NEWS FROM THE HILLS

APRIL RAIN

 

It is not raining rain for me,
It’s raining daffodils;
In every dimpled drop I see
Wild flowers on the hills.

 

The clouds of gray engulf the day
And overwhelm the town;
It’s not raining rain to me,
It’s raining roses down.

 

It is not raining rain to me,
But fields of clover bloom,
Where any buccaneering bee
Can find a bed and room.

 

A health unto the happy,
A fig for him who frets!
It is not raining rain to me,
It’s raining violets.

 

By Robert Loveman

 

She must have arrived sometime in the night while we lay fast asleep. So soft was her entrance that we weren’t aware of her presence until dawn. She had promised so many times that she would come, and had dropped hopeful hints along the way.

Several times we were sure that she had arrived, and we were ready to greet her with open arms. The calendar assured us weeks ago that she was here, but after making a few tantalizing overtures, she fell right back into the chill arms of winter.

There was no doubt of her arrival this morning, however. The spring peepers witnessed her entry last night, and had injected a triumphant note in their shrill, piping song. It was a melody of welcome, a theme of celebration. The songbirds heard it, and added their own hymn of rejoicing early this morning.

Before the first pink streaks of dawn appeared in the sky, the cardinal witnessed her presence and sang joyfully, “What-cheer! What-cheer!” All over the lawn, the dandelions offered their tribute of gold, as they sprang through the grass and began blooming madly. The more modest violets, with their shy, downcast gaze, lifted their blue heads in silent adoration.

The bluebirds took new courage and finished building their nests in the cozy boxes nailed to the shed and fence posts. Soon tiny pale blue eggs were deposited in the cup of grasses and plant stems, while the warm body of the mother bluebird hovered over them.

The bubbling, exuberant song of the house wren rose on the warm morning air, as a pair of the tiny birds carefully built a nest lined with feathers and other soft material in a hanging flower pot on the front porch.

She is all over the place this morning. She runs her tender fingers through the lilac bush, and purple buds pop out at her touch. She smiles on the apple trees, and the buds magically blush a delicate pink. She strolls lightly over the fields and meadows, and emerald grass springs up in her footsteps. At a glance from her fond eyes, green buds on the trees burst with pride. Everyone loves her.

It seems such a long time since she has visited with us. She fled last year when the days grew hot and dry, as she cannot bear scorching sunshine. She stayed away during the glorious days of autumn, and hid completely when the bitter winds of winter began to blow.

There were times, during the long, cold days of winter, when we wondered if she would ever return. The earth lay barren and frozen, covered with ice and snow, and it seemed that it would never live again. Month after bitter month, winter ravished the land and hope grew dim.

We had waited for any hopeful sign of her coming. We anxiously watched for each faint hint that she might be returning soon, only to have our hopes dashed when another snow, another cold spell would envelop out land.

Crocuses bloomed, and then bloomed again through the covering snow, and we were cheered by their bravery. Days of cold rain again dampened our spirits, then it rained some more. When it seemed that all hope had fled, she arrived.

She is here at last, and our hearts are glad. If the winter had not been so long and gloomy, we would not have appreciated her coming nearly so much. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)

How good it is to have her with us once again. With her breath flavored with the sweetness of wild grape bloom and apple blossoms, she is a joy from daybreak until the blue shades of night cover the earth. Her soft, balmy nights are bewitching, and her days are filled with warm sunshine.

We want to linger in her presence indefinitely. We wish she could stay with us forever. We can walk together early in the morning when the first pink flush of dawn brightens the day. We can listen together as exultant birdsong fills the air, and watch the red-breasted robin cock his head and hop jerkily after the unsuspecting earthworm. We can bask in the increasing warmth of the sun, watch the abounding growth of the green plants, and the renewal of life on earth.

I know her time here is fleeting. All too soon, the hot days of summer will come, and she will take her flight. Spring is here now, and we will savor each delightful day with her.

Cindy Nipps of Red House poses a question for the cooks—is there any way to peel “farm fresh eggs” easily? She makes a lot of deviled eggs for church dinners, and has to buy store eggs in order to get the shells off and leave the egg nice and whole. I know what she is talking about. Fresh eggs are hard to peel.

My sister Jeannie recommends putting salt in the water when you boil them, and also lay them on their sides if you want the yolk centered. Daughter Patty says she cracks the shell all over with a spoon after they are boiled, then drops them back in cold water. Does anyone have a suggestion?

A friend from Hillsboro sends remedy for poison ivy that she found in some old papers. It is new to me, as we have always relied on touch-me-not or jewel weed juice. It reads: Mix together the following ingredients and apply to affected area—1/2 cup milk, one teaspoon alum, one teaspoon flour, and one teaspoon soda.

That reminds me of the remedy that son Mike once concocted for his poison ivy. We always squeezed the juice from the stalks of touch-me-not plants, and he had the bright idea to mix it with rubbing alcohol. He only used it once.

Yes, spring is here and we aim to enjoy every minute of it. Don’t forget though, that it must always snow on the sarvis blossoms. I saw a sarvis tree in bloom a couple of days ago. We can expect another snow, somewhere…

The Waynedale News Staff
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Alyce Faye Bragg

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