many of us, I am sure, have precious memories of an old country church. I was brought up in a humble little church, just a one room building. There were no cushioned pews, no carpet on the floor. There were no modern bathrooms, just two outdoor toilets that served our needs.

An old-fashioned preacher gave us the pure word of God, and revealed to us the state of our souls. There was a wooden altar in front of the pulpit, where we wept and poured out our hearts unto God. That old country church was a symbol of our salvation, and will never be forgotten.

The Waynedale News Staff

Alyce Faye Bragg

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