Pat’s Chat (January 27)


Thinking of our long time of little or no visiting due to COVID-19 and then the extreme weather. As of next weekend, I will have lived 88 years. Things have really changed when I think of how we fill in our hours during these stay-at-home days. I have this computer and can catch up on some correspondence more easily than I did in the past. In those days it was either a written note or an expensive long-distance call. We had no TV in those days. We played games, but not electronic ones. We did listen to the radio and had special ones we learned to love in those years.

Our imagination was our “television”! We could “see” the people and the happenings. I wonder if that was a stimulant to our brains, our imagination.

I found the following memories in some things written by my brother, Sonny. My younger brother, Sammy, drew pictures of things he thought of, remarkable pictures, which led him to a career in advertising ads back before computers, so his ads were hand drawn for the newspapers in D. C. The following is a letter written from somewhere Sonny was living or working and he is obviously very homesick:

FROM A LETTER WRITTEN HOME (Harry V. Wiant, Feb. 18, 1962)

“I can see the two maples, bare of leaves at this time of year, the long steps, and the house so full of good memories and love. The river flows as it did when I probed its secrets with Toby, the old shop kind of misses being used as a saloon for cowboy games, the ashes of many a campfire where we slept could still be found in the fields and woods. I miss the special sound of the wind around the eves of the house when one is snug under many quilts, sounds that can never be duplicated elsewhere. The best the world has ever seen envied the foxes, for the Son of Man had no place to lay his head. Man, the smartest of the creatures, leaves the fields of home, driven by the need for success and fortune. Life that is less wise stays on familiar trails. In this respect is man the wiser? He searches through the world for he knows not what and forever dreams of the fields of home. “Mid pleasures or palaces” he fails to find what he left. That will only be found again in the better land.”

Then is another letter from Sonny, again lonely and homesick, I think:  

FROM A LETTER TO THE FOLKS AT HOME (Sonny, Jan. 14, 1961)

“It’s one of those rainy, foggy days, the kind of day one should do no more than throw a chunk of coal on the fire, give the dog a gentle stroke, and go to sleep curled up in the old rocking chair. After a good, long nap, one could make his way to the supper table and the thick slices of homemade bread with big chunks of butter, fresh milk, and everything else that makes a perfect meal, including a man-size serving of apple cobbler. Then, Pat or Mary would play from “The Golden Book of Favorites”, Carry Me Back to Old Virginia, Juanita, and Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes, while we’d sing in happy, if not beautiful, voices. That night, one could snuggle in the big armchair with a good book and a big pan of popcorn. In the still of the night, when the town and the surrounding green hills are at rest, it was good to go out on the porch and take a deep breath of the damp but pure mountain air, then slip off to the big, comfortable bed and heavy, homey quilts. Ah! Home! The memories are burned so deep that neither time nor distance can erase one wonderful detail.”

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts of “HOME” in those wonderful, long-ago days. You can understand why I miss my brothers so much.

MARANATHA

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