Thursday, May 31, 2007

First, I want to assure LeftCoast that Ivanhoe is
now on top of the pile and I will start to read it

Second, I just finished Sense and Sensibility for
the 20-somethingth time. It wears very well. There
is one sentence in it that bothers me though. Every
time I read it this very un-Jane Austiny combination
of words I am irked. It is near the end of the book.
Thomas, the Dashwood's man-servant, is just beginning
to tell them of meeting Lucy (Steele) Ferrars who is
newly married. And now for the sentence itself...

Marianne gave a violent start, fixed her eyes upon
Elinor, saw her turning pale, and fell back in her
chair in hysterics.

Compare that with this combination of sentences which
were randomly picked out of the middle of the book.

Lady Middleton was equally pleased with Mrs. Dashwood.
There was a kind of cold-hearted selfishness on both
sides, which mutually attracted them; and they
sympathised with each other in an insipid propriety
of demeanor, and a general want of understanding.

The above is what makes me read Austin time after time.
She wears very, very well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The cousins (and their friends) were busy this weekend.
They filled their hours with crawdadding, Annie Ocard games, whiffle ball, rivering, and lots of eating.

Crawdad catch before eating time.

Two games of High Five at the river.

Meanwhile the adults were also eating and playing cards.
Kent could do no wrong. In High Five every play he made
was a ringer.

At the fish fry on Saturday night Kent and Becky (my sis)
were playing Mom and G'ma Opal. You have got to remember
there are no people on this earth who are more competitive
at cards than Mom and G'ma Opal. But, they were playing
against Kent and he was mopping them up. The first game
they (Mom and G'ma) never got out of the hole. The second
game they finally climbed past zero, but just barely. They
were sunk to terrible depths. Mom even began to sing the
song, "I'm Looking Over a Four Leafed Clover" to try and
give G'ma a hint when she (G'ma) had won the bid and needed to
choose her suit. Table talk. But at that point no one
cared. It was desperate. The girls lost again.

Two days later Becky was down chatting with G'ma Opal. This
is not word for word, but is a pretty close approximation
to the conversation.

G'ma Opal, "Well, my ear hurts today."
Becky, "Oh, I'm sorry!"
G'ma, "It hurts because I got a really good sleep last night
and didn't move around enough."
Becky, "(really she didn't say anything, what was there TO
say to that?)"
G'ma, "I slept really good last night because I slept really
badly the night before. I just couldn't get those two
card games off my mind."

Really! A card game keeping you awake at 96.

Go G'ma!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mayberry Happenings:

Yesterday was town day. I thought about holding
a contest to see if anyone could guess the four
types of animals that crossed the road in front
of my car during my 11 mile (one way) drive to and
from town, but I couldn't think of a good prize
to offer. So, I'll just up and tell you.

1. A snake (he was slithering fast, but I think it
was a green snake.)
2. A turtle (he pulled his head in when I whizzed
3. A deer (she jumped up and ran across Highway 160
just a few feet in front of me.)
4. A squirrel (this little fellow acted the part of
all squirrels--unable to make up his mind which
way to run 'til the last moment...lucky for me
and him he chose the opposite way I did.)

Then last night, my boys and their friend Jenn came
across two young red fox pups eating a duck in the middle
of the gravel road. They stopped and took pictures.
The pups mostly just ignored them. Look at these incredible

There was nothing really funny in this week's
edition of The Mayberry Times. There were though,
as usual, some strange sentences/paragraphs.

From the Speak Out section:
Revenge. Revenge is sweet until you yourself beg
for mercy and there is none. Think about it while
there's still time.

(I think that would be a great start to a mystery
novel. The heroine finds a note, tattered and torn,
with the above words on it. She feels great
wonderment and some fear. She experiences a delicious
shiver of excitement and then embarks upon the
adventure of her life in discovering the whys and
wherefores of said note.)

