December 28, 2011 Edition

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Winter memories

Dewitt Rowlett

I wish I could paint landscape pictures so that I could show folks the old time scene I have in my mind of Possum Trot community in the winter.

We had lots of snow back in the 50s ... I am talking lots and lots of snow.

A smoke house sat in the back yard visible through the window from our dining room table. It was just a little shed with a dirt floor and a tin roof. The old gray barnwood made a dark backdrop against the falling snow, and I spent many hours sitting in the warmth of the tiny kitchen/dining room watching the snowflakes accumulate on the ground and the roof of the little shed.

A small barn and chicken house sat just a few yards to the east of the three-room house and I loved to watch the snow pile up on those tin roofs.

Mom was a stickler for cleanliness, and she insisted the snow collected for "snow cream" came from the roof of the smoke house or the barn. If you have not had snow cream, you have not lived - snow, milk, sugar and vanilla flavoring, sorry no recipe, she would tell you "a dab of this and a smidgeon of that."

I can close my eyes and see the fields to the north and to the south of that old gravel road, covered white with three or four inch deep snow. The house and the outbuilding roofs are glistening in the sun after the storm had passed.

Yep, if I could paint what I see in my mind, I am sure everyone would agree it is a beautiful sight.

I am so thankful that my memory can still take me there, and I hope this little tidbit jogs a similar memory in your mind.

Dewitt Rowlett of Vilonia is a native of Possum Trot Community, five miles west of Swifton. He writes of his life in rural Arkansas and is gaining quite a fan club of people who are of the nostalgic persuasion. Comments can be sent to him through e-mail at

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