Miss Sally, the Felon and Luella’s Fried Chicken

img_1800Miss Sally was a challenged driver, even by her standards. After she totaled her own very nice car, her daughter, Judy, and son-in-law, Johnny passed their old, but good car on to her, thinking it would do to get her as far as the closest store and post-office, the restrictions she’d agreed on. Their reasoning was, it would spare her the expense of a new car and might be so far beneath her old standards that she’d be ashamed to be seen in it. It didn’t exactly work out that way. True enough, Miss Sally was discouraged and found the car hard to manage. The little car which Johnny had babied along for more than a dozen years and secretly hoped Miss Sally would reject was soon dinged up, battered, and missing a couple of mirrors. It seems backing up is a challenge for folks who don’t turn their heads to look behind them or utilize mirrors. Every time he saw a new injury, he just had to ask, “How did this dent get here? When was this bumper knocked crooked?”

“I don’t know. Certainly not when I was driving it,” she swore. At first they thought she was denying responsibility for the car’s insults, till it occurred to Johnny to ask, “Well, who was driving it, then?”

“I guess it was Harvey, the guy a few houses down,” she answered simply.

“Harvey? You mean Harvey who just got out of jail?” Judy protested.

“I’ll have you know he paid his debt to society, Missy!”  Miss Sally was offended at her daughter’s unchristian attitude. You’d think Harvey was the first guy who ever got in a little bind. “Besides, he was nice enough to drive Miss Dora home after she finished cleaning and he ran over the curb at the Pepper’s Chicken place.” “Mama! Why did you go by Pepper’s Chicken Place taking Dora home? That’s way over on Barkley Street, miles from Dora’s house. Why on earth would you go by there?”

Judy was worried now. Mama wasn’t supposed to be running all over town, certainly not with Harvey.  “That’s where Miss Dora’s cousin works. Chicken is a lot cheaper. Dora just lets her Cousin Luella know we are there and she brings it straight out the back door quick as we get there. A great big bucket doesn’t cost but two dollars! I always buy her one and get one for me and Harvey to share when we get back home.” Miss Sally looked pleased with her bargain. “Mama! You could get arrested. You are running around with a felon and receiving stolen goods! Luella is not paying for that chicken! That money goes right in her pocket! Besides, you know the doctor told you not to eat fried foods!”

“Judy, you know it’s not Christian to talk about folks that way. I am ashamed of you. She sighed. She’d tried so hard to raise Judy right.


Just Desserts


Bean Pie0001Billy was a good eater. He was over six feet tall by the time he was twelve, worked hard every day and was always hungry. Since Daddy had known real hunger growing up during the depression, he encouraged him to “eat well.” Billy liked to drink his milk from a quart jar to cut down on troublesome refills, and he would hurt a kid over a piece of leftover fried

View original post 236 more words

Quirky Family Evening

img_1799Kathleen Swain and her children.  Front left to right, Connie Miller, Kathleen Swain, Marilyn Grisham, Phyllis Barrington.  Back row, Linda Bethea and Bill Swain.  How did she ever birth all these behemoths?

A few evenings ago, Mother and her five children met for dinner at a local restaurant.  Afterwards, we went to her house to visit.  As soon as we no longer had to be socially acceptable, we regressed into our former roles and behavior, teasing Mother and each other.  At various times, we ganged up on each other just like we always had, sometimes with one sibling, sometimes another.

Once we got all that settled, we started noting interesting things about Mother’s house. Does this clock situation look odd to anyone besides me?

img_1796It seems she has been meaning to call the clock repairman but just hasn’t really had time, besides, that other clock was on the clearance rack at Walmart for a dollar.  She never did explain the lightbulb accessory.  She looked around meaningfully at the crowd.  “I guess I could use my Christmas money, but ………..”  I wonder which loser will crack first.

After my brother left, she asked us to turn her mattress.  I didn’t get a picture, but each corner of her mattress is numbered.  She didn’t remember why.  I really didn’t need to know.

When we were sitting in her living room later, we notice that each of her four speakers has a number (or two) that matches a corresponding number on the ceiling. I will only offer one photo as proof.  For some reason, she had numbered a couple twice and added a letter.  She said the theory was on a need-to-know basis.  Fortunately, I don’t need to know.


I am not concerned that Mother is developing dementia.  She is no different than she has ever been.  Oh, yes.  A large rubber band encircled the front door knob, despite the fact that she has a security system, dead-bolt, and safety bar propping door knob securely.  That’s so she will know the door is locked.  Go figure!