Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: Through a Child's Eyes
By Gini Branch
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
We lived, not in Southeast Asia, but in southeast Kentucky. Kim went to school regularly, when she could. When Daddy’d let her. He believed she should learn good woman’s work first. That meant fetching the water, watching her baby sisters, there were six then and another on the way, and chopping the weeds in the garden patch. Daily. Cooking, cleaning and scrubbing rounded the list of her chores. “She’d be a fine wife one of these days.” he’d say.
The plowing was man’s work, so our elder brother would come down the hill with his old tractor and turned the ground up for us. He’d married and got three boys of his own. He was doing right well, with his own place and a tractor, after he’d gotten a job down at the mill. It’s was dirty, but it paid good. His wife turned 17 last month. She came to her birthday party in her favorite maternity dress, filling it out already. She said she was seven months along now, and beamed with pride at her delicate condition.
That’s the part of growing up in the hills I remember. Something happened with Daddy and we all had to leave. It was hard. The social workers came and took Kim and me to some people’s house. We found out we had to live there. Mama and the rest ended up in town somewhere. We lost track of them after we got moved the third or fourth time. We told them Daddy hadn’t done nothing wrong, but they just kept acting like he did. I understood later what they meant, but back then it didn’t make sense. Never heard from my brother again either.
Sounds pretty bad when you tell it like that, but it wasn’t all bad, really. We had good times together, too. The whole bunch of us would get together at Gramma’s. She wasn’t anybodies gramma that I could tell, but we all called her that. I think she was Daddy’s aunt or something. Not sure how that went. Anyhow, we’d all bring something to eat. Generally, we’d get the wash tub out, put a big old oven rack over it, and cook some chicken or something on it. Like grilling, only cheaper. The gardens were coming in so we’d have corn and cabbage, butter beans sometimes. Gramma always made blueberry buckle. It’s only time we ever had it. Around the fourth of July, must have been when we went to her place. She had an old cow so there was cream, when the cow was fresh. The berries grew up the holler a ways and us kids always got sent to go pick them. It was fun. We’d run and see who could pick the most. Fingers got all purple, around our mouths too.
After supper, the grownups got out the fiddles and mandolins. They’d sing until they were hoarse. The ‘shine might’ve some influence on them, but nobody got mean. Not in our bunch. The folks up the way always had a fight break out, but we never did.
Those were some good times, hard living, but good times. I remember them most when I look out at the children playing in the yard. There are no chickens scratching around beside them, the pool is for swimming not fetching water, blueberries come in tiny plastic containers at the grocery. Catherine is our only child. School is boring according to her and her father thinks a proper education should include ballet and soccer.
I miss my sisters and big brother too, especially this time of year. Kim’s little girl graduated from high school last month. She sent us an announcement with her picture. She looks just like Kim did back then, except prettier. Mama died three years ago. Don’t know about Daddy. We were poor, dirt poor as they say, but we had something I can’t find now. The family is broken up for good. Got to wonder when I was better off.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.