Tumbleweeds

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chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#61

Post by chuck j » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:58 pm

Yes ma'am ! John fourteen is a powerful readin ! Our Lord and savior prepares the disciples , he prepares to go to the cross to die for our sins . Many lessons there .

You know what ma'am ? I never been baptized ! The folks that owned us in Georgia gave bible lessons and all on Sunday but never baptized no one . I sure would like to be baptized . He asked ...What church did you go to ma'am ? Did you get baptized ? She said ...We went to a Methodist church . Yes I was baptized .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#62

Post by chuck j » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:59 pm

She was getting weak and Zeke wanted her to try walking so he said … Ma'am your getting weary , you have done quite a bit . I'll 'help' you to bed . He helped her up and said ...Now i'm gonna hold you up but you walk to the bed , it ain 't but five steps or so . Start with your right foot . She slowly put her foot out and Zeke moved with her , it took some time but she made it to the bed , he slowly turned her around and she sat down . Zeke said ...That's a heck of a lot more than you did this morning ! Your gonna be walkin in no time ! Then he said ...Now put your legs on the bed and scoot to the middle . She sat a second then raised her left leg up but couldn't quite get it to turn , Zeke helped lay it over . She scooted back and managed to get her right leg on the bed then took a bit scooting a tiny bit at a time but got in the middle of the bed . Zeke moved a bench by the bed and set a glass of water on it then said ...Your able to reach and get yourself a drink now , you don't have to depend on me . You have done good ma'am !

Nate and me are gonna go fetch your plums and we will dip em and hang em to dry . I'll spread em tomorrow , your lye water is still on the porch . You rest a bit we will be back .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#63

Post by chuck j » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:00 pm

Zeke got Nate and the shawl and the rifle , the shawl was bout wore out . He saddled the mule and put on the sledge , they started for the plum thicket . It would be dark fairly soon so they needed to get this done .


They got to the thicket and was no problem finding the plums , Zeke loaded em on the sledge and was tempted to look for a good place to get a deer . He wanted to stock up on some dried meat , sure would make it easier than hunting every day , he had all he could do with the haying , doing the cooking , taking care of her and Nate , tending the stock , milking the cow with everything in between . He went on back to the cabin , unsaddled the mule , hayed the stock and got the plums done hanging them to dry till tomorrow .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#64

Post by chuck j » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:03 pm

He got Nate to sleep and on his pallet . She was asleep and had never woken up , he took a bucket of water to the shed and cleaned up . He changed clothes , he only had two sets of clothes and with what was in the cabin he needed to go to the river and do laundry . He went back to the cabin and it was dark , he took a box of lucifers with him out of one of his packs in case he needed to light the oil lamp in the night . He laid his hand on her shoulder and woke her . He said ...I'm bedded down right here on the floor by the bed , if you need me in the night wake me . Now go back to sleep . He laid down and went to sleep quick .


He woke extra early , rolled out and lit the lamp and started grinding cornmeal . He thought ...There ain't much I hate but I hate this grinder ! He cut the corn off one ear of corn in a bowl and pulled the coals out getting a fire going . He watered the stock and milk the cow then took em to grass . He saddled the mule and tied a stake rope on the back of the saddle . He grabbed the scythe and milk took and tied the mule to the mesquite tree , he loosened the girt and went in the cabin .


The fire was coals and he put the cornmeal on in a small pot then made coffee , dang ..he wanted that coffee to hurry up ! He filled a lard can with water pushed the lid on tight and tied it in a sack with enough cord to tie it to the saddle, he laid two sacks by the door so he wouldn't forget them , you got to have sacks ! He woke her to , he knew she had to use the chamber pot by now and it was going to take time dealing with her making her walk and such . He laid his hand on her shoulder and gently said ...It's time to get up ma'am . She was a bit startled but not bad . He said ...Wake up a min and I'll help you go . He got a quarter cup of coffee and helped her sit up . She took it and sipped on it twice and thanked him . He let her get woke up , he said ...I got to get movin early this morning ma'am . There is a lot to do . I'm takin Nate with me , it wont be long you can get back to tendin him . We got to get you walkin ma'am but don't you dare get out of bed without me here ! I don't want to come back and you have fallen and hurt yourself , you can't afford that . Now do use want to use the pot now or after breakfast She said now .


He made her get her legs off the bed and said ...Now let me help hold you . He cleaned her and let her sit on the bed a min while he stirred the mush . Then he said ...I'll help you but your gonna do all you can . She said...I know , I have to start walking because I can't live like this . He agreed and said...YES MA'AM!


He leaned forward and he put his hands under her arms and she heaved as hard as she could nearly making it up , he had to help at the end and balance her . He said ...Dang it ma'am ! You nearly did it ! It ain't gonna be a bit fore you got that part licked ! She weakly smiled and put out her right foot and took a shaky step as he held under her arms . She started shaking but made it to the bench and collapsed as he eased her down . Lets eat ma'am .


