Dining With Mr. Floyd

Daddy had always wanted a place in the country, but was overwhelmed at the magnitude of work facing him on that totally undeveloped acreage.  It had been homesteaded and farmed shortly after the Civil War, but hadn’t been under production for many years, long enough that most of it was covered in mature timber.  A tangle of locust trees was matted  over the old homeplace beneath three huge oaks.  Though we worked hard at clearing  and burning the growth, locust thorns worked up through the ground and pierced our feet for years to come, even through our shoes.

There was more work than one man could do, so Daddy hired Mr. Floyd to help harvest the timber and clear the land for pasture..  All that timber would finance the payments on the place and make improvements.  Mr. Floyd lived on the fringes of society getting by on odd jobs.  Mr. Floyd was unkempt, rarely bathed, and kept to himself, but had a reputation as a hard worker, He lived in a shack in the woods with his brother, who didn’t manage quite so well.  Daddy couldn’t afford to pay Mr. Floyd much, so they worked out a deal on a small wage, meals, and lodging in our fine school bus camper. When Mother got a whiff of Mr. Floyd, she told Daddy the camper was dead to her after that.

So, Daddy set the camper up on the far edge of his place.  Mr. Floyd moved in with instructions  to leave propane off since there might be a leak.  There shouldn’t be a problem anyway, since he’d be taking his meals with us.  Mother put some old bedding in the camper and Mr. Floyd moved in.  The next morning, he showed up for breakfast before daylight.  He didn’t was his hands, just dove in to the biscuits, grits, and eggs.  His manners served as lessons, thereafter.  “You’re eating like Mr. Floyd.”  He didn’t hog the conversation.  He was too busy with biscuits.

The men went to work right after breakfast.  It was early summer, but hot as blazes.  When they came in for lunch, Daddy pointed out the bathroom so Mr. Floyd could wash up.  He wasn’t worried about that.  He took the the chair Mother had offered him for breakfast nearest the window.  Daddy always sat at the opposite end of the table that got the best breeze from the attic fan.  He sat downwind of Mr. Floyd just long enough to get a whiff of seasoned body odor marinated with the piquant aroma of fresh morning sweat the fan pulled over our guest before jumping up.  “Here Floyd.  Sit here.  It’s the coolest spot.”

Mr. Floyd also taught Mother to cut the cornbread before putting it on the table when he reached for the plate and broke off a big piece before passing it. Phyllis and I both declined cornbread and passed it right along.  I didn’t keep up with who else was feeling picky, but there was a lot left after lunch.  None of us kids ever learned to enjoy Mr. Floyd’s company, but he was a necessary evil.

One night, over in the winter, long after work was finished, we heard what sounded like a sonic boom, which was surprising to hear at night.  A few minutes later, Mr. Floyd knocked on the door.  The boom had come from the camper.  Mr. Floyd had run low on wood for the heater and opted to use the propane stove, instead, the very same stove Daddy had warned him not to use because he suspected a leak.  Mr. Floyd had lit up a cigarette before bed and came near burning himself up.  It’s bad he got some burns, but good he didn’t gas himself. He was done with the camper after that, so that’s when Daddy let him work out a deal for a 1953 Chevy Sedan Daddy could spare.

The camper was deemed unfit, not only because Mr. Floyd blew it up, but because his strong smell lingered.  You can’t get rid of a fifty dollar just because of that.  A farm can always use storage.  Daddy pulled the camper up behind the house to use for feed storage and a place for the dogs to sleep. Mother was furious to have it so near her new house.  From that time on, whenever Daddy had no particular place to store something, it went in the camper.  It wasn’t long before the dogs were crowded out of the nice smelly bunks.  Whenever they could, the chickens slipped in and helped themselves to the chicken feed and tried to set up housekeeping.  Rats also liked chicken feed.  Black snakes love eggs, so between the smell, spooked chickens, rats, and snakes it was fairly unappealing.

Update on Mother

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I have been AWOL for a while due to some family situations, so I have some updating to do.  First of all, I’ve always posted a lot about Mother.  She is fine at ninety-two.  We avoid getting out because of corona virus, so it was a treat to go blueberry picking a few days ago. We only saw a couple of other pickers far afield, as happy to avoid contact as we were.

