The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

January In Mountain View

By Ivalien Hylton Belcher © 1984

Issue: January, 1984

Here it is, January in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To me, this is the longest month of the year. After a busy summer and autumn, it’s a good feeling to slow down a little. Since I work in a factory, the long winter evenings are very enjoyable to me. Now all those Gothic novels I bought at yard sales will be read. Maybe I’ll even watch television, something I never do in the summer.

This winter I have something very special to work on. My new found family in California sent me my great-aunt Marion’s quilt pieces. She had a “crazy quilt” top half completed. The blocks and stitching are so beautiful. Mine will never be as perfect as Aunt Marion’s but I’m trying to do my best. I’m really proud of the ones I’ve completed. This quilt means so much to me.

On really bad, snowy days, the plant I work at will be closed. On these days I like to try new recipes, read, or clean my desk drawers, throwing away junk and wondering why in the world I saved all that stuff. I may even go out and make a snowman. Yes, I still like to do that. I love to walk in the snow. It is so beautiful.

Have you ever made snow cream? We did every winter until the “fall-out” scare. My dad had a way of making ice cream without an ice cream freezer. He would get a large dishpan full of snow, fill a syrup bucket half full of milk, sugar and vanilla, then place the bucket in the center of the pan of snow. Slowly he would turn it around and around. This took a while but the taste is well worth it.

When I get through January, I know spring isn’t far away. God made all seasons. Each has its own special beauty for us to enjoy. Take time to live.