Mrs. Donahoe’s son and
daughter-in-law’s place was a stylish, brick, sprawling ranch house back
off the road a way. It was just a short distance from their home place.
This newer house was lovely with its modern design. The older one was
okay but nothing like this.
On this morning Mrs.
Donahoe was in her tractor working the ground around the young corn
plants. She carefully drove over and between the plants. The machinery
pulled by that great tractor was set just at the correct width to turn
the ground between the corn rows, instead of people having to hoe by
hand. Her tractor was doing that for all of at least twelve rows at a
"Patsy! Are yah home?" I
tapped on the window of the sliding glass patio door.
"Hey!" Patsy greeted me
and had a grin to go from ear to ear. "Come on in, we are just fixin’ to
take a break. Come on in, sit down." The Texans drawl and favorite
expressions were always pleasant I thought. Fixin’ to, was one of their
most used phrase.
It looked like some of
the workers were already taking that break as they wandered around and
about the over large pool table in the air-conditioned living room and
directly behind me one of the women was coming through the door. She
held a baby on her hip and went to the refrigerator to get its bottle.
When the young mother retrieved that she came to sit around this massive
round table in front of me and proceeded to feed the child. Another man
who must have been a neighbor arrived and soon was visiting with Bud.
They knew each other well. This could be seen with their easy banter.
"You want a bite of these
peppers? They’re good." Bud pushed a jar of what looked like jalapeno
peppers toward the man.
"Hmmmm Bud, you’ll have
to try a better one than that. I’ve already tasted them peppers."
Whoever wrote the story of the Dallas sitcom must have studied the local
folks well. The personality of J.R., leading character, was here in the
room with us.
Behind me I could hear
the motor of the refrigerated semi’ running while it kept the vegetables
cool after they came up the conveyor belt. The workers since early
morning already sorted and had the produce in attractive labeled boxes.
One of the leading chain store’s sign was lettered on the side of the
truck and the boxes as well with clean looking advertisement.
"What’s Mom doing?" Patsy
"She was hoeing the corn
last I saw her." Again Bud was leaving a space for thought in a person’s
"Oh she’s off and gone
with a load for the neighbors." One of the men around the pool table
"I know it." Bud was
shaking his head. "She can’t stand to see things wasted. We can’t sell
it but she can give it away. Was Dad with her?"
"I don’t think so." The
man was being careful about getting involved. It was a testy subject.
Mrs. Donahoe tearing down the country roads in her heavy, country
pick-up truck on her way to deliver fresh vegetables to someone or
another of her neighbors was fact, but it wasn’t exactly what her sons
wanted done. Her age and heart were at risk and this subject wasn’t
going to be discussed. They were too concerned to easily discuss with
strangers the risk she was taking.
Mrs. Donahoe already
spoke to me of her condition so I knew and
rather than possibly be
witness to the talk about their mother I rose from the large table and
was ready to leave.
"Are you leaving?
Already?" Patsy was busy in her kitchen but she watched every action of
"Oh yes, my chores at
home are calling to me. I’m sure your mom is headed up toward my place,
too. I had better get along." And with that I was away and driving back
toward the little Donahoe rental place at the end of Donna avenue.
"Your son sure loves that
go cart he has!" Bud threw me a parting comment."
Oh yes he does, he surely
does," and I was off to take care of my paltry business in comparison to
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