He woke Nate carrying him as he got the mush in bowls and milk for Nate . He gave her a spoon and bowl . Ma'am I put one ear of corn in it like you did ..I thought that was good plus sugar ! Look a Nate ! He likes it too ! He said ...Ma'am I'm going to leave you two glasses of water on the bench by your bed . If you need to make water you do it in the bed ...I'll clean it up . Don't you think of getting out of that bed , nothing good will come of it , just be patient . I'll be back fore noon , I'll leave you your bible . Why don't you reread Matthew 17 and you could read it to us on Sunday ! I love to hear the transfiguration ma'am .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#65

Post by chuck j » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:14 pm

He cleared the table and went to tie the water and sacks on the saddle , it was still dark but the eastern horizon was starting to lighten . He went back in and helped her back to bed moving a bench beside the bed with two glasses of water and laid her bible on the bench . He said ...Don't you worry bout Nate ...I'm takin good care of him , soon you will be back in charge . I'm putting the rifle right here by the bed , I got to much to haul and you could need it . I'll be back fore noon ma'am . He patted her shoulder and walked out to the mule hanging Nate on the horn and hauled up pointing the mule east .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#66

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:37 am

He let the mule go slow , he didn't need to step in some hole a varmint had dug or something and they all would go down . Zeke was worrying about her in case she needed him . There was no getting out of cutting hay , without it the stock would have a hard winter and time was running out .

He talked to Nate all the way about many things .
Nate I'm worried about your mama , she is some better but I don't know if she will be as strong as she was before . The heat sickness is hard on you , we are just gonna have to see son . We will help her all we can and pray for her and guidance for ourselves . GOD put us together for a reason son and ours is not to question .
We got more than we can do Nate and we got to get it all done . I'm sure glad your goin to mow with me I enjoy your company Nate . When I was young my mama took me to the field with her . I learned a lot of things and was always getting in trouble doin foolish things . I spect you'll get in trouble too Nate cuse boys is like that . Zeke laughed and said ...But I'll take up for ya and stand good for ya if I ain't in trouble too ! We got to look out for one another . One time I wanted to play a trick on my mama , I caught a big ol frog and …...


Topic author
chuck j
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Posts in topic: 973
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#67

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:38 am

They got to the level place of grass pretty quick . There were several chaparral bushes and Zeke picked one where he was going to start mowing . The sun was barely up but it was light , he dropped the scythe and dismounted and tied the mule . He took Nate and laid him under the bush where he would be shaded . He took the water and dampened a sack to wrap the bucket to cool then picked up the scythe and walked back bout a hundred steps and started mowin carrying the long stone in his back pocket to sharpen the blade . The scythe was singing as it sliced through the grass . Zeke thought how long it had been since he had mowed back in Georgia , he didn't like to think about Georgia .


Zeke was really movin along , it was cool but he was sweating and his shirt was wet . He went to the bush , Nate was awake and smiling at him . Zeke got a drink out of the bucket and pulled a spoon out of his pocket to give Nate a drink , Nate drank a lot he was thirsty . Zeke changed him and said ...That's our last sack Nate ...try not to go till we get back home ! Zeke thought about what he just said ...he hadn't called anywhere home in a long time .


Topic author
chuck j
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Posts in topic: 973
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Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 12:44 pm

Re: Tumbleweeds

#68

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:40 am

Zeke kept at it , he stopped to get water two more times and talked to Nate while he sat on the ground . It was getting near noon and hot , he looked at what he had done and was pleased . He got a lot done and if he could hold up to it two more days would be enough hay . He started walking back to Nate and the mule to head back to the cabin when he saw the grass moving ahead of him . He turned the scythe around backwards and caught up to the rattlesnake and beat his head in . He picked him up and carried him to the bush , cut around his head then hung the head in a fork on the bush and peeled the skin off . He gutted him , took the water and dampened the sack and washed the snake with the rest of the water . He put the bucket and snake in the sack and tied it to the saddle . He gathered Nate in the shawl , leaned the scythe on the bush and swung up in the saddle . He talked to Nate on the way back .


Nate the good Lord does provide . We got a fine meal to take to your mama and come lunch we need to thank him . We don't have to hunt today but we got plenty ta do Nate . I'll make lunch when we get back , did you ever eat any fried corn bread Nate ..with syrup on it . Now we ain't got no eggs to put in it but I'm gonna try it any ways , heck we got nothin to lose ...Right ? If ya think about it why couldn't you use tortilla dough and dried plums to make a plum pie ! I bet it would be worth tryin . But today we are goin to have Texas chicken and fried cornbread .

