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Monday, September 30, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLOW IN RETROSPECT Chapter 8


Lake Created by a Dam
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Lister’s Hollow (no on can remember where the name came from) was a valley some ten miles long to where it suddenly leveled out to flat land much as it started.

Its beginning starts at a slightly elevated plain that comes to a graduated vee shaped valley.  At its beginning it is over a mile wide gradually getting narrower to some two thousand feet wide with a river running down the middle of it.  The ridge quickly grows to almost a mile deep and is a great place for running your hunting dogs.

They seldom will top out the valley but if they did you might never see them again for they will usually take up with the people on the other side of the hill.  

It is populated on both sides of the river but no one knows how many people live in the Hollow.  Some families have been there before the revolution.  Sad to say some have disappeared due to the flue or other disease taking the whole family in just a few days.

This resulted in some hard feelings among the Hollow people for it ended up in a fight to see who would get the land left by the death of the owners.

There were no what you might call organized law in the Hollow. It was everybody do as they saw fit and suffer the consequences if the rest didn’t agree.

They tried to follow the Good Book on most issues: don’t take what don’t belong to you, don’t mess around with another’s woman or children, don’t cheat someone in your dealings, don’t kill no one and don’t lie but tell the truth if you know it.

As far as the people were concerned those were pretty simple rules that anyone could keep and if applied to all there should be peace in the Hollow.

The boundaries were spelled out many years ago and everybody knew where they were.

The parcel always ran from the river to the top of the ridge. And was as wide the early settlers had marked it out.    

There was a road down by the river on both sides that ran from one end of the valley to the other allowing people to travel to where they wanted. The river would overflow and wash the roads out from time to time so it required cooperation from the people to keep it in repair.

In order to get all people on board they started to have a week’s festival where they would work on the road and party. This usually was enough to keep the road passable.

Food; the main staple in the hollow was grits they were always on the stove and the use of which was dictated by what time of day it was. To a great extent people married within the Hollow community.

In the old days if a young men wanted to marry a gal he would make it known by offering a dowry to the pa. He would bring things of value and put it in the front yard.
 
If it wasn’t accepted he would add to it or if he didn’t want to offer more he would start to load it up and take it home. Then it was up to the pa whether he wanted to take a chance on getting a better offer or take what was offered.

As time went by they stopped that practice because the young men started to choose brides from outside the valley where no dowry was expected from the groom and most often the parents gave the groom something for marrying the girl.  How much they received depended on how ugly the girl was.

Of necessity some young men had to leave the Hollow because it would only support so many people and how many had to leave was regulated by how much sickness they had each year.

One might ask where is the Hollow now and sad to say it is no more. For it lies beneath a vast lake with the only markers left are the tips of the ridges sticking up reminding a few of the history that is buried beneath the waters.

So now we take our leave of our favorite Hollow.  I think that maybe it was good for us to have visited them.  
 
The Hollow is no longer, and the people are gone, swallowed up by the outside world and I suspect that they are not any better for it. 

The End

The Bargain (repost)


This post is an extra story to be entered at Hazel's "Tell Me a True Story."  My continued stories will resume soon.

Love Tree
courtesy free clip art
My wife and I were talking, nothing special just chit chatting.  I mentioned people get married for many reasons.  

I said. “Some women get married for money,” and after thinking for a minute, I said, “Some men marry for money also.”

Some even get married for what they think is love, and again some for convenience sake, like two can pay the bills, the rent and all the other necessities better than one.

After we had exhausted the subject, she spoke up and said somewhat facetiously, “I married you for your money!” 

Now as I thought back to when we got married, I only had a few dollars, and was barely working part time.  

I couldn’t let that pass without a smart retort because I thought she was raw-hiding me a little bit, but I couldn’t think of anything to say. 

I began to add up all my assets in order to figure out just what she got.

Well I gave her four kids to raise, there would have been more, but she put a stop to that.  The last one just made it under the wire before cutoff time.

When I went into business I gave her a job running the office that had to count for something. 

She was already frugal, so I couldn’t take credit for that.  She always had a place to sleep and food to eat, and I even let her pay for part of it. 

And bringing things down to the present, she has three dogs who love her dearly, and a pickup truck that rides like a car.

