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Just Outside My Door 04/25/13

May 1, 2013
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

We are getting rain on this Friday, April 19. It came down in torrents on our way home from Erie this morning.

It's much cooler this afternoon than it was yesterday when our thermometer hovered near 80 degrees Fahrenheit. One might have thought summer had arrived if the calendar hadn't said it was only April. Yesterday I took a short walk and then checked all the new signs of spring in our yard. Daffodils and hyacinths bloomed profusely by our backdoor. On the north and south borders of our yard there were still more of those yellow flowers. My wild flower bloodroots and violets beautified the backyard fence, and just beyond the fence I saw a few new green leaves on a couple scrub bushes. The pussy willows in the mill lot completed the spring picture just outside my door.

I saw other things in the yard also that indicated the many tasks that fall on me now that the new season is here. Although I wish I could do all of them, I'm thankful Marlin will soon come and do most of those jobs. I get to purchase the flowers and hopefully can plant them. Being outside and working in the gardens is one of my favorite places to be, but nowadays my body doesn't always agree. Therefore I have to be content to just watch as the work progresses, enjoy the beauty all around and thank God I can still accomplish many tasks inside and out, though it takes a bit longer to do them.

I'm thankful also for the many good outdoor memories of yesteryear stored in my memory bank including walking barefoot behind the furrows of soil as my dad plowed a field in spring. I loved the feel of warm earth on my feet and the spring fragrance all around. There was a quietude with the only sounds being that of the horses harnesses jangling, dad's telling them to "he" or "ha," and the birds morning melodies.

Another good memory is picking wild strawberries in the meadow with our mom and my siblings. We knew it would result in shortcake for supper and jam next winter. I also recall picking those berries with one or more of our children in tow. We not only picked them, but we enjoyed all the spring surroundings including the birds, the flowers and many other things in nature. It offered a good time to speak of the Creator of our outdoor world and mankind.

Still another memory is of playing in the creek as a child and later taking our children, grandchildren and other youngsters to our creek. Even the younger ones love going to the creek with mom or gamma. They taught me all about catching crabs or crayfish, as is the proper name for them. Sometimes having a frog race was one of the day's activities. Of course they had to catch two of them to do it. Damming the creek was also a fun activity of the kids and of course wading in the water. The latter usually necessitated getting wet, but it didn't bother them even if the water was chilly. As the kids got older, we went to a neighbor's pool in summer.

Looking back, there are mistakes we made in our parenting over the years, but one thing I always knew was that giving children time is one of the most important things parent's can give to their children and grandchildren. There is always a lot of housework for mom's to do, but I would advise new couples it would be better to not try being a perfect housekeeper or parent. You can easily skip some tasks that seem necessary to you. Kids don't need a completely sterile home with never a spot or blemish. Moreover, they are capable of helping according to their age. They need unconditional love, discipline, time and parents who will listen to them. The very best information on parenting can be found in God's word.



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