Barefoot Memories of a Hillbilly

A Day For Cream of Enthusiasm Soup

The whipping wind and cold mist of the weekend have done all they can to rearrange nature. Last week's dingy ragged leaves have been culled from the trees leaving behind a transformed world. The hickories are bare where last week they had donned a robe of a lightly rusted gold. The gum trees shed their Crimson trim. The maples that appeared to have been painted with a generous brushing of whimsical candy corn paint are now as bare as poverty’s cupboards. The air is crisp and cool, and if ever a day had been created for cooking up a batch of cream-of-enthusiasm soup, today is the day! Mom has a little fire going in the stove to help drive off this morning's chill, and happily the smoke seems to be rising high into the air. Last week, any smoke from the chimney settled low to the ground and hung like a weighted blanket near the ground, which of course is a definite sign of gloomy damp weather ahead. Today's rising high of the smoke signals it's gonna be clear for a couple days.

Pap was telling me about another sign of ugly faced weather this morning. He said the old timers always said if it clouded up on a frost, that bad weather would come calling that evening. So I'm gonna keep track of the weather for a bit to see if I can catch the sky getting heavily clouded on a day where it has dawned with a clear sky and big frost covering the land. I love weather signs, and knowing that, any time Mom or Pap think of one they've heard, they try to let me know. I guess, like most folk, the one I'm most familiar with is the one mentioned in the book of Matthew in the Bible is about the red sky at morning being a warning to sailors, and red sky at night being a sailor's delight. Some old sayings are hit and miss, but I've been caught out in enough bad weather going to and from the church school to know the sailor's warning to be tried and true.

The trees are a good way to study weather as well. Old folks believed the more heavily laden the nut trees were, such as beechnuts, hickories and walnuts, the more likely the winter will be generous with its snow, ice and zero temps. This holds true for the berries on the dogwood and holly trees as well. The theory is this is nature's way of providing the squirrels, birds and other critters of having the bounty they need to survive the long and horrible winter conditions. The Bible covers this by explaining the birds never worry because God knows their needs and meets those needs. That's a pretty comforting thought, you know. Cause if God tends to the needs of even the small creatures like birds, then he most certainly will be watching out for us.

I wear shoes now, but sometimes I have barefoot memories.

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