Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tender Years: Riding Jenny




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson



Peeling back the layers.



Over the years, after Daddy got Jenny for his plowing, most every baby or toddler that was ever at the house sat upon Jenny's back or "rode" her.  Here is my youngest niece, Sarah's daughter, Holly, and I on Jenny at Cooks Road.  I remember Holly diving right over into Jenny's neck with her mouth wide open, like she wanted to kiss her or perhaps take a bite of her!

Jenny was always totally docile.  We no clue if she had been trained with love, or trained with beating.  I do know that Daddy only struck her once in the very beginning and then if she was tempted to eat niblett ears of corn as they went down the row, he simply lay his whip out where she could see it.

I was less than eleven here, no date is on the picture.  Guessing from Holly's size, I'd say this is in 1969.



Fast forward a few years, on 1122, in 1975, not long before Daddy would succomb to colon cancer, he had a photo shoot in the front yard with Holly and her little brother, Clay.  He was the first male in the family and was Daddy's namesake, as the Clay was short for Clayon.  Here's Clay on Jenny with Daddy.  I was fifteen and the one taking the pictures.

I was the only one who ever truly rode Jenny.  I learned the hard way that a donkey doesn't walk through a ditch, they bunch up and jump it!  I remember lying back on her and looking up at the clouds as she grazed.  I remember laying over her neck, much as Holly did, just petting her on the sides and smelling her unique scent.

Jenny was my first only "chore" for the many years we had her.  It was me who was supposed to go out and feed her and check on her water every day.  Jenny was the only "person" in my household who was still alive when I met and started dating Pete.  She was more than a beast of burden, she was a connection, through the years and the generations.  A connection from Daddy's childhood memories of cotton farming and through my life, my nieces and nephews and cousins, on to the man I'd share my life with.

What memories come to your mind as you read this?  What is something that you feel has connected the generations of your family together in some way?

Thanks for sharing!

Barbara


22 comments:

  1. In truth, the animals that live with us are part of our life and families. I think that's only normla. When a connection is created, it's a bond of affection :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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    1. Funny, but that old jenny outlasted Daddy by almost 10 years!

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  2. The memories that come to mind as I read this...the pain on my daddy's face the last time that I saw him...that I miss my daddy so very much.

    To be honest, what has connected my family over the generations, aside from love, what each of us has experienced in one way or another is betrayal. Over each generation there has been some form of very deep betrayal. But, even with that, we have the idea that we might hurt each other, but no one else is going to and get away with it. Kind of like my husband's sister beating on him, but jumping in to defend him when the neighbor kids were harassing him.

    I hope that you wanted an honest answer, though this wasn't a positive one.

    I enjoyed your post and especially the pictures. You are blessed to have so many pictures of your daddy. :)

    Have a wonderful day!

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    1. It's good you can see your strengths as well as your weakness. My husband's siblings have gone through some of the same.

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  3. That's awesome to hear about Jenny. About the only sort of thing I have that connects generations for me is an old Atlas that used to be my Grandfathers. But it was kept in the basement for so long it's smells musty and I've considered throwing it out several times. It's currently boxed up somewhere, again, in my basement.

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    Replies
    1. There is probably some way you could air it out. Sunshine and frebreeze?

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  4. My grandpa Poppy didn't have an animal like Jenny but he had a Harley. I got my first helmet when I was 4 and I would go everywhere with him on that bike!! I became his sidekick and developed the love I have today for riding. I am also missing my Daddy very much today. His dad- my other granpa went by Beans, was a farmer. He had a mule and pigs and cows. I remember being young and not see a pig in sight and he would call out SOOIIE, and they all came running out of no where for feeding time.

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    1. I have the same memories of my husband's dad as you have of your father's. Great that your grandfather started you on something that became a lifelong pleasure.

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  5. My Grandfather had a pony and trap. I loved it. What happened to it I know not. Happy days.

    Keith's Ramblings : My A-Z story features 6 neglected R words

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    1. Cool memory, nevertheless! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Great memories you shared here! I think it would have been awesome to have an animal friend like this growing up! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed your time in Caneyhead, Tawnya!

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes, it is! I'm blessed with more good than bad.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this. I love all animals.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

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  9. I grew up with so many different animals, I couldn't possibly name them all. Dogs, cats, squirrels, skunks, salamanders, ponies, chipmunks, tropical fish, horses, turtles...!!!

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  10. I've never ridden a donkey, but I love the photos. Sounds like a good chore to have.

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  11. That's neat to ride a donkey as a kid I imagine that was pretty cool.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely different from riding a horse, but yes, it was fun at the time!

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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