NEWS FROM THE HILLS

January is behaving in typical winter fashion, with snow flurries, freezing rain and bitterly cold temperatures. The mild winters of the past few years have spoiled us to the place where a blast of arctic air and the accompanying snowflakes are almost more than we can endure.

As we get older, a snowstorm is not nearly as exciting as it was when we were kids. We exulted in the snow “piled wide and deep” and loved to see it grow higher and higher. Our grandchildren laugh when we describe the winters when it was much colder and the snows deeper and more frequent.

Winters were worse. Of course my legs were shorter, but it was a common thing to walk to school through snow halfway to your knees. Maybe it was because we got out of the shoveled path and waded along the side.

I can remember the excitement we felt when a deep snow began to fall. Dragging out our sleighs with steel runners, bulky homemade sleds almost too heavy to pull, and pieces of linoleum, we headed for the nearest hill. The cold didn’t seem to bother us much, as we wiped a grimy coat sleeve across a runny nose and took another trip down the hill.

We kept a cardboard box beside the door filled with caps, toboggans, gloves and mittens for wintertime use. When we couldn’t find enough mittens, we’d use old socks on our hands. Boots for girls weren’t manufactured as they are now, and we wore rubber galoshes that fit over our shoes and snapped with two snaps.

They didn’t come up nearly far enough on our legs, and the deeper snow would pack down in the tops of our boots. The mark of wintertime among us girls was the wide ring of red, chapped skin around our legs.

We always had a snowball fight. Sometimes we organized teams that staged a day-long battle. Ice balls (snowballs soaked in water and frozen) were outlawed, as well as foreign objects (such as rocks) imbedded in them.

It was a great joke to stuff a snowball down another person’s back and then run—fast. The boys often got too rough, and we girls would wander off and make snow angels. When the snow was the right texture to pack easily, we made gigantic snowmen.

Often we would roll the snow into such huge balls that it would take two or three of us to lift one on top of the other. It sounds like sheer torture to me now, but then it was the most fun of the winter.

We would play until our hands and feet were almost frostbitten, and our cheeks and noses reddened by the cold. It was a welcome sound to hear Mom call us in to dinner. Poor Mom—I can see now that wet pile of boots, coats, scarves, mittens, and socks piled up in front of the open gas heater.

There was nothing as good as the steaming hot kettle of vegetable soup and corn bread that greeted us. Sometimes it was a pot of brown beans, or a cooker of potato soup and batter bread. We could eat anything—and did.

As soon as we thawed out, we were ready to go again. Evening would bring the creeping cold again, freezing the puddles into ice and chilling our bones. We still had our evening chores to do—buckets of water to carry from the hand pump, and chickens to feed and shut up for the night.

There would be a delicious tiredness in our bodies as we said our prayers and crawled into bed. I just like to think about this now as I sit in my nice, warm house. I don’t want to get out and do it.

We’ve had some wonderful response to the recent requests for song lyrics. Mamie Edwards had asked for the words to “One Drop of Blood,” and we heard from Watt Gilbert, J. W. “Dude” Birt of Indiana, Pat White and Marjorie Croson of St. Albans. Lavon Given Motsinger of Winterville, Georgia sent words to “Love Grew Where the Blood Fell.”

The actual title of the song that Mrs. Edwards wanted was called, “Just for Me,” and the words were sent by Pastor Linder Reed of Poca, Rev. Bill Hopper of Ripley, and Marjorie Young of Strange Creek. A warm “thank you” goes out to each one who responded.

 

JUST FOR ME

 

When the Man of Galilee hung upon the cruel tree,
He was dying for sinners like me.
As the blood was dripping down on the cross and to the ground,
There was one drop He shed just for me.

 

CHORUS:

 

Just for me and the sins of my soul,
Just to cleanse me and make me free and whole.
As the blood was dripping down on the cross and to the ground,
There was one drop He shed just for me.

 

2.
When they pierced His precious side,
“Oh, forgive them now,” He cried.
There was pardon extended to me.
As both blood and water came,
Oh, glory to his precious name,
There was one drop He shed just for me.

 

3.
When with all the saints I stand, over in that happy land
And its beauties I’m able to see.
As I look upon His face, I shall thank Him for His grace,
And that one drop He shed just for me.

 

Emmett Moore of Charleston is looking for a couple of poems. One is called “Winter Wears Jewels,” and the other one is “The Paperweight” by Mary Ellen Stelling. If anyone has these, he would appreciate a copy.

Thanks to our faithful readers, we have the words to “Give My Love to Nell.” We heard from Nellie Grose of Richwood, and Marjorie Croson, who both added that they had heard Bradley Kincaid sing this on the Grand Ol’ Opery.  Ethel O’Brien wrote from Webster Springs, June Jones from Charleston, Zora Brown from Marmet, and Miriam Hopkins from Clay.

Thanks also to Pat White, Joy Stone of Hinton, Dude Birt of Indiana, Ressa Osborne of Bickmore, and Nancy Falls of Ivydale.

(We just received word that the printing of Homesick for the Hills should be completed January 21. The books will be shipped some time after that, and I will mail them out as soon as they arrive. Thank you for your patience.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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The Waynedale News Staff

Our in-house staff members work with community members and our local writers to find, write and edit the latest and most interesting news worthy stories. This is your community newspaper, we are always looking for local stories that interest you. > Read More Information About Us > More Articles Written By Our Staff