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Just Outside My Door 11/08/12

November 14, 2012
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

The picture and temperature just outside my door has changed vastly since the past week. All the trees and shrubs in our yard, except the blue spruce and other evergreens, are naked. Bill has disposed most of the leaves on the ground, and the green grass is visible again. It won't be long however, for soon the snowflakes will fall gently down and cover it again. The harvest is over and the new season is creeping closer.

Nowadays we can see the lights of our neighbors again making them seem closer. I like that, for when the winter wind blows and the first snow of the season arrives, I think of them tucked closely together in the warmth of their homes. It reminds me of the many homeless people and those who don't have enough finances to make their homes comfy and warm, or even to keep enough food should a winter storm hit them.

When I think of storms that take place in many places, I'm thankful we have seldom been hit with the kinds of storms many other areas in our country often get. Nevertheless, we do have snowstorms. But with today's modern equipment, there's not nearly as many problems connected with them as there were years ago. Furthermore, with today's technology folk are made aware of storms before they arrive. Thus they can get prepared ahead of it. Of course some of the stores are sold out of certain foods and items they might need. In yesteryear it was different.

In that yesteryear many people were self-sufficient. Folk raised gardens and canned great amounts of produce. Most people had at least one fruit tree, a nut tree and berry bushes, especially the black blackberries in the woods, which were canned too. Often they had at least one cow, so butter, cheese and milk were readily available. Pigs and chickens were also raised for meat and eggs. If they didn't have electricity or if they did and it went out, either oil lamps and or candles supplied light and wood stoves provided for cooking and heat. Nowadays folk are often too busy or just don't want to have a garden or to can or freeze food for winter. Some don't even know how to can or freeze it, especially young folk.

I remember when my grandparent's used oil lamps. I have their rail lamp and my great uncles hanging light. My mom electrified the latter and it's over our dining room table. We light the rail one during our Christmas celebration. I cherish those items I have that once belonged to either Bill's or my family. They all bring back many memories of long ago.



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