By Chuck Wiser, photo by Bob Confer
I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels
April, April, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I have previously written suggesting that March and November were the most topsy turvy of the months given the often suddenly drastic swings in the weather. Promise of Spring/Fall on one day and for one a front flip into winter and the other a backslide into same. From a strictly emotional and “romantic’s” standpoint you cannot top April, despite its moody weather swings.
Well, we got April Fools Day out of the way without too much drama. My childhood friend, and now the Reverend John Clark who celebrates his birthday that day, helps to start the month out annually, with an upbeat. My Sister Sue with a birthday nearer the end of the month would close it out. April represents the highs and lows from a religious standpoint as well, with many significant historical and biblical events. I won’t get on a pulpit this day so I will move on.
“I interrupt this programming with a weather related alert”. My wife just came rushing in to announce that: “I can hear the peepers.” It’s still a little early for planting gardens except maybe for peas, but if you want to plant it on this planet, you’d better plan it. Time to plot your plot.
April 24th was the first day of my 16-year career at the Air Preheater Company (APCo). In a roundabout way, albeit with a 16-year prolog to the rest of my life, the seeds were planted for the 24-year teaching career at Alfred State College. I started at APCo as a “Draftsman” with no other credentials than a three-year Mechanical Drawing stint at the direction of Mrs. Nancy McDermott at Friendship Central School. This is all “old news” for those who have read many of my former Wrambling’s so I won’t belabor those points.
I continue to be pleasantly humbled when someone mentions having read, and enjoyed, my Wramblings. Tuesday night, a highly positioned Genesee Valley Chorus (GVC) officer mentioned my articles and even quoted my “signature” line. She, as often others do also, mentioned that she doesn’t always agree with my points of view, but likes the way I present them.
Speaking of GVC. We had the pleasure of performing our Lenten Concert at the First United Methodist Church in Scio, NY Sunday afternoon. As an aside, does anyone know of any “Second United Methodist” churches? There was a great turnout, not only of Scio residents, but by many familiar faces from throughout the area. The audience was lively, energetic, involved, and appreciative. We greatly accept donations to help offset the operating expenses, music purchases, and “positional stipends,” etc.. The guests showed their appreciation in a grandiose way.
I would also like to express my gratitude to The Wellsville Sun for sharing our program notices. It was a strong indication of the attention people pay to the “SUN,” measured by the number of comments I received regarding their postings.
Thank you all very much for your great participation and generosity!
Public Service Announcement: DON’T BURN OUTSIDE! I listen to the scanner every day. Every year, at this time of year, outdoor fires are a problem and a threat to field vegetation, structures, and wood lots.
The local Fire Departments are overwhelmed by the carelessness or thoughtlessness of those people who think they can get away with burning some trash outside, or maybe burning off a little dead undergrowth that has sprung up. Added to the fire threat keeping volunteer firefighters on their toes, is/are the high wind threats, given the heating and cooling cycles that generate the typical wind and wind gust problems. I think at one time yesterday every fire department in the county had been called out for trees down or other similar problems. When you get a solicitation for funding, a knock on the door, or letter in the mail, keep the efforts of those volunteers in mind. Many of those fund drives are prompted by the need for new, or replacement, fire “gear.” Give as generously to them as they give of their time and energy to you.
Clean up time. In addition to spring cleaning around the home site, I will clean up some odds and end notes that have accumulated in the form of my future topic notes.
- A comment that made me laugh was overheard in Walmart last week as a father spoke to his young son. “Ok, they all know you’re here now”
- Robins have been plentiful for a couple of weeks now and along with the peepers chirping, the robins calling for today’s showers was music to my ears. Gold finches are starting to sport their summer bright suits of feathers. We are till about a month away from the return of Grosbeaks, Orioles, and any other hoped for “migrant birds” but it won’t be long.
- Actively singing in three different formal groups has done a couple of things. I find that I can sing longer runs or strings of words without needing to take a breath, and my voice range has expanded by being able to sing both lower notes and higher notes. Maybe not well, but I can sing them.
- My hat is off to the photography winners of the Grace United “Theme Photography” contest. Seeing the quality of the presentations made me feel a little like I took a slingshot to a gun fight, but congratulations to all.
- Seeing the Knights Creek trying to create a new stream bed between our residence and the Genesee River in Scio over the past couple of years, reminds me of growing up in Nile and, at about this time of year, starting our quest for a new swimming hole in the tributaries that feed Van Campen Creek which ultimately feeds into the “Mighty Genesee.” Yes, we swam in April. Every year the ice flows and spring melts would gouge out different places in the stream. Fallen trees or branches too, would alter the stream flow. We would walk the creek and see what opportunities it afforded us. Some years would yield an already “swim ready” hole that would do us well for the entire year. Some years we would have to help nature a little by building a makeshift dam of large rocks to back up enough water to make an adequate swimming area. Back in the 50’s there was an old trestle bridge on County Rte. 1 as it veered west in the hamlet of Nile and wound its way toward west Clarksville. Before they replaced that with the current bridge, there was a natural swimming hole under, and slightly North of, the bridge. The water was usually deep enough to jump into from the bridge. The picture shown with this article is an early shot of that bridge prior to 1950.
The following poem was re-written, celebrating my sister’s 70th birthday in 2013. Sadly, and ironically, she passed away on that very day. Fortunately, I was able to read her that poem. The original poem was a poem of love, written on another significant, more pleasant, occasion, prior to its use herein. RIP Sylvia (Sue) Halsaver Booth.
Born in April
(A birthday poem for Sue upon her 70th Birthday)
To be born in April is to be blessed
With sunshine and flowers bringing happiness
Your father is winter, your mother the fall
Life for all seasons rings the spring time call
Your moods may be changing like the April skies
And tears like the raindrops may fall from your eyes
But clouds have their bound’ries and soon have all gone
And your smile surely brightens like daylight at dawn
Some winters are harsh as life oft’ can be
But spring brings new hope like the buds on the tree
To be born in April is to be blessed
With a heart filled with laughter sharing happiness
April 29, 2013