And in a different section of Speak Out:
Today's Sodom and Gomorrah ways is taking us under.
(Under what? I won't speak to the grammar of this
Further Lesson From Hummingbirds

Last night we were out playing ball in the yard.
The guys and Hattie are trying to get Mom up to
snuff before the start of softball season. It is
a daunting responsibility and nighwell impossible.

But, I divert myself, so back to the subject at
hand. As we were playing the buzz from the humming-
birds was enormous. There are so many and they are
so busy.

Sometimes there will be a single bird at a feeder. Soon
a second bird will appear. First bird leaves his food
spout and begins to spar with second bird. There are
three empty spots so why does he feel compelled to
fight with second bird when there is plenty to go around?
He drives off second bird and then settles in to alternately
sipping and checking for rivals.

If he would only concentrate on his own little corner of the
world what trouble he could avoid. He could build up his
store of fat more quickly. He could rest from time to time
instead of living his life in a complete frenzy. I wonder,
how many times I am more concerned about what my neighbor is
getting or doing or experiencing than I am about what I
should be doing. As long as I am watching, dissecting and
criticizing the lives of others I can avoid doing so to my
own life.

It reminds me of a story about a speck and a plank that
Jesus related to his disciples one day when they were up
on a mountain.

There is a time and a place for confrontation, disagreement,
discussion and judgment, and there is a time and a place to
mind one's own business and tend to one's own duties.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"It's the sovereignty of God that brings us peace;
it's the chance of things that would unravel us."

Quote of the day from Kent

I was watching our hummingbirds yesterday as they
swooped from feeder to feeder and fought between
themselves and I realized that they only live to
eat. They show some interesting behavior, though,
in living out this dictum.

When at any moment in time a hummingbird is only hours
away from starvation, why do they leave one perfectly
good feeder to flit away across the yard to another?
Their little wings have to beat 70 or so times per
second and use up tremendous amounts of the energy
they are seeking just to fly so far. They are naturally

I have been ruminating on the idea of contentment lately.
It is hard to "Be still and know that I am God" when
we are discontent. Somewhere in the finding of that
wonderful state of mind and of lifestyle we have to be
slow and still and quiet and contemplative.

That is hard. Where in the midst of ball schedules,
company, keeping the home, and church schedules is there
space for that peace?

We can try to simplify our family life more than it is, but
even that takes tremendous amounts of energy and time.

Yet, there can be contentment even in the midst of the
busyness of daily living. The two are not mutually exclusive.
It is not the busyness, but it is the sense of hurriedness,
of never being satisfied, and of always seeking for something
better that is to be avoided.

It is not a deserted island that is filled with quiet that
I need. (Though in my sometimes dreams, a deserted island
with a huge amount of books and crossword puzzles seems almost
like my idea of heaven, of course there would be a coffee pot
there somewhere as well.) What is needed is to know that the
work at hand is good and that there is no need to flit and
flutter about in a nervous fashion. Do what needs to be done,
move on to the next job and then when there is a chance to
sit and rest, well, sit and rest. Be content with that.

And meanwhile, don't forget to fill the feeders or those poor
little hummingbirds will be flitting and flying and fighting
for nothing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

E-mom asked how our BIG BBQ was. It was fabulous.
We had fairytale weather. I cannot remember having
such a perfect day for one of our big bashes in the
past 15 years that we have been doing this. The
temperature was in the low eighties and the humidity
was about zilch,yet it was plenty warm enough for the
children to swim in the two pools we had set up.
They are really big cattle troughs. One we fill just
a little for the baby and toddler crowd and the other
we fill to the brim for the bigger children.

Really we have a perfect set-up for such an event.
We have a swing set, a playhouse, a trampoline, a
basketball net, the pools, and plenty of room for
volleyball, horseshoes and a game like ultimate
frisbee to be conducted simultaneously. There is
also shade for the older folks who want to sit and

Monday morning I was making a list of people who
were there and I counted 101. I may have missed
a few, but I think I pretty well got everyone.

