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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 40


The Robbers Waited Until We Left

"This is the place to settle," Rod and I believed. Casual days filled with uneventful routine filled our world. All that was left for me to do was to get the children to school, clean the tiny house, be involved with small community projects and attend meetings.

My senses were alert to what was a different world. It was nothing to see Mrs. Donahoe flying over the dusty fields in her tractor. True the machine had an air-conditioned cab to protected her but when she was up on the tractor before entering the cab wind was tugging and jerking her hair and dress in a wild way. Something about this scene magnified the woman’s spirit the most.

A painting of her tractor running determinedly before a storm was something I felt needed to be done. The dark clouds and ominous looking sky told the story. I gave the painting to her son and daughter-in-law, who hung it in the entry way of their lovely home.

Once in a while, weeds close to the road were missed by the tractor and Mrs. Donahoe could be seen at these edges with a hand held hoe. This went on canvas, too, depicting the Dallas skyline in the distance. I purposefully put her in a brown dress to make the woman look to be a part of the earth.

On an early morning while breakfast was being readied for my kids I looked up and out our kitchen window to see Mr. and Mrs. Donahoe stringing a wire fence across the field for a bull pasture.

Her clean house dress was always matched with a bonnet with staves in it something like the pioneer women wore. The shade of that hat kept the hot sun off her face, she said and I remembered my grandmother often told me the same thing. Those were the days when the women worried about keeping their skin from aging. There was no worry for that because the two finished up the job in what to me was record time at that early morning before the sun heated up our world.

Building fence back home was a big deal but here these two elderly persons were out there pulling up a sturdy looking stretch of barb wire.

On one occasion I had a small coffee party for just the few of us, mostly the Donahoe’s and one other lady. The eighty year old Mrs. Donahoe came in a soft, delicate pink dress. She had arranged her very white hair in a neat fashion and the beauty of her clear skin made me believe she must have once been a lovely, young woman, as well.

Not a day passed without me sharing time with the woman who was priceless as fine china. Her wealth of wisdom was part of her, too. Mrs. Donahoe had a way of sharing with a person so no offense could be taken nor did she have a preachy way about her. For someone who owned 1000's of acres of land and farmed every inch of it to provide food for the masses of population in Dallas there was nothing prideful about her.

We picked food from the great acreage of her sprawling lands until all my cabinets and freezer was stocked full of wonderful, fresh vegetables.

"We will leave the frontage for the folks who come by on the road so they can pick there." Mrs. Donahoe told me as we went to harvest from the back of the field. In other ways her deep spiritual side could be seen, too.

"I must apologize for bringing this okra to you on the Sabbath but it was ready and I didn’t want to leave it another day." She grinned in a secretive way and I knew why. There was no okra in fields she owned. Mrs. Donahoe must have traded some of her produce with a neighbor who did have okra. My asking for okra brought her to do that for me. There was everything else: Bell peppers, Blackeyed peas, Spinach, Corn, Cantaloupe, Onions and more than I can remember

The gentle, caring woman grieved over the fact so much produce was not used because it was unacceptable to the big chain stores who backed up their semi truck trailers up to the sheds. Because it was too big, too small or not standard shapes ther farmer was under contract to destroy. When the vegetables were dumped in the feed lots for the cattle there was always a call to tell me where the food was being unloaded. It was incredible to see. One year I was advised to drive by the cattle lot. A tall pile of cantaloupe with seemingly nothing wrong with those wonderfully ripe melons was there. The cattle were busily taking advantage of the delicious feast.

As many as could be loaded I lifted to the trunk of my car and brought them home to Oklahoma. Folks talked about those cantaloupes for years, how sweet and good they were.

Rhonda and Mark were doing well in school. Each one had their activities. Mark played soccer and we went to the games. It was fun for me because the parents were always friendly and enjoying their children, too.

Rhonda’s art class involved her in learning to do a craft with weaving. It was difficult for her to use her hands but she loved to try to work at that. Texans are a great, obedient people as far as being agreeable to their country

and whatever is being initiated by the powers above them. Authors tell of how the root of these people came from the military leaders of the nation who were transferred to Texas in order to populate the new territory.

The beginning to educate these disabled children was practiced to the letter even though this was totally a new concept. Later I discovered one of the founding fathers of Plano, the town, also had a child in a wheelchair. There were pictures of that family in the library. They must have been the ones to bring and initiate schooling for their child. Her chair in the pictures was one of the older designs with a tall ornate back but; nevertheless, a wheelchair. She was a lovely young girl whose parents were pictured with her.

Certainly the town had a positive attitude toward us. To tell of that a note has to be made of how we shopped one night at one of the department stores. To read in the paper the next morning of how the store had been robbed soon after we left made an impression on us. Evidently the robbers were watching and kindly waited until the people who had a child in a wheelchair left.

No one was more satisfied with life and living than I was. How often everything can suddenly change.


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