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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 39

What Has Four Wheels and Flies?

Southfork was a wide sign over the long entry drive that led up to what was called the Ewing Mansion on the Dallas sitcom. Dry Texas land surrounded the main house but the area immediately around it was verdant from irrigation much like another house in the story of Giant filmed in another part of Texas.

A wide paved parking lot at the back of the house was where I parked. Hot winds blew across the waters of the pool and spread a bit of cool air around it. Early years on a windy prairie made me feel there was a sense of freedom with the personalities of these breezes and always made me, somehow, a part of the land.

As I walked across the area toward the back door a number of people were already inside the kitchen. This kitchen was a bright cheerful room done totally in shades of a soft yellow. Counter tops, furnishing, curtains, floors, everything was as lovely as morning sunlight. My mind went back to the kitchen at our ranch house when I was a kid. The yellow floor proved to be a pain to keep and I was wondering if this one was too.

I didnít know a soul there so it was easy to get through this small crowd and go on into the larger space which looked like a great room but was actually the dining room. Again I remembered spacious rooms of the ranch house where I grew up, but that was no comparison to what this room held. Tall back comfortable chairs were even placed about for anyone who might wish to sit away from the dining table. The furnishings were large, rich and elegant with dark tones of highly polished wood.

Natalie Duncan, the hostess, was the only person I knew but the conversation of the women easily fit into a reason for getting acquainted. We all had kids, husbands, chores and that was mostly what we discussed. Occasionally some bits of interest might be brought up about one or another community. The country-city women were strong people with all the trappings of wealth upon them but they were still, just women and all shared the same problems and hurdles.

My time was limited and apologies were made to the hostess for my early departure. To go back out the way seemed logical but when an attempt was made to do that she took my arm to walk me to the front door.

"Our guests leave by the front door."

She smiled and her attention made me feel special.

A touch of southern hospitality was so much enjoyed but when the hostess in the sitcom did a guest the same way, using the same words, I had to laugh. Evidently Natalie must have guided a number of folks out the front door after they at first came in the back. It was fun though because a person necessarily had to walk all around the big house to the back where their car was parked which was sort of a silly feeling.

And these were the ways of the friendly folks around Plano, Texas. It was true I lived in the little rental house of the Donahoeís but never was excluded from any of the small social activities of the women. Every lady seemed to enjoy hosting a get together at some time or another. My only regret was that my small house didn't allow me to reciprocate. The tiny four rooms of our ancient country rental home could hardly fit more than three couples in at a time.

"We drove up one evening as our trash service workers were emptying barrels into a large truck. I looked up to one of the men knocking on the window beside me. He didnít say anything but pointed to the books and literature I left there after our Bible study the night before.

"My study books?" I then looked toward him. "We were in the Garland congregation." I told him.

"You are in the McKinney district now and Iíll see you there?" With a wide grin he went about his lucrative business of trash hauling.

His was one of the families who had quite a large, clean, well-organized trash pick-up service with numbers of trucks. They were fun people and a sign on the back of his truck read, "Triplets Trash Pick-Up, Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Trash Back."

For years Mark loved to tell the joke they told him. "What has four wheels and flies?" Answer: "Tripletís Trash Trucks." He would tell the joke and laugh all over himself. I know he was visualizing the fun loving man who owned the service.

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