Fourier Analyst

Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pistol-Packin' Mimmaw...NOT!

Now we all know that every good Soap Opera series has a gun storyline in it. So this week I thought I would oblige with a true story about my maternal grandmother! Don't know what Soap Opera I'm talking about. Well you just have to tune into 'Twas Brillig and Walking Kateastrophe to find out and read the other stories that make this sudsy game so much fun!
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The Panhandle Plains of Texas is a lonely country, even in this day and age. Nighttime photos from outerspace show very little light pollution, except along a couple of major highways. Daytime driving often means miles and miles with no other vehicle on the road.

In the Depression era, this part of the state was even emptier. Farms were large and spread out and required neighbours and hired help during work-intensive periods to get various jobs done. But in-between times the daily chores were ususally managed by one man and his wife and kids. Such was the case with my grandparents. My grandmother's day was full of the kinds of chores that women these days cannot even imagine. There was no telephone or television. And at that time they only had a generator to operate the water well pump and provide electricity. No microwave. No refrigerator! Not even a gas stove! Miss Ruby, as all the folks called her, did her canning and preserving and cooking on a wood-burning stove.

At some point during this time, my grandfather had to take the cotton harvest to be ginned (have the fibers removed from the seeds and husks) and sold. He would be gone for about a week. As the time for him to leave approached he became more nervous about leaving his wife and 2 young children alone on the farm. He'd heard news from neighboring farms about drifters passing through and stealing from these isolated homesteads. A loaded shotgun was always kept behind the door in case of "snakes and varmints" (four-legged as well as two-legged varieties). But Daddy Rob was going to be taking the shotgun with him on his trip, a necessary precaution as he would be carrying cash for selling the cotton crop.

Miss Ruby was not worried. She was very independent and had traveled many a road and spent many a night alone on the farm. But the day before he left Daddy Rob came home from a trip to town with a small pistol. And argument ensued. One of few between my grandparents (that we know about anyway). Miss Ruby was not having such a gun in her house. End of discussion. But Daddy Rob was insistent. He was trying to show her how safe it was and demonstrate how to shoot it. He emptied the bullets from the pistol chamber and then showed her how to stretch out her arm and lock her elbow to steady the gun. Miss Ruby was adamant. She was not having the gun in her house. But Daddy Rob persisted. "It's perfectly safe", he said, lowering his arm, "See",and he pulled the trigger to show her how easy it was to fire.

The gun went off. One round was still in the barrel. It left a small hole through the wooden floor of the kitchen. Miss Ruby did not say a word. Neither did Daddy Rob. He left the house with the pistol which was never seen again. His trip was uneventful as was Miss Ruby's week without him. The subject of a gun in the house never came up again.

But for the remainder of the time they lived in that house, Miss Ruby refused to let him fix the hole in the floor!

11 comments:

nell said...

Ha! I love that she didn't let him fix it. She sounds like a great lady.

Kateastrophe said...

Hahaha that's so funny! She sounds awesome!

Rebecca said...

That is great that she didn't let him fix the floor!!

Becki
VoteForBecki.com

Goofball said...

wow you sure can bring a totally new world for me to life! Great story

Brillig said...

Hahahahaahahaha. I officially ADORE her. What an awesome story!!!!

Dedee said...

Love it. My parents have a hole in their ceiling for a similar reason. . .I smell another SOS coming in my world.

soccer mom in denial said...

Now I want to BE Miss Ruby. How lucky are you to have a non pistol-packin' grandma.

Thalia's Child said...

What a great story! I love hearing about strong women from the past!

Kate said...

I love it! What a neat lady Miss Ruby was! And way to not let him fix the floor . . . you go, girl! :) Thanks for sharing this with us! :)

Jen said...

Oh, I LOVED this story, FA! What fun. And I loved that Ruby never had the hole fixed. I see where you get your mettle. ;-)

Leslie said...

Ha ha! What a great story. I love it!