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  • Writer's pictureMJ Rodriguez

Fun with my sister, Peggy

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

My sister Peggy and I always had a lot of fun. Not only did we develop and write scripts for the puppets and clowns we used in VBS and other events, but we also canned fruits and vegetables, handcrafted decorations, and sewed clothes for ourselves and our kids. We always laughed a lot when we were together.

We scoured the woods around our houses for muscadines and possum grapes to make jellies. Yum! You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten possum grape jelly! When necessary, we climbed trees and pulled down vines to reach those little round gems. We had to work hard to beat the birds and squirrels to the delicious wild fruit.

We also found numerous woodsy things to use in decorations, such as vines and dried wild plants to create wreaths and other decorations. We weren’t allergic to poison oaks or ivy and dealt with ticks and chiggers with home remedies. I learned I could wash off in the shower with pure bleach to remove those little pests as soon as I got home. Wish we had known that when we were kids and Mom took us to pick wild blackberries for jelly and juice. Oh, the torment we suffered when those tiny red monsters covered us from head to foot.

Once, Peggy and I drove down an old railroad to follow a creek, where we found large rocks. We climbed down the bank into the creek and lugged the rocks up the steep embankment to take home for décor. We were healthy and strong, and I still have some of those. (Oh, no, not muscles—rocks! )

Peggy had three girls, and I had two. One summer, we decided to walk down Scatter Creek, which crosses our property on the way to Big Creek, then Cash River. We all donned our short pants and tennis shoes, invited our wonderful neighbor lady, Lessie Cole, to join us, and set out.

The creek has tall banks but is shallow, with a few deep holes along the way. Because it is spring-fed, the water is icy. Perfect for a hot summer day. We entered the creek on our property and walked about three miles away to the bridge. It was so much fun.

Mrs. Cole was short and chubby, and we loved being around her. A couple of times, we reached a deep hole with high banks, and Mrs. Cole couldn’t swim. Peggy stood on one end of the deep spot, and I stood on the other, handing her across. She’d kick her feet and laugh until we got her across. It was so funny. We loved that little lady.

We picked up rocks of various shapes and colors, splashed, and had a blast. What a great memory.

I sure do miss my sister. I love it when I get to see her girls, Vickie, Karen, and Stacy, who have all moved away. Every child should have wonderful memories like we made with each other.

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