American Pickers on History Channel yanked at my memory this week. They were pickin' one of many outbuildings that every true Southern old-timer has sitting behind his house (and beside it, and in front of it, etc.), and they came upon something unique. I don't remember the exact item, but the hosts, Frank and Mike, asked, "Where did you get that?" The man lowered his eyes and his chin and said, with all the seriousness he could muster, "At the gettin' store."
I had forgotten that phrase. My daddy had spoken that many times when he had been questioned by this over-eager youngster who marveled at whatever daddy held in his hands. I had drilled him incessantly for the scoop about a what-cha-ma-callit or a thingy-ma-bob. Where did you get this? Each time his answer remained a carbon copy of the one before. I had never thought to consider that that answer served a single purpose: to shut me up.
My drilling never halted with a single question but continued until I hoped to uncover the location of this utopia. I wanted to see with my own eyes, the treasures, the finds in this gettin' store. Where could it be and why was it hiding? I would continue to interrogate, and by golly, I would wear him down until he would let me climb into the cab of his pea-green Chevy, Doris. We would thunder down to Main Street, and we'd find the parking space dead center of the front door. I would be there. At the gettin' store.
We never took that ride, for usually, something else would grab my attention and I would forget seeing past my own fingertips. It wasn't until we would uncover the next spellbinding trinket that I would become obsessed with that mystical wonderland all over again. My query would echo once more. That store must be great, I thought to myself. I can't wait to go.
On our farm in North Georgia, there was always a chore that had to be done, a machine to fix, a garden to plow, so going didn't always fit into the calendar. Nevertheless, no matter where he went, I would tag along with daddy, always with a curiosity that held endless questions on my lips. Daddy was always patient, never became angry or aggravated with me, and, there would always be an answer.
Answers are a mystery, even to some of life's simple questions. We avoid them, dance around them, skirt them, negate them. But where daddy was concerned, there was always an answer to the eagerness of my life. He made sure of that. And maybe, he wasn't trying to shut me up after all, but rather trying to satisfy an evolving curiosity with an explanation. No matter if his answer included the elusive gettin' store, I always knew I could count on daddy for every answer, every time.
It wasn't the gettin' store, but it was one of the few outings I had with my daddy that wasn't attached to the farm. He was a man of few words, but those words formed the answers to every question I ever raised. I loved my daddy, and he loved me - more than anyone ever has or ever will.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.