Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Paul T

During the summer we were on a motorcycle trip to Republic Washington. One of the side trips we took had us crossing paths with a flock of wild turkeys crossing the road in front of us.

When I was little I remember visiting my aunt Juanita and Uncle Paul T’s farm in the late fall in Missouri, before Thanksgiving.

My aunt Juanita would gather black walnuts in the fall and sell them as a cash crop for income on their small farm. Besides running cattle on the farm, Paul T raised turkeys that were sold for Thanksgiving dinners.

I remember going to the barn to get feed for the turkeys and then staying close to Paul T as we went into the turkey pens to fill the feeders. The big white turkeys were bigger than I was and because there were so many of them I kept really close to Paul T. The turkeys only wanted to be fed and were harmless but to a small girl they seemed scary.

When the turkeys were sold it seemed strange to wander out to the garden and look beyond to the pens that were now empty. I didn’t really understand until years later that those turkeys I helped feed were now being processed to become the main course on someone’s Thanksgiving dinner table.

Paul T would sometimes take me into Greenfield in his old truck when he had to take care of business and we would eat peanuts out of a big bag he kept in the truck. It was the first time I had eaten raw peanuts and they weren’t my favorite, but I liked going to town and riding in the truck with him.

Paul T is gone and my aunt Juanita has Alzheimer’s and lives near her children Shirley and Gary in Kansas City. Gary takes care of his mother’s farm and his own farm that once belonged to Paul T’s parents.

I remember one winter when we visited my aunt and uncle and I went with Paul T to feed the cattle. We drove a flatbed truck through the farm gates and the cattle began to follow behind the truck. Paul T cut the wire from the bales and we pushed the hay flakes off the truck to the hungry cattle. The cattle would bawl as they waited for the hay to be dropped off the truck. I was always bundled up in warm corduroy pants with a flannel lining and a cozy warm winter coat but the only important thing to me was that I was outside with the animals, helping.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails