A Wuthering Wearying Wind

The wuthering wind howls outside tonight, whistling at the windows, worrying the chimney, whipping around the house’s corners, eaves, and shutters, whimpering at the doors, wanting to come inside out of its own cold.

I hear it rattling tree branches, rustling fallen leaves, robbing the porch of anything left loose. I see it ruffling the mane of the horses’s necks, running like lightning across the hay bales, and rippling the surface of pond.

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I love these lines about the wind found in the poetic book of Amos in the Bible:

For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind

And declares to man what are His thoughts,

He who makes dawn into darkness

And treads on the high places of the earth,

The Lord God of Hosts is His name.

Amos 4:13 NASB

The Old Farm Bell

“Across the wide acres, from the church house, the schoolhouse, the farmhouse––the bell rings and sings through the air and into your soul.” c.e.hollis

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When I first moved to the farm 20 years ago, it was not then a farm. It had been a farm. It had grown sorghum, corn, hay, pecans, and soybeans. Its leaning barn had stored corn, feed, hay, as well as housed cows, horses, turkeys, and chickens.  When we arrived there were a couple of barred owls that haunted the barn.

The old farm acreage had been home to farmers, ranchers, oil well workers, and assorted country folk. Two pear trees below the hill were planted by a man who lived with his family in one of two small rent houses on the property. This man’s son is elderly now and visited us one day. He told the story of how Doctor Watson delivered his baby sister in their house and the doctor was paid with a Jersey milk cow. The houses have long since disappearred and now only the pear trees survive. (We still eat pears from those two trees. I have canned bushels of them, year after year.)

The farm took lots of work to clear and clean up. We had trees to cut, brush to clear, acres to mow, spaces to fence. The house needed a new roof, good windows, new doors, siding and inside, gallons of paint. We pulled up carpet and fixed plumbing, took out a wall, added one, and on and on.p

One thing I wanted after we got the place livable was a bell––a farm bell to call children from their explorations along the creek, their horseback rides through the woods and hay fields, and from the barn, to announce dinner, etc.

Ron bought me one for Christmas that year nearly twenty years ago. (It made a tough thing to giftwrap!) He mounted the bell on a sturdy square post and we added a rope to pull for its clanging song.

I love our bell and so do the children and  grandchildren. It saved me  a lot of yelling.

I have seen it capped with snow, dripping with rain, decorated with icicles, backlit by the sunset, and hot in a sweltering August afternoon. Every farm needs a bell and this farm/pecan orchard/cattle ranch/ homestead has a fine one. If you listen closely I think you can hear the clang-clang, clang-clang, clang-clang it makes.

 

What’s Good About Home

Stories in my book are about the farm, my children and my experiences as a stay-at-home mom.

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Spring Comes Softly

“Spring comes so softly that we don’t hear her voice until we have seen her wave her green. Suddenly there is color and music and our hearts fill with each note.”

c.e. hollis

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Spring Comes Softly

The daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths are first to show up. They are “sudden” clumps of green stems and among them are hidden swellings that become the harbingers of spring––wonderful spring. Who is not waiting for her, watching for her, ready for her warmer days?

The iris fronds are shapely and green. They seem to appear like miracles though we know they are coming. We thought we were watching. We are always certain we’ll spot them––then suddenly they are there. How did that happen?

The trees begin with tiny pale green leafs that burst from buds we didn’t notice. They soon cover the limbs, branches, and every twig that survived the winter’s cold. Some dance in white or pink dresses of blossoms. Some have flowers as green as the new leaves themselves.

The grass shows up in funny patches and then is all of a sudden it is a sight that makes the boy who mows all summer sigh and wish his dad would buy a riding mower. Soon there will be enough grass and clover to blind you with green. Like an explosion––spring has begun.

Tree frogs begin their choruses along the creek bank. New calves romp in the pasture, and birds build nests. The days, still shorter than summer, begin to lengthen and hearts begin to feel the season’s hope.

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Teaching kindergarten and the elementary grades was a delight to me. I enjoyed the days of watching little persons grow and begin their educations.

Elementary students are fragile and wonderfully teachable. I wanted to do the best with my students, so for me it was a season of prayer and a season of joy––SPRING!

I wrote these prayers and matched them to the sights and sounds of springtime and to scriptures from Psalms that touched my heart.

The Heart of Spring––Prayers for Teachers

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