As I was walking the dogs early one morning I passed a small grey Ford Ranger truck that was parked by the roadside. This little truck had been well used, the paint well worn but the memories of a wonderful Irish Granny came flooding back when I saw what was stacked high in the bed of that truck. There were bales of fresh hay, maybe eight or ten in all. Such a simple picture that said a thousand words.
I can’t be sure exactly when it was but I do know I wasn’t more than 15 years old I was in the car with my parents and grandparents heading to the next big town (compared to where we lived) called Galashiels to do some shopping.
I was in the middle of the back seat with Granny and Papa on each side of me. I enjoyed the 30 minute drive, I loved to look out of the window and see the sheep in the fields, the horses grazing. On occasion we would recognize a neighbor’s car that had been to where we were bound. I always enjoyed listening to the conversations between my parents and Grandparents. I loved to be in the company of Granny and Papa. Granny was born in Northern Ireland; she was a wonderful person, someone who was pure and good in every way. She had character, innocent, funny and very superstitious.
This one particular Saturday afternoon as I was watching the road ahead, I thought I heard spitting. I didn’t pay too much attention to it until a few moments later I heard the sound again. My eyes quickly glanced toward my Mom who was in the front passenger seat, nothing to indicate the sound and then I heard it again for the third time and as I turned toward granny I caught her. She did it again, three short spits on her right tall finger, you know the one people use to make a rude suggestion to the driver who cuts you off. Spit, spit, spit, real fast.
I wasn’t quite sure if I had seen what I saw. I sat very quiet like for a little while until granny did it again. I could not stand it anymore I just had to ask as it didn’t make sense to me. It was no big deal to her it was just second nature to spit three times fast on the tallest finger.
“Granny, why do you do that?” I asked. Her simple answer was “I saw a lorry with hay on it”. I turned my head around to look out of the back window of the car to see what she meant and she was right there was a lorry that was hauling bales of hay. Still not clear to what she meant she proceeded to explain that every time she sees a lorry that is moving with bales of hay she spits three times fast on that famous finger and makes a wish.