Fishing Today

We are fishing today on my brother’s farm, the farm where I grew up.  It is pleasant, shady, and peaceful.  When I was a kid, only Sundays were restful.  If you didn’t grow up on a farm, you’d have no way of knowing all the work that goes into to making a farm look so idyllic.  In the center back the red-roofed barn is prominent.  A barn is a wonderland for children.  When we were little, the weather was never too bad to play for us to be out.  Rain and cold didn’t matter as we scurried to the barn in our coats or rain gear.  We were free to climb on the hay as long as we didn’t tear up the bales, our stairsteps to the rafters.  The cats and dogs were always happy to join us.  My younger sisters even set a bed up over the grain and had camp outs there.  I don’t know why we never thought of that.

My brother stocked this pond with catfish.  I caught one today that weighed six pounds.  It was a job to get him in.  I released him, so maybe I’ll have the pleasure of pulling him out another day.  I did keep a nice four pounder for Mother.  She  is a fish-eater, not a fan of catch and release.

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Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 7

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We could hear laughter as we opened the screen door. Miss Laura Mae and Miss Oly were dawdling over coffee when we walked in, tears running down their cheeks.

I stared, having no idea people could laugh and cry at the same time. “You ladies are having a great time. No don’t get up. I’ll get my own coffee. What in the world is so funny?” Mother wanted to know. They both took hankies out of apron pockets, wiping their eyes before cleaning glasses.

“It’s just so good to be together again after twenty-five years apart. Ory was just tellin’ me about her ol’ man comin’ in drunk an’ blackin’ her eye one night. Once he went to sleep acrost the bed, she took a bed slat to ‘im an beat’im black an’ blue.”

She gave me my biscuit as Mother shooed me out to my roost on the back step.

Miss Ory broke in, “Yeah, Harvey was a Holiness preacher but it didn’t keep ‘im from gittin’ loaded an’ chasin’ anything in a skirt of a Saturday night. After I beat ‘im, he was so sore he could’n’ hardly move the next mornin’when it was time for preachin’. He got up in the pulpit an’ said he’d been a’cuttin firewood an’ a tree fell on him. It was only the Lord’s mercy that saved him. I wasn’t gonna let him got away with that. I got up an’ testified askin’ to Lord to forgive me for tyin’ ‘im up in a sheet an’ beatin’ ‘im up so bad for tomcattin’ around.

I was gonna leave ‘im after that. I wasn’t gonna take no whoopin’ from no man, but his brothers come by after church. They was deacons an’ their daddy had been the preacher there till he passed. They said if I’d stay, they’d see Harvey did’n’ never lay a hand on me agin’ but I was still set on leavin’. Then all three of ’em’said they’d church me if I left, an’ I’d go to Hell. The little fellers was listening an’ set up a howl. ‘Don’t make my mama go to Hell!’

They was a carryin’ on so, I didn’t have the heart to git up an’ leave, with them a’scared I was ‘goin’ to Hell. No youngun ought to have to worry ’bout somethin’ like that.

They was good as their word. If Harvey got out ‘o line, they’d straighten ‘im out. Harvey was still a Heller,but he ain’t whooped on me ner the younguns no more an’ that’s all I keered about.

One time after we had a row, all of a sudden he calmed down an’ took me fish in’. We left the little fellers with his mama an’ walked down to the crick. He wanted to go out in his ol’ boat, even though he knowed I’d ruther fish off the bank. I could’n’ swin an’ I was a’scared o’water. He said he’d been gittin’ them fine white perch just off the point. I do love white perch. Anyways, when we got a ways out, he stood up an’ was a’rockin’the boat back an’forth till he tipped us over. I knewed he meant me to drown.

I heard later he was a’slippin aroun’ with that Garrett woman. I let his brothers know an’ they told him nothin’ better happen to me. Not long after that he had a stroke an’ needed me to take keer o’ him. Couldn’t of planned it better myself. He never was no more trouble to me, so it all worked out fine. I didn’ git churched an’ worry the kids, I still had my home, an’ Harvey could’n’ worry me no more. Things was peaceful after that, but I shore don’t miss puttin’on up with him ner makin’ them durn biscuits ever’ mornin’. I don’t aim to ever make another biscuit!”

To be continued

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/miss-laura-maes-house-part-8/

Poverty, One Thing Money Can’t Buy

Old Mother HubbardLearning to get by was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Growing up on a farm, the second of five children, I learned responsibility, despite my best efforts not to.  We were all needed, just to get back.  With stock to feed, hay to make, gardens to care for, there weren’t too many idle moments.  That was before helping Mother in the house, Continue reading

Footloose and Fancyfree (Part 4)

fishing girlInez was good company, but didn’t worry much about germs. It kind of bothered Mother when she wiped the baby’s nose with the dish towel and then put it back in the dish pan. After that Mother told Inez not to bother with the dishes. She knew Inez was tired and needed a nap. Mother didn’t like it much when she let the twins run around without Continue reading

Fish Tale

We were all going fishing! Katie, Johnnie, and Aunt Ellie had come to spend the night. Before daybreak the next morning, carrying a picnic lunch, we all headed for the deepest part of Cuthand Creek, where the biggest, laziest catfish lay in the deep water, under the tall trees, waiting for foolish little water critters to drift by. Luck was with us that day as we Continue reading