Actually the big hit of the day were the hummingbirds.
They were zooming and zipping between the three feeders
we have spread around. I am sure there were 45 or
50 of them, though they never will be still enough
for me to count. I think they liked all the activity
because they weren't a whit shy about feeding or fighting.
We were joking about how they might act if we were to
fill one of the feeders with Mountain Dew instead of
the traditional sugar water. I think they might just
explode. It would not be a pretty sight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

25 years is a good amount of time. It means that
I have been married for longer than I was single.
Kent and his personality have become essential to
my very essence.

Neither one of us are big on huge shows of sentimentality
just because the calendar dictates it. I cannot tell you
when the last time was that we exchanged Valentine gifts.
It is in the dailyness of living that we love and honor
one another.

I was going to write a list of 25 things that I love about
that man, but it seemed so maudlin. I will share some things,
though, that are dear to me.

For example, Kent thinks I am funny. He appreciates my
sense of humor. Many people just don't get the connections
that seem so clear to me. I like to be laughed at when I
WANT to be laughed at.

He likes to sleep with the window open, and since our bed
butts up next to the window and we have no head board the
window is our headboard. The outside air and the noises
of the night are food for my being. I am so glad he feels
the same.

I would give up flowers and gifts forever to keep our early
morning times together. I cuddle in my spot, which he lets
me have, even though it is his favorite morning spot also.
He sits across the room or along the loveseat and we each
pursue our own time of reading and meditating on God's Word.

I love the fact that almost every day I can count on at least
one good discussion, before breakfast mind you, about theology
in all its glory and finer points.

I am so glad that we travel well together. We don't like
planning too much ahead. We want to stop when we feel like
stopping. And we both like to stop a lot, that is a huge
relief. I never feel guilty for needing to polish my nose.

I love the way he worries an idea like a bone until it fits
into a structured part of a whole. He won't stand for
inconsistency or inaccuracy. Sometimes I want to scream
with frustration because I am much more about sweeping the
dirt under the rug and saying, "Good enough for government
work." But he calls me to become more that I want to be
in my thinking and in my living.

As a father he is fabulous. His sons are strong and courageous.
His daughter is a princess. And they do not have to rely upon
me for their spiritual teaching. I take every chance I have
to teach them and pray with them. Just this morning, since
I get up with Ty to get him out the door by 5:30 for work I
studied with him from question number 28 of the Shorter
Catechism and we prayed together. But, I can count on Kent
to lead the family in devotions and prayer, to answer hard
questions and to give advice. What an example he sets for his

His eyes are blue and his soul is purple.

Fernando Ortega sings of his wife Margee Ann in a beautiful
song; the chorus of that song has in summary form how I
feel about Kent.

"You're the first light of the morning, my cool sunrise.
You're my love across the table, a little sleep in your eyes.
You're my strong cup of coffee, you like to laugh right with me.
You're my heart's companion, my one true companion,
Sweet darling, lover of mine."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

News From Up and Down the Gravel

My mother's last chemo treatment was this week.
We are grateful for how well she is responding.
I know she is looking forward to a summer free
from all the back and forthness of going to The
Big City for her treatments. Sometime this summer
her cancer doctor is supposed to come for a visit.
That should be a hoot.

I was at G'ma Opal's yesterday. She was filling
me in from her own visit to The Big City. And
in the midst of that she told me two interesting
tidbits. A)A mosquito won't bite you if you are
holding your breath. Next time I notice one coming
my way I'll just hold my breath and hope it flies
away before I turn purple! B)The first word she
ever learned to spell was "pepper". Her dad taught
her when she was a wee bit o' a thing. He said,
"Pepper is half 'P's." She learned to spell it,
but she never could understand where the peas were
in pepper.

We have a momma goat that is just on the verge of
kidding, and we have a few that need to go to the
sale barn on Monday night.