They got to the cabin , Zeke unsaddled the mule and turned him in the lot . He carried Nate with the sack in the cabin . She was laying there awake and looked glad they were back . Her bible was moved and she still had water . Zeke tended her and got her to the bench and got lunch ready . She seemed more alert and when he put the milk and cornmeal in a bowl she said...I can stir it . He gave it to her and turned the 'chicken' over in the pan frying . He talked to her while he worked and she seemed better .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#69

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:43 am

Zeke finished cooking and set her a plate out with rattlesnake and cornbread . He told her …Ma'am this cornbread ain't likely to be much without bakin powder and eggs but I heated some sugar and water for syrup . I think you can stand it . Heck ! Anything is good with syrup . He said ...Would you offer thanks ma'am . She bowed her head and gave grace .

They ate the snake first then tore up the cornbread and poured sugar syrup on it . She said … It's good Zeke , kind of chewy but turned out good . When we get powder and eggs I'll make this often . Nate will love it .
Zeke put a little milk on Nates cornbread to soften it and a little syrup . He wanted more , they both laughed . Zeke looked at her and thought ..that's good .

Zeke went and filled the stock trough and tended to Pie . The swelling was way down and he was putting his foot on the ground , He wouldn't try to bear weight on it but he was looking a lot better . On the way back to the cabin he spread the plums on the wagon sheet . He had to cull a few that were too soft and likely to rot .

He went in the cabin told her that Pie was better and it was because of her . He said ...Me and Nate are going to the river and wash clothes ma'am . I'm going to take two of those fishing poles in the shed and see if I can get a fish or two . If I can I'll leave em there for tomorrow . She told him where the poles were that she left in the willows


Zeke gathered the laundry , washboard and soap . He changed Nate and carried him to the pen , saddled the mule and hooked the sledge on . He carried the rifle as they rode to the river . They got there and Zeke found the poles and baited them out with fried cornbread then went back and washed the laundry . He went and checked the poles and they had one catfish about a pound . He put it on the stringer she left there for tomorrow .


When he loaded the laundry he walked the outside tree line of the river till he found what he was looking for . A big patch of Polk greens growing around some fallen oaks . He picked a big mess because they would still be good tomorrow . Then they went to the cabin .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#70

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:44 am

They got to the cabin and Zeke took all the laundry in and put it the way she wanted it . He brought in the Polk salad and asked her if she liked it . She said ...I don't know , some people have told me it's good and some tell me they are poison . Zeke said ...They are both right . They are poison but if you boil em three times and change the water each time they are fine ma'am . I have eaten em all my life ma'am and the river bein here it wont be no trouble a tall to find all you want . Just look for downed timber , they like to grow around it in the sun .


You got to have some cured pork like salt sow belly , fat back , jowl or bacon to make em really good . You boil your pork sliced up in a small pot till it's tender . You bring your Polk to a boil three times a couple of min and change the water . When you drain the pot the third time you add the pork with it's water and finish coverin em with water and simmer em till they are tender . We got bacon so we are in good shape ma'am ! I'll show you how .


She said ...I'm tired of this bed ...please help me get to the bench . Zeke said...ma'am would you like to bath ? It would sure make you feel better . I can get you some warm water and help you but I think you ought to try it on your own . I could take Nate and tend the stock . She said ...Yes , I would like to get cleaned up . Zeke started heating a bucket of water and got her some sacks and soap . He got the Polk ready to boil and put some sliced bacon in a small pot with a lid on the fire to get it boiling .


He told her they had a catfish big enough for a meal at the river for supper tomorrow and that he needed to leave early in the morning again . She was talking normal and acting better , he knew she was still very weak but needed to move all she could . He gave her the warm water and told her to take her time . He pulled the bacon pot to the edge of the coals , picked up Nate and went to the shed . Out back there were some willow poles that looked like they were left over from making the sideboards for the sledge . He took two long ones in the shed and did some figuring .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#71

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:11 am

Zeke cut two pieces of pole bout five foot each . He cut a short piece bout six inches . He sawed and chiseled a notch in the middle of the short pieces the outside diameter of a pole width . He put one nail to fix the short piece to the end of a long piece . Then he cut and fitted a small block under the short tee piece on each side and put a nail on the side and top to make the tee piece stronger . He wrapped the short tee piece with a flower pattern flour sack real nice and tacked it on the bottom to make it pretty and pad it . He made two of them and had a pair of crutches . But he needed to measure them to her . It had been plenty of time for her to be finished bathing so he went to the cabin , he called from outside to ask if she was decent . She replied ...Yes . He went in with the crutches and laid them beside her on the bed . He said ...Let me help you stand , he helped her up . He stood the crutch upside down and measured to under her arm and lowered her back down saying I'll be back as he hurried out the door . He went to the shed and cut them off and smoothed the edge , he half way ran back to the cabin and said ...Try these . He helped her up and got the crutches on , he said ...Try to walk , I'm holding your waist , I won't let you fall . She walked to the bench and said ...This is so much easier ! Thank you so much ! She took them from under her arms , held them by the top and lowered herself on the bench .


