I lay myself down and try to sleep, but sleep will not come. Instead, the memories surface like long dead bodies on the bottom of a deep lake. One by one, the weights break away and the memory rushes to the surface with a quick splash as it breaks through the water.
Most of them are pleasant, carrying me back to places, times and people from long ago. But a few are hard to look at and some even contain a stench of rich regret, tainted more so by shame and an inner humiliation that only I can remember and understand. Yet the good outweigh the bad and seem to set all things right within my soul.
Listening to Pappaw and his brothers play bluegrass on a Saturday night as us kids sit on the floor playing and not fully appreciating the beauty of such simple, family harmony.
Sitting on that same hardwood floor and crowded around the television watching Hee Haw.
Playing Bingo in Nanny & Pappaw's livingroom as Brenda lay on the hospital table, body cast up to her arms and remembering how glad I was she didn't die when she fell out of Aunt Peggy's car.
Walking under Old Powder and swinging from his tail as he chomped grass.
Being scared to death of Uncle Buddy's Red Brahma bull!
Sitting at Nanny & Pappaw's table on Sunday with the family gathered around and seeing the coons looking at us from the round hole in the ceiling. Pappaw became angry and later shot and killed every one. I was so damned sad.
Playing with old dishes Nanny gave me, looking up at the blue sky and seeing one single glorious white cottony cloud. I smiled. It was beautiful. And then suddenly, I was down, thrashing in a bed of hot coals...and the next thing I clearly remember was screaming and being placed in a wash tub of ice. I had blisterd from my chin down to the soles of my feet for days after...and by the Grace of God, I did not scar!
Watching the "wetbacks" plow the rice fields in those huge tractors and flirting just a wee bit now and then! Loving the smell of that fresh turned soil mixed with diesel exhaust...And at harvest time, watching those combines harvest rice all day and thru the night as the steady rumble of their engines lulled me into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Geese flying into the resting rice fields at the first cold front, their honking a blessed sound to my ears.
Frank Duke, Sr. giving me a horse, Star, and Mexican saddle for Christmas, 1974.
Riding Star down cow trails and trying to make her into a barrel racer, knowing full well she was very far past her prime.
My first real kiss; Joe Strong, outside Mr. Smith's art class, 8th grade. Hardin Jr. High.
Jerry and his motorcycle...taking me all across Texas, living in a 2-person pup tent in the summer of 1981. How free we were!!! And, OH! The unwritable memories that one gave me!!!
Those memories just continue surfacing...late at night when I should be getting sleep...
I am so thankful, so grateful and so blessed to have them...the great, the good, the okay...and even the bad.