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Nutsy’s Mom
Profile of a Postmodern Pioneer Woman: Cascadia, 2/8/22
© 2022 James LaFond
She is tall, fit, blond and still pretty after fifty. On days when I am resting from outside work I help her with house cleaning and kitchen work. Today we went shopping for The Captain, for his birthday: blue cheese, a pack of cards, a case of beer…
She runs the house, does yard work, hauls wood when there is no hoodrat refugee to do it, gets on the ATV and hitches a wagon to it to haul rocks off the mountain for the pond wall, plays cards and supports her husband and four sons in their life choices and careers. And she sings like a country music star, sings like a silver-voiced angel at church, and in the morning, when she wakes up her mother, who she nurses, with, “Mamma,” followed by a poetic greeting or even a brief snatch of song.
“I wasn’t as good in school as my brothers—who were both brilliant. It wasn’t easy for me and I think I partially got good grades for being well-behaved. Once I had done my book report on a tape drive—way back when we had those primitive computers in school—and someone broke into my locker and stole my work. The teacher passed me and whoever stole it probably failed because my grades were not that good. I would go for help to my pretty little Asian friends.
“After going through school, then marrying The Captain and having boys, it clicked that school is much more suited for girls than boys, that it is against a boy’s nature to sit for six hours! So I home schooled my oldest and Nutsy.
“I drove them to sports constantly besides homeschooling them. I had to take a year break from the constant driving on these country roads to sports events—nothing is like the crow flies out here, it’s all a horseshoe. My Oldest wanted to keep playing football, so his father told him he had to get himself to practice and then he would pic him up on the way home from work. So he was 13 and dressed up in his football uniform and helmet and drove his bicycle on these roads. I was worried that he might get hit, but it was his choice. He would feel really good when men in trucks would drive by and cheer him on for working so hard to get to practice.
“Nutsy was involved in cop activities like theater and—although just as competitive as the other three—marched to his own music more than most. I recall it was his 13th birthday, and since we were homeschooling, I could take him out to Denny’s for his birthday breakfast. His father was just getting established in the trade and we didn’t have much money.
“I was raised in a Christian household and that was part of the reason for homeschooling, so we could bring our boys up with our values. For seven years we went to a home church between Cumberland and Black Diamond, above the Green River Gorge, right by the Ghost Town of Franklin.
“We were trying to enjoy our meal and there was this loud man, with a very imperious voice, lecturing this other man on Atheism, on why there was no God, even quoting scripture, which tells you he was probably brought up in a church family. It was getting irritating and I had to make a choice to stand up for our values in front of my son, or let him think those values were not worth standing up for.
“So I walked up to the man and said, ‘You are leading this man astray. I don’t appreciate you preaching your godless negativity to my son.’
“The man said, ‘Do you know who I am!?’
“Of course I didn’t know that he was a college professor. But he let everybody in the diner know who he was. So I turned to the man he was speaking to and asked, ‘Do you believe in Eternity? If you do, you might want to be careful about who you listen to.’
“Then the man got even louder and said, ‘You see how these Christian women are brainwashed—look what comes of them, they end up like this!’ He then said, ‘You probably believe in creation!’
“I said, ‘Of curse I believe in creation and a creator! I don’t have faith that random dust particles decided to invent molecular biology due to a random lightning strike.’
“That’s when the waitress came up to me and told me I had to sit down. When the man left there were people who clapped, who applauded his leaving, and an older couple who paid for our breakfast. [This would have been in about 2010.]
“My husband got hurt and I had to go to work while he recovered and could not home school our two youngest. My greatest hope for my sons is that they remember their upbringing, avoid being brainwashed by the media and the schools—every report my youngest son has to write is on racism and social justice—and that their life experience will lead them to conclude that the Bible points the way and that wicked politicians and corporations are here to lead us astray.”
author's notebook
The Berm
america the brutal
the first boxers
let the world fend for itself
by the wine dark sea
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