Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fiction: The Ordinary Love of Dixie and Jay

Welcome to Friday Fiction which is being hosted this week at Yvonne Blake's blog: My Back Door.

My story this week is based on my grandparent's relationship. I heard many stories of their early years and the love they shared in the 1930's. This was my fourth entry in the Writing Challenge at FaithWriters, and it finished seventh in the Beginner's level. I was thrilled! I hope you enjoy it.

The Ordinary Love of Dixie and Jay
By Dee Yoder

“He’s got those hounds out again and he’s looking for someone to trade with,” complained Dixie.

Dixie had given in to Jay when his Dad died and his mother couldn’t care for their farm alone. Living in her mother-in-law’s house, playing second fiddle, was not easy for a newly-wed girl of nineteen.

And Dixie worried over every little thing Jay did. She wasn’t happy when he went coon hunting because he stayed out all night. But when he didn’t have any “shenanigans” brewing with his friends, she grumbled that he was underfoot too much.

Right now she was standing at the kitchen window watching Jay gather up his latest batch of hunting hounds, which he planned to trade with Ike York for a gun.

“Dixie, he’ll probably get what he wants in the trade and then that’ll be one less thing you’ll have to buy. He’s pretty good at it. Don’t worry so much.” Her mother-in-law said.

“Uh huh, and then next week he’ll be trading something else, and then something else, and it will never stop. I wish he’d put as much thought into our marriage as he does those old dogs.” She threw down the dishtowel and stomped to the door.

Jay turned her way as the screen door screeched open and grinned when he saw her on the porch. “Honey, I’m going to out-trade that York fellow this time and come home with the grandest gun you ever did see!”

“Jay, why do you have to go on out there tonight? You know I’d planned to fix supper in a while. I plucked that mean rooster this morning and he’s all but jumping into the dumplings right now. By the time you get back, the gravy will be like wallpaper paste.”

“It’ll be the best tasting paste I ever did eat, too, Dix.”

He walked up onto the porch and tried to kiss her on the neck but Dixie pulled angrily away. She turned on her heel to head back inside as he landed a flat slap on her backside. He laughed. “Dixie girl, if I didn’t take to you so much, I know I’d have to drop you like a hot potato; you’re just that grumpy.”

He called the dogs to him and went whistling on down the road.

As Dixie watched him go, part of her longed to be right beside him. His old brown coveralls were grimy from the dirt he’d been eating while he was down under the ancient tractor he worked on every morning to get it to start. His work boots kicked up dry Kentucky dust as he walked. It puffed behind him like smoke with each step. The back of his neck was burnt to a crisp and his soft black hair was ruffled out under his cap.

She sighed. She didn’t always want to, but she couldn’t stop herself from loving that fellow. For an old country boy, he could sure be romantic.

She thought back to their wedding just the Christmas before. He’d asked her to marry him, and had gotten the license and the minister all in one week. They’d married on Christmas Eve at midnight, and rode to their new home in a borrowed hay wagon he’d filled with warm, fluffy quilts.

She frowned as she thought of his rowdy friends and the belling they’d given them later. They’d carried Jay off into the woods and he hadn’t gotten back to their little house until nearly three in the morning. He’d come in shaking the snow from his hair, smiling at his friend's teasing.

That was just the beginning of her troubles with him and his ornery pack of friends.

One day, she‘d found him and his pals down at the milking gate, flirting with Mary Wade Hess. She’d lit into him the minute they got home, and was so angry with him that she’d taken her belt off and made to hit him. He’d caught her wrist and rolled her down onto the bed, laughing all the while.

She shook her head. She couldn’t best him no matter how she tried and she couldn’t stay mad at him either.

They’d shared sweet memories in these few short months, and she prayed there'd be many years of memories, too. But, if she could help it, no more with that flirt Mary Wade Hess.

She smiled as she dropped the chicken into the pot. Jay would be home again soon and she’d better be ready. With him, she just never knew what might happen next!


Hoomi said...

My grandparents told similar stories, and I wish I'd recorded them. You did a wonderful job of sharing this one.

Yvonne Blake said...

I love this...and even more that is about your grandmother.

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

I love this "snapshot" of life. It seems so ordinary, which makes it believable, and yet you've brought the characters and events to life, and made me want to know even more about them.

Anonymous said...

Tender family memories are always a precious gift to be shared with others. I once had a relative that devoted his life to dogs and coon hunting. The dogs were nice, but I went on one coon hunt and it was one of the most boring nights of my life.

Unknown said...

I love this. Your storytelling abilities really shine.

Joanne Sher said...

Wonderful characterization, and, like others have said, even more delightful knowing it was your grandparents - and that it was so early in your WC "career." :D

Patty Wysong said...

WONderful Dee!!
You have such talent with these period pieces! I looooove them!

Julie Arduini said...

You made an "ordinary" love just shine. I loved knowing it was your grandparent's story. Great job!

Laury said...

I love this story! I felt like I was just introduced to a piece of your past.