Gourd is the name given to the hollowed arid covering of the fruit in the Cururbitaceae family. This native curious looking African plant may just be the oldest plant domesticated by two legged mortals. The uniquely peculiar pumpkins were said to be the inspiration for the shape of current contemporary clay pottery. Ha, say that quickly three times! The dried fruit can be used for bowls, bottles and instruments both stringed and drums that are typically found in the Caribbean. Birdhouse gourds can be seen scattered all over the USA accommodating the lodging requirements of the royal Purple Martins. To this young Ozarks farm chicklett a nice crop of gourds only meant money in the bank!
My Granny and Pappy's farm was a short distance from ours so I spent many hours there. Being a most inquisitive child, Mama would frequently say if I asked just one more question she'd go completely nuts and be put in a straitjacket. Soon after such statements I'd be carted off to spend some 'quality' time with Granny Walden. One of my daddy's twin brothers was a bona~fide eternal bachelor who lived in the old farmhouse with my grandparents. Uncle Wilford was the more serious family man and Uncle Wilbert was the joke lovin' prankster of the two. They looked enough alike that I often said I had two Uncle Wilberts 'cause they'd have this perplexed three year old mixed up more than a movin' truckload of cement.
Toward the end of growin' season I was admiring the wonderful shapes and colors of Granny's gourds reaching up toward the heavens clinging to her white picket trellis. That's when Uncle Wilbert approached this gullible juvenile gal announcing that, "ya know,them gourds grow money inside 'em." Even though I always was and am an easy mark, I AM from the Show~Me~State and I desired, requested and demanded proof stomping my tiny feet and jumpin' up and down with excitement of a pirate who has just found a treasure. Uncle Wilbert slowly pulled out his trusty pocket knife that castrated calves, scraped manure from his boots then used to split a candy bar and gently carved the gourd in his hand revealing a bright shinny nickel. Ahhh, there is was shinnin' in the sun! I felt the spark in my big browns, my heart pounded with excitement as I developed my plan. Granny thought nothin' about my questions concerning harvesting and preparing gourd seeds or even the inquisition of planting the dried embryos. Heck, the woman was a saint and even helped me harvest and dry the seeds at her house. This just may have been the beginning of my OCFD (Obsessive Compulsive Flower Disorder).
Spring had arrived and I carefully planted my cash crop around the foundation of our large back porch using my trusty blue plastic shovel. Mama thought nothin' of my enterprising bustle as I was always diggin' in something. Later that spring Mama and I boarded the Santa Fe Red-nose train for our annual trip to visit my maternal grandmother in Albuquerque for several weeks. I can still vividly remember that astounded flabbergasted look on Mama' face upon our arrival home. The home we could barely enter due to the vines that were carefully strung up and secured to the porch roof by Daddy who was under the impression Mama must of planted 'em. The vines that were goin' to supply this youngen' with enough nickels to fulfill any farm chicklet's dreams. Fort Knox eat your heart out! I'd never need to ask Daddy for a nickel to buy a candy bar or bottle of cream soda again. Mama would not be bothered by my request for more change for the nickelodeon (early jukebox) to feed my love of a good song. Yes, this self sufficient industrious child could pick the number one hit song in 1955 and sing along with Teresa Brewer, "put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon, all I want is lovin' you and music, music, music!!!"
I am a fun loving farm wife.
A modern mother and a gleeful gardening Grandma of eight.An A-type personality with an artful flair.
A primpy person who can also sling manure with the best of 'em.
I am a unique creative creature of God.
I am blessed!!!