The Last Rose and Broken Jam

I got up yesterday with two major goals:  get a rose bush planted and get meat marinated that I’d be cooking Sunday, but first,  I dropped a jar of blackberry jam when I opened the fridge.  Scooping up the jam and glass in a dustpan, I set to work, annoyed at the delay in getting to my planting.  The dogs were rabid to investigate the broken jam.  Croc is fascinated by any type of tool, so he was determined to help mop. I had to keep running him off while he made a concerted effort to cut his feet.   It took three tries before I felt like the floor was clean.

I headed outside to plant that rose.  On the way, I remembered I wanted to pull up a few weeds growing around my favorite yard piece, Wireman.  I love him so much.  I remembered some large springs I’d seen in Bud’s shed and realized Mr. Wireman needed them.  He also needed an old watering can and a staff.  I thought he looked pretty good for a character with a caged man on his belly when I finished.  He also got a few more flowers.

My sister Phyllis  about then to let me know her dog Lily wanted to come visit her Cousin Buzzy. Of course, I was delighted.  Cousin Lily hadn’t yet met her new Cousin Croc, so that was something to look forward to.  I made tea and snacks.  All the dogs got along beautifully.  Croc is huge and gets so wild he’d break furniture and take out walls if we didn’t put a little damper on it.  Phyllis invited Buzzy to go home with her for the night, so he was ecstatic.  Left at home without his buddy, Croc was a little down in he mouth.

Marinating the meat for the barbecue took a while, especially since I had to empty the fridge to accommodate it.  Again, Croc wanted to help.   Not good.  I was whipped by the time I had everything restocked.  I headed out again to plant my rose and noticed my seven flower beds were screaming for water.  The rose could wait, but wilting flowers couldn’t.  They got their water.  

Bud was across the yard taking out a dead ligustrum.  It had never thrived after the  neighbor barbecued  too close to it.  I confiscated it, trimmed it, and buried it up in my flowerbed to train vines over.  By the time I gave up, it  92 degrees.  I was whipped.  It’s murder having ADD as you age.  I can never do all I want to. The rose would be first on my list the next day.  I slipped from my yard shoes, rinsed my feet under the hose, dried them in the laundry room, and stepped into the kitchen.  My feet stuck to the floor.  Obviously, three moppings weren’t enough.  Before I could start dinner, I had to give the kitchen floor another cleaning.  I never knew a pint of jam could go so far.



Them That Don’t Work……..

Five kidsThere was always more work than Mother could possibly get done by the time there were five kids.  In addition to the house and cooking, Daddy kept Mother running errands for the farm.  “Run up to Manolia and get me a magneto for the tractor.  On the way back, pick my saw up from the shop and a couple of cans of gasoline.”

Magnolia was forty miles away.  Unless Daddy got his request in early, by the time Mother got back, we were in from school.  If I saw a chicken thawing in the sink, I knew to get supper started.  No instructions were needed.  Chicken meant fried chicken. Ground meat meant meatloaf.  I’d change clothes, peel and boil mountains of potatoes, cut the chicken up and get it started frying, or get the meatloaf on and get some vegetables started, if Mother hadn’t left a pot of beans simmering on low.  God forbid, I should let the beans cook dry and scorch.  That was a catastrophe.  While the chicken fried, cornbread or biscuits went in the oven, no “light bread” ever defiled the table at our house.  Daddy frequently bragged about that.  It reflected well his authority and manhood.  Supper was on the table at the expected time.  As soon as dinner was over, we got the kitchen cleaned up.  After the first time or two I got a meal on the table, never Mother worried again if she was held up, knowing dinner would be ready on time.  Only once did I foolishly decide I had better things to do than cook supper after I had started that routine.  Turns out, I didn’t have anything better to do.  We also had dogs, cows, and chickens who didn’t take care of themselves.  They ate before we did.

At about the age of seven or eight, when I initially got the devastating news that I was going to start having “jobs” to do, I was appalled and disgusted.  I was a kid. I was supposed to play.  It was my parent’s job to take care of me.  Life wouldn’t be worth living!  Sometimes Mother would send me back three or four times till I did a job right.  Daddy had a much more time efficient method.  He’d just kick my butt and make it worth my time to get it right.  After three or four years of involuntary servitude, I realized it was easier to do what needed to be done than deal with the alternative and still have to do get busy.  Eventually, somehow I started needed doing without being told.