Southern Superstitions – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
Tears filled June’s eyes, as she watched the strawberry fields become lakes. They sat on their front porch and looked across what were once their strawberry fields into an immense span of nothing but water as far as the eye could see. Still, Andy refused to leave the farm. “If the river gets too high, we have the tractor and the dump truck. We’ll be able to ride out on one of them, if it gets to the point where we have to leave. God will spare us. Our berry crop may have gone under, but we won’t have to leave our farm. Taking a loss on the strawberries is heartbreaking, but we can claim the loss.” June spoke in a firm voice as though she dared Myrtle to say different as her mother took a seat in the porch rocker. Andy leaned back in the swing and placed an arm around June’s shoulder. “Ed told me the people loaded onto the National Guard truck for evacuation endured a hot, cramped, long, tiring ride, as well as unbearable sights. They were jam-packed into the back of the truck like sardines in a tin can. The truck continuously stopped to load other occupants, making the progress to higher ground slow, to say the least. Homes and businesses were flooded with water up to their roofs in some areas. People could only hope and pray the homes they left behind would not end up the same way.”… “I heard about it on the news,” Myrtle interjected. “A bulletin informed people about the different locations. I told you we’d have bad luck from that black cat. It was bound to happen sooner or later.”
Andy and June have known each other since they were kids attending the same school. June had always had a crush on Andy but never knew he had one on her too. They have finally been brought together due to him being a strawberry inspector/grader and June and her mother Myrtle being strawberry farmers. It became a match truly made in Heaven.
On their way into town to have their strawberries inspected and graded, a black cat crossed in front of them. Myrtle, being the superstitious person she is, declared bad luck wasn’t far behind and she was right when Andy downgraded her strawberries leaving a bad taste for him in her mind. Andy on the other hand, decided he wanted June and the only way to have her would be with her mother’s consent and blessings. To receive these he would have to endear himself to her. This task actually became fairly simple since Myrtle had always been disappointed that June wasn’t the son she had always longed for.
Growing up in the Georgia, I know how stubborn superstitious people can be and no matter what you say they will always cling to their beliefs. Myrtle was like that. She was a God fearing, religious woman who believed that everything happened for a reason known only to God but she also believed that a lot was pure luck – good or bad. In Southern Superstitions June does everything possible to convenience her mother that luck has nothing to do with life, God does. Myrtle, on the other hand, blamed the flooding on the black cat. She also blamed everything else that happened over the years on that same black cat. But when tragedy really struck bringing an unplanned separation of June and Andy, Myrtle finally understood that only God will listen to our prayers and supply us with the ‘luck’ we need to survive.
This is such a beautiful story of love, compassion, life, strength and belief. It takes a strong person to endure what June went through and still keep her faith and belief. May we all have the same trust in God that June had.