By Paula Mitchell
The mountaineer welcomes children happily into the family. Babies have a unique place in the family. Babies are fussed over, played with and carried about. Many years ago, large families were considered a blessing, as they were help to the family in making a living. It was not at all uncommon for families to have eight or more children.
Children are highly valued as they give meaning to the parents’ lives. With all the modern technology, children have never been able to invent a machine as versatile or efficient as their mother. Oftentimes, one thing must be done at the same time as there were so many different things to do in the day. It was no accident that the cradle had rockers rather than legs because while she read a book in one hand, moved the up-and-down churn with the other hand, she could rock the cradle with her foot. Anything less than a 14-hour day and an 84-hour week would have been considered a vacation by mother. By 5:30 in the morning, mother would start breakfast and the day would continue from there.
Breakfast was no hurried affair. A large plate of fried eggs, another of cured ham, a plate of steaming biscuits or pancakes, fried potatoes and gravy was quite appropriate. Few families worried about being hungry. Mother saw to that. Cellars and pantries were filled for the long, dreary winter months.
A firm hand no longer seems to rule in the home. Mother’s hand shone in the planning of almost everything, excluding the outside work. It included meals, clothes, visits and the millions of details that were required to keep a home going. Her hand soothes the hot brow of a youngster, or the adult in times of illness, or easing the bump and bruise, or paddling the small behind when it was necessary to do so. For every woodshed trip with father, there were 50 smaller events with mother. She often sang hymns as she went about her work, and the children would join in.
There were many chores that a six- or eight-year-old child could perform, ranging from filling the wood box, fetching water, or getting the cows, to watching the baby. Under those circumstances, a feeling of pride in being needed, along with dependability, took place.
There are many things children need more of: unstructured play, sunlight, nature, hugs, freedom to explore, laughter, simplicity, belief in the goodness, daily rituals and rhythms, a calm environment, compassion, a shoulder to cry on and expressed gratitude for who they are.
The baby remains a welcoming addition to today’s family. They are loved and valued. Mothers remain a doctor, nurse, or whatever is needed, even though the times have changed.
Life’s little instructions to make one’s life richer include the following:
- When asked to play the piano, do so without complaining.
- Pay one’s bills on time.
- Pay for a poor child to go to summer camp.
- Read more books.
- Never say anything uncomplimentary about one’s family in the presence of others.
The hottest, most sultry days of summer have been conjured up. They are called the Dog Days; arriving July 3 and ending Aug. 11. Even the daylight hours are decreasing, soon to be noticeably evident. Gentle rains have been well received this past week.
This week’s clickety-clacks for the chin waggers are as follows:
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his first symphony when he was eight years old.
- In 1797, London haberdasher John Etherington designed the top hat.
- Butchers in Frankfurt, Germany, created the frankfurter. It was nicknamed the “dachshund sausage” and then rechristened the “hot dog” in America.
- The game of volleyball was invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts, by William G. Morgan
- Inspired by annoyingly clingy cockleburs, Swiss mountaineer George de Mestral developed Velcro.
When there is a breeze, life is better on the porch swing to hear the “Talk of the Grove.”
Helen and Rhonda Nash had a full house at Nashland recently. Callie and Gregory Fox and Hannah, Madalyn, Nolan and Tucker of Bumpass, Virginia, spent nearly a week and were joined midway by Holly Lowery and Kinsley and Levi of Mineral, Virginia. They enjoyed softball in the backyard and playing in the river, lunch at Olive Garden, shopping at the Green Valley Book Fair, a visit to the White Oak Lavender Farm, ice cream from Kline’s, a trip to the flea markets in Franklin with bowling and lunch at the Rec Center and movies, jigsaw puzzles and charades at home. Maddy, Nolan and Tucker extended their stay for a few extra days and really enjoyed the town pool and a wonderful firework’s display in Brandywine. Helen and Rhonda love what has become a summer family tradition.
Robert and Nancy Hodges spent the weekend at Wesley and Becky Puffenbarger’s home. They enjoyed babysitting their grandchildren, Ben, Emma and Nathan.
Ken and Margie Roberts have their daughter, Katey, and husband, Elliott, visiting from Albuquerque, New Mexico, along with daughter, Julie, visiting from Raleigh with her children, Rhys and Lilianna. They love the Brushy Fork Lake and all the scenery here.
Calvary and St. John Lutheran Churches held joint services Sunday, which was followed by a potluck dinner. The children had an afternoon of Vacation Bible School, ending the evening with a slip and slide and s’mores. All learned about the “healing tree” theme which included crafts, games, storytelling and assembling first aid kits which will be sent to Guatemala via Whitney Bowers Saulton.
Marleta Wimer, Leana Leap, Hendrix Bogan, Dave Kuykendall and Bill and Terri Grogg were visitors of Rosalee Grogg.
Quotes for the week are as follows:
“Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.” — Dr. Seuss
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” — Winston Churchill
“July is hot afternoons and sultry nights and mornings when it’s joy just to be alive.” — Hal Borland
“I’d like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free and wanted other people to be also free.” — Rosa Parks
“Here men from the planet earth first set foot on the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” — Neil Armstrong
July birthdays continue: Lucas Kiser, 19; Jeffrey Mitchell and Vickie Simmons, 20th; Ann Marie Weese, 21st; Johnny Thompson, Lauren Williams and Jesse C. Propst, 22nd; Barbara Parker, Betty Puffenbarger and Brenda Cook, 24th; Judy Patch and Kevin Rexrode, 25th; Hannah Rexrode, Shirley Wimer and Wilma Pitsenbarger Rexrode, 26th; Thelma Fleisher, 28th; Kent Gardiner and Barbara Simmons, 29th; Meghan Keller and Hunter McConnell, 29th; Michael Fisher, 30th; and Colby Simmons and Don Thomas, 31st.
Concerns for this week are many, and they are as follows: Charles Anderson, Bill Brackman, Scherry Chambers, Charlotte Copley, Jeff Craig, Jeff Evick, Lee Roy and Ina Evick, Mary Eye, Ron Gilkeson, Barry Gordon, Lola Graham, Marlene Harman, Ramona Harman, Steve and Armanda Heavner, Starr Hedrick, George Hevener, Gary and Jackie Hills, Rose Hinkle, Virgil Homan, Jr., Charlie Marie Hoover, Lorena Hoover, Myrtle Hoover, Bob Hurry, Alice Johnson, Richard Judy, Margaret Kiser, Rex Landis, the Vickie Losh family, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Roger and Skip Mallow, Yvonne Marsh, Neil McLaughlin, Naomi Michael, Joe Moats, Lincoln Moore, Ernie Morgan, Aaron Nelson, Kathy Nelson, Ken and Ruth Nelson, Bennie Nesselrodt, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, Alda Propst, Betty Lou Propst, Kara Propst, Kathy Propst, Linda Propst, Sheldon Propst, Pam Rexrode, Donna Ruddle, Bernie Sasscer, Barbara Simmons, Emily Simmons, Erin Simmons, Eva Simmons, Charlie Sites, Ona Smith, Stanna Smith, Patricia Swecker, Rosa Tichenor, Sandra Vandevander, Jack Vogel, Judy Waggy, Ron White, Judy Williams, Larry Wimer and Carol Windett.