The sky was a pure, crystal blue and mountainous, cottony white-clouds transformed above us.  Had I been nimble as a five-year-old, I would have stretched out in the grass watching clouds change from horses to gnomes, to a covered wagons. Six decades certainly interferes with the pleasure of prolonged cloud performance.  A slight breeze brought welcome comfort in the Louisiana heat as we lounged with lemonade at a picnic table shaded by a giant oak.

I do believe this cloud was working up to the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

 

 

Mother still works in her yard almost every day.  She  comes from long-lived stock.  Her grandfather lived to ninety-six, before succumbing to stubbornness.  He might still be with us otherwise. He had a numb leg from a Civil War injury. An iron bedstead did him in when he hung a toe on his iron bedstead heading outdoors to the toilet, tripping  and cracking his head..  A brain bleed did him in four days later.

Aging gracefully, or Not

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'Push'n 50, but ya still got it!!'

‘Push’n 50, but ya still got it!!’

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When I was a kid, there were a lot of things I wanted to ask old people, but didn’t have the nerve. I’ll post some of them, since I have some “old friends” who have answered some of them for me. If you have questions, send them in and I’ll try to get some answers for you, too.

1. Do old people still have sex? Sure, thanks to pharmacology, if they can find someone willing, able, and blind or demented enough.

2. Why do old people drive so slow and park crazy? Most of them are retired and it doesn’t matter how long it takes them to park. Just be glad they didn’t scrape your fender on the way in to that space. They may have neck and back pain and stiff joints.

3. Why do old people dress so crazy? Why do kids dress crazy? They want to.

4. Why do old men grow hair on their noses and ears and old women get whiskers? All the energy that used to go into head hair and perky breasts gets rerouted when hormones play out. God forbid science extends life expectancy too much. We’ll all look like androgynous Brillo pads and be deaf as a stone.

5. Why do old people have such big noses and ears? Some body parts never stop growing. Unfortunately, this is usually limited to noses and ears, not something more appreciable. This big-eared looked is greatly enhanced by baldness and frizzy hair. The nose gets bigger to hold glasses up.

If you have questions, address them in comments. I’ll address them for you.

Great Things About Growing Older

Games to Play When We Are Older
Sag, You’re It
Pin the Toupee on the Bald Guy
20 Questions Shouted into Your Good Ear
Kick the Bucket
Red Rover, Red Rover, the Nurse Says Bend Over
Doc Goose
Simon Says Something Incoherent
Hide and Go Pee
Spin the Bottle of Mylanta
Musical Recliners

Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Lying about my age is easier now that I often forget what it is.

I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

I don’t do drugs. At my age I get the same effect just standing up fast.

There’s one good thing about growing old. If you watch a movie that you have seen before but you do not remember it, you can watch it like its the first time again!

 

Afternoon Funny

A woman in her eighties made the evening news because she was getting married for the fourth time. The following day she was being interviewed by a local TV station, and the commentator asked about what it felt to be married again at that age and would she share part of her previous experiences, since it seem quite unique the fact that her new husband was a ‘funeral director.’ After a short time to think, a smile came to her face and she proudly explained that she had first married a banker when she was in her twenties, in her forties she married a circus ring master, and in her sixties she married a pastor and now in her eighties, a funeral director. The amazed commentator asked her why she had married men with such diverse carriers. With a smile on her face she explained, ‘I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.’
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A young man was walking through a supermarket to pick up a few things when he noticed an old lady following him around. Thinking nothing of it, he ignored her and continued on. Finally he went to the checkout line, but she got in front of him. “Pardon me,” she said, “I’m sorry if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It’s just that you look just like my son, who just died recently.” “I’m very sorry,” replied the young man, “is there anything I can do for you?” “Yes,” she said, “As I’m leaving, can you say ‘Good bye, Mother’? It would make me feel so much better.” “Sure,” answered the young man.
As the old woman was leaving, he called out, “Goodbye, Mother!” As he stepped up to the checkout counter, he saw that his total was $127.50. “How can that be?” He asked, “I only purchased a few things!” “Your mother said that you would pay for her,” said the clerk.
Seems an elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years.
He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%. The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, “Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased you can hear again.”
To which the gentleman said, “Oh, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I’ve changed my will five times!”

