Midsummer heat beams down upon the hills now, and we are surrounded by green hills, green meadows and green lawns. Summer flowers are appearing in fields and along highways, brightening the landscape and pleasing our senses. The brilliant blue chicory blossoms abound along roadways, cheering the traveler
Hot and full-blown, summer comes breathlessly into the hills. She blows her sultry breath over the countryside, coaxing the gardens to grow and flourish, and covers the hills with thick, green underbrush.
The early garden crops seem to grow overnight, while the weeds grow almost as fast as the vegetables.
Our hills simmer under July heat, as the sun beats down relentlessly upon humans and animals alike. Hound dogs hunt for shade under automobiles or porches, while humans seek their air-conditioned homes. Those who have to work outside take frequent water breaks, and protect their heads with wide-brimmed
Fathers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes—short, tall, curly hair, no hair, old, young, skinny, stout, etc.—but one thing that they all have in common: a real father loves his children. Fathering a child does not necessarily make a real father. Some of the best fathers that I know are not
Spring is getting ready to depart from our hills, while summer is impatiently waiting to make her appearance. With the dignity of a queen, she will move into our hills and hollers once again. Crowned with daisies and smelling sweetly of clover blossoms, she will blow her humid breath throughout
Honeysuckle vine, with its yellow and white flowers and sweet fragrance, has always bloomed on the banks of Clay at graduation time. Its unforgettable, clinging scent has always loosed a flood of memories of my own graduation, reminiscent of marching graduates, caps and gowns, and diplomas. It brings
The mild days of May that we have always looked forward to and loved, have been blown in by strong winds that lowered the temperature and left us shivering. We move the thermostat from air conditioning back to heat, and dig out the blankets that we stowed away a few days ago. The sun shines brightly
We woke up to a green world this morning. Seemingly overnight, new green leaves were sprouting on the trees, while green grass overspread the landscape. Lavender pink of the redbuds contrasted with the pure white of the dogwoods as they were liberally scattered over the hillsides. The sun was just
The voice of spring is awakening the land after the long, cold sleep of winter. She whispered first to the songbirds, and they gathered their flocks together to return to our hills. Each morning, they greet the breaking of the day with their joyous and melodic songs of praise.
She tenderly touches
Our hills bask in warm sunshine today as we get a foretaste of lovely spring weather. Blue skies stretch above us with nary cloud to mar the azure surface. Plump robins (yes, the robins are back!) stroll across the yard as the temperature gets warmer and warmer; their pert little heads cocked to one
Rain falls today out of a sullen, gray sky, to swell the creek and gush into Elk River, by the way of Big Laurel. March is making an entrance. She was mild, with plenty of rain and the subsequent mud that was inevitable, but she leaves behind some subtle hints of spring. Yellow Easter flowers (jonquils)
Blue skies and bright sunshine are highlighting our day, although the air is quite brisk. Little signs of the coming of spring are popping up here and there, which brings hope to those who are weary of mud and winter. Daughter Patty reports that her Easter flowers are opening up their yellow heads
The sun is shining benevolently down on our West Virginia hills today and all is calm and peaceful. A male cardinal, flashing his brilliant red plumage, peers in the window at me as if to say that the birdseed is getting low in the feeder. Criss has just plowed the garden, leaving furrows of brown
Soon will be Valentine’s Day, and flowers and boxes of candy will be flying through the air. Valentine’s Day is a special day dedicated to lovers, although the custom has been enlarged to sending greetings, not only to sweethearts, but to friends and family members as well. The history of Valentine’s
The first week of our brand new year is already marching into the past, although the mild temperatures and blue skies seem more like the beginning of spring. It is such a change from last year at this time, when we endured a raging snow storm that reduced us to old time living. The power was off,
Recently was the anniversary of an infamous day in our American history; the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed. I was only six years old, and the memory is fuzzy in my mind. It was on a Sunday, and I wonder now how we received the news. What I do remember, however, was the frightening aftermath when
The warm days that we experienced in October may have been called Indian summer, but according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it comes after a killing frost or hard freeze. We certainly have had that; three hard frosts in a row has blackened all the summer flowers and laid the garden low.
This is a true Thanksgiving story, and one that is dear to my heart for we knew the principal characters featured in it.
Brother Harry Craig was a traveling evangelist, and his wife Sister Myrtle Craig was his faithful companion. He was a short man, but what he lacked in stature, he made up for it
All day my heart has been on Hickory Knob. As I stepped outside and the rich, earthy smell of fall wafted toward me, I was transported back in time to a backwoods place that was a paradise to us. There’s no other place on earth that has that indescribable aroma, compounded by fallen leaves, rich
October is spinning out her days of gold under the deep blue skies of autumn. Summer is gone, taking with her the wildflowers that marked her days, and hot days of sunshine. The cheerful songbirds that warbled throughout the day are heard less and less, as flocks of them have departed for sunnier
I heard the katydids tolling your death knell last night. In fact, the lonely, haunting dirge has sounded out for weeks now. They are singing of change, and cold, and a white, creeping death that will come to summer and singer alike.
You don’t look as if you are dying, Summer. In the midst of your
I loved cold winter nights when I was a little girl. After the dishes were washed and put away, the zinc water buckets were filled up from the pitcher pump down at the Virginia office building (and I can still hear Mom saying, “Larry, have you brought in the night water?”) we would gather around
Fall weather is trying hard to enter our hills, with a few premature yellowing leaves drifting down from trees that are beginning to look tired and worn. Robed in regal purple, tall ironweed rules the meadows and fields, while wild sunflowers lend their bright yellow flowers in lovely contrast. These
The Katydids were hollering loudly last night, just as they have been for awhile. Their quarrelsome din echoes back and forth as they declare, “Katydid!” and the answering cry comes back, “She didn’t!” I can hear my Dad say, “Jist six weeks ‘til frost!”
There is plenty of folklore concerning
Autumn seems to have stretched forth her hand and is displaying her beautiful flowers in our hills. The official date on the calendar is weeks away, but you can see her in the bountiful patches of black-eyed Susan’s that grow on the road banks and pasture fields. The Joe-Pye weed is beginning to