A slow, steady rain is dripping from the eaves of the house this morning, washing the leaves to a brilliant green, and liberally watering the lawn and garden. The monotonous beat is soothing, and brings to mind rainy days of the past.

It seemed that we had farm work to do every sunny day; the garden had to be hoed and crops gathered, blackberries picked during this season, or
the yard mowed by pure kid power. A rainy day was a cause for rejoicing, as we had a free day.

Most often, we headed for the barn to snuggle down in the fragrant hay and listen to the tattoo of raindrops on the tin roof. Sometimes Mary Ellen and I would take refuge in the corn crib where we had a play house. I can still hear the melody of the rain on that tin roof as we tucked our dolls under a blanket and busied ourselves with housewifely chores.

Sometimes it would be just a summer shower, and we loved splashing barefoot through the warm mud puddles. We had no blacktopped road then, just a dusty dirt road. When it rained, however, a stream of water flowed down the ditch line and the potholes were filled with lovely muddy water. I can’t remember Mom ever fussing at us for coming in drenched—I guess she thought it was just part of our childhood fun. And it was.

Mom would rush to put washtubs and barrels under the drip of the house to catch wash water. Otherwise, we had to carry water from the creek or pond, as water from the pump was full of iron. Rainwater was soft and clean and great for shampooing hair. Sometimes we would stand out in the warm rain and wash and rinse our hair. A summer shower was a real blessing.

I still like to hear the rain on the roof at night when we are all tucked into bed. There is such a safe, secure feeling to know that we are warm and dry, the animals are bedded down contentedly in the barn, and all is right with our world.

These are every day blessings that we should not take for granted. God sends the rain to refresh our world, to water our gardens, and to provide life-giving water for our needs.

There is water that is much more important than the literal water that falls on our earth. There is a Living Water that is available to every person. John 4:10 tells us, “Jesus answered and said unto her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, ‘Give me to drink’ thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

This satisfies the deepest needs. John 7-37 says, “In that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying; ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.'” Verse 38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

This living water cannot be contained in a person, but will flow out to others. I am thankful for the summer showers that God sends, but most of all for that Living Water that makes a change in a person’s life.

I have a poem that was sent to me by Irene Shriver that was found among her mother’s possessions, and was possibly written by her. I would like to share it.




While lying awake in the midst of a night,
My heart it cried out at a pitiful sight.
I saw so many, who were near to despair,
While others passed by ’cause they didn’t care.


I fell on my face and cried in distress,
“Oh God, help the people in their carelessness,
For there are so many with loads hard to bear,
While others passed by ’cause they didn’t care.


I saw some sinking, yes sinking way down,
While others were living in ease all around.
Their actions spoke loud, just as loud as could be,
They said, “I’m so glad, yes so glad it’s not me.”


Please God, give a vision to Christians today,
While others are sinking, no time for delay,
For some are carrying a cross hard to bear,
No voice said, “I’ll pray,” No voice said, “I care.”


Some hearts are so broken, it wouldn’t take much
To give a kind word or a personal touch.
Oh, there are so many who wait in despair
To see someone proving they really do care.


I think of our Christ with his one lost sheep
Tho’ ninety and nine were safe and asleep.
He trod through the rocks and the thorns everywhere
To prove His great love, that He really did care.


It wasn’t so hard, for His heart it did bleed,
When He saw the weary ones standing in need.
So if you are Christ-like and His image bear,
You’ll lift up the fallen and prove that you care.


Now there’s someone waiting in deep agony,
There’s tears of distress, ’til they hardly can see.
They’re needing some help from someone, somewhere,
Don’t let it be said that you didn’t care.


When life is over, and your journey is done,
Will you be proud of the race you have run?
Or will you forever keep hearing them cry,
“You didn’t care, for you passed me by.”
by Martha Carney


I received a sweet letter from my niece Leila’s daughter, Ginny Green, who is living in India. She says that my column sometimes makes her homesick, especially the ones about food. She cooked what her nephews call a “West Virginia” dinner Sunday—fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and hot biscuits. She said it was good, but not as good as her Mom’s! Sounds good to me.
Here is another salad dressing sent in by Betty O’Neill:


1 cup catsup
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon vinegar
1 small onion

Blend in blender or use mixer. Makes about 1 ½ cups, and will keep under refrigeration.

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Alyce Faye Bragg

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