Here they are! Helen, Ray and the girls are here. Why, it’s almost midnight! Helen’s talkin’ and lively, as always. Bet she slept all the way here. Ray’s quiet and the kids look tired, they’ve been in school all week and it’s late. I’ll make up some beds so they can get to sleep. Lord, these sheets stink of cedar from the closet. I have to keep it there or the moths would eat us out of house and home. I hope the kids don’t mind sleeping on the floor. This house is so small, this company housing. How we managed here with seven kids, I’ll never know.
I bet we’ll be up talkin’ half the night. I miss Helen so. When she gets here we always take our time to catch up. It gets so lonely here now that all the kids are gone but Randy. That Randy, why isn’t he home yet? I can’t get him to do a darn thing I ask him to lately. I’ll tan his hide when he gets home. I’ll take a switch to him is what I’ll do. Big or not. Big baby is what he is.
In the kitchen, I hear that creek. Twenty-four hours a day that creek roars along. Even the radio doesn’t drown it out. Hope you folks can sleep with all that noise. I do like the dew, though, that rises up to our street at night and wets the lawn outside like rain.
There’s Pat Jr. now. He sure gets a kick out of those girls. He would have traded one of his boys, I bet, for a girl. First he hugs, then tickles them. I haven’t heard laughter like that here for awhile. When the others get here I’ll get out the cards. Gawd, we’re a card playing family alright. I’m almost sorry the kids got the gamblin’ bug from their daddy. Almost, but then who would play me a few? Only play pinochle once a week down the street with Artis Dean’s mom. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my days? Cook and clean I guess. Isn’t that the gawd-awful truth. My eyes are too bad for tatting. No TV reception up here, neither. Only real entertainment round here these days is baseball. Thank gawd for that.
Look! That deer’s in the backyard again. They sure are gettin’ tame round here. I’ll go wake the kids to come see it. They don’t see much like that where they live. Mornin’ everybody. Breakfast is gettin’ cold. Up, git up! Bob, quit picking on that child. I hope there’s biscuits to go round—and leftovers too. Not used to feedin’ this many any more. Diana sure likes to eat. Doesn’t your mom feed you at home? Yes, there’s more bacon, on the stove. Another biscuit? Goes through grape jelly like water. Takes after her grammaw. Charlene don’t eat hardly nothin’ at all. Kind of a sad little thing really. I worry about those kids at home with Helen, with her drinkin’ and all. Ray’ll take care of ‘em I guess. I’ll never know why these kids got the drinkin’ bug from their daddy. You’d like to think that they’d be scared of it what with Pat dyin’ so sudden and all.
What’s all that howlin’ goin’ on? My lord, child’s foot’s swelled up like a balloon. A bee. There’s the stinger. Your mama’s gone shootin’ with Bob and Pat Jr.. Let me look at that. Stop that bawlin’. It’ll be alright. Keep that bakin’ soda on there for awhile. Come sit on grammaw’s lap.
They’re late for lunch alright. Goin’ off all day shootin’ or fishin’, leavin’ me here to watch the kids. I don’t know why I bother. Raise ‘em up and they up and leave. Never heard of such a thing. No reason for me here now, that’s for sure.
DIANA LYNN MOORE, STOP SLAMMIN’ THAT SCREEN DOOR OR I’LL TAKE A SWITCH TO YOUR BEHIND!
Where could they be so long? I was hopin’ to visit a little before they went home. Such a short visit. Kids are bigger each time. When Bob gets retired, we’ll move out there by Helen, that’s what. You can have this life. I’m done with it.
Virginia…So This is Their Mother, tomorrow