Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Chainsaw

I was sitting on the floor working on homework when someone knocked on the front door. My mother answered the door. It was someone selling tickets for a fund raiser they were having in a neighboring town about 15 miles away. My mother told him that she couldn’t afford to buy a ticket. He seemed desperate to sell her one, but she was unwilling to buy one.

I had one dollar in my pocket and was tempted to buy a ticket, mostly because he seamed so desperate to sell them. The other reason was one of the prizes was a chainsaw. We needed to get wood for the winter, so we really needed a chainsaw. My father had passed away the year before and all the chainsaws he owned went with his business partner. I knew wood was our only means of keeping warm through the cold winters.

I remember my mothers concerned conversations with my older brother about what to do for wood and how to get it without a chainsaw. She had asked some of the neighbors about borrowing their saws, but they were reluctant. Perhaps for concern that only her young boys would be running it. They all talked about helping us, but no one seemed to have time.

I was just about to buy a ticket, when he said “OK” and left. I thought, it was just as well, “we probably wouldn’t win and why waste the only dollar I had”. I knew what my mother didn’t yet know what to do for winter wood. Perhaps she truly didn’t have any money, or like me thought we had no chance of winning and didn’t want to waste what little money she had.

Some time later she got a phone call telling her that she had won the chainsaw. To which she replied “There must be a mistake, we didn’t buy a ticket”. The man replied “All I know is that I have a ticket here with your name on it”.

We never found out how they got a ticket with my mothers name on it, or how it ended up being the one drawn. But we desperately need the saw. It allowed us to get the necessary wood we needed for the winter, so my mother could keep her seven children warm. Perhaps it was God’s way of rewarding us for the service my dad had given before he died, see

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cow Power (because Jo asked for it.)

When I was about 6 or 7, I was wandering through the back yard when I came upon my older brother. Who was in the process of using bailing wire to tie the wagon to the milk cow’s tail.

For the non hick people, my older brother would milk the cow night and morning. So she was been used to him doing unusual things to her, though I couldn’t understand her standing there and allowing him to do this. Also bailing wire is one of the greatest inventions on earth. Initial purpose is to keep bails of hay together, but a country hick can find a thousand uses for it. Could fix most anything with it, well it would usually hold for a little while anyway. So it was perfect for attaching the wagon to the cow’s tail.

Back to the story. So while wondering through the back yard I came across my brother in the process of attaching the wagon to the cows’ tail. I thought to myself “this could be entertaining, I should stay and watch”! I tried to stay my distance out of direct eyesight of my brother. I only wanted to be entertained and not be involved in any way.

It didn’t work my brother noticed me and said “George get in the wagon, and I’ll chase the cow”. Well, I may be a dumb little hick kid, but I’m not stupid, there was no way I was going to get in that wagon. He said “OK then, I’ll get in the wagon and you chase the cow”. To me that was a good idea, involvement I would risk.

So he got in the wagon. I don’t understand why cows ignore little kids jumping up and down and hollering at them. She just stood their chewing her cud. He said “see she is not going anywhere, you get in the wagon and I will chase her”. She really wasn’t going anywhere, so I got in the wagon.

My brother started hollering at her. She took a few steeps, that was enough for me I was ready to get out. But we had a cow dog. He was always very eager to help chase the cows when ever the opportunity arose. Just as I was about to get out, I heard the dog barking at the cow. And she took off running, with me still in the wagon.

All I could do is hold on and scream as though my life was about to end. I wasn’t sure it wasn’t going to. This excited the dog even more who started biting the cows heals. This made the cow run faster and me scream louder. Did the dog really think that, making the cow run faster was going to save me?

To make matters worse the cow was headed for the plowed section of the pasture. When you plow a field it leaves large ripples in the field. Each ripple was a little ramp to make me and the wagon become airborne, coming down just in time to become airborne by the next ripple. This added a whole new challenge to holding on to the wagon, screaming and keeping it from tipping over. I’m sure it also added some discomfort to the cow, not that I cared about the cow.

To my salvation my mother heard my screams. She looked out the kitchen window to see her son flying through the plowed field, in the little red wagon, behind the cow, screaming his head off. She called for my dad, who stepped out the back door and whistled for the dog. The dog immediately stopped chasing the cow, and come to my dads call. The cow immediately then stopped, probably now tired of pulling a screaming kid in a wagon, by her tail.

Not willing to chance any more of this experience, I jumped out of the wagon as fast as I could and headed for the house as fast as I could. My dad was walking out to where my brother was. My only comfort from the horrible humiliating ordeal, was knowing that my brother was going to get in big trouble.

When I got to where my dad and brother were, I realized that they were both laughing. This was horrible, I wanted some sort of vengeance on my brother, and I wasn’t getting it. Desperate of some sort of vengeance, I turned and gave the cow a dirty look. This made them both laugh even harder.

I had only wanted to be entertained, not be the entertainment.