Wearing Out Your Welcome

Cousins on Christmas

Cousins on Christmas

parents wedding pic

family6My mother found this hilarious letter among her things today. My grandmother was in a foul mood when she wrote it. I recalled this weekend like it was yesterday when I read the letter. Grandma was nosy. If she’d been an animal, she’d have been a ferret. She like to get right behind Daddy, quizzing him about his business and his family. “How come your mama moved off the Henderson Place? Seems like she was set up real well there. How come Ella May and her husband separated? They looked like they were doing good?” If she didn’t get enough answers, she picked us kids. “When did Suzie get married?”

None of this endeared her to Daddy. He wasn’t a patient man. If he’d been an animal, he’d have made a fine bear. She had already been visiting two weeks by the time this letter was written. She was thinking her son was on his way to get her when she got a call, learning it would be another two weeks. It didn’t make her or my dad happy to know they had another two weeks to spend together. My dad was on strike at the time, throwing them together, even more. His family came in to visit that weekend, creating a perfect storm. I expected them to kill each other!

I will transcribe for you”

Dear BL, Just time for word. Hope all are getting along all right. Sure hope your daddys neck is feeling better I don’t feel too good Such a crowd here last night Bonnie, Edward, their 3 kids & Geneva came Ester, Junie, and their 5 hienas. Cat Young & her bunch of Angel then 2 bunches of neighbors & their familys & it was so quiet it hurts my ears til yet. running & slamming doors. I thought they would never leave. Kack(my mother)is fixing to take Cat Young to Springhill she has to go to the bank on business & Arnold had to go help Edward finish his filling station today & use his car& he ask her to take her to the bank. I intended to go & found out Kack was going to take all her kids. I better close. O I talked to John yest he ask me if I’de mind staying here two weeks longer til schools out that he hated to come one day & go back the next.so I told him I’de wait they are beginning to make a little progress in their talks about settling the strike they are all hoping the mill will open after July the 4th Bill got to work 2 days for another construction job, he had to walk the picket line last night for an hour for two must close Kacks ready to start tell your daddy Bill is wanting to give away their big collie does he want him to go with Blue. Must stop now. Please write soon. Love to all Grandma

I had forgotten until I reread this letter that Grandma didn’t bother with punctuation, though she had been a teacher.

The Tragic Tale of the Hen-Flogged Indian Princess

This is a story my mother told us dozens of times of her experience with a Mother Hen.  It didn’t save me from having the same problem.  This is her original art.indian-dress-and-henFor my birthday, Mama made me an Indian outfit. By now, I’d been around the chickens long enough to know a mother hen would jump all over anyone getting near their chicks.  I’d already been flogged trying it.  This was different.  In my Indian dress, I was brave and invincible.  I played pretend in the yard shooting several  buffaloes  with my bow, saving the tribe from starvation, single-handedly.  As I rode my horse, Midnight, bareback across the prairie, my long black braids flowed behind me. I had actually imagined myself up two horses. Midnight, a black stallion with a white mane and tail and Silver a white stallion with black mane and tail. If only I’d thought to imagine Silver was a mare, they could have created their own imaginary colt, but that never crossed my mind. They were both wild and would allow no one else to ride them.  When I rode one, the other ran along with us.  Deep in my fantasy, I slaughtered a bear and saved the chief, who by the way, was desperate to marry me.  I was having none of it.   I rode into the chicken yard, bravely scooping up a baby chick.  Mother Hen ignored my two stallions,  Indian dress, and the long black braids flowing behind me. In a split second, she was on my head, squawking, pecking, flogging, and scratching till I gladly dropped her baby.  I’d never been so disillusioned in my life.  That hen had no imagination whatsoever!!!

The Bear, the Princess, and the Hearing Aid

Papa Bear doted on his only daughter, Princess Bear, who was not only beautiful, but sweet, gentle, and wise.  He adored her, trying hard to give her all she needed for a good life.  He rocked her, ran behind her on her bicycle to catch her, lest she fall, dried her tears, and brushed her long, curly fur, never tugging at tangles.  He tucked her in at night, dreading the day she’d leave his cave.

One day, his lovely Princess Bear ventured out into the wood.  Young bears started to coming to pay court to her.  Papa Bear asked, “Please bring your friends home to meet me.”  Of course, she didn’t really care for the idea, but since she loved Papa Bear, and he was so kind, she did as he asked.

One evening, she brought yet another young bear to the cave to meet Papa Bear.  “Pleased to meet you, Sir.  I’ll have her home by eleven.”  He said in an extraordinarily nicey, nice bear voice.

“Grrrrr.”  said Papa Bear.  “I’ll be waiting for you at nine-thirty.” They were home at nine-twenty eight.

“I didn’t really like him,” said the Princess Bear the next morning.  “Something about him was a unbearable.”

“Oh, well,” said Papa Bear.  “Sometimes that just happens.”

In a few minutes, there was a knock at the cave door.  “I don’t want to see you again.  Don’t call on me anymore.”  Princess Bear closed the door.

Seconds later, a second knock sounded.  “I told you.  I don’t want to see you again!”  Papa Bear was right behind his little Princess, not the sound of any of it.

He asked her, “Is that young bear bothering you?  At her nod, he stepped from behind her, speaking to the pushy young bear, quite gruffly.  “Princess Bear doesn’t ever want to see you or speak to you again.  Now, if you’re having trouble understanding that, I’ll be happy to meet you in the woods and explain it!”

The young bear understood Papa Bear perfectly.   He had just needed a hearing aid.

Bears Just Ain’t That Bad

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Growing up way,way in the country the last place bordering a game reserve, the nearest neighbor a mile away, I was always aware we didn’t live in the sticks, but I hoped to someday. The woods were full of wild pigs, deer, coyote, foxes, alligators, a few black bear, snakes, birds, and a plethora of other wild creatures.  It wasn’t a great idea to go stumbling around in the dark out there, especially without knee-high boots, a pistol, and a light.   Continue reading

Readin’, Writin’, and Roebuck(From Kathleen’s Memoirs of The Great Depression)

SearsIf you haven’t read “I Quit” , that is precursor to this story.  Follow this link.  https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/i-quit-from-kathleens-memoirs-of-the-great-depression/

That night after supper, Daddy read his “Ranch Romance” while Mama hemmed a dress and John and I finished our homework by the coal oil lamp in the front room.  As soon as I finished, Daddy put out his cigarette, patted his bony legs and called, “Come here, Kitten.”  I crawled up and waited, knowing a treat was awaiting me.  We often begged for stories.  It was rare for Daddy Continue reading