Volume IX, No. 2, Winter 1981
As I was working on my editorial one evening, I reached a point where I couldn't write anymore and began to stare out my bedroom window to watch the season's first snow sprinkling everything with its almost illuminating glow. It was still light enough to see the barnyard directly facing my window. The snow was trying to stick to the still warm earth, melting on contact but successful in collecting on the trees, cattle feeders, the tin barn roof and Dad's large round hay bales placed in rows in the barnyard.
The snow, even so cold looking, seemed to warm me, for there's just something about a first snow that gives a peaceful feeling. It seems no matter how hectic things get, the first snow falls slowly and consistently. As I continued to watch, the warm ground finally gave way to the persistent snow cover. The tops of the hay bales now looked like the frosted wheat I ate for breakfast.
I wisped back to one christmas afternoon when my sisters, cousins and I, headed out into the snow covered barnyard to satisfy our restlessness. My cousin suggested we play tag, not just the regular game of tag, but one which demanded more skill. We called it barnyard tag because we played it atop Dad's eight rows of large hay bales which were placed about three feet to five feet apart. We had no problem getting on top of the bales even though they topped six feet because on one end there was a runt bale which was only four feet--just our size. We loaded up one by one on the runt bale and hopped to the larger bale next to it. We picked my older sister as "it," the rest of us taking our position each in a different row. It took a lot of coordination because all the bales were slick with snow turning to slush. We jumped from bale to bale, getting tagged and chasing others. If we slid off a bale we had to run all the way back to the runt bale before "it" did. It was much more exciting than anything we'd thought of before. Our fun was subsequently ended when Dad looked out the window and saw us springing from bale to bale. Hopping to the door, he frantically screamed us off, for we'd broken the seals of his bales. We'd begun to tire anyway and were ready for more ChristMas leftovers.
This memory had me grabbing my coat and heading for the barnyard, feeling ten years old again and very ambitious to hop on one of those bales. I didn't think Dad would get mad if I hopped on just one. I climbed over the fence feeling very energetic and eyed the bales till I found the perfect one. I leaped forward, and deciding that maybe that one wasn't the right one, I looked for a much shorter bale. I stepped back, took a breath, lunging forward, stabbing the bale with my right foot and stepping up with the left, reaching for any string available. I missed one, grabbed a broken string and fell backwards hitting the cold, wet snow with my butt. I decided I was too old for this, and picking myself off the ground and brushing the damp snow off, I headed toward the house. At the window I saw Dad laughing his head off. I realized I was much better off working on my editorial.
The winter season is always a lot of fun and work. Here at Bittersweet, this season is no exception. We've been very busy on interviews, stories, talks and booths.
It was a pleasure to hear from the Missouri Arts Council who has helped us out once again as they have seven other years. Instead of subscriptions to libraries, this year we asked for financial aid to help us with the expenses of our assistant advisor's salary. We will receive $1,600.00 this year. We greatly appreciate the Council's faith in us.
Dr. Dorothy Leake, whom we featured in "I'm Making Every Effort to Preserve" (Summer 1980), has recently published her second wild flower book (Ozark Heritage Publication). This book, which she also illustrated, covers all native Ozark wild flowers and is written for everyone such as the tourists as well as the native Ozarkians or anyone interested in flowers and plants. This book is another result of her work in preserving the Ozark ecology. She said, "Because I feel it is impossible for things not to change, as change is a rule of life, my work will be to make some record or history of what things were like, as life goes ahead with these changes that are inevitable." Good luck and success from all of us at Bittersweet.
The new staff members have been working very hard on many new stories. In future issues we'll have Indian pottery, old movies, wooden toys and much more. As usual our topics cover a wide variety of subjects. Sometimes I think we've covered everything possible and then something else always comes up. My grandmother, Clarice Splan, told me once, "Behind every face there is a life that's been lived, and they experience something every day of that life." When you think of it that way, we've just skimmed the barrel because everyone has a story to tell.
We thank the following for their donations to Bittersweet.
Estella Muench Family, Grover, Missouri
Mrs. Dorothea Morey, San Jose,California
Betsy Jane Maier, St. Louis, Missouri
Willis J. Ezard, Conway, Missouri
George W. Cox, Strafford, Missouri
Shirley B. Fink,Pleasant Plains, Arkansas
Mrs. Edwin G. Crocker, Storm Lake, Iowa
Erma L. Pace, Hermitage, Missouri
Irving Payne, Greeley, Colorado
Ed Waltenspiel, Moraga, California
John P. Phillips,M.D., Salinas,California
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.