Sweet Hour of Prayer


imageMaggie married Melvin shortly after her first husband died.  Maybe she should’ve waited longer, but she was exhausted after her long struggle to support Ray through his illness and then Little Ray after he died, so she was glad to have Melvin’s companionship and support, even though he was odd from the start.  Things went well enough for several years, but by the time Melvin reached his late forties, he’d developed religious delusions that made him impossible to live with.

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Goats Pop the Top


imageThe visiting preacher came home with us for Sunday dinner. He had a just gotten a new car and spent most of Sunday dinner talking about it. His wife had a bad heart and lay down for a nap after lunch. He whispered “She could go anytime.” This did nothing to lighten the mood. It was clear the new car was the only bright spot in his life. It would look nice at her funeral. They were from out of town so we were stuck with them until time for the evening service. The afternoon looked long and hopeless. The kids escaped outdoors as soon as possible. Our house was on the edge of the farm, sitting inside a larger fenced area where Daddy raised hay and grazed cattle, horses, goats.  The driveway was several hundred yards long and fenced separately, enclosing several pecan and fruit trees, and space for…

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Crazy Charlsie Part 6

Marzell was back in ten minutes.  “I don’t guess I can go.  Mom said we didn’t move the fishing poles and tackle box.

“That’s okay,” Charley reassured her.  “We’ve got plenty.  Sometimes we all go.  If Ginny catches us, she’ll have to tag along, so we’ll take an extra for her.  You can dig a few worms while I fetch the gear.  Don’t run off squealing.”

“I’ll be fine.  I eat worms for breakfast!”  Marzell quipped.

Charley ran in just long enough to get some pants on  and yell to Cora.  “Cora,  I’m going fishing.  Tell Ginny to come on down if she wants to.”

“Okay, but don’t be late for supper.  Here’s a couple of apples to hold you over.”

“Better make it three, Cora.  A friend is with me.” Charley told her.  Cora smiled to herself, glad to know Charley had a companion.  It had been a long time.  Ginny burst in the back door, banging her books on the kitchen table.  “Ginny, I ‘m going fishing.  Come on down to the creek if you want to.”

“Okay!” Ginny answered as she grabbed a couple of cookies.

The girls dropped their lines off a five foot embankment into to sandy-bottomed creek.  Small sunfish were tempted by the worms dangling before them, but were too small to get the bait n their mouths.  Occasionally, a nice white perch took interest and was added to the stringer.  Eventually, seven white perch and a catfish hung in the cool water.  “I’d better get home for supper,” Marzell announced, starting to get things together.

“Can you stay for supper?” Charley asked.  “Cora always cooks my fish for me.”

“I’ll have to ask Mother.” Marzell replied.

As soon as they got back to Charley’s, Charley told Cora they had fish to cook.  “I thought you might.” Cora laughed.  I’m just about to put some chicken on to fry.  Bring me them  fish as soon as they cleaned and I’ll fry them up for you.  Marzell, call your mama and ask if it’s okay for you to stay to supper.”

Cora set an extra place for Marzell and set a sizzling platter of fried chicken and fish In front of Charles and the girls.  “Dr. Charles, you can thank the girls for this nice mess of fish.  Charley, you know catfish is my favorite, so I am taking that one home for my supper.  Next time, you’d better catch two if you want one.  You girls don’t forget to clear away and I’ll do the dishes in the morning.”

Charles was delighted Charley had a guest, but was careful not to make much of it.  “I thank you girls for the fish.  I could each fish every night.  Maybe you’d better go every day.”

“I’d a heap rather fish very day than go to school,” Charley answered.

“Me, too!” said Marzell.  “School can be a pain.”