Now you might think I’m crazy but I missed Old Red screeching out a crow saying it was time to get up when it was still dark outside. I missed him escaping through a hole in the wire of the chicken pen and scratching in the leaves looking for bugs; and Momma chasing him out of her flower beds and garden. I didn’t miss Pearl as much because mostly she just clucked and stayed in the pen. It seemed we were slowly erasing everything from the farm except our memories. Now our life was the Creek just like all the neighbors. We all struggled to get by but shared what we had and were happy to help anyone in need. Everyone had memories they liked to talk about. When the weather got warmer they would stop by and sit on the edge of the porch dangling their feet and legs over the side and recall better times. Sometimes if Momma was caught up with the laundry she did for the fancy ladies in town we would walk to where people were gathered at someone else’s front porch and listen to the stories. While the grown ups talked the kids played chase or baseball in the street. It had not rained in weeks so the red Georgia clay had been ground by vehicles and feet to a soft, orange powder. Our bases were smashed cans and nobody had gloves. We used a short weathered-gray board for the bat. When someone would slide for a base the dust would swirl and settle over all of us.
As the days grew longer and warmer Momma dug a five gallon bucket of chicken poop from the pen. Then with Daddy’s old push plow she tilted the compost into the soil and made a garden. She planted rows of peas, beans, squash, potatoes and tomatoes. If everything came up and did well we would can them and have vegetables for this coming winter.
Now we slept with our windows open and listened to the crickets and the low hooting of an owl hunting in the woods behind our house. I would look out the window and watch the fireflies darting about in the darkness. A soft breeze slipped in and cooled the room. I was getting to know the survival techniques of the Creek and had come to love the life I now lived. I thanked God for not punishing me for my mean thoughts and selfish actions and promised to try and do better. Then with a heavy sigh I rolled over onto my side and fell asleep.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you come back soon for more tales. God bless.