Greetings to all, and welcome new friends to the East Wing.As some of you know, I’ve lost another sister a few days ago, my youngest sister, Sister Kay, the baby girl of my family, the baby girl of my life. A cancer victim, who fought the battle for 13 years. A long war. My Sister Kay, my baby sister. My sister count is now down to two. I’ve had four sisters most all my life and loved it. My sisters have been reduced by 50% in one year. I pray the reduction of sisters has halted for a long, long time. I can’t take loosing sisters from my life.
You’ve probably heard the saying that when a family member dies, the circle is broken. As I looked upon my Sister Kay for the last time in this life, as I hugged my two remaining sisters, Sharolette and Barbara, we stood as the Family of Howard. And so I told ‘em, ‘the circle’s not broken, today the wheel just got a littler smaller.” And so it did, that day with me and my sisters, Sharolette and Barbara. The wheel just got a little smaller as we cried. And even more precious as memories were made as we cried. A Family of Howards with the circle still unbroken. Precious memories how they linger, how they ever food my soul. But we sill got that circle, me and them girls, my precious sisters, Sharolette and Barbara.
Ya know what February’s famous for, other than having one of those 3 day weekends with a Monday Holiday? Why it’s LOVE of course. Right here in the middle of winter, love comes along and has it’s own special month. Even has it’s own special day. That Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is a Major Holiday for the She. She has operated Pioneer Florist Country Store in North Judson IN for a long time. Of all the holidays in her business, Valentine Day is the hard one to handle. The first major issue to deal with every year is weather. In Indiana, in the middle of February, Ya just never know what you’ll get, ya just never know. Over the years, we’ve had ’em all. Blizzards that lasted three days, yesterday, today and tomorrow. And that year of the blizzard, well, Valentine Day fell into the today spot of that blizzard.
It was one of the very early years for me and the She and Pioneer Florist. We thought, the She and me, that it was gona to be our last year in business, it was that bad. But that was not to be, we lived to fight another blizzard on another day. We survived that hit and continued into the future. To this day we can’t quite figure out how we survived, that second year at Pioneer Florist, that three day blizzard the day before, during and after Valentine Day, but we did. It was just meant to be. That’s one of those “things just work out” deals, I talk ‘bout from time to time. Ya don’t try to figure ‘em out, it just is. And remember, saying a little prayer of thanks be to God for blessings received never hurt anybody, even hillbillies like me and, ya might too be surprised on how good it makes ya feel. God knows ‘bout stuff like that.
With Valentine being over for this year, and if you’re still looking to find that special someone in your life, I thought ya might like some tips on surefire techniques for finding, attracting, and wedding the person you’ll love forever. But keep in mind, I’m not guaranteeing that all these things’ll work for ya. But they just might. Some worked for me and the She. See if ya can guess which ones did. This is old, rally old school stuff, enjoy.
“Roast hummingbird hearts, grind them into a powder, and sprinkle it on your beloved.”
Well, when I sprinkled that hummingbird heart on the She, I’m not going into detail here, but it just didn’t work out too well. Actually the She thought I had lost my mind. Now if ya think ‘bout it for a while, powered humming bird heart. Now I can see where ya ca loose your mind. But it sure seamed like a good idea at the time. My problem was getting that humming bird heart, they’re little and scarce.
“Kiss as many people as possible”. Now kissing is a way for us to taste semiochemicals on another’s skin. Semiochemicals transmit biological signals of compatibility and attraction. With my medical laboratory background, if I can demonstrate and replicate stuff in my laboratory, ya can take it to the bank. And I’m telling ya , this one is the bank!
“Pluck a stalk of yarrow and stick it up your nose. If a drop of blood appears, your love is true. “
Any time ya stick anything up your nose, you’re on your own. Good luck to ya.
Australian aborigines prepare a love potion from the testicles of kangaroos. This one’s tuff, I’m not sure who ya fall in love with, another aborigine, or the kangaroo. Either way, with the current price of kangaroo testicles on the world spot market, I don’t think most of us will be in a position to try this one. But for those who can afford, I say go for it, ya never know. Kangaroo testicles? Wow!
