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
July 4, 2016 will be one holiday that will live on in the memories of many people. Some folks are calling it a thousand year flood, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime.
I wrote in my dairy on Thursday, June 23, “Boy, what a rain! A thunderstorm moved in about 5:30 this morning and
The hot rays of the summer sun beat down upon us yesterday, as spring gathered her floral skirts about her and departed from our hills. The summer solstice began Monday as we experienced the longest day of the year-17 hours of daylight. It also ushered in the Strawberry Moon, which had not occurred
It seems that the viney honeysuckles are always blooming on the banks of Clay at graduation time. Its yellow and white flowers, and sweet, unforgettable scent, still brings back memories of my own high school graduation. Although it has been 64 years since I stepped up and received my diploma, poignant
May has gathered her full green skirts about her and left our hills, allowing June to enter with her roses, brides and graduates. Each year brings a new crop of high school graduates; proud and tearful parents and relieved teachers. June is a delightful month, a tantalizing prelude to summer. The
It has been 63 years ago, since I graduated from high school. The viney honeysuckle is climbing over the banks below the old school building again, just as it always does at graduation time. There is no scent that brings back the memories of high school days like the perfume of this flower. I can
The waters of William’s River run swift and cold. It rushes around huge boulders, cresting in white spray and moves swiftly onward. It looks deceptively shallow, but is deep and very swift-moving. Rhododendrons line the bank, and dip down to the water.
Yellow-spotted trout lilies are blooming there
“LIFE BEGINS AT 80”—Author Unknown
We oldsters surely get away with a lot just because we’ve managed to keep breathing longer than most folks. I will celebrated my 80th birthday, and I’ve got it made!
If you forget somebody’s name, or an appointment, (or go on the wrong day) or what
by Hazel Bias Browning
(With apologies to Thomas Hood)
Ah, I remember, I remember
That company house where I was born
Deep in a coal camp hollow
Upon a windy March morn.
I remember, I remember
The hardships that we knew
That only brought us closer
As a family proud and true.
I remember, I remember
The earth is waking up from its long winter’s sleep and is coming to life once more. Over the hills, and across the meadows and fields, the grass grows greener each day. Yellow crocuses and creamy jonquils greet the day in cheery fashion, and the rejoicing of the songbirds fills the early morning
The sun is shining brightly on this spring day, with a restless March wind blowing through the budding maple tree. Spring peepers announce loudly and persistently that spring has arrived. From pond and puddle, their shrill piping resounds in a jubilant chorus. At daybreak, the songbirds greet the
February has left the hills, and no one seems sorry to see her go. She has always been a hard month to endure, leaving behind dirty piles of leftover snow and muddy soil everywhere. Son-in-law Bob calls it a “tweeny” month, stretching between winter and spring, sort of like the month of August,
The sun is shining brightly from a deep blue sky on another winter day, although it is cold and frost is lingering on the hills and meadows. It has been an extremely mild winter so far, with patches of green grass in the meadow where the cows still graze.
There is much greenness in the woods even in
Winter has opened February’s door with icy fingers and allowed snow and frigid winds to enter our hills. We shiver under the onslaught of cold wind that lowers our freezing temperatures even lower with a wind chill factor, and we long for warmer weather.
So many songbirds, especially lovely red cardinals,
AT MY CABIN DOOR
By Ross David Fortner, Jr.
Howl, mighty Wind,
Breath of winter come, knock upon my cabin door.
Beckon my soul to wander
Upon your mighty gale,
To enter into myself,
And find some solace, real.
Blow around my shuttered window,
Rattle every loose latch,
Remind me of my mortality,
The beginning of a brand new year puts most folks in a reflective mood-pondering over the past year and wondering what the new year has in store for us. After the bright festivities of the Christmas season, the year of 2016 seems to be off to a dismal start. Gray skies and spattering rain greet us,
I am back in the old Jenny Lind house of my childhood, and it is almost Christmas time. Waves of memories are washing over me.
It is snowing, and the wind is rising. It howls about the eaves of the house where the icicles hang in crystal spears and creeps in around the window facings. We turn the open
Blue skies and sunshine grace the last of our November days, yet there is a sharp bite in the air that gives the promise of colder weather to come. With its summit bathed in glory, Pilot Knob is a multicolored jewel shining in the sunlight this morning. When the evening sunset sheds its rosy glow
The melancholy days are come,
the saddest of the year
With wailing winds and naked woods,
and meadows brown and sere.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove,
the autumn leaves lie dead,
They rustle to the eddying gust
and to the rabbit’s tread.
The robin and the
Afar on the blue horizon,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe, rich tints of the cornfield
And wild geese flying high.
All over upland and lowland,
The charm of the goldenrod,
Some of us call it autumn,
But others call it God.
(In memory of Amma Brown)
Another mild October day, with just a hint
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you-“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to shine on the evil and on the good,
LIFE-LONG TIES OF FRIENDSHIP
By Frank S. M. Samples
We are held in wonder as our years have left us old,
Of the friendships we have known and the ones we’re blessed to hold.
Though the web of years may dim the eye and gray the aging head,
We rest well in this
August has been called the bridge from summer to autumn. Well, we’ve crossed over now, and autumn can come in its fullness. It’s worth waiting for–this incomparable season in the West Virginia hills. It’s not only lovely to view, but it must be absorbed. I love it.
I wrote a farewell letter
Summer’s ragged petticoat is showing as we slowly but surely drift toward autumn. Cornstalks are dying and turning brown, while purple ironweed makes its appearance in fields and meadows. The grandchildren are boarding the big yellow school buses, eagerly or reluctantly, bound for institutions of
The evening sun dips below the horizon as another hot and humid day comes to a close. A pink tinge in the western sky is the only reminder that a bright sun ruled over the day, but twilight is closing in, and day is done.
The frantic pace of the day slows, and the strident cries of the daytime creatures