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farmer's daughter
At around dusk yesterday I was outside grillin' and watching the lightning bugs put on a little production over the pasture. The aroma of honey mustard sizzling on the boneless chicken mingled with the smell of steak as I pondered the fireflies. That sent me down memory lane to my days as a child when we caught them in jars and brought 'em into the dark bedroom for summer entertainment until the wee hours. I remembered ditches filled with spring rains providing minnows and crawdads to capture. And then, this morning, I read a post that inspired beyond words to share a few of the memories that are distinctly about growing up Poopie.

Summers were long endless days of lazy escape from town and school. Daddy always put in a big garden and we often helped pick the purple hull peas and other veggies. Yellow crook neck squash, peaches and cream corn and always....always tomatoes. Summer evenings were spent in front of the black and white TV shelling limas and purple hulls until our thumbs turned black. Mama would stay up until the wee hours putting the produce up in cans, jars and freezer bags after blanching it. Later on he bought one of those semi-automatic purple hull pea shellers where you feed 'em through. It saved us a lot of purple thumb bleaching.

Cows and horses need hay in the winter so somebody would come out and clip the pastures and bale it up. Daddy drove the tractor pulling the trailer and my brothers would pitch it up while I rode above the big old tractor tire right next to the real farmer I called Dad. Once upon a time I got mad and ran away from home...All the way to the tree line a half mile behind our log cabin. My wise parents let me hoof it to the back forty carrying a suitcase filled with essentials like peanut butter and jelly and a family picture. Cousin Deb was with me and the boys as we traveled. We noticed the cows congregating as they tend to do, and she jumped right up on the fence post and stripped off her red shirt and waved it at 'em. Needless to say, the entire entourage ran like hell for home.

Deb called from Kentucky today to tell me the latest news. Her boyfriend, a country boy through and through, bought some chickens up the road and hauled 'em home to roost so they could have fresh eggs. Since it was kind of a short notice brainstorm, they kicked the dogs out of the pen and made a temporary roost. All went well until the German short hair got a-hold of the pretty little hen who didn't know any better than to land on the dog's side of the fence. Poor thang never had a chance. If she'd been a quail or pheasant the outcome might have been different.

Last I heard, Ronnie was out back plucking off the feathers. I reckon his dawg saved him the trouble of wringing her neck.
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