Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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There’s a Hoedown in Town

the-girlsOne of my favorite things about my Small Town World is my church family. A more accepting, loving bunch of people you’ll never meet.

Every year for the last 10 years FC3 has had a Harvest Hoedown. Our whole Small Town World is invited to the campus for games and food and fun.

Don’t you love the clowns? They’re a hoot, even if I did get splashed with a little squirt gun play. No fair. I didn’t have a gun so I could shoot back!

We have a train and ponies for the kids to ride, a big bouncy slide for kids of all sizes!

1-the-joy-of-the-lordAnd this year, there was a game of laser tag.

crewIt’s so enjoyable to see all ages pitch in and work together to serve our STW.

davidPreacher Dave even gets a little high as he tells us about our Father and His unfailing, never ending love for us.

nailsBig girls do little girls’ nails.

Great-chili-Cook!

 David Cook and his wife, Jan, make about fifty pounds of chili for us each year.

Larry Brown grills about a jillion wieners,

Larry

and somebody else melts gallons and gallons of cheese.

imagejpeg_0But the best job? The most fun of all? Serving the food and drinks! (My job.) While we serve, we get to talk to people we sometimes see only that one time a year, and catch up a little. We see kiddos and costumes, we see babies and babies who aren’t babies anymore.

Some of us get a little cold, a few backs get a little stiff, but if at all possible, we don’t miss this get together. At least I don’t. It’s just fun to get to be with friends and neighbors and God as the central reason for it all.

The Harvest Hoedown is the best hoedown of all! Of course, it’s the only hoedown I’ve ever been to. How about you? Ever been to a hoedown? What did you like best?

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I Love a Rainy . . . Anything

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Did you ever have a memory hit you so hard right out of the blue, you could practically smell it? That happened to me yesterday, when I was leaving Sister Debbie’s house.

The rain was pouring down, and since I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the rain, I wandered out to my car without worrying about getting wet. Sister D lives in the house Grandmother built, which is right next door to the house we grew up in. (Sister Cindy lives in that house.)

It’s an old neighborhood (nearly as old as I am!) so the curbs aren’t the hump kind that you’d normally think of next to a street. They’re a scoopy kind, shaped a little like a lazy J. I imagine the scoopy curb was used so the water would run off the road and into the curb so it could all go to the big puddle at the end of the street. 🙂

Yesterday, when I went to my car, that scoopy curb was running full and childhood memories came flooding back.

When we were kids, Mama always bought us raincoats

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and rubber boots

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that fit over our shoes to wear to school. One year, the coat she bought me was exactly like the coat my friend’s mama bought for her. I thought we looked like pink butterflies in them, so I made up a song that we danced to about us butterflies. LOL. I ended it with us flying south for the winter. (I couldn’t let my pink butterflies just die, could I?)

Our front porch was a big one that looked like a stage, so we performed our song and dance for anyone in the neighborhood who wanted to come. The audience consisted of our parents. But hey! They liked it.

When it rained, we nearly always waded in the water. (What are rubber boots for, anyway?) Once, when my mom had given me a permanent (WHY she gave the kid with the curliest hair in town a perm, I have no idea) it was raining when we got out of school.

I usually walked home with one of my friends and her mom came by to pick her up and offered me a ride. “No thanks. I want to walk in the rain.” Her tattle-tale mom called my mom as soon as she got home to tell on me. 😦 My mom wasn’t happy, probably because her daughter wasn’t smart enough to come in out of the rain.

“I just wanted to try out my new raincoat. Why are you mad?”

“Because, you probably ruined your new perm!”

I’m not sure how she figured that, but I was in trouble for maybe five minutes.

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Another time, Sister Debbie and I walked in the rain from the downtown movie theater to Mrs. Shriner’s house for Piano Club. Right after that, Sister D and I came down with the measles, and Mom wasn’t happy with us.

“You probably made your measles worse by walking in the rain.” That didn’t stop her from reading “Tom Sawyer” to us while we were sick, though. (She’d been told measles make your eyes weak, so she wouldn’t let us read to ourselves while we were ill.)

I loved wading in the mud next to Grandmother’s house in the warm summer rain. (Yep, I got in trouble again.)

The strongest memory though is a summertime rainstorm, walking barefoot in the water, sluicing down the scoopy curb, as the water splashed over my ankles.

I don’t remember being too strict with my kids when it came to rain and puddles. (They might have other memories, though.)

So, rainy day memories?

 

 

 


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On the Hunt

Can you believe we’ve started the final month in the first half of 2014 already? Oy!

