These here, these be the tried and true and tried ag’in real life misadventures of the reared and bred Goodwell clan of Denton, County. An’ me? I be the third son of the first son, Liam Goodwell. I am brave and strong, and Miss Meadow, down to the school, she bade me keep writ track of our doin’s fer the summer.
I’ll do my best, as I do like me Miss Meadow, and respec’ her somethin’ fearful. She’s one fine teacher, shiny and sparkly-like.
We been, us Goodwells, down to church most the day. Sunday School, then the morning service, then a satisfyin’ potluck all afternoon, follered by some mixed up softball game out past the cemetery, then Vespers and the Evangelical Service, I’ll admit I’m plumb tuckered jest from the joy of it all.
Summertime Sundays means arisin’ a mite later’n usual, which begins the day right, then doin’ our chores forthwith, then gatherin’ at the big ol’ red-checked covered kitchen table, all eight o’ us kids, plus Daddy and Grandpap, and Mama, who most always is a cartin’ food to and from the big ol’ black stove over to the corner. But we don’t take us a bit til’ Mama’s set and Grandpap, he asks us to bow our heads in prayer.
And Lord, can he pray, although his nighttime prayers be shorter. He’s a tad hungrier then.
Friday last, little brother Lawton ….’r was it Louis?…..,don’t make no nevermind, as they’s twins and near exchangeable….one or t’other reckoned he’d foller in Grandpap’s footsteps, askin’ to have his turn at prayer. Well, he went to a’prayin’. And a’prayin’. And a’prayin’. That boy, he prayed for all us kids in sequence, Lincoln on down. Then, he prayed for Mama ‘n Daddy ‘n Grandpap, and all the aints and uncles and neighbors and hound dogs and cats and milk cows and horses, broke and not broke. He prayed for the sun and the moon and the planet Mars and fer the rain and the snow come winter, and fer good ice upon the pond back behind the school house. He went so far as to pray for Grandpap’s ol’ John Deere.
Now, bein’ we’s Christians, we can’t never, no never, interrupt nor be disrespectin’ of anybody’s petitions before the Lord, but Lawsy! What’s a good Christian to do?
Once it was over and done, seemed near a lifetime, we all, in chorus, hollered, “Amen!” Which to for, we wait, like always, for Mama to pass the first bowl o’vituals then we wait for all our plates to be filled, an’ then we tuck in. But lookin’ right and lookin’ left, me and we Goodwell children, we was all fightin’ tears and guffaws, near chokin’ till apple pie dessert.
Never did find out how it happened, but much to our dismay, very next dinnertime last night, Mama give Grandpap the eye, to which he rolled his own eyes but roared, “How ’bout you pray, Lawton?” (or was it Louis…?).
No. Lord, no. An’ tonight was catfish. Don’t nobody in his right mind eat cold catfish…..ain’t easy to whine in yer head, by I shore did.
But dutiful Christians, we bowed our heads in unison like we do, each and ever’ one o’ us doubting the sanity of Grandpap and near to cursin’ the upcomin’ torrential downpour of Lawton’s , or Louis’, prayer.
He sucked hisself in a deep breath….
Here we go.
“Father God?” he queried,
“Father God?” he asked once more.
What in the hay?! The world right then stopped, jest like that, the ol’ recommisioned schoolhouse clock I give to Mama last Mother’s Day, the one havin’ only a minute hand, it stopped in it’s travels. I’m certain of it.
What in the Good Lord’s Heaven jest happened there?!
Lawton, or was it Louis, jest scooped up his fork and knife and head down, began his slicin’ and dicin’ of the most delicious to date catfish we Goodwells, we ever had set before us!
Father God? Amen!