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I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year! Other than my catching a lousy cold, mine was great!

The start of a new year is to me a time to wipe the slate clean, and move on. 2012 wasn’t the greatest year for me, (especially since hubby and I lost both our dads this fall, and politically because; "Santa Claus Obama", with all his entitlement gifts won out, and our nation will not be the better for it!) But it’s time to put sadness and disappointments behind us, and get on with life such as it is.

I’ve always hated January because it’s the let-down after Christmas month. In my mind’s eye, nothing is happening, nothing is planned, the snow is deep, and everything seems to be at a standstill at a cold and dreary time of year. Maybe that’s why we got married in January—to have at least one thing to celebrate!

I remember, as kids, my brothers and I would fight over card games, and drive our mother nuts trying to referee on most of those ugly January days with nothing doing inside or out but bad weather. We played lots of Gin Rummy, and put together picture puzzles to wile away dull weekends, and after school hours for the entire gray month.

Where I’m from, everyone cut their baby teeth on a deck of pinochle cards. My hubby grew up the same way, but now it’s hard to find anyone, outside of family, who plays the game. There are several versions, of course, but we prefer what’s called, ‘Deck an’ a Half.’ It’s lots more challenging than single deck. We played Canasta, Rook, Gin, Slap, and many other card games too as kids. Why don’t you folks write me, and tell me of the games you played while growing up.

Our farm would be frozen over with crusty, deep snow by January, so we spent a lot of our time walking on top of it over fence lines, and sometimes even chicken coups, and sheds that were partially buried beneath. Mom worried about us falling through and floundering like cattle, but we were too skinny and fast to sink through.

In my day, kids were far too active to be fat. We ate like horses, but ran it off daily by either working, or playing hard. Activity kept us healthy and thin. Everything is just too easy, and push-button these days. Why, even plumbers and faucet makers seem to think we’re not capable of flushing a toilet on our own, or turning the water tap on and off. Everything is far too automated…

I miss those old hand-crank butter churns, and ice cream-makers, and well water pumps you had to prime four or five good pumps on that long handle before you got results. No one seems to work hard at anything today, and thus, we have the government telling the schools what they can sell in vending machines, and serve in school lunch programs so our children won’t die of diabetes, or high cholesterol by age twenty. My my, what have we come to?

I have a feeling, the next generation, (that includes my grand-kids age group---Generation X) will not live the robust, hardy life we old poops have lived because we earned everything by the sweat of our brow, and knew getting a good education with no nonsense parents and teachers pushin’ us all the way would be our escape from diggin’ ditches for a living the rest of our lives. If we wanted better, we worked hard to earn better. And forget being handed an inheritance from our folks when they passed on. No way was that expected, nor did it happen in most cases.

To you old timers, can you imagine in our day a kid getting clear through high school without learning to read? I can’t, but it’s quite common today. Talk about dumbing-down our schools both from lack of respect for authority, and a system that’s been broken for the past thirty years when the ‘Golden Rule’ went out the window, and ‘Christianity’ was driven from our schools.

It’s sad, but we have no further to look than right there to put blame on what happened in Connecticut eleven days before Christmas. It wasn’t the automatic weapon that killed those innocent, little children, but young adults who have grown up in a world without God, or any rules to live by. Guns don’t kill-----undisciplined, mental crackpots do. Gun Control will not solve this problem!

Well, I’ve gone an’ said my piece again, but I do get frustrated seeing the state of affairs this wonderful country I grew up in fall into ruin like the Roman empire did many, many centuries ago for the same reasons—It started at the top right on down to the ignorant peasant in the field then too. Look it up, and compare!

Y’all try to muddle through these winter months as best ya can, and I’ll tickle your ears again real soon.

Below is one of my winter poems that’ll chill ya to the bone.



WINTER OF FIFTY-FIVE


I remember well the blizzards
in the winter of fifty-five,
an’ how I dang near froze to death
just tryin’ to survive.

It was in the mighty Tetons—
up Wyomin’ way—
the wind was blowin’ sideways
pert near ever’day.

My friend, Henry Jones, an’ I,
arrived an’ stowed our gear
in a line-shack on the mountain top,
it seemed for most a year.

With a lean-to for our horses,
Big Red, an’ my horse, Pie,
we hunkered down against the cold
up where coyotes cry.

Two cots for beds was where we slept
right close to hearth and fire
as snow blew thru’ the wall cracks
makin’ warmth our one desire.

Huntin’ weren’t so awful
‘til October’d come an’ gone,
with blizzards that just never quit—
the shelves was bare ‘fore long.

We tried to ration what we had
instead of goin’ out—
no man would want to face those storms,
of that there is no doubt.

But fin’lly, Henry weakened,
an’ he mentioned with a growl,
“We’d best hunt up a stray cow
‘cause outside the door—wolves howl.”

We hadn’t left the cabin far
when by grace of God, or luck,
my horse, Pie, whinnied, sniffed the air,
an’ then we spied a buck.

I draw’d real slow—my old carbine,
an’ took most careful aim—
darin’ not to miss him
‘cause his carcass we must claim.

Down he went with just one shot,
my breath I could exhale—
fresh venison a few more weeks
in storm, an’ freezin’ gale.

By spring, the horse’s hay run out,
an’ they was lookin’ thin—
shoots come peekin’ thru’ the snow
an’ they fattened up again.

*************************************
I think that dang near’t cured me
from roundin’ up stray beef—
the cold, the wind, an’ starvin’
was the sum of too much grief.

I headed south to Texas
where the sun shines more than not—
now I’m workin’ in the flatlands
where winters are plum’ hot!


Tamara Hillman
©2006
 

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Thanks Tamara again for a great poem about winter.
Make me think of pass winter and all the fun we had
and the plans we dreamed up for snow days. Now the
snowy cold winters are hard on my joints.I just enjoyed
remembering the good pass winters.
 

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Tamara; i never did go in much for card games with others as where i am from there just weren't that many neighbors. Out side of school my contacts with those of my group was pretty limited. Kind of grew up with a fishin pole in one hand and a rifle in the other.
 
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