One other thing she has about fifty pounds more husband now than when she married him. 

So all in all I guess she made out pretty good, at least I think so.


This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLOW Chapter 7

 
Old folks on Porch
courtesy photobucket
As time goes by everyone ages and the people in the Hollow was no exception.
 
Risen’s sons were grown and educated thanks to Lucy their mother.

One of the boys was working in the governor’s office.  He came across plans for a new dam in the Hollow.  The Hollow was to be no more.
 
He told his father to look for a buyer for his place and advertise it.  This was something he didn’t want to do but he had learned to follow his son’s advice.
 
The son said he couldn’t tell him why because he had information that couldn’t be known at large at the present time.  Soon after he placed the ad a government man came and offered Risen a good price for his place and he took it.  
 
He bought a small place near town that was big enough for some chickens and a garden.  He was too close to neighbors to have a rooster because of all the crowing so it went into the pot for a Sunday dinner.  He hated to get rid of that bird but enjoyed it with the dumplings.
 
During the next two years the government purchased all of the properties in the Hollow.  
 
Only a couple of families resisted but it was to no avail.  Most of the people were old and the younger ones would move to town as soon as they were old enough, leaving the running of the place to the old folks.
 
With facing more work than they could handle they were glad to leave with cash money in their pocket.  It took five years for the dam to be completed and another three for it to fill up.  
 
The locals fought hard and long trying to get the lake named Lister’s Lake.  The higher ups in the state government had several names they preferred but in the end they lost out and the locals prevailed.  Now when the lake is full only the top of the ridge can be seen.
 
As the memories of the years I spent in the hollow come floating up I can see the faces of those who filled my world and it causes tears to flow from my eyes.
 
Most of them are gone. I recall the many times walking by the house where the Mosers, Ditcher and Hattie lived.  
 
For as long as I knew them they were always sitting on their front porch rocking.  They got out there early and stayed late.  No longer were they able to work their place and the land had lain fallow for many years.
 
Saplings were growing up all over and would have to be dug up in order to farm it again.  People would come by and give them different kinds of foodstuffs and the Mosers would buy a few things off the peddling truck that came by once a week.
 
One year one of the neighbors raised an extra hog and gave it to them, all killed and butchered and everything.  Their house was down near the river. When it got to its highest point ever the water was lapping at the front porch but the house stood.
 
Rocking on the front Porch
courtesy photobucket.com

They rocked year round and in the winter they would put on most of their clothes, wrap up in a blanket, and just sit there for it was to cold to rock.
 
They were found one day and rocked no more. They must have had it planned for they both died at the same day.
 
Their house, which had stood for a hundred years, was now gone.  All of the dogs who were friends of mine are all gone.  The cabins we lived in, all gone. The crops are no longer.  The trees that covered the upper part of the valley are gone.
 
I come down to the water’s edge and sit on the old log that remains where it fell in a storm, and think about those who didn’t get to live their life out and are buried under the water.
 
The love ones who were left wanted them to stay where they were buried instead of being disturbed and moved to a place they didn’t know.
 
Yes the Hollow is still there under millions of gallons of water and in my mind it is still filled with all the families I knew and all of the good times and the fussing is still going on.
 
To be concluded

Saturday, September 28, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLER Chapter 6


Widow Annie Doing the Best she Can
courtesy photobucket.com

 
Going back a few years I need to write about Annie and her life in the Holler. She was several years older than I was in fact she was considered grown by the time I was dropped.

She was a young black about sixteen when she got married to an old man. Some said he was white and others swore he was just part white.  In any case he owned a good size farm near the end of the Holler.

After about four years of married life he died from the flu.  Annie was pretty sick but being young and strong she pulled through.  

Her mother moved in after her Son-in-law died and tried to take over the place.  After a couple of years all of Annie’s money was gone and she was in deep debt.

When she realized how serious it was, she ran her mother off for Ma was trying to sell the place for half what it was worth.  As it so happened Annie did have to sell half of the farm to pay off the debt her mother had built up in Annie’s name.

Annie was broke and wasn’t able to do all the plowing and planting and everything else that it took to run a farm.  Winter was coming and she had the harvest coming with no money for paying the help.

