It was Summer, 1952, and I had been with Aunt Grace and Uncle Jep for several years. "Boy," Uncle Jep said late one evening. Aunt Grace had already retired for the night, quite unusual for her to toddle off to bed before Uncle Jep. "You have been with us for a good long time now, and I know we could not have done without ye. But you are a man now, an' it is clear to me this ol' place is not likely to be able to pervide for you. Place jus' kin not keep up with mod'n needs. Not equipped for it, not enough land for it. Been good to me and your Aunt Grace, an' she'll see us thoo twel we shuffle off this mortal coil. But you need to get on with your life."
"I know," I replied. "I have been explorin' some possibilities, yet I am wondering, can you take care the place if I am not here?"
"Good of you to ask; but I hev th'answer to thet. Yer cousin, Archie, hev a boy, jes' turn sixteen. He desire to send him here so's I kin polish him out, so to speak."
"You have already agreed to take someone else on?" I was incredulous.
"Don't get all offended, now. 'Course you are welcome here's long as ya like,"
"No, no. It's not that." I burst out laughing. "I just yesterday agreed to take a job over to Wichita, an' I didn't know how I was going to tell you."
"Waal, now. I reckon it's my time to be offended." The he laughed. "But I'm not. Having your help has been a God-send, but 'tis shorely time for you to make a life for yerse'f."
© 2014 David W. Lacy 44