BREWING PEPPERMINT TEA – News From The Hills

The whippoorwills are gone now, flown away to warmer climates. The summer sun is gone too, although it stayed here longer than usual. The frogs and crickets still sound their lonely cries, intermingled with the last of the katydid’s dirge. Summer is over.

There is more than a whisper of rain in the air this morning, just as there has been for quite a few days now.

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FALLING INTO AUTUMN – News From The Hills

Autumn entered our hills with wet feet, and it has been mostly damp ever since. Our hills are not the colorful scene as usual, since there has been no frost or freezing weather. We still can look forward to bright autumn weather, which is yet to come. The summer season is now gone, with gardens being mowed off, and turnips planted.

Turnips remind me of the late Roy

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THANK GOODNESS FOR FAMILY – News From The Hills

Gardens carry a rag-tag, end-of-summer air, and is almost gone. Only a few scraggly tomatoes and sweet peppers turning red remain. If you search through the dry, rustling cornstalks, you may find fat, yellow ground cherries growing close to the ground. I have a recipe here somewhere for a pie made from these juicy little globules, but I love to pop these littl
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SLOWING SUMMER – News From The Hills

The days are still hot and humid as summer lingers on, but there is a change coming soon. August brings the tail end of summer as the gardens finish their work for another season. The ripe smell of corn tassels hang heavy in the air as the cornstalks turn brown and dry. The late crops have mostly matured as we put the last of the cut-off corn in the freezer. All that is
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THE AUTUMN OF LIFE – News From The Hills

I would like to send a great, big hug to all my friends who have missed me, and especially to those who have sent cards and letters telling me so. Most of you guessed the reason why—I fell again, and fractured my right arm, which kept me from writing or typing. Thank the Lord, I am almost back to normal (whatever that is!)

Without going into an organ recital, I will sa

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DEALING WITH THE WEEDS IN LIFE – News From The Hills

Placid June days seemed to have exploded with searing heat and booming thunderstorms that pop up at the drop of a hat, but refreshing cooler nights that are most welcome. The newly mown hay dries in the fields, and the fragrance of sweet clover hangs in the air. Summertime days have a sleepy drone, and the evenings are long and pleasant.

Spring slides softly int

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HOW I REMEMBER MY FATHER – News From The Hills

How long do you keep missing your father? Our Heavenly Father took my Dad to heaven 39 years ago, yet there is not a day that I don’t think of him.

I can still see him coming down the hill from the Ball Diamond carrying a bouquet of wild flowers that he had picked as he walked along. The flowers were always arranged in symmetrical perfection; rows of blue and purple en

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MY KINFOLK FATHER’S DAY HISTORY – News From The Hills

Today is West Virginia’s birthday, and I am pondering the reason why God chose to put me in this particular place. I have a fierce loyalty to my native state, and, wonder if I would feel the same way had I been born elsewhere. I could have been born in one of the southern states where palm trees grow and Spanish moss hang long fronds from the live oaks. Or maybe, along
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MAKING GOOD MEMORIES – News From The Hills

April has left us, and with her departure is taking most of our wet and gloomy days, and, leaving us with sunshine and blue skies. How our hearts have longed for these warm days of spring! The children are overjoyed to be able to run barefoot through the tender new grass that is springing up all over the place. It is a blessing to grow up in these hills and be free to wa
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EARLY SPRING FLOWERS TO BLOOM SOON

April showers bring May flowers, but what does April snow bring? According to my late mother, who was a fount of wisdom, April snow brings babies. Also, April snow water was a good remedy for burns. As for the babies. I wonder now if you rubbed April snow on your skin, ate it or wallered in it. At my age, I don’t think I have too much to worry about, as I have already don
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THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF SPRING – News From The Hills

The cold, rainy days of March seem to have bled over into the usually warmer days of April, with more rain and cloudy skies. Some folks have remarked that this has been the wettest March that they can remember, and it seems that way. We look forward to the March winds to dry up winter’s mud, but this year it seems that it merely made more mud. Still, there are some ear
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WHAT EASTER REALLY MEANS – News From The Hills

It was still dark when the women arose from their beds, hurriedly put on their garments, and started down the path to the sepulcher where the body of Jesus lay. The pine torch flickered, sending out a warm smell of resin that blended pleasantly with the sweet odor of the spices that they carried to anoint his body. In the predawn stillness, not a bird sang, and the
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THE PIPES, THE PIPES ARE CALLING – News From The Hills

March did come in like the proverbial lion, howling ferociously and throwing his weight all around. He is still crouched in the shadows, flinging cold temperatures and a few snowflakes about. We awakened to a skift of snow, but sunshine has already put it to rout. The air is icy however, and the March wind makes it seem even colder. I am cheered up by one of Mom’s o
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MOM USED EVERYTHING FROM THE PIG EXCEPT THE WHISTLE! – News From The Hills

A fine snow is sifting down upon the countryside, and the cows stand on the hillside and look bewildered at the change of weather. After a few mild days, it is hard to re-adjust to winter making another swipe at us. It is still February however, and we can expect more winter weather to come.

There is still time to go through your files and update paperwork– c

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FEBRUARY IS LOOKING BRIGHTER – News From The Hills

“In winter’s cold and sparkling snow
The garden in my mind does grow.
I look outside to blinding white,
And see my tulips blooming bright.
And over there a sweet carnation,
Softly scents my imagination.

On this cold and freezing day,
The Russian sage does gently sway,
And miniature roses perfume the air,
I can see them blooming there.
Though days are short, my v

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GROUNDHOG SHADOW OR NOT? – News From The Hills

BARNACLES
By Sidney Lanier
My soul is sailing through the sea,
But the Past is heavy and hindreth me.
The Past hath crusted cumbrous shells,
That hold the flesh of cold sea-mells
About my soul.
The huge waves wash, the high waves roll,
Each barnacle clingeth and worketh dole
And hindereth me from sailing!

Old Past, let go, and drop i’ the sea
Till fathomless wate

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AS THE YEARS COME AND GO – News From The Hills

“Tis the week after Christmas, and all through the house…“I wanted to leave my decorations up until New Year’s Day (now I wonder why I had such a notion.) Dry pine needles are shedding all over the coffee table and dust is beginning to cover the glass figurines and holiday candles.

I feel like my friend Dixie, formerly of Maysel, but now of Summersville, who wrot

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THE CHRISTMAS STORY TRUE TODAY AS IT WAS LONG AGO – News From The Hills

I was dozing on the couch a few days before Christmas, when the scent of warm pine needles and candle wax permeated my consciousness. Still in my semi-conscious state, I was transported back through the years to a rough, little house perched on the bank of the creek. A gleaming Christmas tree stood in the room, with copper clips holding dozens of colorful, twis
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JUST ONE MORE TIME, I’D LIKE TO GO BACK HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – News From The Hills

I’d like to climb on the wooden sled with Larry, and let Daddy pull us across the snow to hunt the perfect pine tree. We would have to stop and look at the intricate formation of the snowflakes that were falling on Daddy’s brown jersey gloves, and marvel that “no two are exactly alike.” The air would be crisp and invigorating, and the snow would crunch underfoot as
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