She finally had to give half of her years harvest to another farmer for him to save the harvest.  She had to sell her part in order to pay for her seed and taxes on the place.

One day she was trying to cut some wood, but she wasn’t making any head way when a man came by and said he and another guy would cut enough wood to get her over into spring.  

She said she didn’t have any money and couldn’t pay them.  They said we know a way to solve that problem.  Later after they had cut and stacked enough wood for her she was set for the winter.

Every so often one or the other man would visit Annie during the winter,  and the grocer started delivering her some groceries and kerosene every so often.  He would stay and visit for some time.
          
Then there were men that came by to check on her and leave her some money to get by on.  Also some of the young men would do some ongoing chores that needed to be done.

All in all she had a lot of company (all male) and was getting along very well.  You might say she was prospering but there was a lot of suspicions talk going around about how she was getting all her money.

One spring Annie built a large chicken house and sold eggs and fryers. People would come from town to buy from her.  She also raised some terriers for sale.  They sold as fast as her bitches could have them.

When her mother heard Annie was making a lot of money she came back, sat down in the kitchen and started to tell Annie how she was going to take over and run things from now on.

As usual Annie let her rant on until the sheriff showed up and hauled Ma off to the county line, and said if she came back she would get ten years in the women’s prison.  
 
When the sheriff returned, she thanked him the usual way.

One of her dogs turned up missing and she didn’t know where it could be. She offered a large reward and she got a call from a person who said he knew where the dog was.  

She took the sheriff with her contrary to the instructions she had been given, and when the sheriff saw who it was who called her, he grabbed the man and shook him till he bit his tongue so bad it needed stitches in it.

He then told the whole story and where the dog was.  
 
Annie was glad to get her dog back and it didn’t cost her any reward.  As Annie came up with more ways to make money there were fewer and fewer men showing up.  She hired a couple of married men and paid them in cash to run the farm.

She increased her chicken and egg business and opened a chicken shack where she served the best fried chicken.  As she began to show a little of her age she sold everything and moved to the city with no worries at all.

To be Continued

 

Friday, September 27, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLOW Chapter 5



Wild Hogs
courtesy photobucket.com
 
This one year we had our crops in and everything was coming up good when we had an invasion of wild hogs.  

I’m not sure where they came from but they were roaming wherever they wanted to go.

They would eat almost everything and what they didn’t eat they would root up or stomp down.

We could see this was going to be a big problem, so we got all the people in the Hollow together and decided to have a weekly hunt to try to save our crops.  If it kept going like it was them hogs were going to starve us out.

On the first Saturday we met in groups and along with our dogs the hunt started.  The first day we learned a lot about the hogs.  
 
The boars would attack you and could kill you with their tusks.  They would do the same to the dogs so it was necessary to stay close on the dogs which were hard to do.

Finally we had to keep the dogs on a leash.  The hogs were fast and hard to hit and even if you hit them they were hard to kill.  The first hunt all told we bagged 35 of them and each week we planned to kill even more.  
 
After killing a mother we tried to catch as many of the piglets as possible to raise up for meat.  

The larger piglets were good for roasting and to eat after a hard days hunting or working.  Finally we got the upper hand and saved our crops.  

We either killed them off or they migrated over the hill to bother the people who lived over there.  
 
We never got rid of all of them for we still would find one for some fresh meat every few weeks.  As they played out we went back to raising our tame hogs cause we had to have some smoked meat and lard.

What started out as a plague turned out to be a blessing while it lasted.     

Risen and Lucy had another child, a little boy and they were proud of him. And for the next three years they added another one each year.  Then she left off bearing.

They made out pretty well with good crops and all of the stuff you would expect a farmer to have.  Stuff like cows, pigs, chickens and some horses. They also had an orchard and bee hives.  
       
As the kids grew, they had certain chores to do.  At first it was helping their mother and as they grew they were doing the milking and taking care of the stock.  Lucy started their education early so that when they started to school they were able to do third and fourth grade work.  

Lucy was smarter than the teacher and when the boys helped bring in the crops she would have them wash up eat, and then she would help them to keep up with their studies.  

