I'd like to start by saying I am including a disclaimer with this post. I want y'all to remember that I was only 22 when I got married and I'm sure y'all did some dumb things when sowing the seeds of youth! Please do not judge me by what you are about to read...I like to think I've matured (and got even) over the years!
Act III, Scene 1
We were on the road early the next morning and when he stopped to fuel up, I was never so glad to see a Shell restroom in my life. Hallelujah, a door and it locked! We drove straight in to Crockett, but he wanted to stop by his uncle's ranch before getting a room. His Uncle Cecil was something out of a John Wayne movie. Picture Ben Johnson and Gabby Hayes all rolled into one. He had worked on a ranch his whole life and he was old! His skin looked like something sold out of jar off the Shell station counter we had stopped at. Bow legged didn't even begin to describe his walk. Too many years in the saddle prevented his knees from ever being on speaking terms again. He wore a beat up old cowboy hat, sweat rings and all, spurs tarnished from years of use. Grizzled and worn, with hands that could take a finish off a table top in 60 seconds flat, he had a smile that said he loved his life more than breathing. Never been married...a confirmed bachelor married to the horses he broke for a living. He was the baby of the family and his older sisters adored him...I did too! He served us up some coffee so strong that it stood on its hind legs and barked. When we told him we couldn't stay long, that we needed to find a room for the night, Uncle Cecil said he wanted to make arrangements for a special dinner that evening so I could meet the rest of the family and with a okay to that, we hit the road again.
This time, my cowboy found a nice modern place to stay for the night and I felt like things were starting to smooth out. Around noon, he said he thought he would run over to a cousin's and see if dinner was still on. He thought I might like a little time by myself to rest and get all spiffed up to meet the family. At one, I was enjoying my solitude, but by four, I was beginning to have my doubts. When five o'clock rolled around, I knew I would be dining out of a vending machine. That's when I noticed he had a "bottle" packed in his suitcase and I thought that would be perfect to wash down a Butterfinger supper...just a few sips to relax me...what would be the harm? By the time six arrived, I could have cared less what time it was or if he was even coming back....party of one in room 126! I had managed to "sip" half that bottle down and was feeling no pain...chocolate and Jack make a really good cocktail!
When he came tooling back around seven, I decided to get even and hide! I went into my favorite room...the one with the lock...and did just that...locked it! When he couldn't find me, he tried the bathroom door. By that time I was half passed out on the floor in front of the door! He couldn't get it to open and I wouldn't unlock it. Even if I could have, I don't think he would have been strong enough to push the door open with my numb body blocking it. He started in apologizing about how time had got away from him. I didn't want to hear it and fell asleep! As he tried to explain it to me the next day, seems that his cousin had just made a pot of butter beans and he stuck around to eat his share. Oh well...Of course I could see how that would take precedence over a honeymoon! Nothing will deflate an ego quicker than playing second fiddle to a legume!
It also seemed that in keeping with the "party theme", ol' Cuz had made a quick trip to the local bootlegger for jugs of shine! Not wanting to appear ungrateful for not joining in the toast to himself, they must have toasted 'til all those mason jars were empty and they weren't!
When I awoke the next morning on the cold hard tile, at first I couldn't quite remember why I was there. Then it all came back!
Looking back now I ask myself two questions. One...I married him why? Two...how did we ever manage to have children?
(to be continued)