Tomorrow we are having a big Bar-B-Que here at our
house. Once a year we invite the church-folks over
to eat and play volleyball, swim, throw baskets,
jump on the trampoline etc. We've also invited some
relatives, neighbors and friends, because when you're
going to have 80 or so what's another 10 or 20?

Hattie came into the room where I was working the
other day. She had something hidden behind her back.
She said, "Mom, you know I've had a frustrating day,
but if you will just let me keep this, all my little
frustrations will be better. It will be a good day."
"What IS it?" I wisely inquired. See for yourself.
We kept it overnight in a bucket on the porch and
then let it go.

Friday, May 18, 2007

As I was fixing breakfast for Billy, a scrambled egg
and half of a bagel for those who are curious, I glanced
at Kent who was sitting in his chair reading from The
Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther. He was smirking.
My curiosity was aroused.

Like the fool that I am I asked, "What's so funny?"

His reply, "Augustine says, 'What chatters more than
an empty head?'"

Immediate and loud laughter erupted from two quarters.

I take it as a mark of personal growth that I did not
immediately think Kent was referring to me.

Five minutes later there was the smirk again. This time
I refrained from asking. It was of no use though.

Kent, without prompting said, "And Quintilian says, 'There
is none who would not rather appear to know than to learn.'"

He hit a bullseye with that one. If you want a window to
my soul just meditate on that quote a bit. Ouch.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

From the Bookshelf:

I just finished reading A Country Year: Living the
Questions by Sue Hubbell. This is a sweet and gentle
book of the agrarian ilk.

Sue lives and keeps bees in the Missouri Ozarks. This
was my first fascination with the book since I live in
the Ozark foothills. She is a mountain girl and I am
a hillbilly.

The books is a diary of sorts comprising one full year
of living with her bees and in the Ozarks. She writes
of the bees and the work they entail. She tells of
the birds and other creatures that share her mountain
home, and she introduces us to her neighboring mountain

She speaks with understanding and humor of those who
want to make a move to a simpler life. She made the
move some years earlier, but recognizes that country
living is not necessarily simpler. There is time for
observing nature and reflection, however there is much
more time taken up with the mechanics of survival.

I always find it rather sad when a person who is enthralled
with God's creation doesn't recognize the One who gave it
to us as a gift. It leaves the reader with an empty feeling
in the pit of the tummy.

But, the above reflection notwithstanding, Sue is a gifted
writer and her book is a delightful stop on a busy day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Not only do we have hummingbirds (Did I say we had
15 or so of them? I lied. We have 30 or 40 in a
continual eating frenzy. They are fascinating!
I will try to find some of their nests and post
pictures.) on our porch, but we also have another
of God's creations out there.

A few days ago the boys found a huge black widow
spider and two egg cases and scooped them all into
a jar. They were in my living room until last night
when I had visions of the egg cases hatching and
a gazillion tiny black widows climbing through the
air holes poked in the top of the jar and zipping
around the house.

I'd like to get a picture for you, but while I am
not the type to go bezerk over a spider, the thought
of opening the jar and trying to maneuver the camera
and spider into a good position for a shot is more
than I think I'd like to attempt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sometimes life is like a cup of golden sunshine. I
thank God for times like this. The other day someone
said that we only seem to cling to God when times are
difficult. I don't see why that must be so. In fact,
I don't find that to be so.

When circumstances are filled with just the dailyness
of living and the days are slipping past filled with
work and play and study and devotion there is time to
meet with God and comtemplate and well, just love Him.

And so, may I meet Spring and Summer head on. May
each sunshine or storm filled day be another chance to
wash clothes, do paperwork, cook a yummy meal, play
games, read books, and in the midst of all these things,
may each day be a chance to hear the God who Is, Was
and Ever Shall Be speak to me from His Word.

