by my friend, Ben
I saw Ira Jeffords comin’ up the holler before ma did. O’ Blue saw him too. He did. Ol’ Blue had a thing about him an’ folks. He did. An’ he didn’t take to Ira. He didn’t. I reckon Blue weren’t alone in that, cause Ira were one of them tax assessors. He were.
Ira’s job were to come around every year an’ assess your property, how many rooms were in your house an’ estimate all your personal property. It were not all that uncommon to hear that some folks had told Ira to stay offen their property or else.
Well, ma heard ol’ Blue let out a growl-like bark an’ come to see what were goin’ on. She did. Ol’ Blue headed off toward the barn as Ira got outta his county truck. He did. I didn’t dislike Ira, I just didn’t like the way he treated folks. It seemed to be well-known that Ira would cut down on his estimates for friends and relatives. It were. Pa’d heard the rumor more’n once that Ira would take money to cut estimates. He had. So I were a tad relieved that pa were at the saw mill when Ira came. I were.
When ma saw who it were, she called out to Ira an’ told him to come on up on the porch an’ have a big cold glass a sweet tea. She did. I were wonderin’ iffen Ira were prone to shavin’ assessments a little for sweet tea. I were.
Well, Ira took out one a them big red railroad handkerchiefs an’ wiped the sweat offen his face an’ told ma he’d love to have some sweet tea. He did. She asked iffen he’d like to come inside, but he said sittin’ on the porch would be fine. He did.
Ira were one of them big men what looked like they didn’t do much hard work. He were. But he still sweat a lot. He did. When he sat down in pa’s ol’ rocker, I were afraid it might break. I were.
After he sat down an’ took a big ol’ swaller of that tea, he opened his tax book. He did. He said he reckoned we still had the same number of rooms we had the last time he were here. Ma said that were right. Ma said we were savin’ up for a septic system an’ indoor plumin’ but they weren’t quite there yet. She did. Ol’ Ira raised one of his bushy eyebrows an made a note, tellin’ ma she were obligated to let the county know of any improvements. He did. Ma said she knowed that.
He wanted to know what kind of truck pa were drivin’. He did. Well, I could tell ma were a tad put off by that question, an’ she said, “Ira, I reckon you already know the answer to that, bein’s that you’re the county assessor an’ all.” She did. Ira shook the ashes offen the cigarette he’d lit onto the porch an’ I could see a little grin come over his face. I could.
Now I were ready for Ira Jeffords to finish his business an’ get on offen our property. I were. Well, about that time he asked ma iffen he could have another glass a tea. He did. Ma said she’d be glad to get him one, an’ she did. He took the glass an’ said he were goin’ down to the barn an’ check out the livestock an’ equipment. He did. Inside I were kinda hopin’ he surprise ol” Blue an’ maybe Blue’d run him off. I were.
Well, after piddlin’ around longer in the barn than I were comfortable with, Ira come walkin’ back toward the house. He did. Just as he got to his truck he said, “Come here boy an’ fetch this here glass an’ give it to your ma.” He did. I looked at ma an’ she nodded for me to get it. She did. Ira mumbled a thanks for the tea an’ said he’d send out the tax bill in a month or so. He did. With that he drove off raisin’ a cloud a dust that took five minutes to settle. He did.
I went into the kitchen where ma were gettin’ supper ready an’ I asked he how she could be so nice to someone like Ira Jeffords. I did. I were wonderin’ iffen she were afraid that iffen she weren’t, he’d raise our taxes. I were. Well, ma stopped peelin’ potatoes an’ sat down at the table. She said, “Benny, it’s a right hard lesson to learn, but we shouldn’t treat folks the way they might treat us. I don’t treat Ira the way I do to make him be good to us. I treat him the way I do because it’s right. Iffen I treated Ira the way he treats folks, wouldn’t that make me just like him? Now Benny, I ain’t sayin’ I’m better’n Ira. I’m just sayin’ it don’t do no good not bein’ good to other folks. Even the Lord treated tax collectors like everyone else. He did.” Well, I knowed ma were right, but it were gonna take a heap a work for me to like Ira Jeffords. It were.
CONCERNS: Eleanor Crush continues with chemotherapy. Mary Smith is improving each day. Jamie King, the daughter of Stephanie Dixon, is in the hospital recovering from an automobile accident. Maci Winebarger is having chemotherapy and things look good. Mike Breeding and his wife. Joanne Elder and Erma Williams as they look for employment. Alan Beach went to Mayo Clinic for a check-up. Joni Beach’s mother is about the same. Helen Nicklas is not doing well at this time. Randy Conners has a serious type of malignant cancer. Andy Arnold needs our prayers. He has stepped away from his treatment program. Roger Fisher’s nephew in Florida is about the same. Remember Wilma and Jenni Cullum. Jenni had carpal tunnel surgery last week. Also Tim Elder, the work of Health Talents International and Bread For A Hungry World, and those around the world who are trying to recover from political and natural disasters
OUR DAILY BREAD
Monday: John 8:21-47
Tuesday: Luke 22:14-30
Wednesday: Luke 12:13-34
Thursday: Psalm 51:1-19
Friday: Acts 4:32 – 5:11
Saturday: Acts 4:32 – 5:11
OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 11-16
Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133,134
If you look behind the annex you can see that the trees we wanted cut are on the ground and cut up. As soon (perhaps April 16) as we can get the log splitter here we will be preparing the wood for next year’s use. We will need folks who can clean up the hillside as well as those who can cut some trees that have been on the ground for some time. Once the hillside is clean we will look at perhaps planting some redbud trees and other ornamental small trees. Get you chain saws and other tools ready.
THE NEW COMPUTER
If the bulletin looks different this time it is because due to our DSL upgrade, we had to replace our rather antique computer. This caused the problem of getting the files we needed from the old to the new, which is not yet finished. We discovered we needed some more hardware to do that. In the meantime, it will take a while to get used to a new word processing program. So you can see the spacing is a little different but we hope to have that worked out soon.
Due to the nasty weather last Sunday and the smaller crowd we were unable to finish getting all the pictures and information we need. The directory will be assembled in the next week or so, with or without being as complete as we would like it. If you want to be sure all the information we have gathered is correct, see Erma today. The camera will be here if you want a picture taken.