The small things

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ice, like diamonds, adhering to the east side of every twig on every branch.

A kiss from her for no apparent reason.

The smell of home.

Listening to Udell Butler tell a story.

Hearing Philip Carr laugh.

Seeing Lenn Redd’s eyes after a big July rain.

Getting over a three-day sickness and back to feeling normal again.

After 30 years, discovering something else about her you like.

Hearing Milo say “What ya’ been doin’, Grandpa?”

A February fire, a warm blanket and a good book.

The smell of a July ocean after 12 long months.

Sensing the presence of God himself during a worship service. And weeping.


Being greeted by a good dog when you arrive home.

The North Star.

Watching a child stomp ice on mud puddles.

Your favorite chair.

Putting that 30-year-old angel on top of the Christmas tree. Again.

A straight row.

Rolling the window down and sticking your arm out.

A warm body on a January night next to yours.

Wind blowing through the trees.

Watching the offspring of your offspring slumber.

Remembering Sparky Jenkins.

The first Purple Martin.

Looking at old pictures and remembering.

Getting a hand-written letter in the mail.

Noticing the curvature of her spine. Again.

The feel of an old hoe.

Grass poking up through bare feet.

The night-time call of the whippoorwill.

They make it all worthwhile.

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is