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The Floods
Chapter 3 - Floods, Flowing on the Move


I'm not sure if John was a Republican or not, but I do know his wife, Wenona, was a died-in-the-wool, democrat. Nothing delighted him any more than finally getting his wife's ire up over a certain candidate or issue. It was too funny not to record. Everything was the peaceful kingdom with no suggestion of anything volcanic when suddenly an explosion from Wenona might shake the whole scene. The first time it happened I was a bit shocked, to say the least. My mother-in-law was a lady, to a total place. Every thing about her spoke of someone who was bound up with stiff, unbending behavior. Her clothes, the house, the literature she read, everything was just so-so. When she suddenly let go with a noisy retort while stamping her foot it was all too hilarious. John had evidently been making quiet remarks which no one had heard and this was what caused the blow up. Wenona, good-naturedly, would then stop, look around to see who had witnessed her behavior and quickly, break out in laughter along with everyone else. It was good fun all the while Mumsy, Wenona's mother, was living John never tired of his little game, nor did I.

Wenona always walked away, with smiling, satisfied attitude as if to say, “Enough is enough!” John also had the same look as he turned his head to one side and looked up and out the window or to some other far away place. His face was the very picture of innocence as he grinned like some small boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

“She thinks she is so smug, but I got her,” we all imagined he was thinking. In my own mind while I watched the scene in front of me I was remembering back to the time when Rod, my future husband, first took me to meet his parents.

The short cut to Blackwell was where their two-story, farm house was located. We had driven up to the country scene where the barn was prominent and usually the first thing to be seen. Something about the people of German extraction who first built these houses made them always put the housing for the animals ahead of their own comforts.

As we walked around the house toward the back, which was the east side, Mrs. Flood was sitting in a lawn chair on the shady side of the house. The grass was bright green, newly mown and the scene was a backdrop for Wenona's quiet manner. Everything about her complimented her clean, well-groomed appearance.

It wasn't bubbling personality and conversation that drew me to these people. It was because they reminded me so much of my grandmother, Bellzona. Her death, when I was only nine, had for all those years left a hollow place in my heart. Here, as if appearing out of a time warp was my Gramma's genteel life style. It seemed to be a gift from the past rising to touch that empty place in my heart. Wenona even held the same reserved way that was so much like Gramma Bellzona. I couldn't have known Wenona's background was similar but different from my Grandmother. They both had lived for a time in Arkansas which, no doubt, had shaped their values and beliefs going to strong family dedications. I didn't know it at the time but for my in-laws whole life time everything around them would be just like this. The orderly surroundings, steady unchanging habits and flowing, onward moving ways spoke about their name, Flood, and their behavior, as well. I had been weighing the decision I knew I would have to make. Probably that evening with Rod's lovely family the scales were tilted in his favor.

As it turned out Rod and I did quietly elope. I was young but already had my notions about the way I was going to spend my savings. I had no desire to tie my money up in the traditions and dictates of some ceremony to last for only a few hours. Rod and I had no place to live but we honeymooned at the ranch house, so far out from everything and everyone, no one knew where we were.

The Floods had a group of friends at the time with their church but if they were offended by our choice they never complained. It was their way to accept our decisions. Secretly, I believe John heartily agreed with the use of my money saved to buy the house hold things we needed, and, of course that car for Rodney.


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