Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Crazy Things Remembered

    An article in last week's "Over The Ozarks" asked the question: "Why do we remember so vividly the crazy things we have done in the past?"
    I, too, would like an answer to that one!
    I remember once my cousin and I were cutting cornstalks for our uncle [about 1907, south of where the airport would later be built]. We were teenagers. We got tired, so we went to the house to rest awhile. (Our uncle and aunt had gone to town, leaving us on our own.)
    They had a cow called "Whitey." She was a gentle old thing, or so we thought until we decided to have some fun with her! We got to wondering what she would do if we tied a white rag to her tail. We got her into the barn and while she was eating some corn, I tied the rag on.
    All went well until she turned around and saw that rag. She gave a bellow that almost scared us to death, ran out the barn door and took off jumping up and down, the rag flying in the wind!
    We took out after her for fear she would jump the fence and run herself to death. We knew we had to get that rag.
    Finally we caught her and grabbed the rag, then we noticed some folks passing by were watching the whole performance. Two embarrassed girls left the cow alone and went back to cutting cornstalks!
    Another thing happened to me when I was just a young bride. I was very proud of my cooking ability and always tried to make things "extra special."
    One day, company came and I was busily preparing dinner. I had an iron pot full of green beans with an "extra special" ham bone in them. They were on the wood cookstove simmering away. (Beans had to cook for two or three hours.) They smelled so good, I thought how proud I would be of my cooking.
    Well, when I was "dishing up" the beans, lo and behold, my dish rag was mixed in with them! Needless to say, we didn't have any beans or meat for dinner. I'll never know how that dish rag got in the beans.
    Another episode happened when I was 10 or 12 years old which I recall quite well, even though it has been many years ago.
    I could never direct a person to a given place. I was like the old woman who was asked directions to a certain place and said, "Go so many miles to a schoolhouse ... but that's not the place. Go back about two miles. But that's not the place, either. Then go to the fourth house. That's the place."
    My father had built a log house for a man who helped us on the farm. The man lived there for quite some time, then left, and father used the house for a corncrib.
    My brother and I were there shucking corn when a man came by. He was driving a team of horses, hitched to a buggy. He stopped, asking the way to a little store about two miles away.
    I tried to tell him how to get there, but I made a "poor out" of it! Finally, after looking at the log house, he asked how long we had lived here. I said, "Oh, I don't live here! I live in the big house nearby!" I wanted him to know I didn't live in that little log house!
    Some funny things happen and we wonder why ... but the past, even to the pleasant moments, is always a little sad to remember.

Mellie Peery
August 16, 1966

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