BRANDON WISCONSIN R.R-2 ZIP-53919
What a mixture of so many ingredients is this life we live here on earth. The moods we get into are as changeable as the weather, and if we were to live by them, what a miserable time we would have. And yet this wonderful variability is what puts the challenge into all we do and are. When we pick up the Iron Men Album as it comes we ask ourselves, 'What unusual story is going to be within its pages this issue?' 'What will the old time pictures be?'
I have a new variety of Christmas Cactus in bud. What will the blossoms look like? The foliage is quite different than my old standard plant. This plant was in blossom for Christmas this year. The other will be open by New Year's Day. And, I ask myself, will the neighbor's cardinal ever venture over to our bird feeder? All we seem to get is sparrows. Don't misunderstand, I do not despise sparrows. They are God's creatures also, but a change would be nice. I would like his lovely red feathers to match the color inside our house.
The delicate tracery of the denuded limbs on an oak tree are an interesting picture now as we see them against the background of snow and sky. And as we look forward to another spring the neatly wrapped leaves on an emerging spear of a tulip shoot will again create another mood within us. There will be promise and fulfillment when we are patient. Surely it is a marvel the way they come forth from the frigid ground.
Another reason I am waiting for spring is so that my old parlor organ will gather wind again. Somehow the winter heat has a reverse effect upon its bellows. But there is a great deal to be completed before spring comes. Your Fellow Steam Enthusiast is writing another book. I have to believe some publisher will like it or I might as well quit right now.
On second thought, I should not say that. In reading the first chapter or two to our youngest daughter she learned more about our childhood on the farm than she had ever heard me tell. She was number six in the family and I was too busy by that time to have time for all these memories. If the publisher says 'No' the family will have a record to remember, at least.
As I sit in my comfortable living room chair with my feet on a well-padded footstool I adjust my lap board to the right position and the past comes sweeping back over me. How wonderful it is to relive it in the same house some of all this took place. The house was built in 1920 and the excitement of it comes back to me afresh. Before this the old house in which I was born rested on the same ground. Only two old oak trees remain as I remember them as a child.
The Country School I attended is now someone's house, the wild myrtle by the side of the road lost to road widening, and the horse and buggy, wagons, and sleighs replaced by trucks, cars, and busses, but I miss nothing as much as the wild myrtle. When spring comes how I would like to run down that dirt road again and find afresh the tiny blue blossoms which we so admired and appreciated. Now, I ask myself, why my Vinca Minor growing beside what is left of the old woodshed doesn't seem to be nearly as lovely as the wild mrytle of my childhood? All the information I dig up on the family of mrytles seems to indicate that THIS is it. And yet it doesn't seem to be.
Could this be another one of my moods bringing back memories of myrtle that was really Vinca Minor? We find ourselves in this mood more and more as we grow older. And isn't it really a dangerous thing, being so bound to the past as to lose some of the present? When the children are grown and away from home for some of the Holidays we find ourselves more than a little sad. We just do not want to remind ourselves that if we had that many people around for very long we would be fit for a hospital bed.
This was about my experience the last Thanksgiving weekend. We had thirteen people in our house for four days. It was something to be remembered and cherished but when it was all over with I was ill for ten days with an abscessed tooth. So - it would seem - we have some new lessons to be learned - how to grow older gracefully. I will never forget one dear old lady we knew who was told be her daughters and daughter-in-laws one Thanksgiving Day, 'Now, you sit down, Mother. You have done it all these years. Let us take over now.' I shall never forget how she sat in her chair, straight-backed and fighting the tears. She had been laid aside, and she thought it the most cruel blow she could be given, when her children considered it only kindness and thoughtfulness. How hard it is to let go of the helm and see someone else take our place, and yet, how thankful we should be there is someone to take over.
But I must ask the question, does someone among our readers know, is there old fashioned wild mrytle growing somewhere near you? Perhaps I will seem a little more reasonable to myself if I find that there is. Is it growing in your woods?