Editor’s note: The following is a chapter from the manuscript titled “Ole Mean Carrie Buck,” written by Thomas Buxton of Columbia, S.C. The manuscript is based on interviews with his mother, Carrie Miller Buxton, about her life in Blowing Rock in the middle of the 20th century.
Tom and Ludie bent over backwards to meet my every need. We begin every day with a devotion from Billy Graham’s book, and I absolutely love bird watching at their big living room window! It’s amazing how many beautiful birds God has made to brighten our lives!
Weather permitting, we get out every day for a “buggy ride.” I especially enjoy strolling along the canal area in my wheelchair. Tom and I think that’s the most beautiful part of Columbia.
In the evening, we read a chapter or two from the Bible and enjoy discussing the things that are most important in life — the application of scripture to our everyday lives. The children tuck me into bed every night just across the hall from their room. Their bedroom door is always open, and the light stays on it the hall all night.
I have a bell on my bedside table that I ring anytime I need anything during the night. So far, I’ve only rung it once. Tom or Ludie will say, “Now, Mom, if you need anything in the night, just ring your bell or holler for us!” I usually reply, “Well, I don’t need another thing in the world. I’m suffering from pure comfort!” They get a kick out of that!
Tom and Ludie actually fret over me like a mother hen over her chicks. They’re constantly telling me, “Now, Mom, don’t you try to get up out of that chair and walk by yourself yet! You’ll have to be stronger before you try any such thing as that1 The last thing any of us needs is for you to fall!”
That is so ironic in light of what happened last week. We had driven 30 mile up the road to Prosperity to have lunch at the Back Porch Restaurant. The homemade bread is well worth the drive! We had been lucky to find a parking place directly in front of the restaurant, which has a large picture window at the front, just off the Main Street sidewalk.
After enjoying a wonderful country meal and mingling with several patrons from the rural community, we returned to the car. Tom unlocked the door on the passenger side, and Ludie was helping me with my cane onto the front seat. She said, “Carrie, honey, don’t you think you ought to turn around and sit down?” All the while, she was holding my arm.
Well, I sat down alright, but not on the car seat! There I was, sprawled out on the pavement with half the population of Prosperity wondering what on earth was going on! I was wondering the same thing myself, as, no doubt, were Tom and Ludie! It was good that I have short legs and didn’t have far to fall!
A broken leg or hip would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Fortunately, the only thing injured was our pride! Tom remarked, “Can’t you imagine the reaction of my brothers and sisters if I had to inform them that Mom had fallen off the sidewalk in Prosperity and broken her hip?” His life wouldn’t have been worth a plug nickel!