Out of the abundance of the heart my mouth speaks. I feel a deep need to express myself in words that will relieve the grinding within me and loose the threads that binds so tight. All things within me seem to be connected.
All the things we see, hear, feel and even smell translate into a physical emotion that brings sorrow or joy to us. The smell of a new born babies neck and the touch of his tiny toes always brings a deep breath and a big smile to my face. This sight and touch puts my memory in reverse and immediately I think of cuddling my own children and the joy they brought.
A beautiful morning can be crushed before it has time to continue by erratic words that enter your ears. The sounds seem to quickly go past the ear and into your gut and them explode out to your nervous system. How it is possible? How can three and four letter words effect our emotions?
When our heart is breaking there is a longing to just cry. How is my heart connected to my eyes? My tears seem to be a great release and maybe it is the place where all the tension can be released back into the air. I remember a verse of a song…”He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.” Don’t let anyone convince you that only wimps cry. All great people find a time and place to cry…so they can go on with life. All things are connected.
A beautiful rose may wonder …”what is my purpose?” Then someone walks through the garden and bends down and strokes the roses’ petal. Then the person comes closer and smells the fragrance of the rose and says “oh, this smells so good.” This one little roses’ smell may have brought peace to someone very sad or a recalled a memory of roses in the past. All things are connected.
Within me is the power to pray very privately to God and express all my thanks for His bountiful blessings or I can empty my ugly thoughts and deepest needs. All things within me are connected to Him. I don’t have to be afraid to tell Him my needs (actually He already knows my thoughts). Asking forgiveness and expressing praise opens up new opportunities to see out of different eyes and realize He is in control. All things are connected.
Lord, the things that have passed through our sight this morning can touch us and make a sad day better. You have provided beauty through the smell and color of a garden of flowers. Help us take time to stop to smell the flowers along our path. Bless those that share their words and encouragement. In His Name-AMEN
Some of the most interesting post on this blog begin with some of the earlier post. I would like to suggest that you go back and read through some of stories about country life, life in a WV Coal Camp and many stories about grandparents.
I will be picking up on some new stories that happened in the ’60’s in the next few days. In the meantime, look back and read some of the earlier posts.
I really invite you to leave comments. It is nice to know if any of your writing touchs anyone else.
Paula Hudnall Gift
Let’s roll back the clock almost 59 years and let’s go to Mammoth, WV. You will have to read some of my earlier blog post to learn about living in a WV Coal Camp.
I remember not wanting to leave all my friends like Lynn Hudnall, Karen Agee, Punch and Loretta Edens, The Hurley’s, The Ash Family, The Pringles and Carol Ann Bagley. I was crying and saying how much I would miss my friends.
Paula Hudnall lived next door to us and I always thought she was very nice. I remember her putting her arms around me and she handed me something. It was a very little novelty that looked like an old oil lamp. Paula told me to keep this close to me and every-time I look at it to remember her.
This little lamp brought so much comfort to a little girl that was moving and losing all her friends. Well, 59 years later, I still have that little lamp (picture at the top) and I will keep it forever. As a teen I kept it in my “treasure box” and it has travel with me through many moves and travels.
It is not how big a gift you give, but how you give that makes a difference.
All the last minute shopping at the supermarket is finished (unless I forgot something else). The cocoa mix is ready to serve to the carolers tomorrow night, the cookies have been baked and Rice Crispy Candy is chilling. My holiday candles are flickering and the smell of cinnamon drifts through the house. It smells like Christmas in my house.
My business partner, her husband and their two children paid us a visit this evening. Little E was so excited to hand me a gift bag when he came down to the family room. Inside was the cutist Christmas that he had made and painted green. His parents are teaching him the joy of giving to others. Of course, I hung the ornament on the front of the tree and it will be there each year.
Little E’s sister has a story about the green paint on the ornament. Actually she got into the paint last week and her mom says she was green from head to toe.
This was a wonderful evening with the fire crackling, kids eating cookies, adults drinking hot chocolate and a friends sitting in the floor and chatting with us. This is something you can’t buy.
I was looking through some old cook books this morning and came across one that I made for a church were my husband was pastor over 35 years ago. This seems to fit right in with all of us shopping for Christmas dinners, watching our dollars at the super market and the hustle and bustle of it all.
I will rejoice in the Lord as I set off to market with my children. I will give thanks unto the Lord for this good bright day.
