Monday, June 2, 2014

Those cotton pickin' days

The fields were white with cotton ready to be picked. Before this date arrived mother was
busy making the sacks for it. They would buy yards and yards of the heavy ducking material used
for them. She would measure the length needed for each member. The sacks had extra
layers of fabric on the bottom in order to withstand the dragging it up and down the
long rows.

This is was going on long before I was born but afterwards I can remember
running up and down the rows playing. That abuptly ended one year when she made me
a short sack, I doubt she had to add any extra layers on the bottom for me though.
We would get up very early in the morning in order to get as much cotton picked as we could before
the scorching sun came up bearing down on us.

Daddy had put a wagon at the end of the rows and when you had picked your sack full
you would take it to the wagon where it was weighed and the amount recorded. Two reasons
for that, one you needed to know how much cotton was in the wagon because you took it
to the gin where the process there took out the seeds. It was weighed upon arrival and it
was good to know how close your figures were to theirs. The other reason was there
was a certain amount of competition going on, maybe not with family members but with
friends who were working their own fields. I can remember hearing some 'brag' about
how much cotton they could pick in a day.( I can think of a few other things I'd rather
brag about).

When the cotton was taken to the gin, you would wait your turn in line. Can you imagine
waiting in line sometime for hours,with wagons and a team of mules pulling them in
front of you? Makes me feel a little bad about complaining about standing in line at
Walmart. It was not unusual for two farmers going to the gin at the same time to
start racing to get there first. I hope this was all done in a good natured manner. Meanwhile
back at the farm another wagon had been set up so as not to hold up production. The cotton
needed to be gotten out as early as possible because a hard rain could beat it down and
a lot could be lost.

Somehow, my eyes doesn't get all teary thinking about those days being in the past.

Proverbs 20:4
The lazy man will not plow
because of winter;
He will beg during harvest
and have nothing.

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