By Karen Steinhauser
As I am writing this in the wee hours of the morning, sitting at my kitchen table looking out the window, the snow is falling and I can see a giant sea of white. In spite of my friends’ many prayers, it would seem God has chosen to answer mine and give me one more snow this season. I realize many folks don’t care for snow, but I happen to find it a beautiful sight. Right now it is hanging on the trees, and it looks like a winter wonderland; although it’s not even daylight outside. I love that everything is still, quiet, and peaceful.
It reminds me of the feeling I got as a child, when I would wake up and discover I didn’t have to go to school that day. It takes me back to more simple times. I find myself longing for yesteryear. Snow slows things down! I guess I’m struggling to keep up and furthermore, I don’t want to. Everything is too complicated these days. I was laying in my bed thinking of all the things that I like and enjoy presently; none of them are modern. Even the bedcovers from this present era are complicated. They are heavy and you have duvet covers. I bought one and found out that it was not for me. I love quilts. They are lightweight and what is cozier than wrapping up in an old quilt. Once again, quilts take me back to my childhood and I associate them with a feeling of security and knowing that all is right in the world.
One thing from the past I have always loved is old church pews. Recently I decided that I needed a couple. I found some that were over one hundred years old. My husband and I had to go out of state to get them. We have a table that is quite long, that was inherited from my late father in law. I had a vision of that table with a church pew on each side and the old ladder-back chairs at both ends. My reason for this is to be able to seat the whole family at one table when we have family get-togethers. The pews are presently being prepared for future dinners. Of course, family sit-down dinners are a dying art these days. Not in this house, nor will they ever be. I am convinced that just as “the family that prays together, stays together,” so it goes with the family that eats together. Our most precious times are spent when we share a meal. Amidst all the noise, talking over the top of each other, sometimes with five different conversations going on at the same time, my family does their catching up, their laughing, their crying, all around the dinner table. It is a place where electronics are not allowed.
I told my husband I wished the pews could talk because I am sure they would have some stories to tell. He ruined that moment by pretending to be a “talking pew” and declaring that Sis. Bertha’s bottom was way too large.
I guess I am nostalgic to a fault. In many aspects, I refuse to change. It is only recently I broke down and decided to start using a laptop computer. I miss the days of paper and pencils for my writing. I refuse to read a book electronically. I have a passion for old books. I love the smell, and I love holding them in my hands. My favorite way to listen to music is on a record player where I can hear the crackling sound as the music plays. That is truly “music to my ears.” I have a mantle in my bedroom that is well over a hundred years old. I look at it and picture a family sitting around the fireplace after supper, listening to the Grand Ole Opry on an old radio. Those were the days of simplicity, where people worked hard and then enjoyed the fruit of their labor. The Lord’s Day was truly celebrated on Sundays, as all commerce came to a halt and families attended worship service. They came home and the women prepared a meal and the men sat on the porch visiting until they were called to eat. Children played and they played hard. They got exercise and enjoyed many adventures in the great outdoors. After the big meal, you would see the men back on the porch many times with their hats pulled down over their eyes as they grabbed an afternoon nap. They had worked hard those other six days and the nap was well deserved! I realize I cannot turn back time, but I am determined to hang onto some of the old ways that are important to me. At the end of the day, it’s about time spent enjoying your family and the things you take pleasure in. Lord willing, I will continue to host family dinners. I will play the old records. I will read the old books. I will snuggle in my old quilts. I will enjoy today, try to live simply and not be in too big of a hurry. I will also remember that somewhere down the road, someone will look back and think of this present time as the “good ole days.”
Thank you for sharing your time with me. Take the time to enjoy your family. I hope we will meet again next week as you settle down someplace quiet, maybe with one of those well worn quilts I spoke of. Grab a mug of hot coffee and a biscuit, slathered in butter, with some homemade blackberry jam, while we talk about what’s on my heart but most importantly, what can be learned from it. As always, God bless.
Karen Sparks Steinhauser is an Estill County native that currently resides in Richmond Kentucky. She is a Christian children’s author and speaker. If you wish to contact her or schedule her for an event, you may do so at: Karensteinhauser7@gmail.com or by phone at 859-893-1758.