Let me introduce myself once ag’in.
This here’s Liam Goodwell. Third son o’the es-teemed and re-deemed Goodwell clan o’ Denton County, northern lands o’ the state of Missouri! (An’ if you pro-nounce my state with an’thin’ other’n a “uh” at the end, why, I’m doggoned you ain’t no native, and shore ain’t no kin!)
I been tasked by Miss Meadow, down to the school, to keep writ track o’all my comin’s and goin’s and ponderin’s. So you give me a new idea, and here I am, puttin’ pencil to paper yet one more time.
Now, you set my mind t’thinkin’. What in all my thirteen years have I been missin’ to the point o’makin’ a list so as to achieve them things?
My Mama, and my Daddy and Grandpap besides, they all taught me and all us Goodwells to count our blessin’s rather’n harp on the things what come short. A feller’s got to have somethin’ on the horizon, way I see it, so let me lick this here lead and get after it….
Liam’s Inventory of Things He Wishes Would Come to Pass (or: Things I been longin’ fer, pinin’ fer, plyin’ fer, dreamin’ on, cravin’, and let’s lay in on the line, downright covetin’!)
………by Liam Goodwell.
- I long to all o’Heaven to be saved from sin an’ when my time comes, be rescued from that ol’ boilin’ Lake o’ Fire and blessed by God and let into them Pearly Gates with open arms and have me a mansion right down the line from all the Goodwells what come before. I got me some questions. (The Good Lord’ll understand why all the rest o’ my “wish fers” ain’t necessarily Biblical. I did, after all, put Him first. I’m purty sure He’ll understand. He knows my heart.)
- I yearn beyond all believin’ Grandpap’d let me use his special “give to him by HIS Grandpap” silver workin’ tools. He’n Daddy, they make mean saddles, all decorated and shiny and slid on equines fer parades near all over Missouri and down even to Texas. (I’ll confess he give me some lesser grade tools, so I ain’t bein’ ungrateful, Grandpap, if you was to read this here.)
- I fair dream o’bein’ able to move my family, all us Goodwells and the Michelwaits and ever’body what’s kin and I claim, back to the top o’ Shiloh Mountain, right up there where I kin still see the tip tops o’ the big white family home Grandpap’s Grandpap built in the olden days. (I determined long ago we Goodwells, we be made fer the mountaintop, not dealt to dwell at the bottom. An’ Fergive me, Lord, if you sense some resentin’ in my spirit. I’m jest longin’ fer restoration. An’ to live on land what was once family.)
- I crave Mama’s chocolate cake an’ apple pie. With cheese. The pie, I mean. An’ in any order you please.
- I wish like heck (fergive me my French) big brother Lincoln would concentrate less on the rodeo and more on helpin’ out with the plantin’ and the tillin’ and the harvestin’ and the feedin’ and the buildin’ and all them things I been doin’ fer him since he won him that first big ol’ belt buckle!
- An’ I’ll ask fergiveness right up front on this here. I hope, I do know this is wrong, but the war over to Europe, an’ even the one over to Japan, don’t end ‘fore I get my chance to fight ‘longside General Patton an’ save the world, and Denton County, fer democracy! God Bless America!
- I wish my brain’d slow down to a crawl ever so often. It runs and gyrates and opinionates to who laid a chunk. Mama says she and me, we ain’t like ever’body else, we figure things ‘fore other folks. Then true, we gets a little itchy whilst they do they own figurin’. Guess what I really wish was I didn’t have to wait so long fer other’s to ketch up.
- I wish my Uncle Kenny, Daddy’s younger brother, would come back safe from over to Italy. Soon and unscathed and w’thout damages. An’ tell us stories an’ tales like he used to do. His letters stopped some time back an’ we’re chompin’ at the bit, leastways me and big brothers Lincoln and Lawrence (he’s the one what tried to run off and join the U.S.Army ‘fore he was of age) are. Mama jest commences a’hummin’ when I bring it to conversation.
- An’ there’s that fine feisty Tennessee Walker the Judge, he said’d be mine, were I to do some favors fer him an’ his crew in an’ ‘roun’ the county, visitin’ folks, pickin’ up packages and such. I don’t reckon that’d be covetousness, jest payment fer a job well done. Feels a little prickly, an’ I ain’t mentioned it none. But it IS a Tennessee Walker, purtiest steed in five counties, fer that there’s all I seen. I’ll give that there some thinkin’.
- An’ ‘thout a doubt, I hope and pray more’n near ever’thin’, more’n hope its ownself Miss Meadow down to the school approves what I writ. Fer to date, she been plumb the only member of hu-manity I let read any o’these missives. She ain’t judged, not yet an’how. An’ I do want to please Miss Meadow. She’s a lady an’ she taught me plenty, and she believes I’m worth the time. Now, bein’ a Goodwell, I know that already, and so’s most o’ the county and near ever’body beyond. But It does feel special bein’ called out fer musin’s and gifts only me an’ my Mama know we got.
That there, that’s it. Cain’t think o’nothin’ more I ain’t already got.
So, now I reckon I’ll spin t’other di-rection and get t’fixin’ to count my blessin’s once ag’in. An’ tendin’ to the horses. It’s a heap more gratifyin’!