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself, this driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!” So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over. Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies — two in the front seat and three in the back — wide eyed and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused, says to him, Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem? “Ma’am,” the officer replies, you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers. Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly… Twenty-two miles an hour! “The old woman says a bit proudly. The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22” was the route number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error. But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask… Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time, “the officer asks. Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119.”

“How was your game, dear?” asked Jack’s wife Tracy.
“Well, I was hitting pretty well, but my eyesight’s gotten so bad I couldn’t see where the ball went,” he answered.
“But you’re 75 years old, Jack!” admonished his wife, “Why don’t you take my brother Scott along?”
“But he’s 85 and doesn’t play golf anymore,” protested Jack.
“But he’s got perfect eyesight. He would watch the ball for you,” Tracy pointed out.
The next day Jack teed off with Scott looking on. Jack swung and the ball disappeared down the middle of the fairway. “Do you see it?” asked Jack.
“Yup,” Scott answered.
“Well, where is it?” yelled Jack, peering off into the distance.
“I forgot.”

An old man walks into a bar, sits down, and starts crying.
The bartender asks, “What’s wrong?” The old man looks at the bartender through
Teary eyes and between sobs says, “I married a beautiful woman two days ago. She’s a natural blonde, twenty-five, intelligent, a marvelous cook, a meticulous housekeeper,
Extremely sensitive to my wants and needs, very giving, my best friend, and intensely passionate in bed.”
The bartender stares at the old man for a brief moment and says, “But that sounds great! You have what every man wants in a woman, so why are crying?”
The old man looks at the bartender and says, “I can’t remember where I live!”

Joke of the Day

Pays To Be Old

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No one believes seniors . . . everyone thinks they are senile.

An Elderly couple was celebrating their sixtieth anniversary. 
The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had 
moved back to their old neighbourhood after they retired. 

Holding hands they walked
 back to their old school.
I t was not locked, so
 they entered, and found the old desk 
they’d shared where Andy had carved ‘I love you, Sally.’ 

On their way back ho me , a bag of money fell out of 

an armored car, practically landing at their feet.
Sally quickly picked it up, but not sure 

what to do with it, they took it home. 
There, she counted the money:  
fifty-thousand dollars! 

Andy said, ‘We’ve got to give it back.’  

Sally said, ‘Finders keepers.’ 
 

She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic. 
The next day, two FBI men were canvassing the neighborhood 

looking for the money and knocked on the door.

‘Pardon me, but did either of you find a bag 
that fell out of an armored car yesterday?’

Sally said, ‘No.’  

Andy said, ‘She’s lying. She hid it up in the attic.’ 
 

Sally said, ‘Don’t believe him, he’s getting senile.’

The agents turn to Andy and began to question him.  

One says:  ‘Tell us the story from the beginning’ 
 


Andy said, ‘Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday . . ..’

The first FBI guy turns to his partner and says, ‘We’re outta here.’

Ask Auntie Linda, August 27, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, My husband and I have been happily married for six years and have two-year-old twin girls.   We are very close to our families.  In fact, our parents babysit, so they have never even been in daycare.  My husband has recently been offered the position of Chief Nursing Officer major hospital two hours away.  This would be a opportunity. I am a nurse also, but with his pay increase wouldn’t even have to work, if I didn’t want to.  Here  is the problem.  I don’t want to leave my home and take the children from their grandparents.  We have always gone to church here.  This is where our friends and lives are.  Would it be a mistake to ask Joey to take an apartment in the new town and commute on weekends?  With the pay raise, we could easily afford it.  Hometown Girl

Dear Hometown Girl,  Think really hard about this.  I wouldn’t want to risk my happy marriage and my children’s family time just to maintain a home near extended family.  Should my husband suggest living apart, I’d feel expendable.  This could be a mistake that would change your life forever.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda,  I work in a Womens Tall and Stout shop.  I’ve seen a male family member shopping for underwear for himself in my store several times. He has waved to me.  I usually duck out and ask someone else to assist him?  I’d be happy to help him, but don’t really know how to handle this.  What should I do?  Puzzled

Dear Puzzled,  He obviously knows you work there.  Treat him like you would any other customer.  Offer to help. Take your cue from his behavior. Auntie Linda