She never discussed it with Risen but she had in mind a college education for all of their kids.  Each year the kids helped Risen with the farm work and had skipped a grade or three by the time they graduated from high school.

Risen thought he would have a full time hands on the place as they finished high school so he could take it a little easier, but Lucy prevailed and they all worked their way through college.

All Risen could do for them was have a place for them to come home to when they had some time off from school. When they came home they did very little work for they were engrossed in their class studies.

The time came when the eldest graduated and the youngest started as a freshman.  
 
From there on each year another one got their degree.  Risen couldn’t see any use for it because plowing was still plowing and the degree wouldn’t make that any easier.  

As they graduated they headed to the big city just like Uncle Sam did and he helped them get a good position with more money each year than Risen could make in five years.  With the boys gone Risen figured he and Lucy didn’t need to plant as much of everything.  

He hired a young man to do some of the hard work and another one to help cut the wood for cooking and the winter heating stove.  Marshall had to take over the home place for his dad and mom were not able to do much of anything anymore.

Risen figured that in about five years he would sell out and move into the nearby small town for farming was getting harder every year.   
 
To be Continued
 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLOW Chapter 4


 Dry Goods Store
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Little Sam had been away for a couple of months visiting some cousins but he had just returned in time for the planting.

Little Sam was the youngest in the Lister clan and as of yet hadn’t found a wife.  One of the reasons he visited so long was he were fond of one of the second cousins.  

He knew if he got married he would have to live at his father’s home or try to get some land from someone who couldn’t make it farming or move to into town.

Marshall the oldest brother and his family already lived there with dad, so it would be too crowded for him and a wife.

Since he didn’t have the money to buy a place it had to be one of the other options for getting married.  The most likely was to move to town and find a job there.  

The family decided to have a good day of picnicking and fishing before starting the plowing tomorrow.  As it happened the fish were slow to bite but finally they were hitting at anything you put on your hook.

When they had more than enough they stopped fishing and began the eating.

Cox their neighbor had an ice house built back into the hillside and each year several families would fill it with ice in the winter. It was decided they should have ice cream for desert so they went to the ice house and got enough ice for tea and making ice cream.

Some of the neighbors came over when they heard about the ice cream supper and it was a good finish to the day before the plowing began.  

All the plow horses were fat and the first day was hard on them.  The next day they were so sore it took a while before they could move with a good motion.

Little Sam prepared the garden spots for his pa’s place and then went over to Risen’s.  

The next day he worked with the women to plant the garden seeds and things was looking good for the summer and the next winter.

As the days and weeks went by little Sam decided to take a few days off and go see the girl he had been courting.

When he got there he was told she had married some feller with a good farm and some good stock.  He was very discouraged by that news. He thought here I have been working as hard as I could and am no better off than I have ever been.

Sam could see no better times by staying in the Hollow so he decided to go to live in the town.  After a while he realized he needed more schooling if he was to get ahead.  

He got a job working at the local ice house at night so he could go to school in the daytime.  He did this for two years until he had what was considered sufficient education.  He could do all the eighth grade work and a lot of the high school work.

His next best bet was to move to the big city where he got a job in a large store that sold all kinds of merchandise.  The boss took a liking to him and decided to teach him all about the business.  At first little Sam learned slowly but once he caught on he became a fast learner.

The boss had him work in every department until he understood how to run it and then moved him to another department.  After two years he was doing much of the buying which caused him to travel quite a bit.  His boss gave him a car and after a few mishaps he became a pretty good driver.

By this time Sam had met a lot of women in the store and his travels and one of them, a woman store clerk caught his eye and they were married.  He was now making a very good salary and they bought a nice house to live in.

Time had passed and it had been six years since he had been home so he loaded up his bride in the car and they headed to Lister’s Hollow for a visit.
    
When they drove up Marshall came out of the house with his gun and shouted; what do you want around here?  

Little Sam hollered back and said, “It’s me you durn fool, I’ve come to visit.”

Finally Natalie came out and said, “I hardly recognized you in those nice new clothes.”  She said, “Put that gun away, its little Sam your brother.”  As Marshall lowered his gun he said, “Well I’ll be, it is him.”

Then the rest of the family came out and met Sam’s new wife, Lydia.

