Many years ago, I had a Cousin Mavis, who’d inherited a really nice farm, together with her brother Beau, in an idyllic mountain valley. She married Lloyd who greatly admired her farm. They had a daughter, Sally. Mavis quickly took issue with her husband’s carousing and tossed him out. Quite willing and able to take care of herself, she continued to live happily on her farm with her brother Beau and Sally. Beau did the majority of the farm work while Mavis taught school and kept the house running, The three of them had a good life together, bumping along quite satisfactorily. Beau never married though he was happy to keep company with a widow lady, saying, “No house was big enough for two women.” In truth, I’m sure he felt he already had a wonderful homemaker who shared his expenses, a doting niece, and a prosperous farm he had no wish to divide.
Her husband, Lloyd, was never quite reconciled to the divorce, realizing what a mistake he’d made in losing Mavis. Though he never lost his penchant for women and drink, he bought land just across the road, building a house there so he’d have a chance to worm his way by into Mavis’ affections and be in his his daughter’s life . Little Sally saw her father daily, just like he’d planned, but Lloyd made a point to keep an eye on what went on at Mavis’s place all the time. Unfortunately, this gave Mavis a bird’s eye view of his social activities, not a wise move for a man seeking forgiveness from a wronged wife. Despite his many raucous parties and interesting friendships, he was forever hopeful, lo these many years later, that today Mavis would welcome him back into her loving arms. Whenever an unfamiliar vehicle drove up, Lloyd was sure to amble over to check the guest out. The first time we visited her, Mavis said, “Oh Lordy, here comes Lloyd to see if y’all are my boyfriend.”
Mavis, Beau, and Lloyd lived this way for more than fifty years, till the lovely Sally finally inherited both places, uniting them, as Lloyd had always hoped.
When I was a child on the farm, we frequently had goats, enormously vivacious and entertaining creatures. Even when grown, they still maintain their curiosity and energy, climbing and bounding around. The kids are irrestible, never tiring of butting, play fighting, and romping until they exhaust themselves, then falling in a heap to sleep. It always amazed me, the way they butted their mothers so rudely while nursing. The wonder of it was, as the kids aged, we always had adorable new kids to play with.
Once, we had a nanny who lost her kid at the same time another kid was orphaned. The obvious answer was to have her adopt the orphan. Daddy rubbed the orphan with her dead kid, then forced her to let the adopted kid nurse. It was difficult going for a few feedings, but once she accepted the kid, she didn’t want it out of her sight. She followed it at play, bleating, unlike the other nannies who enjoyed the herd’s company, glad to let their mischievous offspring romp. She continued to nurse that kid up until after she had another, when they had to be separated, to keep from starving the new kid.
Mike met his badly battered friend Bryan at the bar one Saturday night.
“Faith and Begorrah, man. What happened to you? ”
“Mike McGarrity came at me with a baseball bat and caught me with no way to defend myself.”
“Good heavens, Bryan. Don’t you know better than to let yourself get caught with nothing in your hand!”
“Well, I did have Mrs. McGarrity’s breast in me hand, and a thing of beauty it is, but not of much use in a fight!”
With thirty years in nursing, you can well imagine I have my share of strange stories. I worked in acute dialysis in the hospital, so knew my patients very well. We talked about their lives, familis, dogs, whatever was on their minds. One of my favorite patients was Curtis, a huge man, perfectly delightful, but developmentally challenged. His thinking was about on the level of a eight-year-old. Curtis had somehow gotten credit at a furniture store, bought a houseful of furniture, and not made a single payment. He was being hounded for payment, so decided the best course of action was to go in the hospital, where he wouldn’t be bothered. When he told the nurse at the outpatient dialysis clinic he needed to go to the hospital, she explained he couldn’t be admitted unless sick. He did some thinking and called her back to his chair telling her he had something for her. (I can’t imagine how she fell for that.). He dropped an impressive lump of excrement into her outstretched hand and was admitted into the psychiatric unit of the hospital in short order.
He was happily ensconced at the hospital, soon moved to the medical floor. One day he walked into my unit asking for a large patient gown. He went on his way. Curtis was not on my mind when I heard a lady out in the hall exclaim. “Oh my God! Take it!” It seems she had been bringing a pecan pie to her hospitalized friend from church when she encountered seven-foot-tall Curtis, walking naked down the hall, looking for hospital staff to help him with his gown. Curtis, hadn’t seen a pecan pie in way too long. He dropped the gown, grabbed the pie and raised a clumsy fist when the poor woman resisted. She gave up on the pie and fled shrieking. Eventually, the whole thing smoothed over. Curtis had his pie and his gown. The hospital gave the lady another pecan pie and an apology. By the time Curtis got home, his furniture had been repossessed, so he wasn’t harassed any more. They all lived happily ever after, except of course for the nurse who got a handful of doo-doo.