The Ladies Page

COUNTRY ECHOES


| November/December 1974



Brandon, Wisconsin, RR-2, 53919

For over fifteen years I have been sending these country echoes to you, and now and again getting response from you. It has enriched my 'growing older' years. There is a certain release in writing thoughts down on paper, and in the doing of it, finding there are many people, who, in a chaotic age, still believe in down-to-earth lasting things. Some things never change. 1974 has been a disillusioning year. Our trust in the old-fashioned virtues of honesty and integrity in mankind has been shattered. And yet we must go on. We must pick up the pieces and get over this hump of negative thinking. Negative thinking never gets us anywhere. And how hard we are to live with.

Pollyanna? You may ask? Always look on the bright side of things? No matter how we hurt inside? Well, we can try, can't we? For what is our alternative? Despair? Rancor? Hate? Suspicion? How can we live with this deadly crew and survive? Death runs off of their grimy edges and we are left with a very sour bowl of cherries. (And who can afford sugar to sweeten them at today's prices, you may ask.)

Something happened to me this summer which I consider significant. Others would probably consider my viewpoint ridiculous. But I count it a blessing. I have always enjoyed the blossoms of the wild cucumber as certain summers are fragranced with their bloom. I have gathered seeds, during past years, tried to grow them in my yard, over a stone pile, up a trellis, but I had no success.

Now, our country yard does have a certain degree of order among its shrubs and flower borders. One has to have this, I suppose, or we go out of bounds. I will say we have a fair amount of order. So, my Jack-In-The-Pulpit, Wild Larkspur, Spiderwort in azure blue, Shooting Stars, Hepatica, Blood Root, Dutchman's-Breeches, and various daffodils all blossomed in orderly fashion around our front door. The ferns exulted among them in all their fronded greenery.

As spring turned to summer, there amongst all this woodsy atmosphere there suddenly appeared a wild cucumber; as hale and hearty a wild cucumber as I have ever seen. MAN! HOW SHE GREW! Her tendrils are creeping across my front steps, and out over the lawn. She is rampant, all right. She likes the fertility that comes from a winter cover of leaves as well as the other flowers do. I have named her Coralee.