Thursday, November 15, 2018

Find Your Path Home This Thanksgiving

Sweet Readers, 

Thanksgiving Day is edging its way down the hollow. Just yesterday the crimson, gold, and chestnut-brown leaves hung from the trees like jewel-toned necklaces. The colors faded to muted forms of themselves, then shriveled and let go of their branches to form warm blankets for the autumn yard. 

I hear the squirrels scratch through the dried, wrinkled leaves, searching for acorns and walnuts. We have an abundance of each this year, the yard becoming a table laden with the bounty for the small creatures. 

The pumpkins and gourds are at their finest now. The orange orbs snuggle with the gold and red bittersweet. Corn shocks, tied with homespun ribbons anchoring them to the farmhouse posts rustle when you get to close.

Wisps of apple wood smoke rise toward heaven from fireplaces up and down the hollow, leaving a scent that warms your heart, as well as your hands and toes. The white clapboard churches in my hollow ring out the sounds of Come You Thankful People Come, and We Gather Together, stirring our souls to be ever thankful.

This year my hubby and I will be alone for Thanksgiving. We received a sweet invitation from friends to have dinner with their family, but we’ve decided to snuggle in here at home.

As I sat thinking about Thanksgiving days past, little gossamer scenes glide past my mind: mine and Jim’s Moms in the kitchen with flour handprints on their aprons, all the grandchildren jockeying for a place to eat on the stairs, Daddy calling me Princess while nibbling on a bite of turkey hot from the oven, the card table full of cakes and pies, and holding hands for the blessing.

I catch a glimpse of our daughter Brooke running by with her doll and see her ponytail swinging as she hurries past. I remember when we cut another long, blond ponytail years later before the chemo took her hair. This childhood glimpse is precious.

The number grows of loved ones that have past as the years roll on. How blessed we were with all those moments of shared laughter and hugs, and love.

I’m thankful, too, for Peggy and Bob in the later years, preparing a delicious meal on Thanksgiving Day. You are missed Peg.

In spite of the changes, it is wonderful to give thanks to the Lord for all our blessings. We are praying for all who have been touched by the devastating fires and floods. 

As you gather this year, I pray you will gather close, hold each hug a little tighter, look deep into your loved one's eyes, press your lips to each child’s soft cheek, and forgive all spills, laugh at the corny jokes, be tolerant of the elders as they repeat the same lines over and over, and wave goodbye from the porch until each car turns the bend.

“Forever on Thanksgiving day, the heart will find the path home.” Wilbur D. Nesbit

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! I pray you are all blessed beyond measure and that your family makes it to your door.

Hope you enjoy the new look of my blog. A huge thanks to two of my dear friends for their hard work on the blog’s behalf. I think the blog is a reflection of my Appalachian home and the traditions and heritage it embodies.

Come go home with me again soon. You are always welcome and I count a blessing and joy for you to be a part of my blog family. You are loved.

With a thankful heart,
Dee Dee

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin:
God, our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s on temple come;
Raise the song of Harvest home!

Come You Thankful People Come~ Henry Alford Public Domain


Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Winter Goodbye...Told in Yellow

Welcome, dear readers.

The first day of spring might be printed in bold back letters on the calendar, but in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, spring is fickle.

A beautiful warm day may waltz her way down the mountain hollow knowing a snowy gray world awaits morning’s first light. Spring will make its appearance in a few days, but for now, snowflakes are dancing outside my window.

The hollow was soundless as I stood and watched the feather-sized snowflakes make their slow journey to the ground…some landing atop the bright yellow forsythia bush…two seasons colliding, vying for victory.

For several weeks the forsythia bushes have had sweet yellow blooms marching down their long graceful limbs. Each day I’ve watched the intensity of color and the size of the yellow, bell-shaped flowers grow in size.

A riot of daffodils ring the stone springhouse, the sweet yellow blooms holding hands with the grape hyacinths…such a pretty pairing. The old farmhouse has daffodils in beautiful beds and also one or two blooms standing defiantly alone, as if choosing their own spot, possibly planted by the farmers wives over the years.

“She turned to the sunlight
 and shook her yellow head,
and whispered to her neighbor:
'Winter is dead.'” AA Milne

This winter season was exceptionally hard in the hollow. Snow followed snow. The pasture across the way wore a blanket of white for several weeks in a row. The cows took the weather in stride, never going hungry because the good farmer brought large bales of hay to eat and for bedding-down warmth. Now I watch the cows enjoy the greening of the hollow. The calves like to congregate near the forsythia bushes on the other side of the fence…makes for a pretty picture.

The daffodils and the forsythia are signs the worst of winter has past.

Have you faced a winter season in life; a cold wind of grief, grey clouds of shame, icicles of bitterness? Rejoice! Solomon’s words reassure us that winter has passed. Spring has won the battle of clashing seasons. 

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth, the season of singing has come. Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Dear reader, let Jesus breathe the warm sweet breath of spring over your life. Let the season of new birth, and the brightness and sweet fragrance of the yellow flowers revive and restore what your winter season strove to destroy. Hallelujah!

More and more color will soon dot the coves and hollows of the mountains. Vibrant reds, sweet pinks, and bright oranges will draw the eye, but for now I will tell winter goodbye and throw open my arms in welcome to spring!

Such is the tug of the mountains.

Come go home with me often,

Dee Dee