When Katherine and I visited Mama we found her, along with her 2 fellow residents, in the common area laid out in a recliner apparently sleeping. I say apparently as she had one eye half open. Kind of spooky looking if you ask me.
Mama woke easily and was immediately engaging and fun! I have not seen her so alert and talkative since some time before her broke hip. On a few occasions she prattled on about Lord knows what and we just nodded our heads and made encouraging noises. She spoke with confidence and authority yet made little to no sense to us. It felt good in an odd kind of way.
She must remember on some level that I am the story teller as she asked from some funny ones. One of my stories was about the time Barb near shot me with a .22. At the end she complained that that was not a funny story! Very attentive and cognizant of what was going on! I of course went on to tell another handful of stories, making sure to keep them funny! 🙂
One of other residents is a black woman who I have never heard make a sound, even when spoken to directly. Well, I could tell she was poaching on my stories as I caught her smiling a couple of times. Katherine confirmed this and added that she frowned some too when she appeared to not like a part of some story. Katherine thinks she did not like the parts of stories dealing with guns and shooting. Next time she’s around I’ll try to be attentive to her sensitivities. 🙂
Mama got a particularly good laugh at my telling of the time Uncle Art and Dad were nearly snake bit while gigging out of a john boat. You want to read it? Aw, okay … if you insist …
We, the Pylant’s and Art and Susan, were at the farm and I suspect that evening adult beverages were being consumed, at least by Dad and Art. My recollection of these events picks up with Granddaddy Bee, Barb and me standing on the dam between the tanks and Dad and Uncle Art in a john boat. The boat was just below our position on the dam and one of the men in the boat was holding a gig and the other a lantern. Now the gig was not the kind which had simple prongs, like a hot dog roaster, but rather it had wicked looking spring loaded jaws that would collapse and clamp onto the frog when jabbed with sufficient force. To the kind of kid that were me and Barb, this was pretty neat ‘cuz the gig didn’t kill the frogs and left them kicking around on the end of the gig. The aspect of the gig, the not killing part, plays a big part in this story, as you are about to find out. Well, Uncle Art and Dad were having a good time positioning the lantern, looking for frogs while propelling and steering the boat at the same time. Much hilarity and boisterous laughter ensued. Laughter is infectious you know, so the three of us standing on the dam were having as good a time laughing as were the drunkards in the boat! Suddenly, the tone of voices coming from the boat changed dramatically to urgent excitement with the most enunciated word being “snake”! Now my recollection is that Uncle Art was holding the lantern and Dad the gig, so it would have been Uncle Art who came up with the idea that Dad should gig the snake. Generally speaking, young men propose more bad ideas than do older gents, having less life experience and such, so this lends credence to my recollection. So, with his judgement being impaired and all, Dad of course says something like. “Hell yes!”
A bit of an aside here that I think will make you smile … you know what the most oft uttered words are from young Texas men hurt in accidents? “Here, hold my beer and watch this!” 😉
Now, back to the snake. So Dad positions himself to make the gig while Uncle Art is positions the boat closer to the bank. Now they are up under Willow branches overhanging the bank and fighting to maintain their positions and not lose sight of the snake. The boat appears to be something closer to a cradle rocking back and forth than to that of a stable gig launching platform! My heart was thumping at the prospect of these guys either about to gig a snake, or end up in the tank swimming with one. At my tender age, both prospects were scary as heck.
Well, finally Dad gigs the snake! By the way, this is where this particular gig’s working mechanisms described above come into play for when the snake was gigged, he was neither dead nor was he passive. He was wiggling to beat the band and he wanted off that gig! Uncle Art and Dad were a blaze of movements and a cacophony of sound! One of the lessons I learned that night is … a person can physically only put so much put distance between himself and something he himself is holding. I’d say about an arm’s length is about all the distance you can put. Well Dad was doing his best to add to that distance, while Uncle Art appeared ot be thinking about walking on water whilst the snake slipped out of the gig’s jaws and began coming up the gig handle towards Dad!
Lest I downplay the part played by those of us on the dam, let me tell you … Granddaddy Bee was yellin’ and cussin’ in a very loud angry voice and Barb and I were … okay, I think we might have started crying by this point.
I expect the commotion and excitement got the better of me as I don’t remember how it all ended. The human mind has the capacity to block out unwanted memories as a protection against little kid nightmares and such, even in grown adults! This is likely what happened for me. Next time I’m around Barb I’ll ask him about it. He was older then, as he is now (ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! That right there is some funny stuff, I don’t keer who you are.), and may remember more details than I have I have forgotten. This opportunity will come quickly as October 3rd, this Saturday, is opening day.
My, my … I got a bit carried away with that story wouldn’t ‘ya say? 😉 Sorry to go on so.
Hope this finds you doing extraordinarily well. Life in Meadows Place continues to be idyllic and relatively calm. Allison is having a ball, and apparently a fair amount of success, in her job and there still exists a passionate love affair between myself and the fair Katherine.
P.S. Today is my birthday! Thanks for all the well wishes!