Friday, February 20, 2015
The Run-Away Wagon
Reading my last post I realized that sometimes my mother comes off as a bit of a flake. She was actually the most intelligent person I have ever known. By the same token my mother-in-law was the wisest.
As with many extremely intelligent people my mother did not always exercise her wisdom. Now my mother-in-law was also very intelligent but she had been pretty much on her own since she was a small child. She learned to rely on her wits and she was good at it.
She could size up a person immediately upon meeting them. She was always dead-on accurate in her assessments.
Mom knew exactly the right way to handle a situation. Instinctively she did what needed to be done with no muss, no fuss. I admire that so much.
Mom did not have an easy life. Her parents died when she was too small to really understand what death meant. Add to that the fact that nobody ever told her that they had died and she was a hurt little girl.
But she learned to not only fend for herself she took care of her older brothers and sisters as well. She and my mother were both remarkable women.
But she did have moments of flakiness just like the rest of us.
Mom's older children were going to school before most people had cars. They usually walked to school or someone would hook up a team of horses and drive them or pick them up. When that happened they took or picked up every child and delivered them to where they were going.
After Mom died we discovered a lot of history books. The family is actually mentioned in at least two of the books that recorded local history.
One day Mom had been running errands and decided to pick the kids up after school. It was a nice crisp fall day.
After dropping off all the children who were not hers at their homes she headed for her home with my oldest brother-in-law riding with her.
Somehow the horse got away from her. She and my brother-in-law were in a runaway wagon!
I have a picture in my mind of the ordeal. Mom would have been ordering my brother-in-law to lie flat on the bed of the wagon as she frantically tried to figure out how to stop the horse.
The horse was running as fast as it could finally leaving the road. It ran on and on as runaway horses will do.
Mom finally laid down flat too. The horse was run straight toward the trees. The wagon could hit one and she and her son could be seriously injured if not killed.
There was a huge jerk as the wagon came to a sudden stop.
The horse had run between two trees. They were not far enough apart for the wagon to go between them.
It did go part way. Then the wagon was stuck tight, really tight. But it did stop.
Both my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law escaped with no serious injuries. They were mightily shaken though.
And they now have their names in history books.