It's no secret that going to town is not my favorite thing to do, or that I like shopping even less. Even so, every couple of weeks it's a necessary evil and yesterday was bite-the-bullet day. Avoiding the axle-deep ruts in the driveway was pretty exciting on the way down, and coming back up later was even worse. Fishtailing from side to side on the slope, wheels spinning, I wasn't sure I wasn't going to need 4WD, but made it okay. Shortly after unpacking my purchases, my milk-and-egg customer drove up (I'd forgotten he was due). I'd no more than said hello when he asked if I had a mattock. Of course I have a mattock, what good farm wife would be without? This goodhearted man took said tool and, without another word, went to work on the driveway. It's a long, steep driveway and deeply rutted on both sides. An hour later, just before sundown, dripping sweat and panting, my customer put the mattock away and came to the door. I was trying to express my gratitude, planning to at least comp his milk and eggs, when he said, "Just pay it forward." I will try.
February 10th was my dad's birthday and he was on my mind much of the day. My mother had a volatile personality, but my father was a quiet constant in my life. A sharecropper's son, Daddy left Texas and never looked back. He was a "townie" through and through, a natty dresser and always wore a suit and tie, even at the beach. I think he may have owned one short-sleeve sports shirt, but I don't remember ever seeing him wear it. I often wonder what he'd think of my current lifestyle, but probably best I don't know. He died on my 40th birthday and I was privileged to be with him that day. It seemed so fitting: he was there when I came into the world, and I was there when he left.
It was a good day.