Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Daisies Greet Reminders of Summer Fun

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Daisies Greet Reminders of Summer Fun

Article excerpt

'I Saw God Wash the World'

By Bill Stidger

I saw God wash the world last night

With His sweet showers on high;

And then when morning came

I saw Him hang it out to dry.

He washed each slender blade of grass

And every trembling tree;

He flung his showers against the hills

And swept the rolling sea.

The white rose is a deeper white;

The red, a richer red

Since God washed every fragrant face

And put them all to bed.

There's not a bird, there's not a bee

That wings along the way,

But is a cleaner bird and bee

Than it was yesterday.

I saw God wash the world last night;

Ah, would He had washed me

As clean of all my dust and dirt

As that old white birch tree!

***

May showers continue falling, bringing more greenness to our hills and coaxing out the wildflowers. Mom called these showers "the cold May rains, the forerunner of our warm spring days. I loved to hear her tell of this time of year when she was a little girl down on Big Laurel Creek. The winter firewood would be already burned, and as these days were still cool, she remembers going out in the field with her mother and hunting rotten pine stumps.

She couldn't have been very old, as her mother died when Mom was only 11. They would push over the old stumps and carry them to the fireplace where they burned hot and cheery. It made the old house warm and welcoming.

The ice would have melted on Big Laurel Creek and broken up, going out to Elk River with the crashing roar of a dozen locomotives. Then the red suckers would travel up the creek, where three little girls, Addie, Ruby and Mom would have their fishing poles ready. Of course their fishing rods were just a sturdy limb cut from a tree - usually hickory - tied with strong twine and a straight pin hook fastened on it. They perched on the Big Rock above the creek where they caught suckers and sometimes a horny-headed chub.

Springtime was great on Big Laurel Creek. The school term was over just about the time the soles were worn off their shoes, and it was time to go barefoot anyway. Mom would tell of the good times she had playing with her sisters, and she made it sound so pleasurable that I longed to be a little girl and play with my mother down on Big Laurel.

I'm sure it wasn't as pleasant as Mom made it sound, but it was those memories she carried with her even after Alzheimer's had taken a toll on her mind.

After I broke my leg and had to send her to a personal care home, she thought she was back on Big Laurel Creek. She was very content there, and after my leg healed and I was able to care for her, I wouldn't move her.

She told me one time that she thought Heaven would be like going back home to Big Laurel, with Dad and Mommy and all her brothers and sisters. That would be Heaven for her.

The common oxeye daisies are blooming now, their cheerful faces shining all along the roadsides and brightening the fields and meadows. …

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