Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sometimes things just don't turn out like we want them to. I brought out my converter and photo card to try some photos on here. Someone and that was probably me moved it and now it has been some time since it has been misplaced. So no photos til it's found or I buy a new one. Until then another story from my youth.
This time of year we would always go to the Coast for fish with roe in them. About 4:00 a.m. I would get up with my dad and start breakfast. Grits, sausage, eggs, and of course biscuits were prepared and we all sat around the table. After teh blessing we all ate and back in that day there was no talking allowed or the offender would get a quick backhand from whichever parent that was the closest. It was a quick cleanup afterward then packing all we needed for the trip. Mr. Wes and Ms. Alfie would come chugging up the drive in the old pickup truck they drove. Mr. Wes had a wooden leg and wasn't to quick to get around but he sure could tell us how and where to put the items we kids carried out to the truck. A couple of #3 washtubs, #2 washtubs, foot tubs, went in first. Everything was stacked accordingly to conserve space.Cast iron skillits, cast iron kettle, grease for cooking and dreams of a fishfry on the way back home out in the Chinkipen (sp) forrest as we called it. We were a family of 9 total. Loading up to go was a given. The 4 adults and the youngest child rode up front. The rest of us rode in the back with all the stuff we were taking with up plus we all had a quilt to wrap around us to stay warm. It seemed to help that there were sideboards surrounding us to keep us from falling out. It can be bitterly cold to ride in the back of a truck in November when it is cold for Florida. Pa and Mr. Wes would check to make sure everything was secure. Then they would get in the front and off we would be. We would head out to the dirt road and turn south to hit the highway. There was a shortcut to get further down the road on SR51 and that is how we went. In the predawn of the day we in the back could hear all kinds of sounds. My aggrevating brother would call out watch out for that hawk he's comming after you when we hit a low hanging limb. Of course this would cause us girls to quickly cover our heads with our quilts and remain that way til it was good and daylight. When we would arrive at the coast, we would all pile out of the truck and there were many that would look our way and whisper. When we started pulling the tubs and buckets out they showed us the whites of their eyes very well. We children were allowed to walk off the boardwalk down to the waters edge and look for shells. Sometimes there would be funny looking things in the wake of the high tide. Once there was this funny looking fish that looked like a kite to me (I later learned it was a stingray) and of course it was the perfect opportunity for Buddy to get one over on me. He told me it was just a dead fish and to pick it up by its tail. I picked the thing up and got a swift shock that ran from my hand down to my feet. I slung that thing down and went into some kind of a fit jumping around and kicking. When I finally settled down and could move again I went over and whallopped Buddy on his arm so hard he fell over. After that I stayed in the little shack where they were selling the fish. It didn't take long to get everything taken care of either. The tubs were set out and a layer of ice went down then a layer of fish and on and on till it was full with ice being the last layer. Then we took some tobacco sheets and tide them around the tubs to keep the wind off the ice. We loaded up again and were on our way once more. We took a side road on the way back and found a little clearing and parked. We were all given jobs to do and all went smoothly for the most part. Mama and Ms. Alfie were cooking the cleaned fish, grits,pork n beans, and hush puppies in no time. Pa took us kids out in the Chinkipins and we started gathering them. Those things had some kind of armor on them. If you weren't careful they would hurt your fingers. There were prickly points all over them. It was like picking up giant sand spurs and I was so glad when Pa said that ought to be enough. Of course Buddy had his devilment self up to no good when he hollered watch out Alice there goes a snake. Well I did the snake dance for him and ended up falling in a patch of those Chinkipins and hollered like that invisible snake done bit me. We made it back over to the campfire and Mama and Mrs. Alfie was dishing up tin plates to the rim with food. That was some of the best eating I can think of for an outing for the family. Of course we had to clean up and load up once again for the trip home. I was never so glad as when Buddy fell asleep. Oh what a peaceful ride I had home. I enjoyed that very much. After arriving home and unloading everyone and everything, we got to work cleaning the fish and preparing them for the freezer. I had learned at an early age to do the chores associated with living on a farm without being a sissy about it. My sisters were either smarter than me or wimps cause they would get out of it every time. I won't go into any details about the chore but it took all afternoon til just after dark to finish. We ate some supper and then Mr. Wes and Mrs. Alfie loded up their share and went home and we put ours in the freezer. Since Pa didn't want varmits comming around after the fish remains we had a bonfire and raked everything up in a pile and shoveled it onto the fire. Then it was time to wash up and get ready for bed. We didn't have an indoor bathroom so we had pans of water on a shelf that we would take a sponge bath out of. It was a good feeling to lay down and go to sleep that night. Until next time I leave you with Just This...Alice