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By Ethel McCallie
Well, howdy doody, there, all of you nice lovely and friendly folks in good ole Ava, Missouri, which I consider my home state, and town.
I just had to write and tell you about all the snow we have here in Oklahoma. It was 17 inches deep at my front door. I couldn’t open it or my back door either where the snow was 15 inches deep. So I’m Snowed in. So you could say I was strictly house bound, I couldn’t get out either door.
The weathermen says it’s the largest snow here for a good many years, and was below zero and colder temperatures too than we’d had.
Anyhow, I was sitting by my kitchen window, watching the birds eating some food I gave them and as I was looking out, I don’t think I’d ever seen a bluer sky or whiter snow. It was one of God’s most beautiful pictures I’d ever seen, and as I was looking at it and thinking how beautiful and how white the snow was I thought about an old song we used to sing that said ‘Now wash me, and I’ll be whiter than snow’. Then, I thought that would be really white, wouldn’t it?
I’ve seen some very good artists but none of them come anyway near make a painting that can compare to the scenery we see every day, such as trees, mountains, streams, birds, flowers, white clouds in a bright blue sky, and all the colorful foliage in the fall of the year. I could go on and on about God’s beauty, it’s perfect.
That’s why I love traveling so much. You see God’s creation that he made for our enjoyment and pleasure, but we hardly ever realize it or thank Him for it.
Some here were complaining abut the snow and how it stops us from getting out and going as we please and I said, “Well you know I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves and our desires to do what we want to do so God does something to bring us to our senses and to show us that we’re not the only ones around. He puts a quietus on us a few days.
That starts some of us to know and realize we’re not the only, nor the most important, and that others around need help. I know I’m guilty of that myself then I’m ashamed of myself and sorry too.
There’s a lot of sick and folks in need that are less fortunate than others and many elderly folks that really need helping, so maybe it’s sort of a wake-up call for us.
The zero weather here really makes me homesick for California, and wish that I’d never moved back to Oklahoma. The weather where I lived never got near this cold. We grew oranges and if it got down to 32 degrees above zero and stayed that way for two hours, they would light up the smudge pots and start the wind machines. Oranges will freeze if the temperature stays 32 above zero for two hours. The worse weather we had there in the winter was dense fog and it can be really dangerous if and when you get caught in it. But, I’d still rather be there than here. I spent the biggest part of my life there – about 70 plus years.
I want to reminisce a little about my earlier day when I attended my old school of Silver Shade in Douglas County. It holds some of my most pleasant memories, even though we were very poor. And, us four children (my two sisters and brother) had lost our Mother. And that is the saddest memory of my young life. My brother Adrain was 15 months-old, I was 4, my sister Blanche was 7, and our oldest sister Elaine was 10. We were so scared and lonely, for our Dad was away in the daytime working. He was a carpenter but he loved us dearly and kept us together. I’d say he was like an ole mother hen with four little chickens. But losing our dear Mother is the worse memory of my young life.
I cherish most of the others and I’d have to say I’m probably one of the most curious kids you’d ever see, know or run across. I wanted to know about everything. Maybe you could classify me as a ‘nosy Rosie’, that’s what my oldest sister called me.
Well now, I’m going to back track to the old Silver Shade School. I was 6 years old when I began going there – that was 88 years ago as I’ll be 94 this years on Aug. 11. Wowee! That sure doesn’t seem possible, these years pass way too fast, don’t they? Anyway, I have many good memories of Silver Shade. I attended it almost 6 years and in those six years I had – Ona Hughes, Willard Hughes, Eulah Smith, Daniel Jennings, Beulah Hunt and Oda Surguine for teachers. I thought they were all good teachers and all kept good order and attention in the school room and peace out on the playground, AT the south edge was one of the most beautiful free, ever-flowing springs clear as a crystal. It was beautiful. You could count the stones in the bottom of it. I keep remembering how beautiful the playground was too. So many large beautiful oak trees and green grassy ground around them and hills on both sides with shrubs and wild flowers. It is a beautiful part of my memory.
I attended school there till Oct. 1929 when Dad sold our farm, and with my Aunt and Uncle, we went to Lindsay, Calif. We traveled on the old 66 Highway at that time it was classified as the main street of America. The length of it I’m not sure, but I am sure it stops at Santa Ana, Calif., for I’ve been there it’s at the edge of the beach of the Pacific Ocean. And, a sign there says “This is the End of US-66″ Stop. If you didn’t stop you’d have driven into the Pacific Ocean. Ha! Ha!
I was curious about each and everything I saw all the way out there, especially the Painted Desert. It was beautiful, I didn’t realize there were so many different colors of sand. I was amazed. But there’s lots in this old world I’ve not seen nor will I ever.
I’d like to ask how many of you attended Silver Shade School can remember the ones or some of them that were attending when you started to school there. I can only remember scholars now that attended and still living.
Well, now they tell us we’re free of having anymore snow for awhile. I’m enclosing a picture from our Nowata newspaper of a lady cleaning a walkway through the snow. It looks exactly like mine did the snow was about 15 to 20 inches deep at that time. And, even though it handicaps us for awhile, I still think it’s really beautiful.
I would like to hear from you again, River Stillwood, so if you read this, please write or call me. I’d love to hear from you, please.
Well, a cheerful and friendly adieu to all of you nice folks in Ava and good ole Douglas County.
My best wishes to all