Ripley Senior News: Column

Janet F. Smart
Ripley Senior News
Red-bellied woodpecker thinks he's a hummingbird.

Hi, everyone. The center is still closed and will remain closed until further notice.

My riddle for you this week is: When do ducks get up?

The Jackson County Commission on Aging is still serving meals three days a week. Meals will be available at the senior centers and delivered for Meals on Wheels Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Frozen meals will be given out on Thursday for Friday and Monday.

Charley went down to the center last week while I was at my writing meeting at the library. He put up on the pole a new American and West Virginia flag. They look so nice flying above the building. While he was there, he got to see and talk to Donna and Jim. They were driving through to pick up their meals. He also saw Charley White who stopped by. No one can go in the building, but they visited outside in the parking lot.

Most of my plants survived the last of the frigid mornings we had. Some of my blueberries got bit, but most everything else survived winter’s last blast. I hope your plants survived too.

Last week I told you about the momma wood duck sitting on eggs in the duck box down by the creek. The eggs hatched! I’m so happy the duck population is growing.

I have mentioned that our hummingbirds are back, but I have a red-bellied woodpecker that visits the front yard hummingbird feeder more often than the hummers. I guess he has a sweet tooth.

After the danger of frost left, we finished planting our garden. Now, along with our peas, lettuce and garlic, we have bell peppers, yellow squash, tomato plants and rows of corn in our garden. I can’t wait for our first taste of sweet juicy tomatoes straight from the vine. Even in the summer, tomatoes sold in stores can’t hold a candle to the ones picked fresh from your own garden. Growing your own produce is a lot of hard work, but it's worth every sore muscle it creates. And believe me, Charley and I were sore and wore out after planting in the garden all day. Darkness and the cold were falling upon us when we finished. Our sons built a fire in the firepit and I got to sit before it and rest before going inside.

The library is having a book sale this week (May 26-29). I will be there Wednesday afternoon helping out. It is a great opportunity for book lovers to browse through tables and tables of books and pick out the ones you like.

This Memorial Day weekend we have three cemeteries that we will be visiting to decorate the graves. One is an old cemetery up the holler where I grew up in Kanawha County. My grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives are buried there. It is at the top of a hill and many of the oldest graves are only sunken places with rocks as headstones. There are no names on them, and we don’t know who are buried there. I’ve been visiting this cemetery since I was a child. Grandma, Mom, my aunts and I climbed up the hillside path through the woods with armfuls of flowers cut from bushes in our yards. This path is where I always got my first case of itchy poison ivy. There is now a steep narrow road that goes up to it. Do you visit cemeteries on Memorial Day weekend?

I leave you with the following verses:

Isaiah 12:1 — And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

John 16:22 — And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

Isaiah 40:31 — But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Answer to riddle: At the quack of dawn!