Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gladys and Slim an Easter Story

A long time ago when Gladys was a divorced single mom she met a very tall cowboy. He talked slowly, he walked slowly and he thought slowly. No he was not dim witted he just mulled things over before he spoke. He was born into the wrong century and didn’t really care for new fangled things like telephones and televisions. He lived in an old rock ranch house that was built sometime around the time the earth cooled. His abode was often visited by rattlesnakes and opossums. He would just scoop them up in the snow shovel he kept on the mud porch and carry them out as far as he could then toss them. Sometimes if the rattlesnake was too mean or too big he would kill it but most of the time not. He only killed the things he would eat and had a freezer full of venison, duck, rattlesnake and javalina.

It was getting close to Easter time and Gladys started assembling an Easter basket for her little girl. She got the bright idea to also assemble one for the tall silent cowboy. She bought chocolate rabbits, water pistols and cap guns; because nothing says Christ has risen like weapons. She stuffed hay in the bottom of a couple of handmade baskets she bought at a garage sale and filled them full of her Easter booty making sure to stick several pistols in each basket. She then baked a batch of cinnamon rolls and a green bean casserole to take to the church Easter luncheon.
Easter morning Gladys and her daughter got dressed up in their pretty new Easter frocks and gathered up their pot luck fare. They heard Too Slim pull up in the drive way and ring the door bell. Gladys had been brought up that you dress a certain way for Easter Service. Even though you wore “church clothes” to church every Sunday you had special clothes for Easter Sunday. This meant that the cowboys and farmers would actually wear a suit not just a clean pair of wranglers and wipe the cow poop off their boots. The women would either sew or purchase a new outfit from the local haberdashery and even wear a hat. The church they attended was a small town church where Too Slims parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, first cousins, second cousins and neighbors attended. Gladys was trying extra hard to adhere to the standards of the community.

Gladys opened the door to see Too Slim standing there looking like he was about to go feed the cows. Pearl snap faded denim shirt, well worn jeans and dirty boots. “Are we going to go by your place so you can change” Gladys questioned as she looked Too Slim up and down. “Nope, I figure Gawd don’t care what I’m wearin on the outside as long as what I’ve got on the inside is good” Slim answered. She and her daughter double checked their frocks and hair they loaded their goods up in the truck and started on their way. “WAIT” Gladys screamed. Too Slim fearing he was about to hit a dog or something slammed on the brakes. His dog Ned riding in the back began to bark and raise a ruckus. “What is it” Too Slim asked. “I forgot something back at the house” Gladys exclaimed. Slim put the truck in reverse and backed up the road to the Gladys’ little cottage. She jumped out and came back with two cellophane wrapped baskets. She put them in the back seat and they headed out once again.

Once at the church Gladys realized that this was the country and many of these people were taking just enough time out of their day to say howdy to Gawd and eat some lunch before it was back to plowing and planting. She looked around and while the women had on their best frocks she imagined there would be an apron tied around their middle in less than an hour and the men had come in long enough to hear Brother Bedder Thanewe talk about the resurrection. The service ended and the congregation went out on the lawn for an Easter pot luck and social before heading back out to work. Gladys joined in with the Slim family in putting out the feast. She was just setting the chicken casserole on the table when she remembered she had not given Too Slim and her daughter their Easter baskets.

Gladys excused herself and ran to the pick-up truck. Ned sat guarding the truck waiting for his fair share of goodies from the pot luck. Gladys rubbed Ned’s ears and said “I didn’t forget you” and handed him a pig’s ear. She gathered the Easter baskets and tracked down her daughter and boyfriend. She found the two of them sitting in a circle of old men telling stories. Her sweet little daughter was mesmorized by these old men and their tales of time. Taddy looked up and saw her mother holding a couple of baskets. Slim slowly got up and introduced her around then asked “Whatcha got there?” Gladys smiled and said “Easter baskets, one for Taddy and one for you.” The corners of Slim’s mustache lifted and then a full out smile appeared. “You got me an Easter basket? I ain’t had an Easter Basket since I was about four.” He reached out and took it as Taddy had already torn into hers and had the ears bitten off the chocolate rabbit. Then Slim found the water pistol and the cap gun the grin on his face was bigger than before. The old men sitting around the circle started riffling through the basket too taking out eggs filled with jelly beans and robins eggs. There were grumbles and mumbles of
“ain’t nobody never fixed me no basket. I always had to steal the candy from the youngins. Hey lookie here some of them there chewy bears and worms.” The next thing I knew there were water pistol fights between Slim and Taddy and Grandpa and Uncle Joe.

It was a sight to see what with all the cowboy and Indian playing going on between a bunch of old real cowboys and farmers. So maybe the real point of Easter isn’t egg laying rabbits and how much candy we can consume. It isn’t about who is dressed nicer or even what you wear. Instead maybe it’s all about the celebration of life.

Happy Easter Y’all.

9 comments:

Queenie said...

Amen Gladys. My boys (40, 35, 31, 28, and 25) all still demand Easter baskets!

Ms Martyr said...

What a wonderful story. I especially liked Slim's viewpoint on dressing for church, although I too was raised to try to look your best for God. Happy Easter, Gladys.

Tatersmama said...

I loved this story!

When Slim said "“Nope, I figure Gawd don’t care what I’m wearin on the outside as long as what I’ve got on the inside is good”
I burst out in tears!

Thanks for sharing this... and I hope you have a Happy and Blessed Easter!

Bob said...

Wonderful story!

It's probably too late now, but it's still worth mentioning that boys (no matter how old they are) should always be required to refill their water pistols in the kitchen, never in the bathroom.

Onedia said...

Love the story, when is the book coming out?

I remember those types of events from my childhood.

O.

Girly Stuff said...

Very good...you made his day!!

And thanks Bob for the advice...since I have 2 boys!

Suzy said...

Your post reminded me that the last guy I almost married made me an Easter Basket and I hadn't had one since childhood. He took pictures of me and I swear it's the most beautiful I've ever looked. Why did we break up again?

Katherine Aucoin said...

Loved the story!

I still like getting Easter baskets. For me it's finding that new tube of Maybelline mascara that says it's Easter!

Hope you had a wonderful day.

Cher said...

Sorry. I never got past "nothing says Christ has risen like weapons". I'm still laughing and it's hard to read the rest through the "funny tears"!

The Texas Woman