Fun stuff going on this week in my part of OkieLand. One of my faves was when #1 son came to visit last weekend, looking for toys from his Childhood for MY GRANDSON WHO’LL BE MAKING HIS APPEARANCE NEXT OCTOBER! *grins!* Tonka Truck and John Deere Tractor are the toys he was looking for. For some reason, though, we can’t find them. 😦

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Surprised? I’m not. Since I don’t have perfect recall (some days it seems as if I have no recall at all) and we’ve moved twice since anyone has played with either toy . . .

tractorSigh.

I think we got the truck one year for Christmas. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly. (#1–you have permission to correct me if I’m wrong.) But, boy! I remember the day the John Deere came to live with us.

My Man was working 24-hour call at that time. Yes, he is a pharmacist–SWOSU!–but at that time he was working in the oilfield as a logging and perforating engineer. Anyhoo, he came in one evening about eight or nine o’clock, which would have been LATE for a person who worked in a 9-5 office, but he worked in the oilfield and often came home in the wee hours.

An open-hole logging crew is usually on site, waiting for the moment the rotary gets to total depth, and it seemed to me they NEVER reached TD during the daylight.

Danny and I were excited when Gary came home while Danny was still awake, and (bigger surprise!) he came in with a big bag in his hands, which he handed to Danny.

Danny opened the bag and wow! A big green tractor! And the tractor had a trailer. (If I remember right.)

Danny loved that tractor and played with it for hours on end, plowing the carpet, towing toy cars and hauling imaginary monsters. As our other boys came along and got big enough, they enjoyed it, too.

They had the most fun when there was a pile of dirt to work on. My boys loved to build roads, dig ponds and move mounds of dirt with their toys.

Confession: If I had time, I liked to get out and move a little dirt with them. 🙂 Who cares if our jeans got a little (or a lot) dirty? We had fun!

What we didn’t know when Gary brought home that tractor was that in a few years, we would be moving to Pryor Creek. And when you live near PC, you often see entire families going to town in a trailer connected to a tractor. (Those Amish families have the best ideas!)

If we loaned you (or your kids) either toy, would you give it back? 😉 Please, send it least by October. Seriously, if you happen onto one or the other at a garage sale, antique store or flea market, call me!

Talking about dirt piles, I remember a great big one next door to Marsha Hagberg’s house when we were kids that Debbie, Marsha and I (and probably the rest of the neighborhood kids) had so much fun on! We didn’t play with trucks so much, but there was a lot of make believe (my favorite game, ever) played there.

I’m not sure this kid ever saw a pile of dirt she did like.

Was a pile of dirt a magnet to you? Did you jump your bike over it, move it with your trucks, play “Lost in Darkest Africa,” or stay far, far away from it?

Terminally Curious is dying to know!

 


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Time Out

I had a surprise time out with my little friend yesterday.

My cousin had a phone call from a government agency, so I ran outside to get him. He’d taken our buddy out and was letting him play in the back of his pickup. Like the nice person I am (clears throat) I agreed to stay and play while Cousin Rick talked on the phone.

The ice cream truck had come buy, and Rick had ponied up–so I also was put in charge of an ice cream cone, with chocolate cookie crumbles and a dry napkin.

Deegers picked up the few tools in the back of the truck and told me their names as well as which ones were heavy. We wore cabled wire like a necklace and he let me hold a big stick–for a moment or two. Then he wanted to go see the “horse”.

Don’t forget, I’m still holding a melting ice cream cone. Every now and then, he’d take a little sip. (Usually when I wanted to throw it away.)

So we walked across the street

to the front of the Merchant’s Hotel, which is owned by a very nice lady. She has some things decorating the sidewalk in front of her building. Our favorite is a little concrete donkey, which my buddy calls Horse. He’s just the right height for Deegan to get on, all by himself. He holds on to the tall ears and acts like he’s riding him.

Behind the donkey is a concrete cart full of silk flowers. Deegan wanted me to let him ride in the cart, and even went so far as to take out one of the fifty or sixty flowers. (He put it back when instructed.)

Then we walked down the sidewalk while he named other items out there. “Shovel. Baby. Deer. Frog.” And because I knew what they were, I could understand him! 🙂

There’s a garden gnome on a low window sill, and he calls something I can’t understand. I’ll bet Rick knows, though.

He calls me Woo-Woo. Most of the kids (and some of the secretaries) call me Su-Su, so he’s close.

He says hat very clearly. LOL.

I told Granddaddy (Deegan says that fairly clearly) that we need to buy him a real horse, and I was hoping for a cart, too.

Dad answered, “What he needs is a pita-patay.”

Somehow, I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.