Oh, to lie down in a bed of spring flowers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2014

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I noted in my little yard the small, green mounds of oxalis, here and there, so fresh, so cool-looking, so springy, one of Nature’s best bouquets.

Those pink blooms and clover-like leaves make me want to lie down in a bed of them.

Driving over to Camden for Easter last Sunday, I passed a field, covered in yellow wildflowers – buttercups, I think. A cow stood here or there among the beauty, as if poised. Here, a grand, old oak shaded the yellow chalices, filled with sun; there, a copse of pines served as a resting place for napping cattle.

I thought that I had seen little more lovely in life.

Camden is an old town, filled with antebellum houses, Victorian trim, and fluted columns, a beautiful place of homes, halls, and steeples.

To get there I passed along Highway l0, through Pine Apple and Oak Hill.

Go see Pine Apple before you die. It is a village of lovely, old homes. To take a walk there is to extend your life by a decade.

Pine Apple does not refer to a pineapple, by the way.

I went to Camden to spend Easter with relatives and friends.

Paul and Donna Wingard hosted a buffet luncheon at their home after church. Their yard was fit for Southern Living with red maples, oxalis, iris, azaleas, roses, verbena, hanging baskets, tented picnic tables, a decorated cross, bunny displays, wicker porch swings, and hospitality plus.

One hanging basket that caught my eye was trailing miniature petunias, some red, some purple, some yellow. It was a pretty mixture.

Paul worded the Easter blessing, perfectly and beautifully.

Following lunch, Donna directed an Easter-egg hunt for the children. Each child not only received eggs but also was given prizes.

Some fifty guests enjoyed a cornucopia of fried chicken from Gaines Ridge, ham, dumplings, dressing, mashed potatoes, stuffed eggs, peas, butter beans, corn casserole, broccoli casserole, “mac and cheese,” turnip roots and greens, rutabagas, fruits, salads, desserts such as a — appropriately – carrot cake, and Easter candy.

Gaines Ridge is a local restaurant housed in an antebellum mansion. People drive from Montgomery and elsewhere to dine there.

Donna stayed up to 2:00 a.m., cooking most of the food served. She then got up at all hours to make her dumplings.

Curtis and Margie Thomasson’s yard was the setting for an Easter-egg hunt Saturday, April 19. Their daughter, Christy, and her husband, Andy Clanton, planned and staged the event for the younger children from Cedar Grove Church of Christ and some of their neighbors. The children hunted some 300 eggs, hidden throughout the front yard, while the Easter Bunny (Dawn Grantham in costume) assisted and entertained them. The egg hunt  was concluded with an opportunity for each child to have his picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

Afterwards, children and parents gathered at a pavilion for a buffet luncheon, provided by the adults. The Thomassons’ grandson and the Clantons’ older son, Hamp, voiced a “blessing” prior to a meal of tasty finger-foods, pizza, and soft drinks.

Following this, the children played in various activities while the adults enjoyed fellowshipping with one another.

The older youth from Cedar Grove Church of Christ this past weekend attended the annual convention for Lads to Leaders and Leaderettes, a leadership-training program held in Atlanta. This is a training program for youth to develop skills in Bible knowledge, Bible reading, Bible Bowl competition, giving speeches, leading songs, art work, and puppet-show performances.

Many of the Cedar Grove youth excelled in the competitions by winning first-, second-, and third-place trophies.

Because of this program youth develop into leaders for the present and future. Research shows that 95 percent of the young people who actively participate remain faithful in their church throughout life.

Seen at Cracker Barrel in Greenville for supper last Saturday night were Kevin Kennedy and his wife, the former Paula Waters of Red Level, up for a movie. Kennedy is an Andalusia High School graduate in the Class of 1990. His wife finished at Red Level.

Dr. Wayne Johnson was feted in style three days in a row for his 79th birthday, April 16.

Tuesday his fellow staff members in the offices of Dr. Boyington treated him to a luncheon.

Monday his little grandson, Campbell Johnson, prepared Grandfather Johnson a chocolate layer cake – with a little adult supervision.

Interestingly, the recipe came from a Walt Disney cookbook, a gift to Campbell’s father, Ken, at the age of four.

Grandfather Johnson said it was the best cake he ever ate.

Wednesday, the doctor’s actual birthday, Bill and Maria Thigpen hosted a dinner party for Dr. Johnson in their home on Forest Hills Lane.

Guests were Lenora Johnson (wife of the honoree), Dr. Reiner Birk, Danny and Barbara Posey, and Joe Wingard.

Mrs. Thigpen set a strikingly attractive table and served boneless pork chops, creamed spinach, deep-fried Yukon potatoes, and a garden salad.

Mrs. Johnson contributed a Georgia Cracker pie, topped with whipped cream.

Seen at Tabby D’s for the buffet Friday night were Morris and Rita (Cobb) Mullen, Herb and Sue Carlisle and his grown children, Gary Carlisle from Manhattan and Nancy Meyette from San Diego, Judge Jerry Stokes, Dr. Rod Lewis from Fort Walton Beach and his mother, Ilene Lewis from Wing, Donald and Judy Knox, John and Jean Davis, David and Diane

Little, Eddie Stacey and his granddaughter, Reagan, David Dreading and his wife, Melanie (McVay), Timmy and Tara (Dreading) Bulger and their Piper, only six, and Josh Sheffer and his mother, Leonora (Powell) Sheffer.

Josh was the valedictorian of the AHS Class of 2008 and serves as band director at Florala High School.

The celebration of the War of 1812 (1812 – 1815) continues.

Again, I ask the citizens of Andalusia to join the Covington Historical Society and pay its annual dues of $25 to help preserve the history of our county, whether you attend meetings or not. Mail to CHS, P.O. Box 1582, Andalusia, Alabama 36420. Include your e-mail address if you wish to be reminded of upcoming meetings.

To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, let us return to this week 150 years ago.

The Confederates captured Plymouth, North Carolina, from the Federals.

The Federal Congress ordered “In God We Trust” to be stamped on Federal coins.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered that Negro war prisoners, if also escaped slaves, be held for their owners to reclaim.

The Federals retreated in the Red River area and suffered naval defeats along the river.

For those who collect stamps, consider those associated with the War of 1812 and the Sesquicentennial of “the War.”

The mysterian was identified by Lucy Martin. Congratulations! The lady who wanted to go up in a hot-air balloon before she died was Mary “Little Momma” Burke. Her family made that dream come true. “Little Momma” was the matriarch of many families here in the “Dimple of Dixie.” She was greatly admired and loved.

The new mysterian was a grocer and usually wore a bowtie.

Recent birthdays are those of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the U.S.A.; Noah Webster, author of the dictionary that still bears his name (not to be confused with Daniel Webster, the Senator from Massachusetts); William Gilmore Simms, the most important author of the Old South, a novelist, poet, editor, essayist; Charlotte Bronte, English novelist of Jane Eyre; William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright, thought by many to be the greatest writer who ever lived; and Edward Gibbon, English author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, considered by many to be the greatest history ever written.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in a poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” “On the l8th of April in ’75” that the British were coming. The battles of Lexington and Concord followed, opening scenes in the American Revolutionary War.

Now, gentle reader, allow me to join Buffalo Bob Smith in encouraging each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend, Lord willing.

Fare thee well.