Tag Archives: Springville AL

Men Can No Longer Live as Strangers, by Beverly Hicks Burch

On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers.” ~ Adlai E. Stevens ~

Backyard view 1-28-2014

So, what does the “Great Snowing Dusting of 2014”, today’s quote of the day, the pictures of the day, my 81 year old Daddy and a love affair with my Sweet Home Alabama and my little local community have to do with each other?

Well, allow me to explain…

I’ve made no secret how much this East Tennessee born gal loves her Sweet Home Alabama and the spot where she lives in particular. In part, because the natural beauty reminds me of my ancestral roots. But, mostly you just can’t find better people anywhere – no, really.

For the past few days we had been warned of an impending winter storm headed our way. Yes, Virginia, not only does it get down right cold in the Deep South, but we do see single digit weather and even see the big “S” word. That unique white, frozen, multi-sided wonder called snow.

And, when we do, we are thrown into chaos. Not because we are bumpkin, Dilberts who think the sky is falling, but because it’s a fairly infrequent occurrence and therefore we’re not equipped to handled major events like our Northern cousins.

Now, the forecast was a strangely odd one. The most severe and heavy snow was going to be south of the Birmingham area to the coast – yes, the warm coast, the Gulf of Mexico where they were expecting two inches or more of snow. The Birmingham area was to expect a dusting of snow. Temps were going to be frigid everywhere – and this was our third or fourth blast of frigid, Arctic air.

Having been through this before, I had a sneaking suspicion the dusting could turn into something else if Mother Nature decided to turn just the slightest fickled – and she did.

Here’s what she graced us with at our house (that foggy look is actually snow still falling):

Front Porch C 1-28-2014

Front Steps 1-28-2014

Jeeps in the Back Driveway 1-28-2014

Sundeck 1-28-2014

Return of the Cold Schnauzer 1-28-2014

And, this was at the very beginning of the “Great Snow Dusting of 2014”. It “dusted snow” – heavily – from about 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM. Sooooo, it got pretty “dusty” around here – and icy. We were socked in with two Miniature Schnauzers, our electronics devices and no where to go. In other words, life was pretty good, until…

My little 80 year old Momma calls and after “momma” chit chat drops into the conversation my 81 year old Daddy went down the mountain at 10:30 yesterday morning to go to Walmart to pick up some groceries. This is a man with a pacemaker and meds he keeps on an Excel spreadsheet. (That’s the mechanical Project Manager in him.)

I wanted to say, “Oh, no, he didn’t.” But, as the first born daughter always trying to be the good daughter, I said, “He did WHAT?!”

She confirmed what I thought I heard, and then went back into to chit chat mode – while my brain starts doing wheelies – NO KIDDING.

Daddy was stranded at Walmart. He was planning on spending the night in his Durango and alternating time between there and inside Walmart. He was concerned the soda he had bought would freeze and explode in the back of his SUV so he was going to go out and warm it up periodically. Seriously, Daddy?! I’m sure there are endangered baby condors who aren’t worried about as much as Daddy was worrying about those groceries.

I am also the family tech support agent and certified techno geek. And, it just so happened a week or so ago I had joined a group on Facebook geared toward what’s happening in our community of Springville.

So, I hopped onto the Springville community page and before I knew it, a whole community was mobilizing to move my Daddy either home if possible or to a warming station. Mayor Isley and his wife, Lynda got involved and before I knew it Daddy was tucked warm and safe into the Methodist Church in Springville. He was provided with warm food and a cot and a hot breakfast this morning.

Like Adlai Stevens said – our globe has shrunken – even more so in this day of instant news, Skype, tablets, smartphones, texts, emails and social networking. We can let that consume our lives and let it isolate it from our families or, we can use it as a valuable tool and use it to do what Mr. Stevens said – to no longer live like strangers. I prefer to do the latter.

I also like the advice another Man gave us in the Good Book. He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:31 NIV

Neighbors, here’s a really big thank you and a really big God Bless my neighbors.

