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Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm Just Resting!


         Well, well, well.  This past month was the busiest month  for me!  I think I met myself at the door a few times actually.  I tried to smile at myself in passing as best I could!  After all a southern belle prides herself on a million dollar smile.  We are raised to appear calm, cool and collected regardless of what stirs up our dander.  I must confess, the month was a  bit of a challenge for me in maintaining all the southern charm with the level of work that was on my "to do" list.  As of late, if anyone in my family saw me sit down for a minute or two they would ask if I wasn't feeling well. 

           I suppose all this comes natural for me as I come from a long line of hardworking folks on both sides of my family.   My mom's parents were in the coal business early in their marriage until my Paw Paw "accepted the call" to preach.  Then they were busier than ever with his congregations, planting and overseeing new churches.  Not to mention raising six children!  My dad's parents were farmers. When my grandfather was a small boy he lived with his family in Texas. In the span of a day both of his parents died from an epidemic that swept the area where he lived. He and his siblings were shuffled around from relative to relative until Paw Paw ended up in Alabama and more or less took care of himself from the time he was eight years old. He only had a third grade education and by the time he was sixteen he lied about his age so he could go into the military. He fought and was wounded in World War I. Each time we would visit he would proudly pull out his “Purple Heart” and recount his war stories; and each time they were just as exciting as the first time. What was so amazing about Paw Paw is that even with little education (he could not even read!) he worked a full-time job, harvested massive crops for extra income and successfully raised five children. “It can’t be done” or “I can’t do it” was NEVER in his vocabulary. He continued to grow those huge gardens on into his early eighties. He was a hardworking man that didn’t really sit still very often. 

          One day Paw Paw had been outside working as usual. When the time came for him to take a break for lunch he was no where to be found. My grandmother called for him but he didn’t come. She looked out the kitchen window and at the other end of the meadow she spotted him. He was lying motionless in the grass! Well in a panic, Mama Rich (that’s what we called her as our family name is “Rich”) picked up the phone and called my cousin who lived across the street and was home from work that day. My cousin hopped in his truck, darted across the highway and sped up the driveway like it was the Indy 500. He jumped out of the truck and started running to where Paw Paw was as Mama Rich met him halfway. Just as they both got there, all the “commotion” stirred Paw Paw from his unconscious state. Thinking he had passed out or had a stroke or heart attack they both reluctantly edged closer to him. By that time Paw Paw was alert, he jumped up and said “My God Lee (that was my grandmother’s middle name) I am NOT dead I was just resting!”  I think at that point in time Paw Paw was lucky to stay alive as he had scared poor Mama Rich half to death herself.  I can relate to  my sweet Paw Paw - God rest his soul.  (Don't worry it didn't happen for many years after the day of this incident.)  Lately if I take a moment to just "sit still" it is "all she wrote" as they say down here in the south.  I will be asleep in no time flat.  I suppose we have to take a moment to rest where ever and whenever we can.  My son has walked through the house this last month and saw me actually sitting or napping on the sofa and has interrupted my sleep to ask if I was okay.  I've wanted to shout "don't worry I'm not dead I'm just resting!"  Goodness gracious alive - yes alive!  This is not the laid back south that I love being this busy.  So I think I may just have to find my  own grassy spot to lay in the spring sun and listen to the sound of nature - well amidst the neighbor's dog barking and the airplanes flying over!  Right now it is a rare quiet moment.  I've just stepped out on my back screened in porch and I hear a bird chirping, a whippoorwill calling out and the sound of a gentle breeze in the trees.  So maybe I will go lay out in the grass for a bit.  If you don't hear from me again real soon, please don't worry "I'm not dead, I'm just resting!"

Bye Bye Ya'll!
"Southern Star"