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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 41

Fixin To, Favorite Words

Mrs. Donahoe’s son and daughter-in-law’s place was a stylish, brick, sprawling ranch house back off the road a way. It was just a short distance from their home place. This newer house was lovely with its modern design. The older one was okay but nothing like this.

On this morning Mrs. Donahoe was in her tractor working the ground around the young corn plants. She carefully drove over and between the plants. The machinery pulled by that great tractor was set just at the correct width to turn the ground between the corn rows, instead of people having to hoe by hand. Her tractor was doing that for all of at least twelve rows at a time.

"Patsy! Are yah home?" I tapped on the window of the sliding glass patio door.

"Hey!" Patsy greeted me and had a grin to go from ear to ear. "Come on in, we are just fixin’ to take a break. Come on in, sit down." The Texans drawl and favorite expressions were always pleasant I thought. Fixin’ to, was one of their most used phrase.

It looked like some of the workers were already taking that break as they wandered around and about the over large pool table in the air-conditioned living room and directly behind me one of the women was coming through the door. She held a baby on her hip and went to the refrigerator to get its bottle. When the young mother retrieved that she came to sit around this massive round table in front of me and proceeded to feed the child. Another man who must have been a neighbor arrived and soon was visiting with Bud. They knew each other well. This could be seen with their easy banter.

"You want a bite of these peppers? They’re good." Bud pushed a jar of what looked like jalapeno peppers toward the man.

"Hmmmm Bud, you’ll have to try a better one than that. I’ve already tasted them peppers." Whoever wrote the story of the Dallas sitcom must have studied the local folks well. The personality of J.R., leading character, was here in the room with us.

Behind me I could hear the motor of the refrigerated semi’ running while it kept the vegetables cool after they came up the conveyor belt. The workers since early morning already sorted and had the produce in attractive labeled boxes. One of the leading chain store’s sign was lettered on the side of the truck and the boxes as well with clean looking advertisement.

"What’s Mom doing?" Patsy asked.

"She was hoeing the corn last I saw her." Again Bud was leaving a space for thought in a person’s mind.

"Oh she’s off and gone with a load for the neighbors." One of the men around the pool table grinned.

"I know it." Bud was shaking his head. "She can’t stand to see things wasted. We can’t sell it but she can give it away. Was Dad with her?"

"I don’t think so." The man was being careful about getting involved. It was a testy subject. Mrs. Donahoe tearing down the country roads in her heavy, country pick-up truck on her way to deliver fresh vegetables to someone or another of her neighbors was fact, but it wasn’t exactly what her sons wanted done. Her age and heart were at risk and this subject wasn’t going to be discussed. They were too concerned to easily discuss with strangers the risk she was taking.

Mrs. Donahoe already spoke to me of her condition so I knew and

rather than possibly be witness to the talk about their mother I rose from the large table and was ready to leave.

"Are you leaving? Already?" Patsy was busy in her kitchen but she watched every action of her guests.

"Oh yes, my chores at home are calling to me. I’m sure your mom is headed up toward my place, too. I had better get along." And with that I was away and driving back toward the little Donahoe rental place at the end of Donna avenue.

"Your son sure loves that go cart he has!" Bud threw me a parting comment."

Oh yes he does, he surely does," and I was off to take care of my paltry business in comparison to theirs.

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