I love my exterminator. Is that a weird thing to say? Too bad, because it's true. The semi-retired gentleman who arrives once a month to spray our home is a treasure of the past. He is the very definition of a simple country man, in the best sense. When I answered my front door yesterday he smiled and said, "Well, I guess those Russians didn't kidnap you after all," before he gave me a big hug.
I love hearing about his life. He was twenty years old before he ever lived in a house with hot running water. He remembers the first time he ever owned a pair of jeans. They came with a t-shirt and a pair of shoes. Yesterday he was telling me about the first steak he ever ate in his life when he was around age 25. They had a cow, but that was for milk and butter. His family grew wheat and tobacco and his stories of life on the farm are fascinating.
It's the little details that catch my attention. Yesterday, for example, we were talking about food and what his mama used to cook. He said for breakfast they'd often have homemade biscuits that the kids would dunk into coffee and add a couple tablespoons of sugar and that was breakfast. His daddy drank coffee out of a saucer where he'd poured it to let it cool.
I could sit and listen to him for hours. I encouraged him to write down or record his memories, but he doesn't think anyone would be interested. I disagree. I may just have to start writing down what he tells me, as memories like his are too good to be lost.
Guess who just showed up at my door with a bag full of fresh veggies? He said, "I hope you don't mind me dropping these off, but you said you liked vegetables and I picked these from the garden on Sunday and there's too many for us to eat." I now have a bag full of zucchini, yellow squash, and pickling cucumbers. YUM!!