Histories Worthy Of Remembering.

August 17, 2010

First Love

In the middle of the year they received a visit of their uncles and grandmother. And that was reason enough for celebration, family reunion  boosted with "tutu" and crusted ham, cheese and guava, cheap wine and country music.

At that party the older boy found his first and great passion. He sat in the circle of men formed around the uncles who came from Rio de janeiro and were showing their skills in guitars. He watched astonished the hands movements creating sounds and rhythms while the uncles played together the "Bachianinha".

Realizing his interest, the younger and patient uncle decided to teach him some basic positions and rhythms, and discovered that his nephew had a real talent for music. The more the boy learned, the more the uncle felt motivated to teach.

The boy began to ask his father to buy him a guitar. As his son's passion did not diminish with time, the father ventured.

A month later, the boy came home from school and saw on his bed a old and black Gianini guitar, with brand new nylon strings, and even out of tune. 

That guitar would be his partner for hours and hours, and the very first of his future vast collection!

August 12, 2010

Coffee and Milk

The new house, near the fertilizer plant, was quite large with good neighbors.

The baker usually spent his morning delivering bread and milk at his client's doorsteps. He kept a notebook for each family that would only pay the bill later, at the end of the month.

The boys, one 12 and the other 7,  were studying in different schools, all mornings.  
The girls now played together with their new neighbors, too sisters who lived next door.

They used to wake up early in the morning to play with their "Susis" dolls, exchanging each other's doll's clothes in make-believe tea, birthday or wedding parties. As they had only one doll, each one, they didn't get confused with the trades. They also enjoyed playing hide and seek, and chop-chop-top, sometimes.

Once, they discovered that some neighbors had moved and forgot to tell the baker about it. Then, as he left the usual order on the empty house's door,
the girls did not resist the temptation. It was an adventure to secretly catch the bread and milk and use them at their parties and picnics, for fun.

Thankfully, it was almost the end of the month, because the baker took almost a week to realize that their customers did not live there anymore...

August 06, 2010

Coffee And Manure

The small town in the east of Minas Gerais was hidden in a great valley and was surrounded by many farms of coffee.  

In the rain seasons , the manure store used to have good profit. The coffee-growers have started the planting in the vast and beautiful hills, covered of rows and rows properly plowed, forming impressive geometrical drawings in the scenery.  

In the middle of May, the hills used to be green and ready for the harvest. The farms needed to employ temporary works. 

The store began to be small for so many demands. That was the moment to expand their business!  

The father, the mother and their four children moved nearby, to a little bigger and promising city, then. He went of manager of a small warehouse to the administrator of a small factory of manure. 

Now, he could buy presents, real ones, for his children in Christmas, and place them on top of their small shoes, beside their bed, pretending to be Santa Claus.  

The biggest joy, however, was when he arrived home one day in a "Brasilia", a green-avocado car, pulling the horn and inviting all for a turn in the city. 

In that day they ate ice cream in downtown, and returned home for a fresh coffee, to finish the celebration with golden key!

August 05, 2010

Dumb Without a Head

The boys grew hearing stories told by their grandfather, scare histories. The legend of the Dumb without a head was the one he repeated over and over, especially when they passed by a certain junction on the road between the ranch and the city.  

The life in the city was peaceful at those days, and the boys lived loose, playing in the streets. At times, they traveled alone, on foot, to visit the grandfather. A walk of almost an hour.  

In that Saturday, after playing all day long, they decided in an impulse to go to the ranch. The sun began to fall and they were already gone half the way.  

" Dim, It's going to get dark quickly. Do you think we'll be able to cross the junction before the night arrive? "

His eyes stared. The grandfather always said that the beast appeared at night, and killed his victims of fright. " 

Let's go faster, then! " Dim answered.  

And so it was. 

The boys gave small trots hoping to win the race against the nightfall. But, their calculations were not correct at all. 

When they arrived in the curve before the junction it was already completely dark, and only the full moon was illuminating the way. 

The two stopped there for a couple of minutes, looking for breath and courage to cross the junction, like flashes of lightning. 

Suddenly, they heard a crack in the bushes. The oldest, in a reflex, grabbed at the Dim's hand and the two of them ran as fast as they could, back home. 

They arrived there quicker than if they were driving a car!

July 08, 2010


With tight budget, they had to manage to pay all their bills, so they had no luxury. On the contrary, they were deprived of many small pleasures.  

Their clothes were home made, their special meals were sporadic and only taken at the relatives' homes. Fortunately, the demands with the children were little: public school, parties at the Church, and that was it.  

Not even in Christmas they needed much to feel happy. The children built their own toys of old and recycled materials, wrapped them up in brown paper and gave them to each other. It was a party!  

Their simple life kept going until the father's work routine changed for one month. One of his uncles, who took care of a certain farmer's business, needed to take his vacation and leave in a fishery for the whole month. So, the father was invited to substitute him. 

