I’ve been counting the spring blooms

Published 12:26 am Saturday, March 26, 2016

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I counted in my mind the blooms coming into being – azaleas, clovers (white, red, and yellow), wisteria, Lady Banks rose, bridal wreath, crabapple, pinks (as Judy Buck calls dianthus), bluets, snowdrops, cherry, apple, pear, purity, skullcap, dogwood, thrift (creeping phlox), Stars of Bethlehem, flowering quince, snowball, henbit, Indian hawthorne, rain lilies, wild azalea (tree honeysuckle), dewberry, camellias, buttercups, pansies, violas, snapdragon, oxalis, red-top, roses, spiderwort, tulips, Indian cane, iris, grancy greybeard, huckleberry, catalpa, red-feather, redbud, South Carolina yellow jasmine, star magnolia, flowering almond, winter jasmine, Bradford pear, Japanese magnolia, and spirea.

Check in your mind, gentle reader, to see if you can recognize the above blooms.

Miss Flora Covington tries to have all of them growing at Covington Hall.

Lord willing, tomorrow is Easter Sunday.

I hope to be in church, worshipping Christ, my Savior and Lord.

Tomorrow afternoon the Covingtons are hosting an Easter-egg hunt.

It was exciting when I was a child to find the hidden eggs, especially the gold egg.

My mother would prepare Easter baskets for my siblings and me and hide them for us to find behind doors in our house or other simple hiding places.

My grandmother did the same before we drove up into the country to visit Sunday afternoon.

Sometimes a stuffed rabbit or Easter keepsake would be placed in our baskets as a centerpiece for the eggs and candy.

I still have some of those keepsakes and treasure them.

One year Grandfather made nests for our eggs out in the field, and we went looking for the nest with the egg with our name. Grandfather had caged a rabbit, which he released when we arrived at the farm.

As the rabbit hopped away, we just knew we were seeing the real Easter Bunny.

We helped dye the eggs, usually on the Saturday before Easter.

Father let us buy new clothes twice a year.

One time was before school started.

The other was Easter.

I recall the year my father let one of my brothers select his own Easter suit to wear to church the rest of the year. My father had good taste in clothing. My poor brother did not. Father had promised Brother that he could select his own clothes that year. He kept his word. Here is the “outfit” Brother chose and wore the rest of the year – a charcoal-grey shirt, a bright yellow tie, and a sickly green coat with white speckles. He thought he was something. He was.

Seen out and about were Robert Evers (the videographer), Jerry Wishum, the serene Mary Evers, Vicki Popwell with her son Luke Popwell and his little son Noah, Sister Schubert, John Taylor with his mother Abbie Taylor, John and Gayle Weaver, Roland Carter, Ramona Barlow, Jim and Joann Boswell, Robert Lee Holley, Dwight Crigger, and Charlie Jeffcoat.

Roland Carter was here to visit. He now lives in North Carolina in order to be near his daughter Angie and her children. His son Wade lives in the West.

Charlie Jeffcoat and I met while dining at the Country Folks Restaurant in Florala. It is now closed.

Charlie has lived in Wing the last 34 years. He lost his wife in 2006.

Topper Propper, who keeps company with Miss Priscilla Primme, reminded me the other day that there’s always a “cold snap” or “cold spell” just before Easter. There certainly was this year.

One of the greatest pleasures in life is to rock on a porch while fanned by a gentle, spring breeze.

Congratulations to Meryane Martin-Murphy and the Andalusia Ballet for their production of Sleeping Beauty with music by Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky. It was the first time Andalusia Ballet had produced the entire, well-known ballet. It was also my first time to see the entire ballet. Only four sections were familiar to me. The rest were not as impressive.

Mrs. Martin-Murphy welcomed the audience last weekend for three performances. She was her usual, gracious, lovely self, as charming as an English teacup.

The sets and costumes, the music and dance, all came together to bring the beloved fairy tale to life.

There were so many fine performances, both by individuals and groups, that I dare not mention only one.

The ballet could be called “Living Beauty,” because the old tale certainly came to life!

The number of hours that went into the production must be astounding.

We are fortunate here in the capital of Covington County to have such talent, such culture, such hearts that love beauty.

Once 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 P.O. Box 1582, Andalusia, Alabama 36420.

The mysterian is an honorary member of the AHS Class of 1926, voted into the class because he had helped them with their history and reunion.

The “birthday boys” this week are A. E. Housman, an English poet, and Robert Frost, an American poet.

Housman wrote “When I Was One and Twenty.” If you ever see the old, black-and-white film about the Titanic, starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck, listen to Miss Stanwyck read that poem.

Robert Frost is the most popular American poet since Longfellow. His quatrain that ends “And miles to go before I sleep” ends the most quoted poem in the last 100 years.

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.