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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

This is "my spin" on the writing prompt from TRDC. The prompt was to take something ugly and find the beauty in it. I decided to choose something that is more "socially ugly" than "physically ugly", and I only exceeded the word limit by 15 25 words this time which is an improvement over last time. Oh, and if you can, when you're reading this, imagine it being read by someone with a strong southern accent. It's hard to write  a southern draw.Those aren't spelling mistakes just in case it wasn't obvious.

Growing up living in my grandparents house, we didn't have much. There was no indoor plumbing. Instead you just picked an unused spot outback in the weeds. If you had to go at night, there was an old tin can at the end of the front porch. It was too dangerous at night to use the weeds. A snake might crawl up your pant’s legs and try to take a bite outta ya. At least that is what Pa use to say.

 I wasn’t allowed to use the weeds at night.

Our water came from a well outback. In the winter it would have to be heated on the stove. Then Ma would quickly fill the bathroom sink so I could take a bath.

It was fun when Ma helped me wash my hair.

We didn’t have a normal washing machine. Instead we had one of those old timey ringer washing machines. My arm got caught in that thing more times than I can remember trying to get the sheets through the ringer. We also didn’t have a dryer so clothes had to be hung out on the line.

 Sheets take a long time to dry in the winter.

You also had to be careful where you walked. Some of the floor boards weren’t too sturdy and you could fall through. Like the time my uncle forgot and stepped on the wrong one and fell through the attic. I never laughed so hard in all of my life. Me standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up at his legs dangling through the ceiling. Him yelling at me to get Pa. Me doubled over, tears streaming down my red face, trying my best to suck air back into my lungs. I thought I was gonna suffocate right there.  Finally, air seeping into my lungs just as Pa came to see what all the ruckus was about.

Times were tough. Dinner sometimes was just cornbread and buttermilk. I liked those nights the best. Filling my glass up with ice cold buttermilk. Then crumbling the freshly baked cornbread into it. After each spoonful, taking a bite out of a crisp green onion that I had just picked from the garden. Much better than the nights when we had poan bread and salmon patties. 

I didn’t like poan bread. I tolerated the salmon patties.

Saturdays were the best. Pa and I would go to visit Pa’s sister, Aunt Giddie. Her house smelt like dog piss, but she made the best turnip greens and macaroni salad I had ever eaten in my whole life. As soon as she would hear our car pull in the driveway, she would start fixing my plate. By the time I walked in the door, she would be saying, “There’s a plate on the table fer yee. Help yurself. The rest is on the stove”.

 Aunt Giddie didn’t get any visitors except on Saturdays when Pa and I went there. I didn’t really like Aunt Giddie, but if I went there, then she would always let me take an extra piece of chocolate pie home with me for later. Along with a big bowl of macaroni salad.

 I loved macaroni salad.

Some people called us poor. Others called us “white trash”. I didn’t mind because on Sundays I got to go exploring in the woods or fishing with Ma, and when we would get back, there was Aunt Giddie’s extra piece of chocolate pie waiting on me, and sometimes Ma would even make her homemade banana pudding.

Homemade banana pudding is my favorite. It's the only dish Ma knew how to make.


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