I will praise Him for this car at my disposal, the miracle of it’s body and it’s wheels and it’s engine and even my ability to drive it. For I am but one of a horde of women who propel ourselves about the earth on errands and duties and jaunts of pleasure, in a manner that would be envied by the riches of chariot-ed kings.
I will lift up my eyes to the beauty of the roadside in the morning, to the parks and playgrounds, the schools and stores, to the houses large and small, all so marvelously equipped with devices and comforts for living.
I will open my eyes to the beauty of traffic lights, their glowing Christmas tree colors of scarlet and green. I will see the loveliness of the sunlit parking lot and of mothers hastening to market, alone or with children trailing.
I will give thanks for the privilege of pushing a cart along the aisles, one child in the basket and another hitching rides. I will try not to lose patience, try not to scold. I will be grateful for the friends who pause to chat and for the people who smile upon our little caravan.
I will rejoice and give thanks for the spaciousness and bounty of this place. For all the fragrant, gaily colored foods and products for my home. I will ask for the judgment to choose wisely.
I will rejoice and give thanks to my God who has provided the beauty and abundance of this my land, this my neighborhood and this my hour of marketing.
We had a hill out back of our house in Lincoln Co, WV that would come alive with laughter when the snow was deep enought to sleigh ride. Basil would build a big bondfire in the middle of a large field and all the kids and neighbors were ready to have some fun.
Everyone was bundled up with two pair of pants, toboggans, gloves and heavy coats. Even the mom’s and dad’s were climbing to the top of the hill and doing a belly buster on their kid’s sleigh. We would be outside for hours just climbing, sledding and then back up the hill.
I found a recipe back in the 60’s that we named B. Y. F. Cocoa Mix. (Baptist Youth Fellowship). This was also the hot drink I made for all the people that were sledding in our back yard.
BYF Cocoa (for a crowd)
In a very large Tupperware bowl or some sort of bowl that will seal add:
1 8quart box of nonfat dry milk
1 pound box of Quick Cocoa Mix
1 8oz. jar of non-dairy coffee creamer
1 cup of confectioner sugar
Just mix all the dry ingredients together and seal in the bowl
To make a cup of hot chocolate:
Add 1/3 cup of the dry cocoa mix to your cup and add hot water.
This is the BEST hot chocolate drink you ever tasted. It is an excellent recipe and will keep several months in the sealed bowl. Great for gathering of youth in the winter or holiday gatherings.
Please let me know if you make the mix and if you liked it.
I can still remember the day I made homemade Christmas ornaments with my children. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were making memories for us to remember 45 years later. I still have the instructions here in my old cookbook. The Scotch tape is dried and brown from being stuck in this book long, long ago, but I remember the day.
Creative clay made with ARGO Corn Starch can be easily shaped, then left to harden and dry. Perfect for many uses….from making creative jewelry and ornaments to play clay for children. It’s easy and inexpensive to make. (this is probably why I chose this project)
In a saucepan, stir thoroughly 1 cup ARGO Corn Starch and 2 cups ( 1 lb. package) baking soda. Mix in 1 1/4 cups cold water. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches a slightly moist, mashed potato consistency. Turn out on plate and cover with damp cloth. When cool enough to handle, knead like dough. Shape as desired, or store tightly covered for later use.
To shape creative clay, form with hands or roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with knife or cookie cutter. If desired, trim with bits of clay, moistened and pressed in place. Pierce a hole near edge for stringing a pendant or ornaments. Let dry on protected surface. Creative clay can be painted when dry with water colors, poster paints or felt-tip pens. Brush on clear nail polish or shellac for a protective coating and shine if desired.
We made these ornaments when the kids were very small and they graced our Christmas tree throughout their teen years. We moved to Huntington, WV in the 1982 and the ornaments were stored in our basement (which was moist) and needless to say I cried when I opened the box. All the beautiful ornaments had fallen apart, but I still have the memories.
Make memories with your kids…now.
Much of my early blog writing was centered around all the fun times at Little Granny’s house. I am happy to say my children would also get to experience fun times with the same people.
Our children had LOTS of grandparents. My mom and dad were MawMaw & PawPaw Woodrum. My other grandparents were Granny and Grandpa McClure and Little Granny and Pee Paw. Basil’s mom and dad were MawMaw & PawPaw Hudson. Basil’s grandmother was Granny Lore. All of these grandparent were well, alive and very much a part of my children’s lives. Don’t you think a little child would be confused with all these old grey and gooing people?
