Dear Cousin,


Our loving Master has looked down upon our winter-weary hills and sent us the blessing of a few mild and sunny days. It is only a foretaste of springtime to come, but it is more than welcome after the cold, snowy days of the past weeks. It is a pleasure to take a walk on a day such as this. Warm sun shined upon the grove of hemlocks and released a pleasant, piney scent into the air. There was the rich, earthy fragrance of thawing soil carried by a playful little breeze that wove in and out of the pine trees. I looked in vain for the wee coltsfoot flowers that make their appearance earlier than any other wild flower, but all I saw was drooping ferns and the bright green whorls of club moss. The brown of winter still prevails, but these things will appear in their season.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the bygone values and things of the past. Sometimes it really comes home to us how progress has passed us by. We cling to old ways, old habits, and even old appliances. Our stereo system was on its last legs, having survived curious grandchildren and even more curious great-grands, so we were forced to replace it. I got the shock of my life when I went shopping for a new one.

They no longer look like a piece of furniture that fits in comfortably with our grandparent décor (worn carpet, worn and shabby furniture, and worn Mommaw and Poppaw) but resemble the working mechanism of a spaceship. All we wanted was a CD player, but I had to bring home something that we were almost afraid to plug in. I remarked to Criss that if you pushed a certain button it might take off into outer space, and he replied, “I don’t know exactly what it is, but it has a fuel gauge on it.” Two of the grandsons, Luke and Adrian, installed it, and I had to call Luke back up to show me how to turn it off. We hail back to the ancient days when we played 78 and 45 RPM records, and listened to the Grand Ol’ Opry. I guess I am an old fogey, but I miss those old songs and the ones who sang them.

Remember Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Grandpa Jones, Uncle Dave Macon, Stringbean, Cowboy Copas, and all those others? Minnie Pearl, Rod Brassfield and ‘Lonzo and Oscar? The songs were clean and moral, and the comedians were funny. I developed a love for bluegrass music early, and I can still hear Bill Monroe singing, “I hear the wind a blowin’ through the lonesome pines.” Ah, those were good old days.



Cousin Alyce Faye