Front Porch B snow 1-28-2014

© 2014 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Daddy, Neighbors, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Snow in AL, Springville AL, The Great Snow Dusting of 2014

Earth Laughs in Flowers, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

blooming vinca

We’ve just passed the Easter season. I hope everyone had a blessed holiday and spent it in a treasured way…making memories.

Everyone has traditions. They vary from season to season, holiday to holiday, ethnic background to ethnic background and family to family.

I always like to recall the traditions of Christmas because it amazes me the varying traditions around the world. Of particular interest to me are the different foods of Christmas because I also write about and blog about food.

Here in the South the standard fare is turkey and/or ham, sweet potatoes and pecan pie. Then, the menu varies from there, BUT there is a variety of different menus even here in the South. In the Northeastern US it’s not uncommon to find someone’s momma’s lasagna recipe at the Christmas table and in the Southwest Tall & Handsome assures me Posole will be found on most holiday tables.

Easter traditions are much the same.

When my son was young, every year it was this momma’s goal to have the best Easter basket waiting on Easter morning. Then, of course there were always dyed eggs and the obligatory egg hunt (weather permitting of course, then if need be it moved indoors). For us, it also included Sunday morning worship service and gathering at the table making memories with the extended family.

It also usually signaled the official “I-can-take-a-deep-breath-and-smell-spring-in-the-air” time. Spring really was out of the starting gate come Easter.

And, that also meant the regrowth and budding of Nature. That glorious time of the year when everything awakens, puts on its best and presents a real Technicolor show to thrill our senses.

I absolutely love it!

Our spring the year has been, for lack of a better word retarded. No, I’m not being pejorative, but what I’m saying is that it has been slow and delayed in developing. Two weeks ago it appeared we were on the backstretch of winter headed for the sure thing…Spring was here!

But, then IT happened. The mother of all severe thunderstorms. I have lived through several tornadoes and even so, I have never seen anything like what hit us on the 18th. We were without power for almost 30 hours.

It was during that time as we stumbled through the house with flashlights and candles, I broke my big toe with a huge Maglite flashlight and the batteries on all our devices began to run down that I looked at T & H and said, “You know, electricity was a mighty and wonderful invention.”

We finally scavenged around, found the Uno cards and spent quite a bit of time playing Uno by candlelight…

After that the weather turned bitterly cold again. We even had a few snow flurries…yes, in March in the Deep South.

So, I was very concerned that all my freshly budding beauties that had awakened prior to the storm would be destroyed…my mint, my oregano and my lovelies with their gorgeous blooms.

Well, yesterday when we left to take the short drive to my folks’ house to break bread for Easter and make wonderful memories to recall in years to come, imagine my delight to see a kaleidoscope of color every where! Purple, pink, white…you pick the color. The air had that freshness to it, too.

Yes, Earth was laughing with flowers…everywhere and telling Old Man Winter, “so long, pal”…at least for a season…

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Backyards, Birmingham AL, Easter, Flowers, Holidays, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Spring, Springville AL

It’s Almost Here…, by Beverly Hicks Burch

 

It Begins D

It won’t be sneaking down your chimney to eat cookies, but we’re counting down to one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, this coming Saturday will mark the official first day of autumn.

If I could bring in a choir to sing a rousing “amen” chorus for you, or better yet a group of pipers (bagpipers) playing a haunting chorus of Amazing Grace, well, then I’d do that, too…just to show you how much I love this time of the year. First cool snap we have I drag out the soup pot and start making wonderful soups…and I admit to playing a Christmas carol or two just to get in practice for the upcoming season. And, I can’t wait to have the first fire of the year in the fireplace.

I hate summer, by the way…have I mentioned that?

August was mercifully cool and we have had some rain, so I’m crossing my fingers for some great color this year!

If I had those pipers, you could hear the the music of the pipes echoing through the valleys of the mountains you see peeking just behind those trees.

It’s heaven up here…

“ What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!” ~ Logan Pearsall Smith ~

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Autumn, Fall, Fall Color, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, South, Springville AL