By Otis Griffin
Oft times, important memories are stored in the back quarters of your mind. If these ‘high-dollar shrinks’ actually know what they are speaking of, psychological warfare tends for us to remember the good times and hide the bad ones out behind the falling down barn.
As we travel through the decades, most folks don’t realize, or want to admit, some of the hardships our founding forefathers that founded this great nation, had to endure for future generations. Like a politician, “I ain’t admittin’ nuthin’!”
Go on out there and ask some of these youngsters, “are you going to change oil in yo’ vehicle?” The reply you would probably receive, “what’zat?” “I haven’t a clue just what you are speaking of, and furthermore, I really don’t care to learn.” “I might get a little contaminated.” Possibly, “can I do it on my ’puter?” Another thought would be, if you tried to explain the negotiation is, the reply of, “change my oil to what?” Maybe a cup of Starrybuckaroos chat-a-hoo-chee chocolate flavored milk, called foreign-made coffee, with a marshmallow crammed in the bottom. Friends, it ain’t even fittin’ for a Yorkshire sow to slurp up. Much less my fellow country Southerners.
History, hard work, experience, sacrifice, intelligence, and above all, blessed infinite wisdom, only obtained through the combination of the aforementioned endeavors, is part of the ancestry now so bountifully bestowed upon us.
Neighbor, we don’t know the hardships our predecessors went through to provide such a comfortable, present way of life. The bad part, and worst scenario, is no one appreciates the effort from calloused hands, a wrinkled brow, squinting eyes, a red neck and the many sweaty, soggy, salt-stained shirts, so thin, a newspaper could be deciphered without a magnifying glass, ninety-feet away..
Easy come, easy go! Beloved, I was too young to understand the necessity and luxury of having ice in my sweet tea at the kitchen table. Ice was always there in the huge glass that required two hands and a plow line to encircle the container, or so it seemed.
For several years, our ice man would make two deliveries a week. Most of the time, but not always, Robert would deliver two twenty-five pound blocks of hardened water to our icebox, strategically located on the back porch.
Although there were several sizes of vaults, I guess ours was a medium, average sized box. Tuesdays and Fridays usually were the scheduled days for the kids to line the blacktop with the huge, white signs squalling for ice.
We really thought we were doing something, fiercely holding onto the change to pay for the treasure. Squeezing the finances so hard, our tiny, white knuckles screamed for some relief. Funny now, but serious back then, we’d run up to each other, just like we had a million dollars to show off what we protected in the palm of our tiny hands.
A few times in my childhood, I remember Momma reminding Daddy on his way to work, better leave some money for the ice man today. Money was as scarce as hen’s teeth, back ’en. Daddy would dig around for hours and finally count out some change. Questioning, “how much we ‘gonna’ get today?”
Momma would bounce through the kitchen door, shove down on the brass colored handle, tugging on the vacuum sucked door, step back, survey the appropriate dimensions as if she was setting out ‘mater plants military lined in the garden.
The door was only open a quick second, and slammed fiercely shut immediately, as Momma didn’t want the ice to melt. Why? It cost money! Remember?
Momma would give her full scaled report and some times Daddy would verify the amount. “Well, we got so much, and if we don’t have any folks stop by this weekend, we’ll be ‘are-ite’ ’til Tuesday.” “If we do have some company, we’ll have to stretch it a ways.” Now friends, have you ever seen anyone stretch any ice?
I’m sure no one could understand the plans, calculations, and adjustments made years ago as was said, “we had to make ends meet.” What we take for granted, now is a way of life. Beloved, just a thought. What if, there was no ice in the world? What would kids do? Well, they’d run to their Mother and Father. That’s city talk—-for parents. Their parents wouldn’t have any idea and reply, “I don’t know, go ask your grandparents.” “What?” “They are too old, decrepit and don’t know anything about anything!” Wanna’ bet? Heh, heh!
Just a Little Intelligent “ICE”—-ing On the Cake — GLORY!
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