Keep Your Head, by Hardscrabble Farmer

Wise words for trying times from Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform:

On the wall of our bedroom there hangs an old, oval photograph of my family. My paternal grandmother Emily stands with her younger sister Hazel, eyes fixed intently on the viewer. They are wearing dresses, probably their Sunday best judging from the looks of it, my grandmother’s waist tied with what looks like a sash, her hand placed protectively on her baby brother Irvin’s shoulder as he sits on his grandfather’s lap. Her father, William sits on an empty packing crate a hammer in one hand and shoe in the other and if you look closely you can see the nails held in his lips while he posed, stopped for the moment from his task at hand.

Dennis, who would have been my great-great grandfather, is wearing a worn out felt hat that looks remarkably similar to the one Jed Clampet wore in the Beverly Hillbillies, the brim soft with age and drooping around his white halo of hair. He wore a full white beard and well patched trousers. On his faced is a satisfied smirk that looks just like mine and his large gnarled hands hold his infant grandson upright, his baby-face wrapped in a white bonnet that suggests his mother dressed him for the photograph. Based on everyone’s age it was probably taken sometime near the end of the Great War, late Summer or early Fall.

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