By MAE BABER, R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin
It makes me rather happy this morning to find that we are still not too old to take a chance, and we are really taking one this morning. It is 6:10a.m. and we are headed 225 miles due north to the funeral of a dear friend, and heavy snow is the forecast for the entire state.
Should we be making the trip now, in May or June, all of nature would be be awake and growing but we are rather welcoming seeing the north country in its winter dress as I write this column.
The evergreens, of which we have relatively few in our locality, are beautiful with their white covering. They remind me of the row of green sentinels which stood back of the church sheds where the horses were kept while we worshipped in the old country church about forty years ago. It was on a spring morning in 1924 in that church that I found Christ as my Saviour.
Mother and Dad Wilsie , as we called them, took us with them to Sunday School and Church. They were good neighbors who sensed our spiritual needs. Today we are going to the funeral of their youngest son's wife and it brings back a flood of memories. If there are some unchurched youngsters in your neighborhood think what it may mean to them if you tuck them under your parental wings and make an attempt at being their spiritual parents.
Then there is the ironical truth that when parents try to hand down a spiritual heritage to their children it is sometimes most unappreciated and even bitterly resented. It is then that heartbreak for parents come as every Christian realizes God has no grand-children. Each individual has his own decision to make and he can either accept or reject salvation. We can hand down many things but not this. In a world full of all kinds of ideologies how carefully we should walk that our life may speak even more vehemently than what we say.
I wonder how often we 'ladies' (and surely we should all conduct ourselves that no one would question the thought of calling us ladies) realize that we have a special privilege of perhaps being the ideal of some little girl. Mother Wilsie was my ideal of a wonderful woman. Perhaps I didn't know all sides of her personality but the side I saw as a child was enough to make a terrific impact.
When I remember this I get a panicky feeling of what kind of an impact I am making on my own children and other young people with whom I come in contact. What a tremendous responsibility is ours. Young people do not want to be bad. They want someone worthy of looking up to, - someone of whom they would like to say, 'I want to be like her when I grow up.'
Recently I saw a young woman trying to smoke a cigarette and feed two small children and herself. I got such a sick feeling at the example she was setting it spoiled my lunch also. It surely wasn't a pleasant nor enriching experience. She was a busy person - that I will admit. I doubt whether part of her busyness was of much credit to her.
As I rest my eyes gazing on these beautiful, lacy evergreens interspersed with white birch, all in their setting of lovely, pure white I remember gracious ladies I have known and some I know today with dainty lace at their throats and crowns of white hair, and one of the loveliest of these was Mother Wilsie. The saintly expression on her face told of patience, faith and love. One cannot match this loveliness with any amount of so-called glamour. The word rather nauseates me.
One hundred miles have clicked up on our speedometer and all is well. The storm warnings have been diminished somewhat and we are thankful for God's goodness to us. I definitely feel His hand is over us. The road is good taking the time of year into consideration.
We have the most beautiful classical music on the car radio. The violins are really singing. Both my husband and I go for this type of music and now we have ample time to fully listen and absorb it. It lifts you out of yourself, soothes the soul and is a balm for the sorrow we carry with us.
We are approaching Wausau and are absorbing something not so pleasant - the smell of paper mills, at least that is what we think they are. The farther we come the more stately are the evergreens and the more vast the stillnesses. Oh! - I love it in the wintertime too !
Now that we are back home and the sadness has worn off a little I can say I am glad I have seen the north-land in the wintertime. It makes me wonder whether there will be any adventures into our summertime world this year. We have never seen the west and have a number of friends and relatives who are urging us to come west. Somehow I am afraid of the thought of crossing the mountains. I suppose it is one of those things you fear until you face it.
Keep in mind that Wisconsin is lovely any time of the year as you travel around, but from what we have seen of the east, south and the middle west there is something to see most anywhere in the Good Old U.S.A.