My Forty Years Scribblin's
Personal Memories
When Spring Came To Evaro

This account was written in 1995, published in the Spring 1995 issue of The Charity Peak Outlook. A spring afternoon beckons to the Evaro school kids.

The coming of spring to Evaro was that magical time when we shed the pressures of winter that squeezed like a cast on our beings—it was like coming out of the ice box to sit in the sun. It brought such a buoyancy that we could hardly stay in our skins. Spring was pussy willows and buttercups, hunting trilliums (wake-robins) in the shady bottom along O'Keefe Creek. Spring was pheasants drumming, robins nesting in the pines beside our house, baby calves, setting hens, and fuzzy chicks. As the weather warmed the hens began to lay and we had eggs to eat after a barren winter. The chicks outgrew their attraction and we waited impatiently until they would be big enough to fry for the Fourth of July.

Teacher took us on a walk up O'Keefe Creek and I saw a mud ball with snakes heads sticking out every direction—yuk!

Spring was the time when we kids rolled up our long underwear legs—after we were out of sight of the house, that is—then we were careful to roll them back down and pull up our stockings before we reached home! We didn't dare to shed those union suits too early else we were sure to catch our death of something.

Spring heralded acres of dog-toothed violets, a fairyland of serviceberry blossoms, wild roses, and yes, wood ticks and mosquitoes.

When the mud dried up in the schoolyard we could work off our exuberance playing "pump-pump, pull away—if you don't come I'll pull you away." The school furnished a teeter-totter but it always had a waiting line.

It was house cleaning time too. We washed the (few) windows, swept down the cob webs and took the chairs out in the yard and gave them a scrubbing with a brush. The paint, if any, was long since worn away. When the weather was warm enough we washed our bedding too. We kids stomped the quilts with our bare feet in a tub of soapy water in the yard.

By now the cows were producing and there was plenty of milk and thick cream. Some Sundays we would prevail upon a kind-hearted section foreman and get enough railroad ice to make ice cream. My auntie would remove the inner workings from the old hand-cranked freezer and we kids, waiting with ready spoons could get a good "lick" from the paddle.

Then, last but not least, was when the little boy jumped out of the Log Cabin syrup can and hid in the wood pile. Yes, he did! My auntie said so! When we were asking "What makes the sky blue?" "What makes the grass green?" and "What makes the Log Cabin syrup go glug-glug when it comes out of the can?"

"There's a little boy in there kicking it out," she said. Our mouths fell open and we were all ears.

"Well, what does he do when the can is empty?"

"Oh-h-h, he runs and hides in the wood pile until we get a new can.

"Well, then what does he do?"

"Oh-h-h, I leave the cap off the can and he comes back in the night and crawls in." How she must have smiled while we took that wood pile apart piece by piece, determined to catch that sweet little boy. He must have been sweet, wasn't he?—living all that time in the syrup can! Well, we never did catch a glimpse of him, but it gave us a period of prime entertainment and got us out of her hair for awhile.

Spring is wonderful anywhere but I've never known one to compare with springtime in my childhood at Evaro.