Good morning, y'all. I do hope this cool morning finds each and every one of y'all doin' finer than frog hair! How's that for a good ole' southern expression! I guarantee you, if that frog spent the night out on my porch last night, he would have been wishing for a lot of hair!
I thought it was about time to share another story. I hope you enjoy this story that I wrote earlier this year. It goes back to childhood, and into some of the great days of yesteryear for me. I do hope you enjoy it. It is a blessing from God to be able to remember some of the good stuff, now and again, and be able to put it on record as something for generations to come to be able to read and have fun in doing so.
"The Wagon Ride"
I may have mentioned earlier about the property my parents had and that my grandparents lived on the hill above us. It was probably about a quarter mile from our house to theirs. We walked up there all the time and they walked down to the mailbox everyday. Their farm was about 20 acres or so. Papaw put out tobacco and had corn crop to feed his animals and they always had a huge garden. There was always something going on. Something always needed to be done.
Papaw was not a modern day farmer. He farmed the only way he knew. He had a team of mules. They were larger than the average mules and they were beautiful beasts of burden. Papaw expected a lot from Jim and Red. But, he was really good to those animals.
Someone had mentioned recently about traveling across the country in a wagon. Well, in the early 1960's that still was their mode of transportation, a wagon. With the wooden, steel wrapped wheels. Their wagon looked like it came from the 1800's. When it wasn't in use, it was always sitting under roof in the building that had the corn crib off to the side. It was well cared for and maintained and ready at all times to haul whatever was needed.
I always wanted to ride in the wagon. When they was running low on certain
kinds of chicken feed and some of the other feed for the cows and mules then
papaw would hitch the team up to the wagon and head out to Jessie's store. It
was about four or five miles down the road from where we lived. I wanted to go with them. In the past, some of my brothers would get to go, but I never had.
Mamaw told mom she would look after me if she would let me go with them. All six of us kids got to go that day and it was amazing. Mom spit shined all six
of us, and put on our Sunday best and we was ready to be picked up by our carriage, the wagon.
When the wagon came down the hill and I got a glimpse of it, I was amazed. As it came off the hill, it rattled and clanged, just like what you would have heard in the old movies or tv programs. I had seen it before, but it was never as exciting as it was this time! This time, I was gonna ride on it! I was just five years old. So, it was stinkin' exciting to me!
My grandmother was a tall lady, hair white as snow, and it was so long she could sit on it but she wore it up in a braided twist on the back of her head. That was just before she got her hair all cut off and a perm in it. Her profile was really pronounced. She wasn't as pretty as she was beautifully regal. She always sat with her back as straight as a pin. She had on high heels and a hat, she could have easily been off to see the president. Papaw was setting beside her on the seat. He had on a three piece suit. He had shined his shoes till the sun glistened on them. He had on his finest hat. They were truly a beautiful couple. Even at my age now, I can't get that image out of my head, nor do I want to.
Papaw stopped the wagon at the edge of the driveway to our house and mom was out with us, helping us all get on the wagon. All the while she was telling the
older kids to look out for the younger ones. Then she told all of us we better
behave and do as mamaw and papaw told us or there would be trouble and we knew momma meant business.
Dad knew we were all going that day, so before he left to go to work he gave mom some quarters for each one of us. Scraping up six quarters back then was not easy to do, but he did it. We were so excited to have money that we could
It was a most delightful ride to the store. It was the first time I had ever
ridden in something like that. It obviously was a slow ride. Jim and Red had
blinders on, so they wouldn't be distracted by each other and any traffic that
may have been on the road. We had to sit down on the bed of the wagon. We
couldn't lean even a little bit to see over the side of the wagon.
When we got to the store, papaw pulled the wagon up and stopped the mules. He
tied the reins to a little tree or something just outside the door. My brothers all started jumping off one or two at a time. Mamaw said to them, "mind your manners now", and one at a time they said, "yes mam". Papaw then picked me up and twirled me around in the air before putting me down. That was the most fun ever. Then, mamaw stood up and leaned over into his hands and he twirled her around just like he did me. She enjoyed it just as much as I did. To see her standing up with her absolutely best clothes on was really something. To see both of them together dressed to the top, was just breathtaking for a little child.
Papaw started getting all the feed that he needed. I told him to make sure he
got some pretty feed sacks cause I wanted a new dress. Mamaw was getting a few groceries and she was telling us to hurry up and pick out what we wanted to
spend our quarters on. I don't remember what the guys got, but me, oh boy, I
got the most exciting toy I ever had in my life! It was a frog with a bulb attached that you squeezed to make it jump. I couldn't wait to get home to make my frog jump.
The ride home was a little different because we got to set on top of all the feed sacks and stuff so we were a little higher and got to see a different point of view,
so to speak. When we got home it was really sad to get off the wagon and see
them go on up the road, to their drive way, up to the farm. I stood their looking
up the hill as they went out of sight and then hearing the rattling and the
clanging of the wagon and tack until I could not here it anymore. I just stood there with the biggest old tears running down my face. Momma asked me why I was crying and I told her it was because I didn't want that trip to end. It truly was a trip of a lifetime for me, but, after all, I did have a frog that needed to be jumped. (written by:pjg-8-2013)
I do hope you have enjoyed this trip down my memory lane. I hope and pray that you have good stuff that you can think about and remember with fondness from time to time. What ever your memories hold for you, give it all to God. If we give our "yesterdays" to Him, we can give Him our "todays", and that makes it all together easier to give Him our "tomorrows". There is a lot of stuff we will never be able to sort out on our own, but God can give us fresh, new, perspectives on it all. I pray for your day to be filled with quiet moments to ponder, moments that make you laugh, and lots of joy. And remember, if there is anything good in any of it, it came from God. Thank Him for the good stuff!
Have a great day in the Lord, y'all. Blessings and hugs, Patty