I finally remembered to buy Blackburn’s Syrup. Bud’s favorite was Johnny Fair, but I haven’t seen that in a long time. That evening, I smelled toast and heard Bud rummaging around in the kitchen and digging in the pantry. I didn’t offer to help, since he can usually manage a snack on his own.
In just a minute, he came bursting in to accuse me. “You ate all the peanut butter! You bought syrup when you ate all the peanut butter! That’s cruel! Just cruel! You know I love peanut butter and syrup on toast and you finally bought syrup and there’s no peanut butter. That’s just cruel!”
He abandoned his toast syrup and slumped forlorn in his chair as I tried not to laugh. I bought peanut butter today.
“Are you gonna pay for that gum?”
Phyllis and I turned to see Billy’s cheek bulging. His eyes got big and a stream of purple drool ran out of the corner of his mouth. The three of us stood horrified before Old Man Hillen, the proprietor of the Variety Store. It was obvious the sour old geezer took no prisoners where pilfering children were concerned.
“Spit it out.” Phyllis demanded, her face as hard as the old man’s. She hurriedly paid for our purchases as Billy and I beat her out the door. We knew there would be Hell to pay. Phyllis aligned herself with our parents and could be depended upon to report any infraction. This one was huge.
The situation was made more ominous since our business in the first place was the purchase of Mother’s birthday gift. The three of us had walked to the Variety Store after school. Mother was to pick us up. The wait seemed endless, knowing the catastrophe that was brewing.
“Billy Ray stole a piece of gum!” she exploded before she even got the car door shut. “Mr. Hillen made me pay for it!”
Mother was appalled. “Oh no. I hope you’re ashamed of yourself. I’m gonna have to tell your daddy about this.” A pall hung over us, dreading what was to come.
Justice was swift and sure. Daddy was enraged as he railed at Billy, before strapping him with his belt, then pausing before giving him a few more. Worse yet was the pronouncement that they’d be going back tomorrow for Billy to apologize and make it right. It was a terrible night at our house. No one escaped Daddy’s black mood.
Daddy was waiting for Billy when the bus ran, always dependable when punishment was due. He led the small boy into the Variety Store and announced to Mr. Hillen, “My son has something to say to you.”
Humiliated, Billy managed to stammer an apology.
Rather than accepting Billy’s apology, the hateful old man launched into a tirade against thieving kids and the way sorry parents were raising them. Daddy was infuriated and told him they’d made it right and he wasn’t listening to anymore of his mouth. They left. We never went back in that store.
I am so pleased that Linda Bethea is going to share some of her heartwarming and entertaining posts from her archives over the coming weeks. Linda’s family stories always has me in fits of laughter or shedding a tear. I hope you will also head over and buy the books that Linda has published.
Mixed Nuts Part 1 by Linda Bethea
When you are dealing with family, it clarifies things to have a scale. You don’t have to waste time analyzing people when you have a ready reference. This one works pretty well for my family.
1. Has a monogrammed straight jacket and standing reservation on mental ward.
2.Family is likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in the past or the future
3.People say, “Oh, crap. Here comes Johnny.”
4.Person can go either way. Gets by on a good day. Never has been arrested. Can…
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Our first photo together. I am the chubby baby in the front row. Bud is behind me to my left.
Bud and I celebrate our forty-eighth anniversary today. We met days after my birth when his mother came to help out after my birth. Two and a half years old and more experienced, he wisely waited for me to grow up a little before showing interest in me. I was pre-occupied with the business of being a baby and had no time for him, possibly leading him to think I was playing hard to get. From time to time, we’d be thrown together over the years, at holidays, school events, community, church, and family visits. He was pleasant to me. I liked him, but had no idea he held a special interest in me. The summer I was seventeen, he’d gotten a car and starting calling regularly. My sister Phyllis thought he liked her, so I made a point of getting out of their way when he came to visit. All socializing was done in the living room in the midst of a large boisterous family with the TV at full blast, so there was no question of privacy. We could take a guest to the snack bar in the dining room if we wanted, but we were still in the middle of things. Coincidentally, my fourteen-year-old brother, Bill, really admired and enjoyed Bud, too, so he thought he was there to see him.
Bud was had broken his foot and bashed his thumb in separate accidents in his summer mechanic job, so he was a comical site hobbling on crutches with casts on his foot and hand. He was good-matured about all the teasing, so I knew he had to be a good guy.
After a week or so of nightly visits to Phyllis and Bill, I was surprised to get a call from Bud, asking me out. I probably stammered a bit, since I thought he was interested in Phyllis. I accepted, and that was it. We were married two years later. Forty-eight years and two children later, August 22, 2018, we celebrate our anniversary together. We’ve had the best life anyone could ever have.
We tangled with the crows last summer and came way out on the losing end. They patiently watched us plow, measure, make rows, and plant, showing special interest in the seeds we’d chosen. From their keen attention, we could see they were partial to sweet corn. They practically drooled when it came out of the bag.
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Welcome to the weekly round up and a catch up on the week’s events here on the blog.
Most of you will know that as of August 1st – our Facebook profiles are not longer linked automatically. In itself it is not a problem because it offers an opportunity to personalise the post when sharing to FB. However, many of my posts, including the columns that are written by William Price King, Carol Taylor, D.G. Kaye and Jessica Norrie, are scheduled to go out at just after midnight. Around 65% of my readers are from North America and they are usually checking the WordPress reader, and also their email notifications during those overnight hours. With the loss of the link to Facebook where I have a substantial amount of followers, this meant that the post would not be seen until the following night, and would most likely be long…
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A small balding man storms into a local bar and demands, “Gimme a double of the strongest whiskey you got. I’m so mad, I can’t even see straight.” The bartender, noticing that the little man is a bit the worse for wear, pours him a double of Southern Comfort. The man swills down the drink and says, “Gimme another one.” The bartender pours the drink, but says, “Now, before I give you this, why don’t you let off a little steam and tell me why you’re so upset?” So, the man begins his tale. “Well, I was sitting in the bar next door, when this gorgeous blonde slinks in and actually sits beside me at the bar. I thought, “Wow, this has never happened before.” You know, it was kind of a fantasy come true. Well, a couple of minutes later, the blonde leans over and asks if I’d like…
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Joe told his doctor that he wasn’t able to get as much done around the house as he used to. When the examination was complete, he said: “Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.”
“Well, in plain English,” the doctor replied, “you’re just lazy.”
“Okay,” said the man. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell the wife.”
What do you call a woman who works as hard as a man?
Why don’t men do laundry?
Cause the washer and dryer don’t run with a remote.