The Dust Bowl

Posted: May 13, 2015 in Friday Fictioneers

Today’s picture reminded me of my grandparents during the dust bowl in Colorado. All this is true from the Percheron horses to the watering hole. I’m quite proud to be a descendant of such fine people. I hope you like them.

PHOTO PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

Clara listens to wind work fine dirt around sheets taped over the windows. Tears well. Everything is covered with grit. Plates, floors, beds, her children. Lord knows she tries but there isn’t enough anymore. Not enough water to go around or food to share. Funny, though, there’s plenty of time to worry.

Last week lightening killed William’s Percherons. Thunder cracked so violently her chickens stopped laying. The cattle are raw-boned and milk-free. She can’t go on.

William enters saying, “I’m tearin’ down the fence ’round the waterin’ hole. We’ve got water, neighbors will, too.”

Clara smiles. She can’t quit – not with a man like this.

  1. I think that’s a great piece of American writing. Just love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of feeling in this. “Quit” laying, though?


  3. So hopeful in the midst of despair–I suppose that’s what kept those people alive in those desperate times back then…


  4. This is an interesting piece and the thought that you have so many more stories from your mother is like a treasure. I hope you have notes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. plaridel says:

    i felt the emotions on your story. great story.


  6. micklively says:

    Could be a clip from the Grapes Of Wrath: well done.


  7. A delightfully heart warming tale.

    Rosey Pinkerton’s blog


  8. rgayer55 says:

    My mother told me of the hard times they went through. “We didn’t think too much about it at the time. Everyone we knew was in the same boat.” Great story, Alicia.


  9. draliman says:

    I can imagine her desperation, and then William’s optimism. Great slice of life!


  10. This is what make me hopeful of humanity.. What a struggle it must have been.


  11. Alicia,
    Strong characters and evocation. I was there in 100 words. Really great piece.


  12. afairymind says:

    A beautiful tale about determination in the face of hardship. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great tribute to human courage and spirit with a striking last line. And I learned a new word!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Amy Reese says:

    Percheron is a new word for me, too. Ah, the dust bowl, nothing feels drier and more desperate. I had that dusty feeling driving down the 5 in California. It gets very brown in the summer. You capture it well with your grandfather and his big heart at its center. There’s hope. Nicely written, as always.


  15. gahlearner says:

    This is a great story, wonderful that you wrote down these memories. The hope and love of this couple shines through, which would have made their lives bearable, and even good at times. I had to look up percheron, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jan Brown says:

    That’s beautiful–both the writing and the sentiment!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You really took me into your dust bowl and had me ready to throw in the towel. I loved that community love at the end that gave you your last sentence “She can’t quit – not with a man like this.” Just lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Margaret says:

    Nice balance – she can’t go on / she can’t quit. A powerful story of perseverance, survival and neighbourliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. subroto says:

    I guess that exemplifies what they say about hope springs eternal in the human breast. A great story of courage and fortitude.


  20. Dear Alicia,

    Thank you for sharing your heritage with us. Well told and heartfelt. You had me right there.




  21. Dale says:

    What a wonderful story though heart breaking…


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