Wherein we learn of an unfettered shopping binge.
Well, Uncle Jep had Burl Moffitt bring his old flatbed truck over, and we invited Jake Palmer to bring his McCormick with the lift. A couple good neighbors is worth more than a city full of lawyers and stockbrokers. The four of us had wrestled all those logs we had stacked over by the river onto the truck and had hauled them to the sawmill on our place. Took two trips. Old saw will be plenty busy.
"Good day's work," chuckled Uncle Jep as we were taking off our jackets and boots in the mud room. "Tomorrow looks to be a perfect day fer sawin'."
We went into the kitchen where Aunt Grace had supper ready to set on the table. Pork chops and fried taters! "Hit du'n't get any better than this!" Uncle enthused as he patted Aunt Grace on the behind. "Stop now, you Old Coot, and set yourself down." Auntie joined us at the table long enough to say a blessing over the food, yes, and over mighty near everyone she knew, or had ever heard of. I swan, I thought the pork chops would be cold before she got "our President and our nation" blessed and said "Amen." Uncle and I muttered our "amen" and Aunt Grace was up and bustling about as she served us our meal. Corn dodger and turnip greens to go with! Man, it is no wonder I love this place.
We all tucked in, and as we were slowing down and mopping the last morsels from our plates, Uncle Jep said, "Your grandpa is coming over right early in the mornin'. Bringin' Red Hurd with him. The four of us can make a lot of lumber afore the sun sets. Did I ever tell you about the time Red Hurd got that bull from over to the Huerfano? Oh, yeah. I recollect I tole you that. Anyway, after Red got that bull, Maybelle says to him, 'You can spend a fortune on a ugly ol' beast like thet, I kin take some time and money to go to Denver to see my sister.' Waal, ya can't argue with a woman's logic, an' she went. Red carried her over to Lamar to catch the train, on account a the Chief nor none of the faster trains stop anywhere in our neighborhood.
"So Maybelle's sister, Irene, you may recollect Irene, married Stubs McAnally from clear over to Dalhart, but they settle in Denver soon after they marry, Irene meet Maybelle at Union Station. Stubs' real name were Grover, but ever'one call him "Stubs" after he get the fingers on his left hand am-pu-tated in the mill accident over to Swink. Waal, he di'n't mind the moniker on account a he never did much cotton to "Grover" anyways. So afore he come up thisaway, Grover grow up around Dalhart, an ever'one says he had a sweetheart there who done broke his heart, so to speak. Beauty, she was. You heard a her, Veronica Land she call herself now. Been in pitchers out to Hollywood several years. Well, Stubs got mighty lucky, you ask me. Not a better woman on earth than Irene, salt a the earth. Well, Maybelle is, too. The Wrights knew how to bring up younguns, those girls and both they brothers would give you they last dime, you needed it. And Veronica, my land sakes, she been married four, five times now, or so they say, not that I would pay any attention." I sneaked a look at Aunt Grace out the corner of my eye. And she was rolling her eyes, I tell you.
"So," continued the old Uncle, "those two girls painted thet town, I tell ya. They got this here Daniels and Fisher de-partment store over to Denver 'n Maybelle not been shoppin' in a coon's age, and a long-tooth coon, at thet. Believe me when I tell you she 'n Irene like to clean the place out. I mean, she hadda pack and ship her buys Railway Express, and even the shippin' costs was somethin' to make yer eyes pop. 'Course Red know better than to say a word about any of it. Well, I reckon I might should 'scuse myself now."
"Oh, now," Aunt Grace speaking. "Here," she says as she sets the plates in front of us, "please to try some of this apricot pie I made this afternoon." Both of us made many an "Ooh," and "Ah!" and "This is wonderfuls" as we enjoyed the flakiest crust and sweetest fruit ever set before a man. And Aunt Grace ate it up; the compliments, I mean. Well, the pie, too.
At last, Jep scooted his chair back from the table. “Thank you, Sweet Thang,” he says
to Aunt Grace, and he gave her a peck on the forehead. “I’ma toddle off to bed now; gotta be up when the rooster
crows. You, too, Sonny. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”
Text © 2014 David W. Lacy