Friday, April 29, 2005

Pea Pickin'

In the fall of the year, our uncle had fields full of what we called "stock peas." They were small brown peas with speckles. I later learned to call them whipporwill peas. He let us pick what he called "shares." We could have two tow sacks full and give him one if we did the picking.

We would pack a lunch and go to the "river-bottom land" and pick all day. Some days it was cold and windy, but we still picked. When everyone had all they needed for winter, we would go to each house at night and have a "pea shelling."

Sheets were put on the floor and all of the young folks sat on the floor around a high pile of peas. When all the peas were shelled, we were allowed to play games and have refreshments. We would shell fast to have more fun time.

We were not allowed to go to dances. Once I was in charge of my two cousins and the younger children from our house. We were at a house where they decided to take out the furniture and have a square dance. I told the kids, "When our folks find out about this, we won't be permitted to come here any more." So, we decided to stay and watch. We did - and that was the end of our parties.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Going to Meeting

Once we rode to a meeting on the back of a large truck. The roads were dusty and it was several miles. By the time we got there, we were covered with dust, along with the clothes we were to wear to the meeting all day.

Well, we went to a house nearby, and the lady let us draw up cold well water. With our hankies, we washed off as best we could. We were windburned and chapped, but we stayed all day. That was a miserable day. I felt too ugly for anyone to see me. But my little grandma would not miss an association for love nor money.

Most of these times we were taken in homes to spend the night. Delegates were placed in member's homes at the host church. We found some really good places to stay and some not so good. But the lodging was free and noon meals were served at the church dinner-on-the-ground style. They were always a feast.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Me, Granny & the Lord

At night before bedtime, she [Granny] read her Bible to us and talked about the meaning of what she had read. This was a great part of my early Christian beliefs. She always stressed why we believe the Baptist doctrine.

Maybe that is why I felt so strongly when she went to be with the Lord. I felt the Lord very deeply impressed on my mind. I felt that I must hold to the beliefs she taught me, that now it was my task to pass them on.

I attended denominational meetings with her and sat for three days and nights of sessions. She felt it was very important to know what was going on and to be sure it was kept scriptural, according to what she base her Christianity on.

She took her stand at the association meetings long before it was popular for ladies to speak on the church floor. She never failed to stand and make her point, and they listened. Very few children when to these meetings, but I loved them.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pasting Granny

Once my parents had to be away. They very seldom were both away at one time. We stayed with my grandmother. She told the older kids to go get in some wood to cook with. I was told to stay behind. Well, I did not like being left behind, so I was going to disobey. I started down the road yelling for them to wait for me.

Well, my granny broke a little switch from the buckberry bush and it was the "keenest," as we would say. So, I stopped, but just stood still. I picked up a rock and said to the other kids, "Just wait till she gets closer and I'll paste her with this rock." But, when she got closer, I lost my nerve, and boy, did my legs get stripped all the way back to the house.

She laughed many times later because I was going to paste her.

I always loved to spend nights with her. She made it a big deal to cook and talk with us. Her favorite thing to cook was very thin apple pies, which were stacked about six together. She also made tea cakes. When we ate up all the goodies and leftovers at our house, we knew that if we went to grandma's, she would have us something.

We almost lived under her June apple tree, especially after a rain or wind storm. We also ate all her mulberries as fast as they fell. We had to run to beat the chickens to them.

I helped grandma a lot when she was sick. She was very fussy about her wash. It had to be perfect in whiteness, the bluing had to be just right. Also, every piece was starched and ironed with a flat iron heated on a wood-burning stove. I could please her on this.

She paid for little jobs, such as, cutting weeds and helping in the garden. She grew such nice radishes. I loved to see radishes grow.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Warts and Fortune Telling

I really did not think Cudram could remove warts - but I did have this wart on the side of my finger. One day I saw Cudram walking toward our house. I thought I would trick him, so I went out to the road as he passed and I told him I would like for him to remove my wart.

He said, "Well, maybe." He asked for a pencil, so I had someone bring out a pencil. All the time I was laughing to myself. He took the pencil and marked around the wart and mumbled a few words as he did this.

Then he said to forget about it and it would be gone in a few days. Well, this was a seed wart, not east to get rid of. I had it for a very long time. I had used every remedy in the book. In about three days, I woke up one morning and my wart was gone, slick as a whistle. So, the joke was on me. I do not know yet what happened. Maybe he did have a special gift.

My girlfriend and I used to go to a house near where she lived. There was a strange family living there with one daughter who claimed to tell fortunes. We would give her a dime, and she would read the cards or our hand.

She would always say, "Don't tell my brother, Wesley. He would whip me." She had a little cloth tobacco bag around her neck and there is where she kept her dimes. Her name was Cora. We did not think of this as witchcraft or evil.

Cora was married, but separated from her husband. She had a small son named Peezie. They all looked strange to us. I suppose they were so poor that they were under nourished. Their house was crude logs and had dirt floors. Once they asked us to eat fried pies with them, but we refused even though we wanted to because we were afraid they were dirty.

Later, the family moved into another old house with an upstairs. Wesley, Cora's brother, bought an old T-Model car. He could not drive, so he took it apart and carried it piece by piece upstairs. He put it together, but forgot that he could not get it down. So, he just left it there.

The family that moved in that house later was a little off too, or at least we thought so. All the family chewed tobacco. The had a host of kids. One of the babies was born with a cleft palate and harelip. This little one could not eat well, so at about a year old they put sugar on tobacco so he would learn to chew. We got a big kick out of that as it confirmed what we thought - that they were weird.