“Think of the one you love while you swallow a four-leaf clover, and your love will be returned.” Did ya ever try to swallow a four leaf clover? Not an easy task, swallowing that four leaf clover. I don’t think you’re supposed to chew ‘em up, just swallow ‘em whole. Hard to do, swallow ‘em whole. They tickle your epiglottis if you’re not careful. I almost forgot to tell ya, that epiglottis word, that’s that little thing in your throat that keeps stuff from going into your lungs when your swallow. It’s like a little switch that goes on and off. Your epiglottis keeps ya from chocking to death. Go with me here, your epiglottis is damn important. It alone keeps ya on this earth. If it fails to do it’s job, ya go to the sod field.
“Upon hearing the first coo of a dove in the spring, take off your left stocking and look in the heel of it. You will find a hair the color of your true love’s hair.” Foot fetish people, ya gota steer clear of these folks as much as possible.
“Swallow the heart of a wild duck.” Where in the world do ya get the heart of a wild duck? Did ya ever see a wild duck heart? Maybe the meat section at Wal-Mart can special order a wild duck heart.
“On New Year’s Eve, walk from one room to another while throwing a shoe over your shoulder, then look in a mirror and your mate’s face will be there.” I don’t know if it works with the right shoe or the left shoe, and I don’t’ really care.
“Place a snail in a pan of cornmeal, and the tracks it makes will spell your true love’s initials.” This is the origin of snail mail. The internet just blew it out of proportions. Those internet people, the made fun of snail mail.
“Hide the dried tongue of a turtledove in a girl’s room; she will love you forever.” When I wooed the She, I had one hell of a time finding a turtledove tongue, but I did, and “goterdone”
“In 18th-century France, a man told a woman three times that she was beautiful. The first time she was required to thank him, the second time to believe him, and the third time to reward him.” I’m still looking to see if I can find out what the reward is suppose to be.
“If you touch your little finger and forefinger behind your two middle fingers, you can have any sweetheart you like. Well guys did ya do it? Don’t tell me ya didn’t even try, ‘cause I know ya tried. Use your thumb, just push your forefinger a little bit toward your little finger, it’ll work our for ya.
“Swallow a white dove’s heart, point downward, while resting your hand on the shoulder of one you love.” Had a tuff time finding the wild duck, much lessen the white dove.
“Hard boil an egg, cut it in half, discard the yolk, and fill the egg halves with salt. Sit on something you’ve never sat on before, eat the egg, and walk to bed backwards. You will dream of your future mate.” Kinda too salty for my taste, and that walking backwards part.
“Walk around the block with your mouth full of water; if you don’t swallow it, you will marry within the year.” I swallowed it and me and the She didn’t get married for six years. In fact, we dated so long that people started to wonder ‘bout me. They never wondered ‘bout the She, ‘cause She’s too pretty.
“Pull a hair from the head of a girl you like, and she will love you.” I pulled She’s hair, She slapped my face.
“Pick an apple, prick it full of holes, carry it for a while under your left arm, then give it to your lover.” I didn’t do this one, it was that underarm ting, I just didn’t think it would work out.
“If you stub your toe, kiss your thumb and you’ll see your beau.” I did, and didn’t. This one don’t work.
“Cut your nails on nine Sundays in a row.” I didn’t have enough nails to got nine Sundays, so I dot’ know it this one works or not.
Stop looking. Most all agree that searching for a perfect companion is doomed. Be flexible and commit to the unknown. But if you must still look, then carry the heart of an owl with you at all times. I’m telling ya, the ole owl here is the key to success. Had it not been for the ole owl heart, me and the She could very well have ended up as just me.
Now once ya’ve found that sole mate, ya gota make sure ya live happy ever after. Well I’ve brought ya this far, I’m for sure not gona abandon ya know. ‘Cause now the real fun times start. So direct from the 1880’s I offer a simple formula for marital bliss:
For the ladies, here are some tried and true rules to Keep Your Husband Happy.
Never speak slightingly of or to your husband in the presence of other people.
Do not neglect neatness of person and surroundings.
Speak gently always, and do not allow your voice to become sharp and loud.
And guys, it’s important that ya also know How to Keep Your Wife Happy. So with that in mind, ya gota just
Treat your wife as politely and kindly as when you were wooing her. ( I love that word, wooing)
Do not speak lightly of her cares and fatigues, but sympathize with her troubles.
