Yeah, my wife has got some folks all down in there.
That usually means kinfolks, but not always. Sometime, simple country doings are confusing. You know, out way past where the pavement ends and across the dry creek. It's where we talk slow, think slow and move slow. Ya really think that's always right?
Now back to "my wife's folks". No, he is not blood kin to them. He may call his wife's cousin "my cousin" if he is short on cousins, a rare deal hereabouts. Someone may ask if that is his real cousin, to which he may say, "We are cousins across the table."
Folks can be used like, "Yeah, those people and I are folks." I will define folks for this man. He knows what that means, but he might falter in giving a clear explanation. Let me help please, since I haven't been short on talking lately. It is actually quite simple. Folks are people held close to you that you would be proud to say you were blood kin to. Clean enough--can't leave it like that, so here goes: aforementioned folks can be more dear to you than blood folks. Why? Because they are folks with you and don't have to be. The real folks may say of their real folks, "Yeah, Lord knows we are cousins, but I can't help it. I can't not claim him."
Once I said, "Lyndell and I are own cousins," some nice person deprived of country knowledge asked, "What's own cousins?" and I said, "Our daddies are brothers."
To add further confusion, I mean really, for instance I see Gene Parsons usually at the post office and I will say, "Well hello, cousin Wilton Gene," and he will say, "Hello there, cousin Stan." Are we folks or kin? It would be fine with me but no, we are not. To which I will once again add further confusion when I say, "No, I'm just silly sometimes. It's fun." But you know what, come to think of it, Mamma's brother Sonny Rudd married Vern Parsons and I bet if I ask Aunt...oh Lord, here we go again. Hey Wilton Gene, maybe I wasn't just being silly...
My daughter Holly is married to Joe Rendon. They have Jonah, 5, and Jolie, 2. Joe's mother is Mary Ann and his stepfather is Larry Flores. During Frances' back surgery, illness and death, this family took me in, I mean really took me in. I mean, see about Frances, bring food, come to the funeral, always inviting me to family doings. If I can't come, they send food with Holly and Joe.
Sometimes Mary Ann comes to church and brings Lexi, her granddaughter. They sit on the back. Just as church was about to start, I went out to be excused and saw Mary Ann and Lexi sitting on the back. Holly and Joe didn't come. I came back and sat with them. Later on, someone asked me about the lady and little girl I sat by. I said, "That's Joe's mamma and niece...we're folks, you know."
Stan Johnson lives and works in Nolan County. Comments about this column can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.