Marshall’s boys were getting big and he sent one of them over to Risen’s place and told him that Sam and his wife were here on a visit.

Later Risen and Lucy with their two kids came over and greeted Sam and Lydia.

Risen said, “Lord if you ain’t all duded up.”  Sam laughed and said, “I have some dude clothes for all of you except for the young’ uns.  Lydia will get their sizes and we will send some clothes for them.”

Sam noticed that these last six years had made a difference in Ma and Pa for they had begun the pale some.  
 
After a day Sam said, “I have to get back to the city and it is a long drive.”

After a while they had said their goodbyes they were off.  

Lydia said, “It was a good visit and I liked your Ma, Lucy, and Natalie for they were real down home folks.”

She went on and said, “Did you see all of those kids?  If they keep on those places won’t support all of them and some will have to leave just like you did.”  

He said, “I think you are right and some how they had better get some education.”

To be Continued

LISTERS HOLLOW Chapter 3


Jake
courtesy google search
 
With Lucy improving each day, she and Risen were ready to move back across the river to their home.

Risen couldn’t find Jake his hound dog, so he got Lucy from his folk’s place and was hoping he could find him when he got back home.

First he got Lucy settled in and then started calling his dog Jake.  He went deep into the woods calling him but he didn’t come.  He went back to the house and did the chores that needed to be done and settled in for the night.

A neighbor by the name of Cox came by to check on them and see if they needed anything.
 
Risen told Cox that he had lost his dog and didn’t know where to look next for he covered everywhere he should have been.  He said he sure hated to lose him for he raised him from a pup.

The neighbor Cox said he heard about someone over the top had found a dog and was planning on keeping him.  Risen said, “I think I will mosey over there and see if he has Jake.”

Cox said, “You had better take your gun for if it is who I think it is, he is real mean and will shoot you for little or no reason.”

Risen said, “Thanks for the advice but I’m going to see if he has Jake.”

Cox said, “Wait until I go and get my rifle and I will go with you.”

A half hour later he was back and they set out. It was a long steep climb out of the valley and when they reached the top they had to rest for a while.

After resting they started down the other side of the mountain, and Risen called Jake every few minutes and after a while they heard him start to bark.  He called him again and he barked some more but didn’t come.

Risen said, “They got him tied up or in a room with the door closed so he can’t get out.”  He said, “It looks like I will have to go down to their place and get him.”

As they came into view of the place they could see Jake all tied up.

Risen whistled and Jake saw him and began to jump around.
           
All of this commotion caused the people to come out and see what was going on.

Risen said, “I’m going in but you stay out of sight and take aim at the one who is the most dangerous looking.  I will cock my pistol and rifle so they are ready to fire.”

Risen walked slowly to the house and the man there told him not to come any closer.

Risen continued walking and the man raised his rifle toward Risen.

All of a sudden a shot rang out and knocked the man’s hat off.  Risen pointed his pistol toward another and said, “I’ve come for my dog.”

They started to object when another shot rang out knocking another man’s hat off his head.

Risen said, “That was the last warning shot.  The next one will ready one of you for the burying.  He said this is the last time I’m going to tell you to untie my dog.”

One of the men that was closest to Jake went over and loosed him but kicked him as he started for Risen.  Risen put a bullet through the leg he used to kick Jake with and he fell screaming in pain.  

He then said, “Does anyone else want to kick Jake?  He said drop your guns in the well and the one who is in the house with a gun pointed in my direction has till I count to five to get out here.  A woman came out in a hurry and threw her gun into the well with the rest.  

Risen said if any of you show yourself on the other side of the hill you will not return.
 
The three, Risen, Cox, and Jake made the long climb back over the hill.  

Risen said, “I can’t thank you enough for siding me for I would have been in trouble if you hadn’t used your turkey shoot eye on those men.”

All three were happy to be going home but the most happy one was Jake.

To be Continued

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLOW Chapter 2


Chopping Wood for the Doc
courtesy photobucket.com
 
The smell of rags burning filled air. The high pressure kept the smoke down near the earth and was almost choking as you tried to breathe.

The men retreated back into the front room of the two room shack getting out of the intermittent rain.  