I am thankful my children got to experience some of the same “time at granny’s house” that I loved as a kid. Grandparents leave lifetime memories that are pulled up in our mind from time to time. I love to be talking to my sister, Beverly and have a “remember when” moment that just puts that twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face. My kids sat on the same porches, swang in the same swings and were caressed with the same arms that held me.
As we sit around our Thanksgiving table soon, we will remember how my mother always liked my cranberry salad and said it was the best ever. Memories will play through our minds of the precious moments long ago that just seemed like yesterday. I can still remember the smell of granny’s turkey cooking in the oven and see her made from scratch pumpkin pies on the kitchen counter.
Our Thanksgiving time will be joyful, but a little sad when we remember all of our loved ones who have passed on. Perhaps we need to let their lives be an reminder that we need to take time to leave wonderful memories for our grandchildren. Good memories are made with patience, time, love and caring. I need to remember this each day.
I was had really mastered riding on the big 28 inch blue bike I got for visiting the dentist in Hamlin, WV. Wow, it was really streamlined Schwinn and had larger wheels than any of my friends. I could get on this bike and travel places in record time. My blue bike even had a bell that I could ring as I passed a house. I guess you could say I was getting a little cocky.
It was a really hot summer day and my mother said she sure would like to have a nice cold Coca-Cola. We didn’t have any soft drinks at the house, but my Uncle Denver had a little grocery store about half a mile up the road. I was very quick to volunteer to ride my bike and get mother some Coca-Cola. The Coke came in a six pack of small bottles and I didn’t think that would be any problem.
Up the road I went like a blue streak. I was peddling, ringing my bell and thinking how fast you could travel on a big 28 inch bike. I arrived at Uncle Denver’s store, bought the pop, held the little six pack under the right handle bar with my hand. This seemed easier before I tried it.
Down the road I went with the Coke that my mom was wanting on this hot summer day. I couldn’t ring my bell on the way back. I had my hands full. I was almost at our mailbox when a car coming down the road had a big smart driver that wanted to scare me. He got up near me and started blowing his horn and pounding the car door. The next few seconds are hard to remember. I started putting on my brakes, flipped over the handle bars and the Coke went flying on the rocks and gravel below.
Believe it or not, the bottles of Coke didn’t break, but I had blood running down my knees and my pride was injured for weeks to come. That was the last time I delivered “Coke on the rock” via bicycle.
Grandpa McClure’s farm supplied his family with many fruits and vegetables during the summer and winter. He always raised corn, half runner beans, potatoes, onions, lettuce, apples, strawberries, pears, plums, watermelons, mushmellons and grapes. Eating the fresh vegetables in the summer was easy, but lots of work went into freezing and canning for the winter.
Grandpa worked a day job at Wesvaco and was a farmer evenings and Saturday’s. He raised big gardens and expected there to be no waste to the harvest. Granny had a big cellar that was full of canned food and more would be added during the summer. My mom always helped Granny with the canning.
Back in the 50’s people based their value on things very different from today. Women were judged by how many quarts of food they canned, did their laundry look nice and white when it was hung on the clothes line and how well they could quilt and sew. The men boasted of how well their gardens produced, could they repair anything that broke and they were the boss of the family (or so they thought).
Grandpa had a grape arbor and to me it looked dead. I thought he must be crazy to think anything would appear on these dead vines. Grandpa just kept on snipping, pruning and looking at this old dead vine. Before long leaves would appear, but it still looked hopeless. I just couldn’t believe what was happening. This old dead vine was starting to bear green grapes that soon turned purple.
I can still see Grandpa with a bushel basket under the grape arbor. He would gather the grapes and take them in for Grandma to wash. She would cook the grapes, strain them, ad sugar and Sure-Jel to the juice. She would pour the jelly into little jars and seal them. The next morning Grandma would make homemade bis-quits for breakfast and we would spread them with the grape jelly.
All the work that Grandpa put into that old dead vine made it possible for everyone else to enjoy the finished product. I think Grandpa must have used his God given faith in taking care the the grapevine and knew that something good would happen if he would just be patient. I learned this lesson and have applied it to much of my adult life.