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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, July 04, 2008


There is a line that I have heard many times in everyday life and even a few times in the movies – albeit old ones. The line is: “Now wait just a cotton-picking minute!” It seems to me that I heard Jimmy Stewart use it a few times in old movies. It started a thought process in my mind that made me wonder just how a “cotton-picking” minute related to a regular minute.

I was born and raised to the age of 6 on a poor dirt farm in rural northeastern Mississippi and I remember that we mostly raised or grew what we had. And I remember the family raising cotton, not a lot because the farm was only 80 acres. I recall not long before we left the farm that I was starting to do a little “practice” picking of cotton and in another year of two it would have gotten serious.

Perhaps this lack of real cotton-picking experience left me with a defective perception of what a minute was, or possibly changed to, during the picking operation. I have come to believe that a cotton-picking minute was much longer than a regular one. This conclusion occurred to me during a session of picking berries because a berry-picking minute seems much longer than a regular one.

Picking berries is tedious and a bit hard on the back but has the advantage over picking cotton in that one can taste a berry every now and again – just to check for ripeness, of course. Tuesday still found me waiting on UPS to pick up the defective TV to haul back to Dell, so I finished picking the driveway berries and just hung around the house. “Brown” finally showed about 2pm and I was freed at last.

We had a friend couple over for supper on Wednesday so most of the day was spent cleaning up the place to be presentable to company – inside and out – and preparing the eats. We got the place spiffied, the eats ready and just had time for a shower – good thing! Our meal for the evening was tostadas and for dessert was “blueberries in the snow” – made from berries grown on the place.

I consider one of the many joys of life to be conversing with good friends and sharing smiles, it was a very good evening all around. God is good, all the time!! ec



I enjoyed your post. It brough back memories of my childhood. When my Mom and Dad used to pick cotton, I was too young. Since reading your post, I have given some thought to that "cotton-picking minute." I think you are on to something. My husband picked about two gallon of berries this year. We are enjoying berry cobbler. I am so thankful for the things that God just grows for people like

I wanted to stop by and thank you for coming by to visit me at my blog. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope you come again soon. connie from Texas

7/04/2008 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

CTFTH - Thanks for stopping by, my older daughter lives in Texas, about an hour south of Houston. ec

7/04/2008 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie. ~~ Good post as al I haven't heard the "cotton-picking
minute" in years. Thanks for your comments and I am glad you liked the family photos. Apparently little girls talk too much. Take care,
Regards, Merle.

7/04/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I really like it when you toss around a phrase or a word and do some hard-hitting investigative work! :-)

Have a wonderful 4th!

God is good! All the time!

7/04/2008 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

Good comments.
I still find myself saying "cotton picking minute," though I haven't the faintest idea what it really means.
I always had the idea it was extra short.
Another good day at your house.
Betty G

7/04/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...


:) I think I might enjoy those 'berry-picking minutes!'


7/04/2008 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Calfkeeper said...

Green bean picking minutes are pretty long as well. So are green bean snapping minutes. It's more fun with company.

Your blueberry crop sounds yummy. Wish we had more berries around here. I am going to plant some someday...

Thanks for stopping by Dairy Daze.


7/04/2008 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

merle - I don't know about all little girls but these two girl gruntmonkeys of mine sure do - and the little boys mostly just make noise. :)

jayleigh - You may have noticed that I very much enjoy checking out sayings like that - it's just the silliness within. :)

itsboopchile - Whatever it means, it is a welcome relief from some of the coarser words we sometimes hear.

junierose - My berry-picking minutes were long today - just so hot. Berries are getting a bit few and far between but a few are still getting ripe.

calfkeeper - I remember snapping beans, shelling peas and butterbeans in my younger years at home - the minutes seemed long then too but like you say, it was more fun with company. ec

7/05/2008 01:23:00 AM  

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