From day one, the father devoted himself in that farm's administration and did a brilliant work there. When his uncle returned from his vacation, things were going pretty well.  

The father returned to his old activity at the shop. Next week, he received a visit of that farm owner, who proposed him:  

"I am opening a fertilizers warehouse in the city, and I want you working for me"

"I would like that very much", the father answered. "But, I made a deal with my cousin to work for him at this shop and I have a moral obligation towards him. Unfortunately, I cannot accept your offer"  

The farmer thought a little. He would never take no as an answer.  

"Le's suppose your cousin decide to sell this shop. If that's the case, would you accept my offer?"  

"I believe so"  

A week later, the farmer returned to ask him again. Only, this time, he was now the shop's new owner. He had just bought it only to have that efficient, loyal and young man as his employee.


The boys were going well in school, though she had to help the younger frequently with his homework. He was always paying attention to his brother to copy what he was doing. The two of them were really good friends, in spite of the five years apart each other.  

The girls, one blond another brunette, were still very young for many games outside. They stayed, most of the time, in the sewing room, playing with empty reels, or swinging on the rhythmical feet of their mother, while she was moving the pedals that made the sewing machine work.  

School holidays had just started and they planned to visit grandma and the uncles in Rio de Janeiro. It was the first time they would make a trip like that, so, they were pretty excited.  

It took seven hours by bus, a long travel trying to distract four children, but it was worthwhile. 

Since the arrival at the bus station, they were dazzling with everything they were seeing in the big city. It was a show! 

They visited the "Corcovado", the Sugarloaf Mountain, the Botanical Garden, the Church of the Rock and the most famous beaches, in only one week. 

The marvellous city bewitched them and became a compulsory visit for them, every year, in every holiday.

July 02, 2010


In the following days, nothing different happened, unless inside his heart. He started to feel more relieved, confident and eager to start again.  

His wife sewing orders helped to put food on the table, and he kept doing some freelance jobs here and there. But, not long after, a new business opportunity opened for him.  

One of his cousins, who had well progressed in life , had woken up some days behind with an urgent anxiety of helping his close relative. And he had no peace while he did not offer him society in a new shop in town.  

" I have no money, cousin. I cannot accept your offer. "  

" I enter with money, you with work, period! " The cousin insisted.  

That was it. The father started working and the new shop progressed little by little. The first costumers came to buy all sort of veterinary products and received such an excellent treatment that, in short notice, all farmers around also became regular clients.  

He enjoyed working there, and had a deep gratitude to his cousin for his timely aid in a time of so much difficult in life.  

He had raised himself, and knew well that that was, above all, God's answer.

July 01, 2010


At one of those dawns, she went to the kitchen and found he was bent on the table. In his hands, some counts to pay already due.  

She sat there at his side, in silence, almost half an hour. Only then he hugged her and allowed himself to cry, for the first time.  
Then, she started to report him a history of her childhood:  

" My dear, I remember of a time when I and my brothers were still little children, in which my parents faced a great drought and lost their whole crop. Of everything that they had sowed, only a pumpkin plantation was profitable.  

Surprisely, it never stopped producing pumpkins, great pumpkins the whole year! We might had nothing, but we always had what to eat. 

Only when we recovered our production in the next harvest, that pumpkin tree stopped producing so much.  

We do not need to be afraid, honey, I am completely sure that God will come to our help. Did you already ask him for that? "  

In fact, he was feeling so failure he would not dare to ask God's help. In his Bible reading, he had discovered an advice in Proverbs of never becoming a guarantor of anybody. He was quite sure that what they were living now was a result of his own negligence.  

On that kitchen's table, at dawn, the two of them joined in prayer for God's help, compassion and grace. They prayed also the Lord would enable them to work and take better care of their family. And they were listened.

June 29, 2010


He used to visit the ranch all Saturday afternoons. 

He followed closely the development of his cattle. In just over six months he could begin the slaughter of a first batch of cows.  

In the shop, while he worked in customer service and learned quickly to advise them about the most appropriate use of products for their pets, his cousin was responsible for business with suppliers.  

Once, the cousin called him aside and spoke quietly.  

"We need to expand the store. I talked to the bank manager, and he can lend me money, but I must give him a good guarantee."  

Maybe because of his inexperience, naivete, trust or gratitude, who knows, he undertook his cattle on loan to the prime.  

What he saw in the next months was not the investment in the store, but meetings and more meetings to negotiate debts with suppliers, without success. 

The store went bankrupt shortly thereafter, and the bank got hold of his cattle in the adjustment of the amount loaned to his cousin.  

Nothing and no one could comfort him for many long sleepless nights... 

His faith was the only column that supported him, and his responsibility to caring for his family the only reason he woul not to give up living.

June 26, 2010


Now, they had two boys and two girls. 

