EASTER ON HICKORY RIDGE – “NEW LIFE” Bulletin
by my friend, Ben
It were perty much my habit agettin’ up at five o’clock in the mornin’. It Were. The saw mill ‘n lumber yard opened at seven so folks could get what they needed to start their day. It did. So this bein’ Easter Sunday I were awake way before sunup. I were.
Ol’ Blue stretched out an’ groaned as he got up. He were gettin ‘ slower an’ slower. Doc Parsons said it were all part a him gettin’ on in years. He did. He gave me some pills what he said would help, ‘specially in the colder weather. He did. Well, it bein’ April an’ all I reckoned he’d need a little help gettin’ started, so first thing I got his pills. I did.
Now ol’ Blue would let me do just about anything to him. He would. But when it come to takin’ his pills he acted like I were about to kill him. He did. He’d drop his head an’ hunker down with his head between his legs an’ stiffen his neck so I couldn’t get to his mouth. He would.
It bein’ Easter an’ all I figgered I’d give him some a my scrambled eggs an crush his pill up in ‘em. I would. So when I got out the skillet he raised his head an’ looked relieved. He did.
There were still some late snow on the ground as I loaded my chair an’ guitar into my truck. There were. I’d picked some daffodils and crocuses from the yard where Ma had planted ‘em years ago. No matter how bad the winter, them flowers were always ready on Easter. They were.
Ol’ Blue were waitin’ by the truck with his tail awagin’. He knowed we was headin’ up to Hickory Ridge Cemetery like we’d done every Easter since Ma, an’ then Pa, died. We did.
I laid the flowers behind the seat an picked ol’ Blue up an put him in the front seat. I did. The days of him junpin’ in on his own were done gone. They was.
As headlights on my truck shined down the lane, four deer run across an’ jumped the fence headin’ up the lespedeza hill across from the house. They did. Iffen ol’ Blue saw ‘em he didn’t let on none. He still liked to chase ‘em on a good warm day, but not like he used to. He didn’t
As we come round the hairpin bend, just over the hill were Hickory Ridge, layin’ out there in the valley. It were. Some folks asked why it were called Hickory Ridge when it were in a valley. They did. The answer I heard were that a battle between the states were fought on the ridges round about. So the town what grew up after the war were named after that there battle. It were.
I reckon the reason folks like to stay in Hickory Ridge were cause it probably looked perty much like it did back in them days after the war. It did. It were a place what were perty much untouched by big city life. It were. Course the streets were paved an the ol’ gas lamps were electric, but the storefronts looked perty much the same. At least that’s what the old pictures at the Courthouse showed. They did.
Just a tad on the west side a town the road up to the cemetery turned right up the hill. It did. I were one of the folks in town with a key to the gate, which were locked at sunset each day by Jim Bob Thomas, the local constable. They were.
When I reached the top a Cemetery Hill, I pulled offen the road by ma n’ pa’s graves. I did. They were on the top, sloping down facin’ the east. Ma said she wanted to face the east while she were waitin’ for the Lord to come. She did.
I helped ol’ Blue outta the truck an he took off like he always did to see what he could scare up. He did. I pulled out my chair an’ guitar an’ sat down. I knowed the town folks would soon be coming’ up for the Sunrise Service, so I started singin’ ma’s favorite hymn, “I Come to the Garden Alone.” I did.
Ma didn’t go to the Sunrise Service the town put on. She didn’t. What she loved to do was get up way before me’n pa an’ start her special Easter breakfast. She did. It were a feast of biscuits, eggs, sausage an’ sausage gravy rounded out with jelly, creamy butter an’ apple butter for good measure. It were.
But before she fixed it, she would get her coffee an’ sit on the porch all wrapped up-like an’ rock in her chair. She would. She liked to see the sun come up on Easter. She did. Once in awhile I’d hear her an I’d wrap up in my blanket an’ come out with her. I would. She would smile an’ begin to talk about the beautiful world God had gave us. She would.
As the sun would start to come up she’d sigh a little an’ say somethin’ about how wonderful it musta been for the Lord, after bein’ in that dark tomb, to hear the stone roll away an’ step into the morning darkness. She did. She would sometimes imagine him going up to the highest point an’ lettin’ the risin’ sun shine on his face. She would.
Ol’ Blue come around the hill just as I laid them flowers on Ma an’ Pa’s graves. He did. I loaded him in the truck an’ we headed down the hill. We did. I’d get home in time to sit in her rocker an’ watch the sun come up. She’d like that. She would
CONCERNS: Judy Hall continues to make good progress with her rehabilitation at Raleigh Court. She is in Room 116. Remember Carlos and Silvia Baltedano in Guatemala. They are part of the Health Talents team there. Also Deanna McRoy, Joni and Allan Beach’s parents, Del Bolin’s mother as their health declines. Teryn Gaynor’s mother and father. Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Amber is paralyzed and can only move her eyes. She is in the Salem Rehabilitation Center. Marjorie Wilson, Wayne Phlegar, Melanie Gentry, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
Former member, Jon Moeller called a week or so ago to say hello and get some information. He and his wife now live in North Dakota, just across the state line from where they were before. His oldest, Maddie is married and working as a psych nurse in a juvenile health hospital for troubled youth. His son, Mark is teaching High School and coaching track in Minnesota.
He sends his greetings and said they almost were able to visit with us when Mark’s team was competing in a preliminary track competition to be held in Johnson City TN. However, they lost. He still hopes to bring his children to see where they were born. He is staying busy with his bronze horse sculpturing business. If you’d like to drop him an email it is firstname.lastname@example.org
A work day at the building is in the works. The weather has been so unpredictable a day hasn’t yet been decided. One area we want to work on is the lower end of the property. The owner of the apartments has already cleaned up some of our property and we would like to continue to make that area look better As mentioned, the city will not pick up piles of brush because we are considered a business. However, we can dump free if we take it to the dump. It will take a few chain saws and other brush clearing tools as well as elbow grease. We should be able to find a Saturday this month. Of course, it will not be a one day job, but it’s a start.
This is Easter Sunday. Think what a difference Jesus had made in your life.