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Velma's Work
Valiantly Velma - Page 25

Colorado Spring - Patty learns about Pow-wows

Waking up to icy cold mornings was a challenge even though they had been warm in the tent with the small electric heater. Patty was especially miserable. Her sleeping bag was warm but the ground was harder than the mattresses, which were atop a built-in frame inside the tent. She slept in a tiny pup tent which had a lining on the floor and did have privacy. The girl-child never complained about being cold, only about the hard ground. They could understand because, actually, the mattresses to come with the tent weren’t that much softer. This all came with camping and the seasoned campers understood this is what would cause them to greatly appreciate their homes when they returned to them.

A fire going early was a good morale booster even though the briquettes threw off little heat. It was the idea of hearth and home to encourage them, to make them feel, “cared-for. ” The tribe hosting the pow-wow provided adequate food rations. A huge roast, along with flour and canned goods were already on the table beside the tent when the family awoke and they knew the pow-wow committee had been there. It was comforting, somehow, to know someone else had been up earlier, in fact, must have been at the crack of dawn.

When sudden rain showers threatened to douse the fire, the plastic cover overhang was moved over the briquettes so they would not go out. The roast in a brought along, covered pan, with whole peeled potatoes and carrots was a wonderful meal for evening. Cooking the meat over the low heat of the charcoal made it tender. The taste was delectable but the gathering around the metal camp table covered with table cloth in the evenings where a prayer of thanks was offered up brought simple, strengthening pleasure to all, adults and children.

The crowds began to come on the grounds as the evening progressed. It is always interesting how that many people can be so closely placed together, but then, like in a neighborhood each family stays to their own space. Concession stands were close to the camp and it was an effort to keep Minnie, Velma’s small niece, who had come with them, couldn’t stay away from the peddlers of food. Of course, she preferred the hot dogs to the roast and vegetables the family served. Sweets to totally ruin her appetite were available, too.

“When Minnie begs for change, please don’t give it to her,” Velma was quick to see what the little girl was doing. “And Minnie, do not go around asking people for money, please!” To no one in particular Velma complained under her breath, “no telling how she has had to survive. This child certainly seems very skilled at panhandling and at this early age, too.” Velma was fussing about Minnie’s ways.

“Aren’t those beautiful horses those good-looking police officers are riding? I feel so much more secure with their presence.” Velma had a way of warning children. She never doubted kids knew when they were doing right or wrong, no matter what age they were. The handsome officers in their sharp, well-pressed uniforms stood out and above the crowd as they rode their beautiful horses in and around the campground. It was a comfort to have them on duty. Everyone in attendance agreed on that point. It must have made an impression on Minnie, too. She did not offer to go near the stands after that, or to beg for money.

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