Share your pleasures and cares, and show that you value her society and advice.
One of the favorite saying that me and the She have always agreed on is: “For a happy marriage, never speak loudly to one another unless the house is on fire.”
It’s worked for me and the She, so far. But I’ll admit when the Smoke House Rules went into effect, I thought the house was on fire.
Ya gota remember life’s never gona be as good as the movies. Yet it’s most important to learn early in life a very simple lesson, that lesson being: “Life isn’t about how to weather the storm, it’s how to dance in the rain.” Me and the She, we’ve danced in the rain, a lot. We still do, a lot, that dancing in the rain, me and the She.
How ya liking this winter? I’ve not heard so many people complain ‘bout the weather so much in the last 30 years as this winter. Seems as if we’ve all forgotten how a real winter is supposed to feel. Cold and lots of snow makes a winter, winter…. DUH !!! Ya want sunshine and warm for the winter, be a snowbird.
I’ve never seen a winter I didn’t like. Thanks to this winter for reminding me how much fun it is to get snowed in at home for a day and a half. Thanks to this winter for reminding me how really, really cold air feels on my skin, and how much I don’t like that feeling. Thank you winter for reminding me to feed the birds when the ground’s snow covered for many days. Thank you winter for not allowing that groundhog to see his shadow in the land of fried Scrapple. Thank you in advance winter for leaving early this year.
One of the things me and the She do when the local schools have a 2 hour delay in starting school, we too have a 2 hours delay in starting our business day. I love 2 hour delays!!! Thank you winter for 2 hour delays. Thank you She for sharing in my 2 hour delays.
One of the most overlooked thank you for winter is, the thank you winter for bringing back the sun. Yes bringing back the sun. ‘Cause the first day of winter is the shortest daylight day of the year, and the longest night. So even though winter has just started, the days start to get longer. Not too fast at first. Just seconds each day, and then minutes. Then before ya know it, there is noticeable longer days. By the middle of February, everybody notices the longer daylight. So thank you winter for making the days longer.
Winter’s much like life as a whole, ya can find the good side or the dark side. On the dark side of winter, well, I’m not even gona go there. “Cause who cares! We’re all in the same boat when it comes to winter. When it snows on me, it snows on you. Unless ya happen to be one of those folks from other parts of the world who don’t have winter season. Then ya miss out on much. Ya miss out on winter. A special season. I have a cousin who has spent much of his life in Hawaii, he misses winter ever year. Why, bet they even have Santa’s in shorts in Hawaii but not snow. There’s never been a White Christmas in Hawaii. Too bad. Some things just don’t work out well.
Now we’re all familiar with the saying “when you’re dealt lemons, make lemonade. But really now, how many people do ya know that make lemonade? Very few if any. A much better saying could be “when God gives ya snow, make snow cream” Don’t know if I ever told ya ‘bout snow cream or not, if not, but I’m ‘bout to.
Snow cream’s a big hillbilly thing. When I’s a kid, we made snow whenever it snowed. The only problem was it didn’t snow enough, too often we got rain or sleet when I lived at Tiptop. But when it did snow. WOW! My Mama made snow cream and me and the Cole Clan Cousins, we had a winter party ever time my mama made snow cream.
The ingredients for snow cream are really simple, just fresh snow, vanilla, sugar and cold, cold milk. Ya just mix all that stuff up along with a really big helping of the love of a hillbilly mother, both her love and her desire to make her babies happy, and I’m telling ya, you’ve got the best tasting stuff in the world. A gift from God, Snow Cream for hillbilly babies. It don’t get any better than that.
I’m not sure what makes it so good, I think it’s that Mother Love stuff that makes it taste the way it does. And just as soon as ya make it, ya get to eat it. Ya don’t have to wait, ya just eat it as soon as your mama makes it. Unlike the ice cream of today, ya don’t have to be a chemist to understand what goes into snow cream. Snow Cream, something really special in my life. But don’t ever use yellow snow, it’ll not work right…..
Stay safe in Afghanistan.
From the East Wing, Good Bye Sister Kay, A Circle Never Broken, The Love Month, To catch a prize, Marriage Rules, Thank You Winter, Snow Cream
I wish you well,