One hot July morning, when I was 7 years old, my brother and I decided we had to get to our favorite hideaway, or perish in the languid steamy south Georgia air. Now if you have ever been to South Georgia you know exactly what a July morning is like. Hot, not just warm, no breeze and your arm getting tired from swatting gnats with no relief in site from the heat or the gnats!
Now our favorite spot was a blue hole down near the Kinchafoonee creek. I could already feel the water cooling me off as I begged my brother to get ready. It is not easy getting to the blue hole. You have to cross Mr Adams' cornfields. Usually he planted 35 to 40 acres of field corn for the cows. The corn was already head high and itchy! Sometimes it felt as though the corns fodder would cut you to pieces as you ran through it.
We packed us up a few snacks. Two cans of Vienna sausage, a whole row of soda crackers, the last piece of Apple pie, a thick slice of hoop cheese and two boxes of juice. Tied it up in one of daddys' clean white cotton t shirts and set out for the bluehole.
Now about half way across the corn fields we came to Mr Adams' irrigation system. It stretched across the fields like a giant praying mantis, shining in the sun. My brother decided he wanted to rest a spell and play Hide and Go Seek. I didn't mind playing, but I never won. After a round of eenie meemie miney mo it was determined I would be the seeker. No surprise there. I never won at eenie meenie miney mo either.So I climbed up on the tire of the irrigation beast and started counting while my brother took off. He was a great hider. No matter how fast or slow I counted, he would become almost invisible. When I eventually reached one hundred, I hollered " Ready or not, here I come" without much enthusiasim. I stood still and listened. I couldn't hear a thing. It was really too hot to be running around a corn field anyway. I decided I would climb to the top of the Praying Mantis and see if I could spot the top of his head! I shimmied up the hot metal and peered over the tops of the corn. Nothing! I sat there a minute deciding which way to go when I saw a movement. There! A brown flash moving through the corn. Aha! He's not going to win this time. I jumped from my perch and took off running. I hollered " I see you". But he wasn't playing fair. I as drew closer he drew farther away. "You can't keep moving from your hiding spot" I yelled. But he kept moving away from me anyway.
I heard a rumble just as I cleared the cornfield and stumbled into the edge of the woods. "That's not fair" I yelled "I'm going home". I turned, mad and frustrated, to make my way back home when I realized I didn't know exactly which way home was. I hadn't been to this side of the field before. I started walking along the edge of the woods when I realized the wind had picked up and it was dark and cloudy. Then the first splat of rain hit. Hard.This was just great! Not only was I lost but now a thunderstorm was upon me.
I headed for the woods as fast as I could run. I didn't fancy getting soaked and knew I needed to find some shelter and the towering oak trees were my best bet. As I ran into the woods I saw a beautiful brown doe watching me. I realized that this was the brown flash I had been following. She wasn't scared of me either. She bounded ahead a few yards then turned and looked at me. I edged a little closer. Now I have seen a lot of deer but never one this close. She was beautiful. Sleek and shiny, soft caramel colored fur and large brown eyes. She bounded off again and I followed. The rain was coming down hard now. I lost sight of her. I rounded the base of a large oak and spotted her on the other side. She had stopped. I looked around and saw that the base of the tree was hollow.
I scurried over some fallen limbs and climbed into the hollow tree. I didn't see my friend anywhere, so I scooted as far back as I could go into the warm mossy hollow and curled up to wait out the storm.
I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke the sun was shining through the canopy of treetops and my clothes were almost dry. I slowly eased out of my warm bed and then I saw her. My new friend was there to greet me! She was standing just outside the hollow of the tree. I scrambled to my feet and spoke to her as she bounded off back the way we came. I followed her out of the woods and back into the edge of the cornfield. Then I heard it. "Jan, where are you?" My father and my brother were searching for me. "Over here" I answered. I turned to look back at my friend but she was gone. My brother and father stepped out of the cornfield and into view. I ran to them. " Did you see her, did you see her?" I asked. My father picked me up and hugged me tight. "You had me scared to death!" he said. I tried to explain how my new friend had lead me to safety. My brother said I had too big of an imagination. And continued to fuss at me for running off. As my father lifted me to his shoulders and turned to head home, I looked back hoping to catch a glimpse of her soft fur and big brown eyes. I knew she was there, watching me go perched high upon my fathers shoulders.
Now this is a true story. I grew up in rural South Georgia with the woods and fields as my playground and all the animals of the forests as my friends. That day was a day that I hope will be etched in my mind forever. I can still feel my fathers fierce hug and his strong arms as he lifted me high above his head.
At first I had planned on making a pillow, then I saw this adorable frame at Hobby Lobby and thought it suited the fabric and the story. It now hangs on a wall at my daughters' house.
Thank you Heather Ross for designing this fabric! It has a special place in my heart. And a special place with my daughter. I think I'll send one to my brother too. Just so I can say "I told you so."
Thank ya'll for listening to my story. It is one of my favorite childhood memories.
Also there are two more days of "the Tammy blog hop" and if you haven't entered my giveaway you may do so here.