Please Don't Throw Me in
This Here Briar Patch
"We were like Brer Rabbit
begging to be thrown into the briar patch. We are trying to tell the
world it was all right since, like Brer Rabbit, we had been "born and
bred in this here briar patch."
"All I want is protection
and escape from the thorn like conditions much worse than any bramble
patch on the hill. The difference is we are not like Brer Rabbit who was
free after being hurled into it." Rodneyís background was an English
grandfather from the Isle of Wight and mine was from Wales. My silly
wordy comparisons sometimes caused him to look at me with wonder and
absolutely no idea what I was saying.
Our small family was down
to the bottom on our finances, and were even out of a car. Rod was
riding a bicycle back and forth to work. Our clothes were rags and I was
using the bits of change from teaching people to paint for Markís school
clothes. When the girl who was ironing for me told her husband while I
was standing there that she was tired of ironing rags it was a wake-up
call for me.
The freedom from
utilities and rent while we lived at Motherís inherited home from
Grandmother Lizzie allowed us to survive. Again my lifestyle must have
caught the attention of someone up above and for whatever reason felt we
needed to be out of our folkís back yard. These were the only hardships
as far as being at the mercy of the world around us. Sometimes folks
must have believed we didnít have any sense else we wouldnít have been
struggling so hard to work with a disabled child. Mother raised such a
fuss for us to get out on our own we moved into an older, rented,
two-story house. While trying to juggle Rodís technician wages things
just became impossible.
One has to remember this
was a time of change. There was fear involved, too. Fear of the unknown.
What consequences might be involved for these people to be out where all
society, suddenly, must know there was less than a perfect race.
One cold morning while
Rod was bundling up so he could climb on his bike to make his daily trek
to work I stopped scrambling his eggs and held the spatula in mid-air.
"Iíll go with you back to
Dallas if you want to move down there." I casually mentioned.
"Matter of fact, just had
a job offer the other day." Rod was always short with words but I knew
we were on our way again. He was in electronics at the time which would
have been like saying Ponca City could offer up sandy ocean beaches and
surfboards on sparkling blue water. That wouldnít happen there were
little electronics in the town at this time. He had been working for the
oil company and although a number of his inventions were drawing small
royalties we knew nothing great as far as being anything but a
technician was going to be forthcoming.
Here we were in Dallas
again and just as always bouncing about trying to find the best place
and solutions for our problems. Rod nabbed a good job with Ling Tempco
Vaught or LTV. Ling himself had a disabled child and whether this had
any influence on my husbandís hiring was only a guess. Writing was a
problem for Rodney and evidently this was a common problem with
engineers because there were eleven secretaries hired to do but one
thing and that was to write for their boss.
Rodney was happy he could
work in his field, electronics, again.
Carroll school was now
closed and a search began to find a good school for Rhonda. The first
attempt was in one of the Dallas properís schools. A nice location in
which to live was on Jonesboro Street in Dallas. The neighborhood was
pleasant with long sidewalks and old trees draping their branches over
the street. Every house was well maintained and clean looking and so
were the small yards, This street felt a bit like Cayuga street where we
lived when Mark was a baby. He was old enough to ride a bicycle by this
time and the lengthy uninterrupted long street with good sidewalks was
perfect for that
We laughed together when
a Whippit dog came from several houses down and bound over the chain
length fences as easily as if they were not even there.
"Oh wow! Look at that
funny dog, Mom! It looks like a tiny Gray Hound dog like Uncle Paul has!
"Itís called a Whippet,
Son." Rodney informed Mark of the dogís breed.
The dog rushed past us
and immediately raced down the street on its way home.
"Well, do you feel
welcomed to the neighborhood?" I laughed with the children as we all
enjoyed a dog we had never seen before. This seemed like a good thing to