October 10, 2010

A Very Nice Email Exchange with KT in Florida

Hi Todd....I love your "apple orchard" story. It reminded me of a similar event in the local Orange grove...Bradenton Fl has several huge citrus areas, and once we went to one of the "pickings". At the time we had 3 little boys (ages 5, 6 & 7...yeah, I know, I know), and we went into the orchard, it ad a sign saying we could pick as much as we wanted. We didn't notice the other sign saying it was $$$ each bag. LOL.

Ah, memories that bless and burn.

I keep up with your emails, but I don't always have time to answer. I don't want to whine, but I have several medical problems and don't stay online as much as I used to. God bless you and your family. A little old lady in FLorida mentions you all in her prayers often.

Your boys are adorable.


Hi, KT!!

It is so wonderful to hear from you!! Sorry to hear you're still dealing with the medical problems. We'll definitely keep you in our prayers as well!!

I read Sheri your story about the orchard and she laughed. Thanks for sharing!!

Would it be OK if I posted your email as one of my Nice emails of the week?

please let me know.

Take care!!!

Todd Swank

Todd...you can definitely post my email wherever you wish. If you really liked that little orchard bit, you'd love my short story about my Grandma and the Billy. I'll send it soon. It is, as everything I write, a true story.

Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. I am doing very well.

Ok...I had the surgery women dread most of all...but, it isn't all bad...

I am alive and they said I wouldn't be...and I can wear ALL of my old T-shirts. :) God bless and keep you safe.

Todd, this is a true story, as are all my writings. Enjoy. Share if you like. I don't have many of my writings published, I just share with family and friends. This event occurred a good 68-70 years ago.

(Yeah, I know...I am an old rascal.) KT

PS...I also have a poem that you might enjoy. I don't want to over-do it, but for some reason, I think I'd like to send it.

Grandma & The Billy

My Grandmother had a thing about billy goats. She just plain didn’t like them. The ones around our house just plain didn’t like her, because she always chased them from the yard.

I suppose the biggest, boldest one that annoyed her the most was Grandpa’s goat. He sure had a knack for irritating Grandma, standing up on his hind legs trying to reach any clothing she may have left hanging out on the line. She would make us younger children stay around the back yard on wash day, watching for Billy, as we kids had named him, and we had to keeps rocks handy to throw at him to chase him away.

At first it was kind of fun, yelling and throwing rocks, not that we ever hit him. But it served the purpose. We managed to keep Billy at bay. When he wandered off out of sight, my cousin Mary Ann and I started playing around the side of the house.

When Grandma came out and asked us if the billy goat was gone, we both assured her that Billy was nowhere to be seen. She seemed satisfied that it was safe for her to make a trip to the outhouse, that infamous example of early American plumbing. The outhouse sat about 100 feet from the back of the house, and well placed outside the fence, which surrounded the small wood-framed house.

Grandma reached inside the back door and tore off a few sheets from the oldest Walter Field catalogue, and started for the little house. She was about half-way there when who should appear but Billy. He was well to the side of the yard, and Grandma seemed to think she could out run him. She grabbed a hand-full of her long skirt in each hand and started running, but before she could get to the gate it was obvious that Billy would get there first, so she turned and ran towards the outhouse, Billy hard on her heels.

She rounded the little house, and by now yelling at the top of her lungs, “Will, Will”. She was calling my grandfather, who had gone down towards the pig pens well below the house. I had come running towards the back of the house in time to witness the chase, and climbed up the fence post to get a better view. I figured I was safe up there, and Mary Ann had shinnied up the other one. We had ring-side seats.

Grandma rounded the outhouse for the third time, and gaining a little distance, was able to open the door and jump inside, closing the door behind her. Billy snorted, and pawed the ground, running around the little building in pursuit. He was puzzled at the disappearance of his quarry. He spied me and Mary Ann and ran over to the fence, stretching up as high as he could, trying to nip us. He was wild-eyed and mad.

I didn’t know what he was going to do, and I screamed for Granny to help me. She looked out the door quickly, then shut it with a bang, and that distracted Billy. He turned and ran towards the outhouse, lowered his head and butted it with his horns, not once but three times. From inside the outhouse, Grandma yelled at Mary Ann to go and get Grandpa, her Uncle Will, who was down at the branch, an area where he kept his hog pens.

After Grandma had yelled several times, Mary Ann reluctantly gave up her safe perch, jumped down inside the fence and ran towards the front, out the gate and towards where we believed Grandpa was working.

Some time passed. It was a stand-off: Grandma in the outhouse, me up the post, and Billy, patrolling between the two of us. I was getting hotter by the minute, and the sun was beating down like a firebrand. Every now and then Grandma would bang the door trying to startle Billy into running off, and he would charge the door, giving it a hefty ram every time.

Where was Grandpa? How long could it take Mary Ann to find him and raise the alarm? Grandpa did not magically appear as we expected. I was starting to lose my grip at the top of the post, and Grandma was losing her grip on her temper. If Grandpa didn’t show up pretty soon something bad was going to happen. I just knew it. And it did.

Suddenly the outhouse door flew open, and out came Grandma, yelling at the top of her lungs, holding her skirt high, charging Billy as fast as her spindly legs could carry her. She ran right up to him and delivered a roundhouse kick with her heavy shoes, and Billy, no doubt shocked out of his wits, couldn’t run fast enough to get away from another swift kick in his nether regions.

Grandma was yelling the strongest language anyone would ever hear from her, “Consarn your dag-nabbed hide, git from here”… and with another kick the battle, if indeed it had ever been in question, was over. Bill scuttled off as fast as his four legs could carry him, leaving Grandma frothing at the bit.

Just about this time, strolling around the house, as unconcerned as could be, came Grandpa. “What in sam-hill is going on here, Miss Katie?” he asked, looking up and me and down at her, amazement on his face.

“Will Thomas, where in tarnation have you been, I been in that dad blasted outhouse for near ‘bout an hour awaitin’ for you!”

Well, time would bring out, Mary Ann, not finding Uncle Will down at the pens, had decided that since she was well away from the angry billy goat, would just go on home.

Grandpa spent the evening staying away from Grandma, who spent the rest of the evening sputtering about the man of the house not being around when his women-folk were in danger. She also made me an extra long biscuit and made me promise not to tell anybody she had kicked the billy-goat. I spent the evening looking for bigger rocks for the next time Billy came around. I knew he would be gunning for somebody, and probably anything with a skirt would do just fine.

Personally, I felt sorry for Billy. I don’t think he ever had a prayer.

From Things Remembered,

Kathryn Themis Sharkey aka Aharkerkt

Mountain Home

I have a secret little wish
I carry in my heart,
That I would like to share with you,
Right here, at the start.

There's something about a mountain's rise
That always seems to call to me,
That quickens my pulse,
And catches my eye.

So take me to a hilly place,
One higher than all the rest.
Where gentle breezes lift my hair
And sunlight kisses my face.

Where mountain laurel and dogwood grow,
And rhododendron too,
Add a morning shower,
To wash away the dew.

It isn't much to ask,
This mountain hide-away,
For with you at my side,
I'll stay till my hide
Is wrinkled, and my hair has turned to gray.

Ode to Bud by KT
April 13, 1996

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