The doctor had gone back in after Natalie had finished cleaning Lucy up. She stayed with Lucy holding her hand which gave her a lot of comfort.

When the doctor came out he said she is tore up some from the difficult delivery but I think she will be alright.  I will stay a couple more hours but then I have to go for I have some more sick people I have to get back to.

He said, “If you two boys will help me get across the river then you can keep the boat to take Lucy to her home place tomorrow.  She will be better off with her mother till she gets well.” 

The boys said, “Whenever you are ready we’ll help you get back to the other side.”

After they got back from helping the doctor they brought back some pills he forgot to leave with Lacy and gave her two more.  He said they will help her relax for rest is what she needs most now.  Sure enough she slept through the night and was looking better after the sun came out.

Marshall and Risen dug a small grave and they had a funeral for the baby. Marshall said a few words; “Lord, we thank you for this child who was with us for such a short time.  We shall surly see him again in your Kingdom and will get to know him better, amen.”  
 
Using the soft dirt, they covered the small wooden box and drove a stake into the ground to mark the grave where he lay.

The river had gone down to almost normal, so. Marshall said, “Risen you wade or swim across and go get a team and wagon while me and Natalie go and get Lucy and bring her to the other side.

Everything was done as Marshall had said and after a difficult time for Lucy she was finally in a warm bed with her mother taking care of her.  Her mother had lost a child before and was determined not to lose Lucy.

Risen went and got the doctor a couple of days later and he examined Lacy. He said, “Now all she needs is a lot of rest and gradually get her strength back and get on her feet a little each day.
         
Risen looked at the doctor and what he saw was a man who was worn out and needing some rest himself.

Risen said, “Thanks doc for there isn’t anything I can do here now, so I’m going to go home with you and help you get caught up with some of your chores.”

The doc started to object but was too tired to do so.  Risen retrieved the team and wagon and drove him home.  He told the doctor to go to bed and I will cut some wood and do a few other things for you.

Risen could see that the doc hadn’t had time to do much around his place for some while except treat sick people.  Risen cut enough wood for several days and brought it into the house for him.  He then carried some water for doc to wash up when he woke from his nap.  

Lastly he started a fire in the cook stove and put a pot of coffee on it.  He figured if the doc didn’t wake up and want a cup then he would drink it himself.

Putting the team in the barn, he went back to the river and crossed in the boat with little trouble for the river was receding.

It was getting late by the time he arrived back at the cabin and he could smell some food cooking.  He was glad for he was hungry and he hadn’t eaten for several hours.  

Due to the time being late and Lucy needing some more rest it was decided to wait until the morrow before heading to the river and home.

The next morning they took turns carrying Lucy to the river and after placing her in the boat and crossing the river, Risen went and got the team and the doc while the others took her to the home place.

The doc checked Lucy over and said she was beginning to get well and for her to just stay in bed and he would drop over the next day.  
 
By the time they got everything done it was time to eat and to go to bed and get some sleep.

To be Continued  

Monday, September 23, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLER Chapter 1


A new continued story begins with today’s chapter one.  Sign up to follow by e-mail to not miss the next chapters.
 
Floods
courtesy google search

The wood in the fireplace was green but the hot coals burned it and it put out a hot heat as the sap oozed out of the ends. The trickling liquid made a spewing noise as it steamed out and in some cases was the only sound being made.

Other than that it was quiet except for the wind howling and the occasional rain falling on the roof.

Grandpa sat in the center of the hearth with a long steel poker in his hand and it was red hot from him holding it in the blaze.  He would poke the wood every so often and the sparks would rise up and out of the chimney.

Everyone else sat on each side of him with grandma on the side so she could spit her snuff into the ashes.

Most of the time no one said anything for there wasn’t anything new worth talking about and we sat there with no conversation needed for we knew pretty much what everyone was thinking.

There was the grandfather’s clock that chimed every fifteen minutes which disturbed the serenity of the evening, but everyone settled back in after a moment or two.

It was just before the time to go to bed and a knock came at the door.  All the kids drew closer to their mom and dad.

The grownups stiffen and no one moved.  The knock came again and a voice said, “Hello the house.”  The voice sounded somewhat familiar so grandpa said, “Someone see who that is.”