At first, Grandma took care of the minors, so the mother could give her lessons at the School. 

Grandma was a wrinkled, squat and lean, soft-spoken lady. She loved meeting the obsessions of her grandchildren, filling them with gimmicks. 

She used to take their breakfast in bed: a giant cup containing bread dipped in sweet latte that needed to be "taken" with a spoon.

But Grandma had to move to Rio de Janeiro, at the request of their unmarried sons who worked there. She would take care of their house, clothes and meals with zeal and dedication.

The mother, then, ended her "career" as a teacher and started to devote full time to home and family. 

In addition to caring for four children, she found time and strength to cultivate a small vegetable garden behind the house. 

But she wanted more. She needed to help support their house, some how.

So, she decided to learn dressmaking. Soon, she was receiving orders for dresses, pants, skirts, shirts and making a good buck this way. She spent many hours working, often advancing dawn to deliver the clothes on time.

Her children wore their homemade confections, and the girls ended up always using the same dresses as if they were twins.

June 24, 2010


He really enjoyed seeing the white cattle grazing on the hill! 

In his heart hope of better days kept growing. 

His wife was now in her fifth pregnancy, and going very well, despite her belly a little bit bigger than usual.

She kept her teachings at the school, but her oldest boy stopped going there with her. He had completed fourth grade, the highest level possible to achieve in that school.

Despite feeling happy now with the life at the ranch, the father did not hesitate.

"We need to move to the city, I want our son to have the education that I could not have." He said.

It was a big change for them all. The house they rented was on a steep street, almost hamlet on a hill, and it had a huge staircase in front. 

The father had to hire a foreman to look after the cattle and began working at a shop of veterinarian products, at the invitation of a cousin. 

The mother continued to teach until the eve of their second girl's birth. 

The small grandmother moved to live with the family and take care of their two children at home, while the older boy went to the fifth grade.

People use to say that children adapt easily to any circumstance, but the two boys really missed the great backyard and adventures at the ranch. 

The way they found to relieve it, was making friends with the boys of the neighborhood, as quickly as possible.  

Soon enough, they learned with them how to hit a ball and ride a roller cart down the street (which was really a challenge and joy!)

June 14, 2010


After his marriage, since the first week, he began to attent regularly the Presbyterian worship. Soon he was appointed teacher in Sunday school. 

Although his little education, he had an oratory and teaching that  astonished all students, even the most literate. He could not explain how that was possible!

She listened to him, amazed and full of gratitude. After all, since she was a little girl she learned from her mother to ask God for a hardworking, honest and, above all, God fearing husband.

So during the week he helped his old father, later he sold milk, but on Sundays he always carried his wife and children to church, and applied in his Bible classes. 

Once upon a time, he learned about tithing and decided to prove God.

"Bring the whole tithe to the filing of the temple, so there is food in my house. Put me to the test, 'says the Lord Almighty,' and see if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not be able to save them all" .

Of all the income they received, they separated one-tenth to donate to the church. To do so was not a burden to them, rather an exercise of faith and worship to God.

When their luck began to change, he opened his Bible at the text of the prophet Malachi and wrote next to that: "Proven."

June 06, 2010


They owned twelve friesian cows, a species not well known in that region. Those cows were spoken (and well spoken) in the town since they produced three times more milk than a common herd. 

Because of this, the father received an unexpected visit at his ranch. The richest farmer in that region, sitting in their humble kitchen with a mug of freshly brewed coffee in hand. He was determined to negotiate.

"I want those cows you own. Make your price."

The father preferred to think before closing any deal. He knew his production was causing astonishment and admiration, but only realized how much after that visit. To him remained no doubt, however, that all of this was God's hand. What to do now?

After some calculations, he set a price well above the reasonable, even for a wealthy farmer. He was  determined to negotiate not a penny less than the value set in his mind. Only then, he would have the security in his heart that he was doing the right thing, if the deal should be closed.

"Done. This afternoon I will come with my employees to get them."

He had never put hands in so much money in his life! 

The next day, he went early to the city without really knowing what to do after this. He thanked God for the blessing received and sat on a park's bench to pray and think. Some hours later, he made a decision.

His wife spent the day anxiously. Their lives depended on milk sales and now they threw themselves into the unknown. It was late afternoon and no sign of her husband. She decided to wait for him near the gate of the ranch, then.

The sun was almost gone on the horizon when she finally saw the dust rising from the road. To her surprise, he came slowly, bringing a cow tied to their jeep.

"What's that, honey?" What did you do? "

"I paid all our debts, honey"

"And you brought this cow?"

"Yes, I bought her with the money that was left."

She could not hide a certain disappointment in her eyes:

"He sold our twelve cows to buy one?" She thought, worried.

"This is a Zebu cow, dear, for beef cattle. The first of a herd of thirty-two that we now have!