By LARRY M. JONES
After the wonderful soaking rains that many of us received just over a week ago, it’s good to see some sunshine for a change. I’ll admit that I was one of the luckier ones in the rain department. Although those of us in the southern part of Parker County got more than our share, a lot of folks farther up the Brazos watershed were shortchanged.
After experiencing several days of inclement weather, I began to reflect on how much the sun affects our lives and even our attitudes. The bright sun tends to cheer us up and renew our spirits. The song ‘Keep on the Sunny Side’ was written in 1899 by a man whose nephew was confined to a wheelchair. When his nephew was being pushed down a street, he always insisted on going down the sunny side of the street. This brought him pleasure. The Carter family recorded this song in 1928 and it became quite popular.
I have witnessed what a lack of sunshine can do to us. Deploying in the navy to places such as Iceland and other garden spots near the Arctic Circle can be very depressing. During the winter with constant darkness, emotional distress is commonplace. Alcoholism and depression are far too widespread in these northern climes.
My wife Helen recently attended a workshop on food preservation conducted by the AgriLife Extension Service. This reminded me of how we used to put up food down on the “pore farm” in the summer to last all year. One of my favorites was drying peaches, apples and apricots from Grandpa Jones’ large orchard. We would peel the fruit and cut them into thin slices. Then we would place them on screen wire frames or thick muslin cloth and place them out in the sun to dry. We had to protect them from birds and other critters by covering them with chicken wire. The porch roof was an ideal spot — up and away from dogs and larger varmints.