Author: Ramos, Jean

Harbingers of Spring

“When the springtime comes on the mountain, and the wildflowers scatter o’er the plains, I will watch for the leaves to return to the trees, and I’ll be waiting when the springtime comes again.”

Last summer and fall I did some landscaping in our backyard. Everything was flourishing and healthy when wintertime came. We had some frosty morns and I was concerned about some of my new trees. When the weather turned warmer, I made frequent trips to the backyard to see if there was any sign of life coming from the things that had gone dormant during the winter.

There are several almond trees that grow voluntarily along our back fence; they are the first to bloom. For a couple weeks, we get the closest thing that Brentwood ever gets to snow; white petals from the almond blossoms blanketing the back yard and patio. Next, the daffodils popped up and turned their cheery little faces to the sun. My potato bush has yet to show any signs of life but praise the Lord, on Wednesday, the first day of spring, my crepe myrtle had little buds emerging on all the branches.

“And the birds and the bees are singing, then it makes me think that springtime won’t be long.”

When our daughters were youngsters, Terry put a little shelf up in the awning outside our kitchen window. Every spring, the linnets would come and build a nest on the shelf and would lay four or five eggs at a time. Our girls would put cotton and string or yarn out for the birds to line their nests. Many of the nests were also lined with the fuzzy undercoat hair of our German shepherd, Heidi. We monitored the whole process from nest building, egg laying, hatching, feeding and finally the first flight. These little birds still return and have been doing so for forty one years. This is just one of the blessings we enjoy by staying in the same house all these years.

Another blessing from staying put is that our kids and grandkids have memories of many Easter egg hunts here in our yard. This Easter I will miss having kids here, our youngest grandchild lives in NY and the other two are teenagers. Times and seasons change. I think back on my childhood and Easter celebrations. It was a time to get a new dress and shoes, if finances permitted. We raised our own chickens so we had eggs to color using vinegar and food coloring.

Easter morning began with a sunrise service on top of a mountain overlooking the Hoopa Valley. There was a big white cross that could be seen for miles sitting on top of the place called Bald Hill. The local churches would come together and put on a “passion play,” every year at the cross. The cross still stands and sunrise services are still held at its base, the faces are familiar but are of a different generation. It brings me joy to know that the story they tell has never changed; the Gospel story.

Gospel music is an important part of Bluegrass Music, and it is one that the CBA is dedicated to preserve. The word Gospel means “Good News” and refers to the Christian message of redemption through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Bluegrass gospel is strong on vocals and close harmonies. It has its roots in mountain music; the Carter family popularized this style in the 1920’s.

In many cases now, the music we refer to as Gospel no longer serves as a testimony, religious exhortation or warning as it once did. It is often composed and performed for its entertainment value and marketability. We are seeing changes in all musical genres and Gospel music is no exception.

I am doing my part to preserve and perpetuate this special music by learning some old gospel tunes. I look forward to the month of April as the calendar appears to already be chocked full of jams and camp-outs, one after another.

I hope to see you all at Turlock. If you are able, please give Glenda and Vaughn Lew a hand at the gate. If several of us could volunteer a couple hours to help them out, it would lighten their load. You don’t have to miss out on any jamming, just bring your instrument to the gate and jam there in between signing people in.

Have a blessed Easter.
Posted:  3/24/2013

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