NEWS FROM THE HILLS

Light raindrops are slowly dripping down on the lacy white ash bush, which in turn scatters the drops on the peony flowers underneath the bush. The red and white peonies hang their heavy heads, while the continuing rain drenches them.

We are having the cold rains which occur about this time every year. Folks are having a hard time getting the garden crops planted. Some more fortunate folks planted early, evaded the frost, and have a flourishing crop of potatoes to show for it.

Many country farmers still “go by the signs” when they plant and harvest their crops. The signs of the zodiac appear on many calendars, and they follow these signs faithfully. Here are some of the many rules concerning planting by the signs. “Planting is best done in the fruitful signs of Scorpio (Scorpion or loins) Pisces (Fish or feet) Taurus (bull-neck and throat) or Cancer (Crab-breast and stomach. Plow, till and cultivate when the signs are in Aries (ram or head.)

“Plant flowers when the signs are in Libra (Balance-kidneys) which is an airy sign that also represents beauty. Plant beans when the signs are in Gemini (arms, chest-twins.) Mom always said that cucumbers planted when the signs are in the twins would produce double.

“Don’t plant potatoes when the signs are in the feet (Pisces-Fish.) If you do, they will develop little nubs like toes all over the main potato. The best time is a dark night in March. (Can’t you just see planting potatoes in the dark?)

“Here is a good rule to follow—Plant all things which yield above the ground during the increase or growing of the moon, and all things which yield below the ground (root crops) when the moon is decreasing or darkening (dark of the moon.)”

Some people may scoff at the idea of planting by signs, but I know one thing for sure—you have to watch the signs when making pickled food such as sauerkraut or pickled corn. I made kraut one time when the signs were in the Secrets, and Mom told me I made a secret weapon. It turned black and slimy—it was no secret what it smelled like!

Even if you think that planting by the signs is a lot of nonsense, there are Bible verses to support this. In Genesis 1:14 we read, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reads, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”

There are also zodiac signs for many other things. There are certain signs to cut hair, wean babies or animals, set eggs, cut timber, nail shingles, destroy weeds, kill trees, turn sod and quit habits—and many more. It seems that every phase of life could be governed by these signs.

At the book signing at the Elkview Public Library this week, a lady (sorry, I lost her name) if I knew the Bible verse to stop the flow of blood. I didn’t, but told her I’d try to find out. I found it in a book that was written by Dorothy Adkins-Cyrus, who grew up on Brown’s Creek Road in St Albans.

In it she wrote, “Cordelia Childers had a special gift to stop blood. One of the neighbor’s horses accidentally cut its leg almost off, and was bleeding to death. Someone went and told Mrs. Childers. She quoted a verse in the Bible and immediately the blood stopped. The horse was healed.

This went on for years—both people and animals stopped bleeding. The verse in the Bible which she recited was Ezekiel 16:6. She would use the name of the bleeding person or animal. She had the gift and it always worked. To stop blood, you need the power and you get that through faith in the Word and God.

There are many superstitions that circulate in our hills, passed down by the older generation.

We had a request for this song, which is thought provoking and a lesson for all of us.

IF JESUS CAME

TO YOUR HOUSE

by Red Sovine

If Jesus came to your house, I wonder what you’d do.

Yes, if Jesus came to your house, to spend a day or two,

If He came unexpected, just dropped in on you.

I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored guest,

And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best.

And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there,

That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.

But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door

With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?

Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?

Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?

Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard?

And wish you hadn’t uttered that last loud hasty word?

And would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?

Could you let Jesus just walk right in, or would you rush about?

And I wonder if the Savior spent a day or two with you,

Would you go right on doing the things you always do?

Would you go right on saying the things you always say?

Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

And would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?

And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?

Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,

And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?

And would you take Jesus with you everywhere you planned to go?

Or maybe would you change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends,

Or hope that they would stay away until His visit ends?

And would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?

Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

Oh, it might be interesting to know the things you’d do,

If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

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Alyce Faye Bragg

She writes the "News From the Hills" column. Born and raised in the country, and still lives on the same farm where she was raised. Has a sincere love for nature and the beauty of the hills. Began writing in 1981 & currently has three books published. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer