Clark Hollow Ramblings: Count your blessings

Some things just warm the cockles of your heart and make you smile. And even though I’m not too sure just what the cockles of my heart are, I’m going to take a chance that you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, such a thing happened for me last Wednesday night. Some of the community churches have been having their regular Lenten services at the Washington Baptist Church. (Please notice I didn’t say Little Washington Baptist Church.) I think when a bunch of different churches get together they call it an ecumenical service.

Anyway, whatever they call it, I went out to help the United Methodist folks, as it was our turn for special music. Dear friends, the place was packed. A lot of these good Christians got there early and brought a dish and broke bread and had fellowship with like-minded people. There were people from every walk of life, community leaders, volunteers, business men and women, lots of retired folks, a sprinkling of youngsters, and a couple of community-minded young people to watch the even younger ones. 

I hope I don’t leave anybody out, but there were Baptists and Catholics, and Methodists and Episcopalians, and Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge. It was wonderful to see so many good God-fearing people in one place. I looked out across those pews, strapped on my old Martin flattop box and didn’t know if I was going to be able to get through three songs or not. There was a lump in my throat the size of a watermelon, and, friends, that was a good thing. Yes, it was. 

One of the leaders of a local Catholic church, Father Tuck Grinnell, talked about the apostle Paul, and how we need to remember to count our blessings, even in hard times. I took that message to heart and have been thinking, once again, how lucky we all are to be living in this wonderful, magical place, and how I hope we remember to always count that as one of our special blessings. 

And speaking of remembering blessings, it was not fitting weather for planting ’taters on St. Patrick’s Day, but in remembrance of my father, I took a couple of old Kennebecs from last year and cut them up with a good eye on each piece and rounded up a few hills in the raised beds and put them in the rich ground. We’ll see what we’ll see, but whether they make it or not it gave me another good memory and another reason to be thankful for what I have and where I came from and where I have been and what family and friends have done for me. 

As I write this, I look out the window and it is snowing to beat the band, but the weatherman says it will be 60 degrees tomorrow. I found a few yellow onions the other day at the Southern States in Front Royal and bought a couple of dippers full. For such a great garden last year, we had almost no luck with onions and said we weren’t going to plant any this year. But, they are a staple. We let them mature and chop them up and freeze them. Oh, I still string a few and hang them in the shed, but most of them go in the freezer. We hate not having any to put in chili and stews and soups and meatloaf. We don’t eat them raw, but we love them for seasoning cooked dishes, and a few sautéed with our Friday night steak. I guess we are going to give them one more shot. 

I think I’ll go cut my seed potatoes. It doesn’t look like this snow is going to amount to a hill of beans, and they aren’t calling for anymore falling weather for almost a week. It won’t hurt the cut potatoes to dry up a little before they go in the ground, anyway. Maybe we can get to it in earnest next week. Let’s hope so. We have to start somewhere. In the meantime, let’s keep counting our blessings. 

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 133 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.