What more can a girl ask from her God-given gift of life?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

We have hummingbirds. We have had hummingbirds in the past
but nothing like we have them now. There have been at least
fifteen at one time battling for a spot at the trough. Now
I wish we'd planted sugarcane this year. We can afford to
feed a family of 6, plus the usual drop-ins...but fifteen
or so hummers? The sugar producers will love us.

G'ma Opal is headed for the Big City today. She's not been
away from home overnight (except a few hospital stays) in
7 or 8 years. She stopped by for a Mother's Day dinner before
taking off. Here she is surrounded by grand and great-grand-
daughters, and if you look carefully you'll see the new
sweat pants she got as a gift peeking out from under her
dress. She just couldn't wait to try them on.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A final thought from Christianity and Liberalism
by J. Gresham Machen.

"Weary with the conflicts of the world, one goes
into the Church to seek refreshment for the soul.
And what does one find? Alas, too often, one finds
only the turmoil of the world. The preacher comes
forward, not out of a secret place of meditation
and power, not with the authority of God's Word
permeating his message, not with human wisdom
pushed far into the background by the glory of
the Cross, but with human opinions about the social
problems of the hour or easy solutions of the
vast problem of sin. Such is the sermon....Thus
the warfare of the world has entered even into the
house of God, and sad indeed is the heart of the
man who has come seeking peace."

However, when the Word is upheld and preached, and
when man's opinions are pushed to the background
and God's truth is sought, then "If there be such
a place, then that is the house of God and that
the gate of heaven. And from under the threshold
of that house will go forth a river that will
revive a weary world."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

After the game.

I went digging for treasure Saturday and this is
what I found.

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Christy by Catherine Marshall (To replace a lost copy)
Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (To replace a
soft cover copy)
Joyful Poems for Children by James Whitcomb Riley
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Because I need to read
more Russian novels)

Not pictured
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
I also dug up several Boxcar Kid, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden
and various other mystery books for the ever mysterious
Princess Daughter.

Pretty good diggins, but I haven't forgetten my promise to
LeftCoast to read Ivanhoe.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Here in the foothills of the Ozarks there are
certain signs for each of the seasons. Right
now we are in the middle of Spring.

Early Spring is easy to tell. There are the
Forsythia, the Daffodils, the Redbuds and the
Dogwood to be delighted in. Mayapples pop up
all along the roadsides and a tinge of green
appears everywhere. This is all only a memory
now for the present year.

What we are experiencing now is Mid-Spring. It
is just as evident as Early Spring. The nights
are dotted with fireflies. They dance about to
some hidden music that only they can hear. The
turtles are on the move. They cross the roads
in hordes and we measure our trips to town and
church by how many times we have to swerve to
keep from crushing a turtle. There are three-
turtle trips, five turtle-trips, etc.

A new music fills the air at night. The peepers
have given way to the cricket and the bullfrog. One
of my greatest gifts from God is a husband who likes
to leave the window at the head of our bed open as
much as I do. The window comes down to the top of
the bed itself. We don't have a headboard, so any
time at all I can just lift my head and look out
and see the moon or the stars or the fireflies or
the lightning going about their appointed businesses.

The hummingbirds are back in droves. Many minutes
at a time can be spent watching their attacks on one
another. What bravado!

And the ticks are here. I can't figure out why I have
so many on me these days. I've not had time to meander
through the woods in the gloaming. I've not even been
working in my yard any. But daily these little guys
are having a heyday crawling around on me and finding
likely looking spots to stick their little head into.

Just yesterday I was with G'ma Opal and while we
were chatting she turned her head a little. I
thought, "She's got a mole on her neck I've never
noticed before." But when I peered closer it was
a tick just in the process of digging in. I picked
him off and happily flushed his little body into
the sea.

Good days. Good gifts from God's hands.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A few days ago I sent Hattie to her room to clean it.
After a few minutes a rush of wind passed me and swooshed
out the door. As it blew by I thought I caught a few
faint words. "I'll be back," it promised.

