Barefoot Memories of a Hillbilly

Squirrels Feet

Well, the leaves on the white oak tree are getting to be the size of squirrels feet, which means it's time to plant corn. Pap reckons danger of frost should be past in another week or so, and the ground seems to be warming up enough that there's flowers blooming all about. There's a place in the fence row out near the barn that is heavy with honeysuckle vine...maybe a little too heavy cause Mom has plans for one of the boys to do a bit of grubbing back there to clear it off. Honeysuckle sure is pretty and smells awfully good, but it will break your fence rows down as bad a big ole cow using the fence post to scratch her hip.

Over the weekend Mom and Pap took a short drive out towards Pine Flat to visit with Doc and Lilla Gabbard. Mom said as they drove along with the windows slightly rolled down she could smell the honeysuckle in the air and it was so sweet. The orange trumpet vine is out trying to snarl on small brush. Seems like everybody has spikes of purple irises springing up out of their flower beds. How much longer will it be before the honey locust trees starts blooming with the intoxicating aromatic white blooms that differ them from the purple locust. Doc's (Dolphus) Ma is a cousin to Pap's Pa. He has a wooden leg that echoes when he pecks against it with his whittling stick.

Just out the road a short piece from Doc is where Jess and Maggie lives. When Pap had horses Jess would come with his wooden toolbox to trim their feet and put new shoes on them. Pap says he has a good way with the horses and uses care such that the horses never get sore footed when he cares for them. When Jess would come to shoe the horses Maggie would come and put home perms in Mom's hair and Mom would pin curl Maggie's hair for her. Maggie always wears bright lipstick to look good. Maggie told Mom that if you wash brand new clothes at the full moon in May the clothes will wear out quicker.

Anyway, Mom has a little short handled pan she uses when sowing seed; she pours the seed in the pan to make it easier to dip in and scoop out to sprinkle down the row. That little pan is setting out in the kitchen with a poke of sweet corn inside just waiting for Mom to give the word that it's time to head to the garden. Pap got his file and all the hoes out last week and spent some time sharpening the edge for weed chopping and clod busting, and the little laying off push plow is setting out in the crib ready to layoff the rows and of course there’s a plentiful supply of youngens for toting, fetching, covering seed and likely getting in the way. Reckon it's up to Mom and not the squirrels feet to decide when the corn gets planted.

I wear shoes now, but sometimes I have barefoot memories.

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