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Just Outside My Door

January 9, 2014
Elaine Cole , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

I give you the following information concerning the weather we have been getting in Sherman and the area around it, so you folks that are spending the winter in the south will know what you're missing! When I got up this morning, Jan. 3, it was 2 degrees below zero here, and now, as I start writing at 3 p.m., it is 2 degrees above zero. Nevertheless, the sun is shining and the sky is as blue, as it is in June. The shadows created on the ground by the naked trees, contrasted with the pure white snow, it makes a beautiful picture just outside my door. Although it's much warmer down there than it is up here, I'm sure that the beauty is no more lovely than it is here.

In recent years, we have not had as much snow as we often had in many yesteryears. For instance, I remember how it was in 1946, when I was in high school. We had a blizzard around Thanksgiving time and it was several days before I got back home again. The snow on the road was as deep as it was in the field. We enjoyed a week or more off of school that year.

I also recall that when I was a young child and we lived on a dirt road, that often was not plowed, we had to walk to the corner to get on the bus. Some days in winter, when it was very cold, we waited for the bus in a little house on the main road where a mom and her older son lived. It was there that I learned to play the guitar from Ernie Clark, the man in that house.

Although in recent years the temperature never caused an experience such as we had back then, there have been numerous times over the years when local schools have been closed in winter because of the weather. Last Friday was an example of that when the weather prediction indicated a snowstorm for the following day. It doesn't happen nearly as often nowadays, however, and I suppose that is partly because snow-removal equipment is much more effective than it was in yesteryear.

As I reminisce about winter time long ago, I remember my mom telling me how it was when she attended high school. She had to walk several miles from Hartfield, where she worked, to Mayville, whatever the weather was. I can't imagine doing that, especially in winter when the snow pilled high or on rainy days. Probably that's why some youth never graduated from high school. Also, not as many students who would like to have gone to college were not able to attend because of the travel expense, among many other reasons.

My parents both attended college for one year. My mom went to Moody College in Chicago and paid for it by singing in the Moody Church. I don't know how my dad paid for his college. They both left when dad's mother became sick. They returned home so mom could care for her. They married at that time because it would look bad if mom lived there if they weren't married. But they were already planning to marry sometime. In this day and age, there are loans and other ways to help in college expenses.

Certainly life in our country today has changed greatly since the days in the early nineties. Although life is easier in many ways, I think certain things such as respect, hard workers, trust in God and more are not always practiced in today's world as they once were. However, I'm thankful that I live in a free country and have the freedoms that many other countries do not have. I'm proud to be an American!



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