I admit I was distracted; I did nothing at the moment, but
some good while later (over an hour) I looked and the room
was still not clean. I found the daughter outside with
wood and tools. "What are you doing? Your room is not

"I know. I'm making something. I'll clean it."

Finally she finished the project and the room. And this
is her new addition to her decorating/keeping it all clean
scheme. Just what every girl needs. A hair-thingy holder.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Babies are sweet, huggable and cuddly. They are
delightful and lovely. They are fresh and fun.
But babies are also selfish. They are born this
way. It is natural for them. It is a direct result
of Genesis 3.

All that fills the mind of a newborn is his own needs.
He wants his little tummy to be full. He wants to
have a clean, dry bottom. He feels secure when he
is cuddled and carried about.

A huge part of parenting is to slowly train that little
one to consider others. Step by step they must be
taught to give up their own felt needs and rights.

This is hard. It is especially difficult in light of
the society our children are engulfed in. This is not
the first nor the most eloquent article to address
this issue, but I see so much time, energy and money
being poured into the young lives around me that I
worry for them and want to address the issue.

The basic problem is that our children are treated as
though they are royalty for the first 18 or 20 years
of life and then they are expected to step out on their
own and by that time are totally unequipped to do so.

They can't understand why they are not the total focus
of Mom and Dad's attention, finances and energy anymore.
Why should they understand this? They've been told for
all those previous years that they are the very center
of life. All revolves around them. Parent's recreation,
work and even church life revolves around the children
and what they want or are doing.

So what are the answers? I am no expert, but I do have
some meager wisdom to offer here.

1. Expect your children to work from an early age and to
contribute to the comfort and enjoyment of family life.
The family resources are not to be all funneled into them,
but they are instead part of an entire tapestry where all
are needed to make things work.

2. Give them less than they want for their birthdays and
Christmas. Give them less than their friends get.
Definitely give them less than you want to give them. Set a
limit and stick to it. Our basic limit has been $50 for
a birthday and $100 for Christmas for each child. When
they were younger it was less than that. They see what
their friends receive. What child wouldn't want more?
Yet they have come to understand that they don't need
everything they want, or everything others have in order
to live a full life.

Both delayed and denied gratification are some of the
greatest gifts we can give our children.

3. Avoid situations and ceremonies that put full focus on
that child. I am not saying to never focus on them. We
have plenty of natural times for that. When they have a
birthday, they get to chose their meal and get their
gifts. When a special goal has been reached, they should
be honored. We gave trophies to our boys for the first
time they publicly prayed out loud in a church service.
We have little celebrations often. Next week, when Joel
finally gets to move to day shift we are having a little
family party.

But, way too much time, energy and money are spent in
letting our children believe they are the kings and queens
of this life.

I have devoted the past 25 years to my family and their
welfare. During those years the children have been fed,
bathed, played with, read to, taught,...but, they have
also been made to see that they are a part of a whole,
not THE whole.

4. Avoid saying, "We can't afford that." That lets the
child think that they do deserve whatever it is they
want, but that poor Mom and Dad just can't do what is
necessary to get it for them. Instead use phrases such
as this, "We do not think is is wise to get that," or,
"We feel such and such is more important and so we are
not going to try and get this for you."

5. Always be sure your children tithe their meager first
earnings to the Lord. Whether it is 10 cents from the
dollar they earn pulling weeds for Grandpa or $10 from
their first check of $100 flipping hamburgers for Mac D's.
Allow them to develop the joy of realizing that all they
have is from God's hand. This life is but a preparation
for Heaven, and to invest in Heaven now is something we
need to teach them as strongly as we teach them to invest
in an IRA for retirement.

6. Don't always take their side when they are complaining
about unfair coaches, teachers, friends, or others they
come in contact with. They are not always going to get
first billing in their activities. Not everyone is going
to like them. They may be overlooked and under appreciated.
"It's not fair," you'll often hear. Still, they need to
respect authority, and, if they have put themselves in
situation where they are under a coach, boss or another
authority figure, they need to show the respect to that
person that God expects them to. There are always proper
channels for changing their situation. We listen to the
venting and then usually say something like this, "I can
see how you feel, but basically just expect people to
be that way. Your responsibility is to do what is right."

