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The Floods
Chapter 2 - Roots, Floods


If I was anything but an unlearned youth concerning the cultures of the European's history, I would have known the questions to ask. As it was my learning about John had to come through living and life as his daughter-in-law. Maybe this is the way things are supposed to be as we think far back to the days of Ruth, Boaz, and old Naomi. John was nothing like the Joneses of my family but because I had been raised on a ranch where the gentle directions of all the Jones men were respected so too, I respected John.

He was quiet and when he did speak, his words were few, short and clipped. One had to pay attention and listen closely while thinking over the meaning of what he said. On the other hand, he seemed to respect my holding to the teachings of my father.

“The truth set you free, Girl,” my father would say, “now stay that way.”

I went my way in the beginning of my marriage with John Flood's son. I didn't subscribe to the activities of their church, their traditions and not even a great number of family gatherings. When I did go, I was careful to stay in the background so as not to interfere with the short time his brothers and sisters had together. John never said anything but his sticking up for me in times of crisis told me he approved and liked the way I behaved.

Comparing my family to the Flood's was like trying to mix water and oil. You could have stirred on and on and it would have never happened. On my side I had the heavy Scot-Irish background married into Native American people. The mixing of their philosophy was a bit more like mixing heavy and light oil. It could happen but might return each to its original state after a time.

Something of a balance was achieved at one point in my life though. It was when Rod and I moved to the old ranch home which was then, just on the edge of drifting away forever. The great unmarked expanses of prairie must have reminded John of his days on the estates of Lew Wentz. Here were rolling hills where secluded little tanks of run off water was caught for the cattle. Big mouth Bass in some places was there almost like pets coming to the surface to be fed. It was a wealth and a land of plenty for the avid fisherman. Dad's old watershed still held tumbling, bubbling waters caught and kept by his low water dam. Blackbirds trilled over the far out retreat. Mr. Flood was in his element and joyfully spent hours at the place. He became acquainted with the people who leased our land and for years and years went back to the quiet places out away from towns and population.

My husband grew up under his parents care like so many boys do today. Conoco's constant salary gave them freedom from having to scratch for a living like my family had done as a rancher, albeit there was the oil money on Dad's brother's side. Even if that only took care of their children who had expensive, extravagant ways.

We lived as Dad always said, “close to the earth.” John came from a farming family and I'm sure he was well acquainted with this scenario even if he, himself, in his life time always kept a modest income and at a regular, steady place. So then, here again, was the friendly agreement in our personalities.

My Jones mentality pushed me forward and I'm sure the Flood's were standing back a little like spectators on a playing field. When I used my money to buy Rod an old cluncker of a car there was a bit of protest on their part, but not much.

They weren't even too upset when he was working on it out in the garage and got his sleve tangled in a drill he was using. Luckily he was working in an old shirt and the rotating tool simply ripped it off. I was in such a state of hysterical laughter I had to retire to an upstairs bedroom where I could quietly bury my face in my hands so as not to be heard while I laughed and laughed. The Floods were not saying anything but their expression spoke for them. “I told you so.” They seemed to be saying.

On another time Rodney came charging up the back steps of our tiny garage apartment. “Honey! Honey! The car's on fire!” He was excited. I reached over from the dresser chair where I was sitting to pull the curtain back. Sure enough! Rolling white smoke was covering the whole car and climbing up to the sky.

“Go next door and call the fire department.” I quickly called to him.

We had no phone at the time. Rodney told me later he could hear the volunteer firemen picking up the phone from their various businesses there in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. In minutes they had the fire out but it was a wet, soggy car we had to ride for the next week or so.

I couldn't complain because I was the one who had bought him the torch as a gift. While trying to clean the tracks upon which the seats rested so they could move forward and backward he accidently torched the car seat. Here again our divergent backgrounds had caused havoc.

My brothers had their own tools from the time they were, literally, babes, even though they were toys. Rodney was a Marine with all that experience behind him and it didn't occur to me that he was unskilled with the use of tools. Mr. Flood's brother, Ross, once complained that he didn't approve of the way John had allowed Rod to always keep his nose in a book. This was the kind of man John was though. Whatever your particular passion was he supported you in that. And, again we must allude to the life and living of John's ancestor, Daniel Boone. From reading about him, it seems to me this was the way of that man. The wistful longing for uncharted places kept him always wishing to be out far enough he could not hear his neighbor's dog bark.


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