How dirty they were
to the way they lived.
Dirt behind ears only counted
on the day after a bath.
After that it was expected!
The chairs were not good ones. They were salvaged from a family dump close to the house. Legs had been wrapped with twine and then lacquered to make them hold. The backs were missing rungs. Paint was a distant memory. But at least they had enough for the whole family and they could gather around the table for a game of cards or pull up to the stove for warmth in the winter. It had not always been so and they did love their chairs. They guarded their safety and treated them gently.
That was the reason that a visit from Buzzard presented a problem. Buzzards girth was equal to that of the dirty pigs in his back yard. The fact that he was a short man added to the impression that he was as wide as he was tall. His head appeared small in comparison and no amount clothing really covered all the necessary places. One visit from Buzzard a week could leave them without any chairs in a very short period of time.
They actually had one soft chair that Donny used when he whittled on the front porch. Buzzard came to call one day and Donny took a gamble and offered him the chair. The chair now sits behind the barn the springs flattened and the arms pushed out.
Anna, unlike Donny, did not offer Buzzard a chair. She and the two children were very vigilant. If they saw him coming, they ran inside and hid the chairs in the two back bedrooms. When Buzzard arrived the only piece of furniture left in the kitchen was the table and the wood cooking stove. It always surprised him which always surprised them. They just kept thinking he would get used to the chairless house and he kept thinking they must get tired from standing up so much. Buzzard needed to ‘take a load off’ every few minutes. He had even suggested they do what he and Edith had done. If you took the firewood before it was split, you usually could find a few good sittin’ stumps in the pile. Sittin’ stumps were really good…they didn’t collapse and never went flat. Anna and Donny just nodded their heads thinking it was very temporary solution. You have an idea there Buzzard, they would say.
So when Buzzard and Edith went to the store or to the church social they would always pass the word about Anna and Donny’s chair situation. Anna’s mother would cringe when she saw them coming. A conversation with the Boyly’s was hard enough without it being about her wayward daughter and the no chair kitchen situation. Mrs. Oona Eriksson thought the omission of a chair or two was the least of Anna problems.