7. Remember to model a life of contentment.

I Timothy 6-8
Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it
is certain we can carry nothing out. And having
food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

To go along with yesterday's post here are the views
from Up and Down the Gravel. These are the views from
the end of our driveway, but they are not the prettiest
part of the road.

This first view is up the gravel. It only makes sense
that the north view would be the Up one. Though,
political correctness, Mayberry style, says that nobody
lives Up the Gravel; this has all been discussed in
past posts. Everyone lives Down the Gravel. However, if
you, technically, go Up (Down but North) on the gravel,
though you can't see them here, you will get to G'ma Opal's,
Uncle Jim's and Aunt Jenny's houses.

This second view is both technically and politically correct.
This is the view, from the end of my driveway, of Down the
Gravel (that would be South). If you meander down the road
this direction you will (if you turn off on a side lane)
arrive at Joel's house and Grand-Aunt Lucille's and first
cousin once removed John's and Mary's homes. If you don't
follow that lovely little lane but rather continue on the
main gravel you will come to my parent's home which actually
fronts the blacktop. And, lucky for them, they don't have
to worry at all whether anyone lives Up or Down the Blacktop.
I suppose people just live On the Blacktop.

This last view is of our driveway leading down to the Gravel.
No commentary necessary; I just thought you might enjoy the

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Up and Down the Gravel

Last night Hattie and I went to visit G'ma Opal.
Hat wanted to take the 4-wheeler. I, conveniently,
have never really learned to drive it, so my 9-yr
old daughter aired the tires and revved it up and
we were off. When we drove home it was dark and
neither of us know how to turn on the lights...but,
no matter, there was a full moon and driving was
not a problem. Plus, since there were no lights,
we both saw our first firefly of the season. And
when we turned off the engine, there was a Whip-
or-will calling. That was the first Whip-or-will
I've heard yet this spring. I can almost live off
of a Whip-or-wills call. They are sustaining.

G'ma's arm is still bothering her, but she was just
cleaning up the kitchen from her dinner. Sunday she
went fishing and caught a few fish, so last night
she fried them; they looked yummy. She had just come
in from the garden and had put lettuce and onions
in her fridge.

Of course she imparted some of her great wisdom to us
as we played a game of Rummy.

1. Since tomorrow (now today) was May 1st, we needed to
get up before dawn and wash our faces in the early dew.
If we do that for nine days in a row, we will keep from
getting freckles.

2. We'd had Chicken and Dumplings for dinner and I was
complaining a little about all the mess I make when I
make them. G'ma told me to hold back on the flour a bit
and make them into drop dumplings next time.

3. She repeated one of her little ditties that I've heard
her say a thousand times, but this time I wrote it down
to save it. It is for choosing whose turn it is for a

William Tremmeltoes
He's a good fisherman
Catches hens
And puts them in pens
Some lay eggs
Some none
He catches fishes
And puts them in dishes
Wire briar limberlock
Three geese in a flock
One flew east
One flew west
One flew over the Cuckoo's nest
Clock fell down
Mouse run around
And O-U-T spells out
Old dirty dishrag
You go out!

We also have new neighbors. The property to our north
sold and, though I haven't met them, there is already
a connection with them. The girl (I must call her a
girl, she will be getting married in June after graduating
high school) is my cousin's cousin. Only in Mayberry.

That reminds me of the time we were having dinner at
the home of some friends. During the discussion we
discovered that the husband was a step-brother to my
cousins's cousin. The wife jumped up and hugged me
and said, that makes us related! Truly Mayberrian! And
quite fun!

One last G'ma Opal note. During the month of April she
only killed 2 mice. I guess they are moving back outdoors
with the nicer weather.