Memories of our county

Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.

We’ve had some strange weather of late. One day it will be in the 70s and then the next morning wake up to freezing rain and sleet with temperatures dropping into the teens.

Although we complain and talk about the weather there is nothing that we can do about it.   There are always storms, of some kind, in our lives; some of them severe. I remember when I was about 6 years old and we lived in a small little house just up the road from our grandparents. We called our grandparents, Granny and Papa. Our little house had just three rooms. Not three bedrooms, just three rooms. There was a great room and on one side of the little house was the kitchen and on the other side was an extra room. I guess you could say it was a guest room. We all stayed in the great room and we all slept in the same room.

We faced all kinds of storms while we lived in that little house. In 1939, (I think) we awakened to a snow that was hip-pocket deep. Mama and Daddy wrapped burlap bags (we called them tow-sacks) around their shoes and trailed rabbits in the snow and caught them. Rabbits are really good eating and we were happy to have them. We made snow ice cream with the snow by adding a little milk and vanilla. The heater for the house was a 55 gallon tin drum turned down on one side with a section cut from the top. That cut –out section was hinged making a door in the top of the heater for putting in wood.  Stove pipes reached all the way through the roof. The house had no ceiling.

On one particular night, there was the most ferocious thunder storm you’ve ever seen. The lightening was frightening and the thunder clapped. The rain came down in torrents. Mama put boilers and pans from the kitchen under the leaks and when they were full she emptied them and replaced them. Daddy stood at the window watching the clouds as they blew across the sky. All at once he grabbed Bud up in his arms and wrapped him in a quilt and yelled, “Come on.” He ran as fast as he could down the road to Granny’s house. Mama followed holding Dot’s hand in one of hers and mine in the other one.  The rain pelted us in the face and the lightning flashed across the sky. The thunder bolts seemed to reach right down to the earth under us. Mama could run faster than we could and I remember her dragging us down the muddy road.

From Granny’s house, my Dad’s younger brothers, Herskel and Wallace were watching the weather out their windows. They saw us coming in the light from the lightning flashes and came running to meet us. One of them got me up in his arms and one got Dot. We were carried to safety at Granny’s house. There we were welcomed with open arms and a warm fire in the fireplace.

Our little house did not get blown away that night. We would have been safe there. We ran out into the bad weather, much as we do today when we have storms in our lives, because we do not trust God. We could have been struck by lightning or fallen and broke bones or developed all manner of maladies from exposure.

With all of the modern conveniences and the new ways that we have to predict the weather and other events that we face, we sometimes still panic in times of storms. Even with all the learning, education, and instruction that we have, we still have not learned to trust God.There is always shelter there.

Editor’s note: Nannie Maude Reynolds is an author and Winston Countian. She has written four books including “Home For Christmas”, “The Road South”, “A New Generation’ and two histories of Noxapater with Betty Suttle. To purchase one of her books contact 662-724-4631.