I never told Bayno when Mama was going to make fried chicken. If I didn’t say anything, then all the cracklings in the pan would be mine. When the chicken was brown and crisp, I would take the spatula and press it against the bottom of the skillet and scrape the cracklings out of the grease, and when they were cool enough, I’d pour them into my mouth.
That summer was different from other summers even though the garden was the same. All its blooming and growing meant a good harvest along with back breaking work. Sometimes I’d stand in the middle of a row with both hands pressed into my back, my hands making a V and I would bend backwards and listen to all the bones popping and feel the muscles stretch so much they hurt. But with the sun beating down, I’d set my jaw and finish the row no matter if I was weeding, hoeing, or picking.
This post was submitted by Julie Eger.