Thursday, January 26, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 26th Installment

loss had been too carefully constructed. Supposedly, she’d taken the strap off its sainted nail to use as a riding crop to urge on 'Oscar' our burro. She had ridden out into the desert (which she’d never done before), and when she came back, she’d told the parents she’d lost it. “Linda deliberately lost it a foot underground where she buried it,” I told Russ and then explained my conspiracy theory – which turned our later to be exactly true.

       “So the very same day Edith pulls out the Monkey Ward's catalog and orders the new razor strap to hang on the nail and frighten the children,” Russ said.
You know she never uses it, only the Old Man does. She controls us with the look,” I added.

       The look! If we would act out, sass, or disobey, even with guests nearby which might inhibit the normal parent, she would snap her head around before we could scram. Her eyes would burn into our eyes. Even if we looked away and then glanced back, her eyes would be just as focused and would draw us like a vacuum “wham” right to her eyes. We were doomed to obey seeing the pinched brow and statue–like intensity, and to top it off, if we were really deserving of ‘the look,' she would vehemently intone ‘tut, tut, tut’ and that would finish us off.

Chapter 5

       At chore time I would sometimes recall growing older milking cows. I think I was about seven or eight when I started milking by hand. I recollect one time when I was very young I had finished milking and was toting a bucket of milk to the old house. I was spinning around and trying to see how high I could spin with spilling milk. Worked real good and the centrifugal force kept the milk in the bucket. I thought, “I wonder if I could swing the bucket around then up over my head?” and I tried it. Didn’t work. As the bucket swung I didn’t have the strength to complete the swing and the bucket went over head, stopped, and dumped the still warm milk down on my head.

To my surprise Edith didn’t punish me and only laughed at my story saying, “It’s okay; we have plenty of milk.”

Time passed and the dairy herd grew. Linda, Russ and I were milking 18 cows by hand every morning and every night when we finally got automatic milking machines. My thoughts returned to the present and as we collected cows from the field, I asked Russ, “Do you remember milking the cows before these fancy milking machines?”
“Boy, do I,” Russ said, as we herded the milk cows into the corral, jigging back and forth to keep the steers and heifers out. A seriously stupid heifer saw an opening and bolted through the gate and knocked me into the gate post.
I began complaining, “Crazy cows!

500 more words tomorrow

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