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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

And The Winner Is

Sitting with tears in my eyes while watching a movie set in the 1950's, The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio.  The desperation of the mother to provide for her children was heartwarming.  It was, also, a reminder of my parents hard work to provide for our family.  My family were farmers.  Well, my Mom was a farmer.  My Dad was an uncommitted farmer that could repair anything.  He spent more of his days repairing neighbors broken machines than working his crops.

Mom was disappointed about everything but mostly that Dad was not a farmer.  A very successful farmer.  She died regretting his 'failure'.  Of course Dad was not a failure. Any more than Mom was a failure.  We were not rich.  We were actually rather poor, living from paycheck to paycheck.  No, there was no paycheck when they farmed.  It was money from the bank till the crops were harvested.  We did have a home filled with laughter more often than tears.  We had a home filled with friends, relatives and even strangers.

Which brings me to the New York Boys.  Three late teen, early twenty aged boys/men that had left their homes in New York State on an adventure.  I do not really remember how on earth they landed in the cotton fields on the Nealy place forty miles north of Dallas, Texas.  But that is exactly what happened.  Three Long Islanders living in the 'hands' house on the place my folks rented.  My folks made sure the boys/men let their parents know they were safe.

The New York Boys stayed for a season, helping with the crops.  Seems like now I remember Dad had found them in McKinney on the jockey lot looking for a way to make some money.  Sure, that was what Mom told me during one of those early morning calls in her last years.  Still hear the sound of the New York accents as I think of those young men with the pompadour hairstyles.  Working the cotton fields, eating at our table and going to church on Sunday with us.

Maybe we had to draw water from wells.  We did use the Sears catalog in the outhouse. We kids would go barefoot in the summer so the folks did not have to spend money on shoes. Barefoot was fun.  The way my Mom and Dad lived is why there were over 500 people at the 50th wedding celebration.  And each parent, though outliving most of their contemporaries, still had between 250 and 300 people at their funerals.

Wiping my eyes with tissues that will be thrown away.  Sitting with a closet full of clothing and shoes for all occasions.  Watching a 55 inch state of the art TV.  Remembering the struggles of honest, hard working folks.  Putting food on the table by whatever means necessary. Hoeing the fields in hot summer heat, working three jobs and praying all the while.  I sit here knowing who the winner is ...

watermelon feast
spitting seeds into the yard
cool, red goodness

©  Janice Adcock

Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for daily prompts on 


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