It's New Year's Day and a time for thinking ahead and a time for remembering the past. After a traditional lunch with black eyed peas that my sister prepared at my dad's house (he's 94 and counting), we sat around and talked about things from the past about my mother, grandmother and grandfather.
It's funny how some memories just stand out in your head fresh as yesterday. I have three siblings, two older sisters (notice how I slipped older in) and a younger brother. My oldest sister wasn't present today, she lives in a another state, but the three of us talked about several things.
We all remembered working in the field for my granddaddy (except for my brother, he was too young), but whether we were chopping cotton or picking cotton, we remembered how my granddaddy would take out around 9:00 or so and go to Pinedale to the store and bring back soft drinks, usually Pepsi or Dr. Pepper and candy bars, usually Milky Way or Snickers. We would stop, take our break and get back to work.
At noon we would go to the house where my grandmother had fixed lunch. Now we're not talking about a quick sandwich and something to drink, we're talking about 2-3 different vegetables, maybe fried chicken, and biscuits or cornbread. Usually it would be cornbread unless it was leftover biscuits from the morning. The vegetables would be whatever was available in the garden that she picked and prepared while we were in the field. It might be green beans, peas, butterbeans and stewed potatoes or fried potatoes in a skillet. Sometimes there was white cake cooked in a skillet with chocolate icing. These are great memories. I shudder to think of the memories my grandchildren will have of my fixing a lunch for them.....I can just hear them now...."gee, remember those great hot dogs that NeNe used to cook in the microwave, and those chips.....wow, sometimes we had Doritos or Cheetos....those were the days."
My grandmother always wanted us to rest during the lunch break, but as kids, we never could. She thought we ought to lie down for a bit and she really hated to see us go out and work in the hot sun, course if you didn't go back out to the field, you didn't hang around in the house to watch TV. If you weren't out in the field, you would be out in the garden gathering more vegetables for supper or helping "put up" stuff in the freezer.
Once back out in the field for the afternoon work, my granddaddy again, just like clockwork, would go to the store, bring back a carton of drinks and more candy bars. He spent more on us than he made hiring us. He also paid us the same as he paid any other hired hand and I must have been only 9 or 10 at the time....couldn't have been worth the wage for sure. My sister said I never did pick much cotton either.....so I'm sure I was a drag, but I tried))) I picked in a 6 foot cotton sack and my granddaddy would occasionally come around and pick cotton to put in my sack. Now you would think I would have appreciated this....but really I didn't want him to. When I picked cotton it was nice and clean, no burs, no trashy leaves or anything. When he put cotton in my sack you could definitely tell the difference when we weighed up because the cotton I picked was nice white and clean.....then there was my grandaddy's....
I received a phone call from a dear friend while writing this post....she just found out that her son in law was killed in an accident this afternoon and was trying to get to her daughter and grandchildren. I stopped writing and we headed for town.
I don't feel like finishing this post.
Life (lives) are changed so quickly. In an instant, precious people are gone forever and leave behind heartbroken loved ones. This is a very sad start to a new year for our dear friends. My heart is saddened for them.