Thursday, February 9, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 40th Installment

cold and dark quite early as we argued and ran to the house. “I think this is going to be a cold winter, very cold. All the better to freeze the jackrabbits we kill and the more money we can make. We’ll test our haystack trap on our hay yard first, and then talk to the farmers about theirs after the jackrabbits do more damage and they’re desperate,” I said, surprised that I was able to say the whole speech without interruption. This had to be a new record for my older brother listening to me.
         “In the meantime we can hunt with our guns; we can spotlight them at night. I have a few hundred shells, 22 short hollow point, and I hope you do to,” I realized Russ was talking.
         “What?” I hadn’t been listening. I was starving, and I can’t listen and think about food at the same time. Never could. We thundered into the house, hop – drop, hop – drop, we shed our coats on the floor. Linda and Vicki had already picked chairs at the dinner table and the girls were reaching for the spuds and gravy.

Tut, tut,” Edith glared at the girls.
They got up from their chairs, and then the unthinkable happened. Linda turned on Edith, only a teenager, (age seventeen) a human young ’un, could have had the fortitude to dare face a mother bear. We all froze, even Phil looked up from the book he was reading, and the tension in the air was electric.

Why do the boys always get to eat first!?” Linda demanded.

Yeah,” said Vicki (age nine) feeling her oats, an up–and–coming ‘yes girl’ to big sister.

Because they work outside on the farm all day,” Edith said evenly on the edge of her temper.

We work, inside on the farm all day,” Linda dared an argument even though she looked like she was going to cry.

Yeah,” Vicki added.

Edith was still in control. I guess this was one of the teaching moments that parents like to use because she explained, “When the boys work outside all day, they fill the responsibility of and replace a hired hand for us. You know money is in short supply. The hired help always eat before the children in the farm communities.”

In a hole and not smart enough to know when to stop digging, Linda argued, “This summer I worked handling hay bales and driving the slips all day!”

And I drove the tractor pulling the slip all day,” Vicki declared, proud that she had started driving tractor for the haying at age nine.

And you sat down with the men for the noon meal!” Vernon ended the exchange with a few firm words, after looking to Edith for direction on how to end it. He usually didn’t get involved with Edith’s rules or her parenting problems, unless the

500 more words tomorrow

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