Marshall moved over and took a rifle down from the wall and cocked it.

Then Sam opened the door and there stood Risen, next to the youngest of the sons of grandpa.  He was soaking wet.  He stepped inside and stood in front of the fire and shortly steam was coming from his wet clothing, and he had to step away from the fire.

Marshall told his wife to get Risen a pair of his overalls for he was still steaming and shivering at the same time.

Risen went over into the corner and changed his clothes.  There was a kettle of sassafras tea on the fire so he helped himself to a cup.  After about an hour he returned to normal and began to talk.

Marshall wanted to know what he was doing out on a night that was so inclement.  He choked up and wept a bit as he said, “The baby has died.”

No one said anything for some time until grandfather asked when it happened.  Risen said, “It were two days ago.”

“Well why did you wait so long to come,” Grandpa said?

Risen said, “I started out shortly after the rain began, and thought I could ford the river, but I were swept off my feet and barley managed to grab onto a small branch, and hold on till I could pull myself to the shore.  The current were stronger than I thought it was and limbs and logs kept beating me as I held on for dear life.”

Grandpa asked, “How is Lucy? Is she alright?”

Risen said, “I don’t know for sure. She wasn’t doing too good, so I set out for the doctor.  I don’t know if she is still alive though I sure hope so.  By morning the river ought to be down if it doesn’t rain too much upstream.”

Grandpa nodded in approval. “Are you hungry boy?”

He said, “Maybe a little, I haven’t eaten for two days.”0

Marshall said. “In the morning we will get the doctor and we will go get Lucy and the baby.  We will have to have a burying right off because the baby will begin to start to smell pretty soon.”

Risen was so exhausted he went right to sleep and didn’t wake up till Marshall arrived the next morning with the doctor in tow.
            
He told Risen that the river was still high but he had borrowed the doctor’s boat and they would start upstream and work their way across as the floated down the river.

Risen said, “Maybe one of the women should go with us for she may need to be cleaned up some.”

Natalie said she would go and grabbed some rags to take with her.

They got across the river without any trouble and a half hour later they were at the cabin.  They all hoped Lucy was still alive but wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t.

Risen opened the door and they all went in.  Risen called out but there was no answer.
 
When they got to the bed they saw Lucy was still alive but too weak to talk.

The doctor took over and gave her a couple of pills and then said let’s step outside while Natalie cleans her up for she has been bleeding and stuff.

A half hour later Natalie appeared in the doorway with some bedding, and told Risen to burn them, because they were beyond saving.

To be Continued

This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

 

HUSBAND SCHOOL (repost)


 
December 1, 1949
 
I enrolled in husband school, back on December first, nineteen forty nine about eight o’clock that evening.

I lost my membership in the courting school at the same time.

The changing hats, so to speak were a shock to both Hazel and me.  The usual stuff happened to us like moving in together and sharing the same bed and stuff.

I have to admit I wasn’t great at courting but was even worse at this husband business.

We were both attending a pretty strict church, one that believed that the Word of GOD meant what it said, and applied personally to us.  
 
We didn’t belong to the Christian fornication club so after our wedding we steered clear of that area.  Our motto was forsaking all others.

I didn’t really understand how poor we were until after the wedding, and had to pay our bills. 

We lived in a very small apartment with a wall bed, share bath, a closet size kitchen with an ice box instead of a refrigerator, but we were always near each other, which was good.

After enjoying those living quarters for a couple months we found a three room apartment and bought our first refrigerator, which was a big step for us.

Soon after I discovered that a passion can take a boyfriend and turn him into a husband and a father in no time at all.

Doing without was an amazing experience, I would recommend it to every one.  It is one of the best teachers of reality I know of, and if you can accept it, you will be a better person from the knowledge of hands on learning. 

For several years Hazel and I became much better persons because of it and discovered little is much when GOD is in it.

The apostle Paul express it thusly; “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need, and then he said; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

What a testimony! 

You never graduate from husband school, you can quit, be a failure, but you never graduate, just keep learning and hopefully apply what you have learn. 

There is also a wife school, but you probably know all about it.


 
This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

This post is also linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

THE HOUSE OF CHEN Chapter 20


This is the conclusion of "The House of Chen." 
A new story will begin soon.