Zeke was smiling and said ...They ought to help you get walking quicker ma'am but you need to thank Nate ...it was his idea .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#72

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:04 am

Zeke had fixed the Polk greens and they had rattlesnake left over from lunch . It was a good supper and she really liked the Polk greens. He cleaned up and washed the dishes , checked the stock , brought in firewood , wrapped the greens and bacon in wet sacks to stay cool . He went on and ground corn for breakfast . Got the coffee water in the pot , poured him and Nate up a lard bucket of water and sacks to take to the field . He changed Nate and bathed him and helped her to bed . He drew up water for the cabin tomorrow picked up the scrap wood and tools from making the crutches .

He was dead tired . Now he had to sleep in his clothes on the hard floor to tend to her or Nate if they needed him . He laid down and went straight to sleep .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#73

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:05 am

He woke in the morning and sat up . He was stiff and aching but rose and started the coffee and mush . He went out and saddled the black mule and milked the cow . He staked out all the stock and took a corn knife and cut grass for Pie , giving him water and hay . He lead the mule to the cabin and tied him to the mesquite tree.

He woke her gently and she opened her eyes trying to sit up , he helped her and gave her half a cup of coffee . He said ...drink your coffee slow ma'am and I'll help you go fore I leave . They got that done and he handed her the crutches . She managed to pull herself up hanging on to the tops of the crutches and took one step at a time getting to the bench . He praised her for trying and getting it done . He changed Nate and talked to him carrying him as he set the table .

They ate , Zeke didn't talk much . She said … Your tired , your working too hard and your going to fail like me . Slow down , Nate and me have to have you right now , GOD will provide ...don't work so hard today . You told me we are the same creature and you are right . We have to help each other ….PLEASE slow down Zeke .


Zeke promised her he would . He picked up the dishes and just stacked them and Took Nate with the water and sacks . They headed east , the black mule went straight to the hay field .


Topic author
chuck j
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#74

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:16 am

On getting to the field he put Nate under a different chaparral closer to where he was going to mow . He staked the mule out on grass off to the side so he could watch both of them . He looked at what he had done yesterday and was impressed , he got a lot mowed . But today he was going to go at a slow steady pace . So he started .

By noon he had taken more breaks to drink and talk to Nate . He was satisfied with what he had done and one more good day would finish . He would get a three day break then windrow the hay turning it . Then loading and hauling it with the wagon .


Topic author
chuck j
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Posts in topic: 973
Posts: 1983
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Re: Tumbleweeds

#75

Post by chuck j » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:17 am

Zeke fetched the mule , tightened the girt and hung Nate on the horn . He swung up and headed west to the cabin , the mule followed in his own hoof tracks . They got there and Zeke pulled the saddle and turned him in the lot . He put the shawl around his neck and him and Nate brought the stock off grass to the pen . They were pushing to get to the trough , Zeke set Nate down and started drawing and hauling water till they all got their fill . Then he filled it full and they went to the cabin .

He turned the plums on the way in then stepped in the cabin . She was sitting there on her bed in a clean patched dress with her belt and knife with her bonnet hanging on her back . Her hair was brushed in a long pony tail with a ribbon tying it . He put Nate on his pallet and he stood in front of her and said ...Ain't you pretty ! I am so glad to see you in a dress and your bonnet hanging on your back . It's the way I saw you when you busted out the door to challenge me when first we met . It's the way I'll always see you ma'am . You have made me happy .


She said ...I am sick of laying in the bed , I have to do things . No more laying around ! Zeke laid his hands on the sides of her head and said...That's my girl ! Thank you ma'am I worried so about you but your back now . Lets make lunch .

Zeke made things for her to do sitting at the table . He said … Do you want some more fried cornbread if you do you can use that hateful coffee grinder better than me and he handed her the whole corn and the grinder . She had a hard time with it but got it done while he drug the coals out and built a fire . He said …The way we cooked the greens yesterday is good now I'll show you another way . We got to cut a couple of bacon slices to fry for grease then fry the Polk with the bacon . Oh ma'am ! You are gonna love this ! Zeke gave her the milk for the cornbread and she mixed it slowly .


She helped and asked questions on frying the greens ..she had never heard of it . He said ...I'll show ya how to make hoppin john ma'am when we get the things to make it you will like that too ..oh and enchiladas with refried beans and rice and how to make cat head biscuits ! You don't got ta have a lot of money to eat good . I spent a lot of time in Mexico , that's where I get my tradin supplies .

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