A Cowboy’s Faith: Mom always knows best – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Mom always knows best

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Come to the front and carry these groceries for this customer.”

While the directions to her carryout boy-wannabe cowboy seem simple enough, actuality was much more emphatic.

Mom behind the cash register checked out customers from two sides, ran the adding machine and wrote a credit ticket. All at the same time and when assistance was needed, the call was very audible throughout the grocery store.

Responding run from the upstairs stocking room far in the back of the two-front building was immediate. Or, the worker’s orders were repeated much louder with a distressed tone to the impatient voice.

That’s the way it was and employees whichever one, along with regular customers, were accustomed to such. Yet, sometimes those longtime grocery store patrons, who were always also close family friends, just had to smirk a bit.

Employees, who were in reality very highly respected, likewise appreciatively admiring their “boss,” son included, sometimes couldn’t feel the urgency. Still, it was all part of a fun job knowing everybody and where their car was parked.

“Thank you, come again,” carryout worker opening the driver’s car door expressed to the smiling nodding grocery customer.

More than 40 years since an upstairs apartment fire spread to destroy the grocery store, one of nine in town. Commonly referred to as “Laura Mae’s,” everybody in the rural community knew where that was, whether a customer or not.

All has been reflected with much more as Mom would have celebrated her 102nd birthday this week. She passed away at just 62 years old, in all likelihood partially due to heartbreak from earlier loss of the store.

Nobody would exist if they didn’t have a mom. While most children have at least some minor conflicts with parents growing up, “Mom always knows best.”

These decades gone by, Mom’s sound philosophies, congeniality, big grin, ever brasher conversation, desire to help everybody, shine on.

A poor farm girl, Mom rode her horse to teach school nine years, daily slopped hogs, milked cows, fed calves. Forced into town after Dad lost his hand in a farm accident, Mom found her calling selling groceries.

From all of Mom’s advice, the soundest: “Do whatever you want with your horses, but always keep a job.”

Reminded of Proverbs 6:21: “Don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings. For sound advice is a beacon.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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