RD November Leters 2016

Keeping the faith from afar
RD: Thanks for keeping faith and sending an issue past my subscription date! I don’t have a photo of myself doing the field and orchard work right handy, but this photo will give you a hint.
    Many years ago we moved to the U.S.A. (husband’s new job), so you can see just how much I have, and am, enjoying your publication. I am always amazed when you tackle yet another “hot potato.” Wish I had the time to jump into the fray!
Hannelore Gresser
Ojai, California

“Read this first”
RD: Thank you for the beautiful and useful magazine. My parents were readers of the Family Herald so this is the replacement. Mom died a few years ago and she read your magazine before us as she had a lot of time on her hands. She was telling us what to read first. She was 96 and enjoyed your magazine. Thank you very much.
Claudette Doucet
Balmoral, N.B.

(Claudette, we are glad to hear your mom enjoyed Rural Delivery, often compared by generous readers over the years to the Family Herald that ceased publication in 1969. Gladder still to know Rural Delivery has crossed the generation divide to be read and enjoyed by you and your family. DvL) 

Weeds and stems
RD: I have a lot of goutweed in bloom, long stem flowers tower five feet. My mower seized up. A visitor came across the road to say “it’s hogweed, very poisonous,” etc. and “don’t touch it…”
    Is there a stemmy flower that resembles goutweed? Hogweed? Hope your cow has survived hogweed.
P.S. Also, an ermine (weasel) ran through here all winter, white pelt with a black tip. Are they native? What do they eat? Normally they are half the size of the usual weasels. The young ermine is brown in summer.
Dan Hogan
Lawrencetown, N.S.

(Dan, without more information who knows what long stemmy weed doth blight your yard? My cows have shown no ill result from lunching on goutweed growing here. The native weasel, called ermine when in its winter coat, is a carnivore. Not fussy about what it captures, furred or feathered prey, and quite easily tamed enough to take food – piece of chicken, or hamburger, for example – from a proffered hand. I like having them about, for they are great mousers. DvL)

The Lonesome Swing

It hangs from the arm of a gigantic tree
No greater plant will you ever see

The tree is an oak, which continues to grow
It produces great branches, some in a row

From one of the branches, a tire hangs down
Supported by stout ropes, three feet from the ground

It makes a fine swing, one of the best
For many years, children gave it a test

Grandkids and other kids on warm summer noons
Made it soar high, almost reaching the moon

This summer is different, no friends at all
It’s still hoping for fun before fall

In this modern age, old things disappear
Not many young voices do we now hear

Many activities consume their time
Sports and computers and texting online

The summer’s gone, no kids came our way
They vacationed at Disneyland in the U.S.A.

On modern rides they had lots of fun
But tire swings were absent, they never saw one

The rides they enjoyed but didn’t change minds
We love the old tire swing, it’s one of a kind

The swing was happy when these words it did hear
I guess I’ll hang around and wait for holidays next year.

Pining on a swing
RD: Just finished the last issue of Rural Delivery. Very enjoyable as usual. The letters are great. I’ll pass along the little item (above) – perhaps it will be enjoyed by some of your readers. I call it “The Lonesome Swing.”
    A huge oak tree towers over our lagoon. Years ago I hung a tire from one of its branches. The swing was an instant success. It was enjoyed by my children, neighbourhood kids, and especially by our grandchildren. 
    One summer our grandchildren vacationed in Disneyland. The idle swing prompted me to write this little poem. (“The Lonesome Swing,” below.) 
Alonzo Sturgeon
Upper Derby, N.B.