Mississippi summers are not only hot, but muggy. Days like today make me glad that we have air conditioning. Unlike the days when my mother's folks sharecropped other's land. Now they owned their own. Little good the air conditioning was doing this youth outside.
I finally understood why we were called rednecks. My neck was burning. It must be scalded by now, I thought.
Row after row we planted. What a way for a 10 year old to spend his summer. Other kids were out doing their own thing and here I was in the middle of this field. The only fun I was having was stomping dirt clods as I went along.
Dad had done shaved my head for the summer. Easier to find ticks on me and my brother, he said. Playing in the woods was a good way to become covered in them little blood suckers. Eww, I hate ticks. Only way to get the little boogers off you is to stab 'em with a hot needle.
Dad's almost finished and I'm still a long way from being done.
"Finish planting that bag of sweet corn and we'll head out fishing," my dad announced, hoping to inspire me to complete the row.
At least thirty more feet of sun-baked earth and a sound of seeds remained between my hot, sweaty body and the cool of the shade trees surrounding the fishing hole.
He just said, "Finish planting that bag of sweet corn," I thought. He didn't say anything about finishing the row.
Quickly, I hoed a large hole and, turning to see that Dad wasn't looking, emptied the bag of seed into the newly-dug grave.
And off I went with new rod and reel in hand, smug in my belief that no one was the wiser.
A few weeks later, long rows of tiny thin leaves began to push through the earth. I double-checked to make sure I had buried the extra seeds deep enough. Sure, enough, there was no sign of the secret seeds. Until about two weeks later!
"Lance Lee Gargus! What do you know about this?"
"Um!" I replied. What could I say. There, between the corn rows, a dense patch of tiny, thin leaves betrayed me.
Part of my summer's allowance went to buy replacement seed, and a whole afternoon went to re-planting the rest of the row of corn. But most of my summer was spent listening to my dad quote, "God reveals all things in due time."
for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.