‘Take Care of What We Have’
My grandparents had a small farm off Highway 74. My Pap-paw raised cows, pigs and guinea chickens. I always thought the guinea chickens were really ugly, but came in handy for Sunday dinner. The farm had a pond that was full of bream. I could snatch them right out of the water with my cane pole.
After four or five fish, I would revert to my favorite sport — skimming rocks across the water. Most of the time I only got three to four skims on the water, but once I hurled a stone that skipped seven times. I could not wait to tell my Pap-paw. He had the biggest smile on his face and said, “Nicky, don’t fill up my pond with rocks.”
Pap-paw was continually working on the barn. He had a gallon bucket with nails he had pulled out, most of which were as crooked as a snake. My job was to take a ball peen hammer and straighten the nails. Pap-paw promised me a penny for every 10 nails I would straighten. After straightening about a dozen nails, I asked Pap-paw why he did not just get some new nails. Pap-paw looked at me with the most endearing smile and said, “Nicky, God only made so many nails, we have to take care of what we have.”
I continued to straighten over a dozen nails. Pap-paw gave me a quarter. I have never forgotten that day with my Pap-paw.
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