Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2003, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Bygone Springs

    A pleasant "good morning" to all! It is a spring day here in these Ozarks. Crocus, tulips and jonquils are up--all sure signs that winter will soon be a thing of the past.
    It is said that memory is the key which unlocks the past and I am remembering springs of long ago. I enjoy just sitting and thinking of bygone springs.
    As we grow older, I think we are prone to forget the unpleasant things in our past and remember mostly the good. Our minister recently had as his sermon subject, "Go forward and forget the past." I know what he had reference to, for aren't we going forward every year? My mother used to say when the day was done, "We are one day nearer eternity." And so we are.
    But I still love remembering those springs of long ago. We were always glad to see winter go. Spring was a busy time ... making garden, the farmers plowing for the plantings of corn, oats and cane. One can drive for miles now and not see corn growing anywhere. It seems raising cattle is now more profitable.
    I had a happy carefree childhood. We lived on the farm and enjoyed the simple life. I enjoyed working on the farm. I never liked housework very much and was happy to let mother take care of it. The farm yielded most of our living. I don't remember my mother ever buying canned food from the stores. We had our meat, milk, eggs and all the vegetables we wanted. Mother always canned and dried many kinds of fruits.
    We had no bills to pay--just the yearly taxes on our land.
    I don't remember how our school teachers were paid, but the teacher taught all eight grades to some 40 pupils. I recall the eighth grade consisted of higher arithmetic, algebra, civil government, physiology, and Arkansas history. We really knew our "books" then; it was expected of us. we received our physical education on the playground at recess and noontime. As farm children, nobody worried about us not getting enough exercise!
    Along with our books, we were taught how to live with people and to practice the Golden Rule. School was opened by singing and reading a chapter in the Bible. I don't think that reading of the Bible had an adverse effect on anyone. I loved my school years and the things I learned have stayed with me.
    I enjoy the articles and the poems in the "Over the Ozarks" column so much and a big "thank you" to all you writers and poets.
    It is indeed a great privilege to be living in these Ozarks hills, especially in the spring. A happy springtime to all you readers!

Mellie Smith

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