A yellow swallowtail butterfly perches on the top of the pink Rose of Sharon bush and sways with the wayward breeze. She seems to be surveying the landscape and wondering if summer is truly on its way out. There is a fall look in the gathering clouds that drift and mass in darkening clusters, overshadowing the sun that shone so brightly such a short time ago.
This summer has passed so quickly. Already the bright yellow fronds of goldenrod bloom along the road banks, and purple ironweed raises a regal head above the weeds and underbrush. These are definite signs that fall is on its way. Another sure sign is the big yellow school buses that are making their rounds over ridges and across the winding roads of our county.
School seems to start earlier and go on longer than it did when I was a youngster. We started in September and got out in early May. We walked to grade school, which was a short journey for us, but many of the school children had to tread weary miles for their education. Now school buses pick up our children in the early morning mist to disgorge them, tired and weary, in the late evening.
Sending your little one to school for the first time brings a real wrench to a mother's heart and some anxious tears shed. When our oldest one, Mike, started to school, it was more traumatic for me than it was him. As I watched him walk down the driveway, I had an urge to grab him and bring him back to the safety of the house. Time does wait for no man, and it certainly doesn't wait for our children.
The years have passed by swiftly, our children grew up and all except Crystal are now grandparents. We saw the generation of our grandchildren as they too followed in the footsteps of their parents and take their places in the classroom. Some of our great-grandchildren (Morgan, for one) starts to high school this year. It boggles the mind.
Times have changed drastically since I started to school. School exposed us to a lot of new words. It was in the first grade that I heard, "L'ar! L'ar! Pants on far!" I was horrified. In the first place, we were never allowed to use the word "liar" to describe anyone. It belonged to the rest of the four-letter words that we didn't use.
If one of us told an untruth, we would call them a storyteller or say they told a story. Here at school the word "liar" was bandied about freely. Now, grade school children hear and use words that would burn the ears of an old sailor and talk about subjects that I didn't know even existed when I was in school.
It is a scary world that we send our young ones into every day. We would like to enclose them in a plastic bubble to protect them from the filth of the world, but of course it is impossible. The best thing that we can do for our children is to teach and instill in them at an early age the moral values and godly principles set forth in the Bible.
It is not enough to merely teach them, but our lives should be an example that bears out these teachings. Children in our society today are becoming morally bankrupt and ignorant of true Bible principles because they are not being taught these things in their homes. This is our responsibility and duty to our children.
Childhood and school days can be a happy and fruitful time. One thing is certain—it can never be repeated. We have one chance to lead our children the right way. After they are grown, it is too late.
We have had a lot of requests for the recipe to make sauerkraut in a quart jar instead of a churn. Thanks to Shelby Taylor, we now have the recipe.
KRAUT MADE IN QUART JAR
Put one teaspoon of canning salt in bottom of quart jar. Pack shredded cabbage tightly in jar. Put another one teaspoon of salt on top, with one tablespoon white vinegar, and one teaspoon sugar. Fill with boiling water and seal. This will be ready to eat in 21 days but is better if left longer. You can cold pack it then, but not necessary. It will pressure seal itself and keep for at least three years.
Someone inquired recently about making tomato kraut (also called green pepper kraut) in quart jars—I don't see why a person couldn't use this same method.
We have a request from Shirley Cunningham of Summersville asking how to make parched corn. I remember Grandma O'Dell parching corn, but I don't know how she did it. It seems that she used an iron skillet. Was it field corn or sweet corn? I hope someone remembers.
Roberta Hughes of East Bank has a friend who is looking for a recipe to make crockpot apple butter. Mom used to make it in a heavy aluminum pan in the oven. This required stirring about every 20 minutes, and was time consuming. We never heard of a crockpot.
Here is a poem that I have kept for years. It sums up my feelings right now.
SKETCHES by Ben Burroughs
As the months go racing onward
And the old years fade away,
We are often prone to thinking
Of a dead and bygone day.
Of course we know it does no good
To dwell upon the past
But somehow something makes us drift
To things that did not last.
No doubt it's human nature
To desire to go back
Upon the road of yesterday
And scan the almanac.
For mankind cannot seem to face
The fact that time has gone,
We cling to golden yesteryears
As time goes marching on.
We live again through memory,
And that's why we recall
The periods of happiness
That mattered most of all.
So it is and always will be
And I know you will agree
It is a tonic for the heart
To drift in memory.
Here is a parting thought from Charles Bennett, who writes, "When I retired the first of July, everyone told me that when you retire, you will wonder how you ever had time to work. It is true—I've never been so busy. Now I know why my grandfather lived to be 94—he never had time to die!"