Mother and Son Reunited
courtesy photobucket.com
 
The next years were stressful due to the participation in the war effort.  

The government put a great deal of pressure on Cheri’s company, which abruptly came to an end when the war ended.  It was so sudden that they couldn’t prepare for it.  
 
Within just a few days all contracts were cancelled and most of the workers were let go.  Just enough people were retained to shut everything down and the office staff was reduced down to a few.

Morley called Cheri in and said it looks like we are both out of a job shortly. I have plans for the future and would like you to be a part of it but it will take a year or to before we can be up and running.

Meanwhile if you want to stay and wait it out I will keep you on salary but there will be almost nothing for you to do except attend a few meetings.

In any case I want you to take a ninety day vacation and when you get back you can let me know what you have decided.

Cheri said, “It will be good to have some time off for the last years have been tiring and my entire focus has been to produce what we contracted for.  It won’t take ninety days, but I would like thirty days to decide on the future.”

Due to her contacts in Washington she found out what was going on in Hong Kong.

The Japanese’s rule was over and the British had moved quickly to reassert control of the crown colony.  Much of the colonial restrictions no longer applied.  

She made the decision to return to Hong Kong and help in the restoration of the colony.  She had made many contacts with the British in the past which were a great deal of help in making the transition and setting up her corporation there.

It took a few months to find her niche in the new economy but as usual she quickly became involved with the higher ups.  The military was replaced by the politicians shortly and to her surprise Brian was one of the top officials.

When she was introduced to him he looked a lot different.  His belly had begun to protrude and his hair was thin.  In fact had she not been introduced to him she wouldn’t have recognized him because he was so different.

A little later she met his wife who was still beautiful and thin as ever.  She still had the same pleasant personality.  

Cheri asked her if she had children and she answered I have two girls and one son. She said the girls are here and my son will soon be transferred here and is in service.  

Cheri thought about Reggie and wondered what he would look like.  He had been told he was adopted and he often wondered who his birth parents were.

He was told no one knew for the records were destroyed by the Japanese during the time they occupied the city.

Cheri had to get permits from the British officials in order to establish her export businesses and that meant having to deal with Brian part of the time.

While he was physically different he still hit on the women.  
 
He tried to use his authority to interest Cheri in having a tryst with him but Cheri said, “I can’t for I am a close friend with your wife, and I would have to tell her what I had done and the details of how it happened.”

Brian backed off and didn’t try that again.  The time came when Reggie came and took up his position in the ruling force in Hong Kong.  

Cheri met him at work and asked him some questions about his past.  She said she would like to hear more about his past so let’s have lunch tomorrow.  He agreed and met her for lunch at a restaurant that was quiet.

She asked, “What do you remember about Hong Kong since you were born here?”  He said, “Not very much.”

Then she asked some more probing questions and direct questions about his past while living here.  He said, “My earliest remembrance was I had two
    
Nursemaids one of which, Lo Mei is still with my grandmother, Lady Malborne in England.

It seems so strange coming back here and each day remembering something new.  If something else occurs to me perhaps you could help me with it.”

He never called for two weeks and when he did, he said he wished to see her for lunch.

She agreed and when they met he said, “I remembered something else.  I remember the name of the other Nursemaid I had.  It was Cheri like your name, and for some reason I called her Mama.  You were born and raised here do you know any of the people I might be talking about?”

Cheri didn’t answer but tears began to run down her cheeks.  Then the questions began to gush out from Reggie not giving her time to answer.

It was as if a light was turned on, “It was you. You were the one weren’t you?”  

Cheri still wasn’t able to answer for this was a moment she had lived for but realized it probably would never happen.  
 
Finally after they both were quiet for a while she admitted that she had worked for his grandma and had taken care of him.  He said, “Why did I call you Mama?  Are you my mother?”

She couldn’t speak, only to nod “yes.”

It would be intruding to go on with the story of the House of Chen, except to say that the account came out in its fullness.

Of course Brian tried to deny having anything to do with this, but Reggie confirmed the whole story with his grandmother for she was tired of hiding the truth from Reggie.  
In the days that would follow, Cheri and her reunited son, Reggie had a lot of catching up to do.

The End