Chuck Terrill: Spring forward

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

When the seasons change, it causes me to remember things from boyhood.

I like to remember good things, and I am sure that I romanticize some events in my mind. At the same time, I worry a little bit that my children and grandchildren are missing out on some of the experiences that I enjoyed.

I was fortunate to spend many weekends and summer days on my grandparents’ 10-acre farm. Springtime helps me to remember the joy of running down a dusty country lane barefoot. But I also remember walking through flowering clover and stepping on a honeybee!

I still enjoy the sound of cackling hens on an early spring morning and the sound of rolling thunder in the late afternoon. I have pulled, and enjoyed, fresh turnips eaten in the garden. A little bit of dirt seemed kind of tasty! I wonder why the things you ate when you were a child seemed bigger and tasted better than they do now?

I still love the smell of baking bread. And then, when it is done, slicing off the heel and slathering it with butter. I remember being banned from the farmhouse kitchen and standing in the doorway while grandma scrubbed the floor boards. She would scrub the floors until the boards turned white. Today's soaps do not leave the pleasant smell of mild bleach which I associate with grandma's kitchen.

I remember the corn cob fights we had when our cousins were at the farm. Any time there were a half dozen boys together, there would be a corn cob fight! Those who were in the shed vowed to keep those who were outside the shed, out. Those who were outside the shed vowed to get inside the shed. Any boy who has not been hit on the side of the head with a soggy corn cob in such a battle has missed out on a valuable experience. Our representatives up in Washington ought to try a good old fashioned corncob fight to settle some of their disputes. It would be a lot quicker, and the outcome would probably be better.  

Do you remember the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing on a spring morning? Do you remember how the rooster crowed and how the birds chirped as they hopped across the back porch? Do you remember pumping the iron handle of an old rusty red pump until cold water flowed into a trough? Do you remember Saturday baths in a galvanized wash tub? Do you remember the first 50-cent piece you ever owned? Do you remember catching young roosters on Sunday morning for your Sunday after church dinner?

I remember the prayer of a wise old woman who enjoyed the turn of the seasons. She stood in awe at the wonder that is springtime. She breathed a prayer to her heavenly Father: “Please don't see fit to call me home while glorious springtime is visiting the earth.” I join that old farm woman in her wish.  

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.