Snow was more fun when cows were hungry

Published 7:55 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Mt. Olivet News

At this writing, it is snowing in Panola County, Mississippi!

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The child in me wants a big, good snow where everything is blanketed with white. There are no imperfections, ruts or tracks, at first except the little birds’ light little fork-like footprints.

As soon as my memory begins to enjoy this scenario, I think of the people who have to get out in it. When my late husband George was alive we had cattle and LaDonna and I would bundle up like snowmen and go with him on the tractor and trailer to feed the cows.

It actually gave us the excuse to play in the snow while we fed the cows. Because on non-snow days we were not that anxious to get up early and help feed.

As soon as the tractor cranked up, they came bawling, and running after us, and nearly overtaking us. Since we hardly ever had snow, feeding the cows during one was a real treat for us.

We had a forest of pine trees that was especially beautiful when it snowed. This poem by Robert Frost, written in 1922, reminds me of our pine forest.

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near.

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy winds and downy flakes.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Literary authorities interpret that famous passage as the journey of life and the distractions that come along the way before we have eternal rest.

This poem is often used in eulogies. In the early morning of Nov. 23, 1963, Sid Davis of Westinghouse Broadcasting reported the arrival of President John F. Kennedy’s casket at the White House.

Since Frost was of the President’s favorite poets, Davis concluded his report with a passage from this poem, but was overcome with emotion as he signed off.

At the funeral of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, on Oct. 3, 2000, his eldest son Justin rephrased the last stanza of this poem in his eulogy: “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. He has kept his promises, and earned his sleep.”

Jawaharial Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, toward his last years, kept a book of Robert Frost’s poems close to him, even at his bedside as he lay dying. One page of the book featured this poem and the last four lines were underlined.

Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church will resume Sunday School on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 9:45 a.m. Worship service will continue at the regular 11 o’clock hour. I don’t know about choir and singing. I have always said that one can sing with a mask on, or just mouth the words.

A story is told that a piano manufacturer tried to get a testimonial from Will Rogers about his pianos. Rogers, who never endorsed any products he did not really know, wrote this letter to the piano firm:

“Dear sir, your pianos are the best that I have ever leaned against. Yours truly, WIll Rogers.”

It is my theory to do something in the way of participation, in the way of music and singing in the church service, even if you have to just lean against the piano while someone else sings.

My next door neighbor, Pat Boucot, who was raised in Vermont, said she looked out her window this morning and thought she was back home. Her family back in Vermont are enjoying a foot of snow, and are not much impressed with our little one inch here in Mt. Olivet.

Call or text anytime, 901-828-8824.