Barefoot Memories of a Hillbilly

What’s a Matter

When you’re stripping baccer your hands are busy performing the same action over and over, till it become habit. That leaves the mind and the mouth free to carry on doing what they do best. We’ve learned thru the years, that to stay in Mom’s good graces it’s best to do your thinking silently and to seal your lips of any unnecessary foolishness. As a result, whether by genetic design or years of training, our bunch tends to be “thinkers.” While the world is bustling about us, we tend to be off in the clouds trying to chase ideas and thoughts. Which brings me to my latest thought.

Though it might startle my teachers to know this, I actually began to read an article about space a couple days ago. It said everything that exists is composed of “matter and anti-matter.” At this point, I lost interest and soon was able to locate some comic strips that did a better job to hold my attention. However, that one line has stuck inside my brain…everything that exists is composed of matter and anti-matter. The meanings are surely different, but I drifted off in thought that this same remark could in a strange way be said about life in general…everything in life matters or doesn’t matter.

We find ourselves in this Christmas week, dealing with the things that we think matter as well as those that don’t. Christmas for starters is about the birth of Jesus, but it’s not a birthday party. It’s not about party hats, horns, confetti or birthday cake. It’s about the arrival of a savior. While there is reason to celebrate, we so often forget the reason. We get distracted by the red bows, decorated trees, gaily wrapped gifts, and shopping. The reason for the season is what “matters” and the hoopla is the anti-matter. Now that’s not saying there’s anything wrong with having festivities and enjoying the customs, as long as we keep in mind the purpose of it all.

Over the years, Mom and Pap have always done everything possible to provide us with the best Christmas our budget can provide…but they never fail to make sure we are on that Sunday school bus each week, and that we participate in the Christmas program where the beauty and simplicity of the nativity is clearly taught. As we pass thru this simple but substantive life of the farm, the folks have been very clear in what they feel matters in life and what are the things that are just for fun. They have done their best to teach us what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s good, what’s bad, what’s real and what isn’t. With that thought still ringing in my mind, Mom tells me it’s time to head to the kitchen. I’ve got an appointment with a big kettle full of leftovers destined to be turned into soup for our dinner. To some, our life here on the farm may seem paltry, but seems to me when you’ve got a roof over your head, a pot of soup on cooking and a multitude of family, you’ve got all that matters.

I wear shoes not but sometimes I have barefoot memories

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