All His Idea

My son recently had surgery. He is recovering well.  That is not the story.  Bud and I came to spend a few days to stay with him at the hospital and help my daughter-in-law with their two Akitas.  Akitas are huge furry dogs who shed copiously.  Every day, there is enough hair on the floor to cover a whole new dog.  The kids just moved and still have boxes to unpack.  They have an aging vacuum cleaner that struggles with dog hair and has to be unstopped every few minutes to empty. Sadly, the vacuum cleaner implements are still packed in a moving box. I am the primary housekeeper since John is in the hospital and my daughter-in-law spends time with him and tries to keep their lives going.  That being said, I need a fully functional vacuum cleaner with implements. “I am going to buy a vacuum cleaner as soon as I can get to a store.  I cant’t keep up with the dog hair with this old vacuum cleaner and a dust cloth.”

Bud thought I could.  “It vacuums just fine.  You just need to unstop it when it plugs up.”

”It does not work fine.  Take me to the store.”

“I don’t have time right now.  I have to………” He mumbled as he walked off.  He clearly intended to avoid the store.

The next day, I went to pick my daughter-in-law up after her hospital visit.  She took me to the store and I got a nice vacuum cleaner.  All the comings and goings have been hard on the dog’s nerves.  The next morning,  DIL left me at the hospital and picked Bud up, after he’d spent the night.  When they got in the house, a horrible mess greeted them at the door.  Trash was scattered all over the kitchen.  One of the dogs had dragged a box of grits off the counter and stomped them all into the rug.  There was liquid dog poop smeared in the bathroom rug.  The dogs made enough mess between them to keep that new vacuum cleaner busy for a couple of hours.

After the storm, Bud remarked to DIL.  “I told Linda y’all probably need a new vacuum cleaner.”

How did it get to be his idea?

Jolly Funeral Policy

Connie and Marilyn's Toddler PicturesAgents selling funeral policies were a fixture in the rural South.  Our budget was too tight for such luxuries, so Mother tried hard to keep us alive.  Myrtle Harper sold policies for Jolly Funeral Home and Watkins products.  She was a nosy do-gooder who carried sunshine from house to house, dispensing information about people’s financial situations Continue reading

Jolly Funeral Policy

Agents selling funeral policies were a fixture in the rural South.  Our budget was too tight for such luxuries as funeral policies, so Mother tried hard to make sure we didn’t die.  Myrtle Harper sold policies for Jolly Funeral Home and Watkins products for the home.  She was a nosy do-gooder who carried sunshine from house to house, dispensing information about people’s financial situations (Betty Jones was three months behind on her six policies but thought she might be able to get the money from her Mama, now that her daddy had drunk himself to death and Mama wasn’t stretched quite so tight), their health(It’s a good thing, Bonnie Mercer bought that nice policy on her new baby.  She might need it if the baby didn’t start looking better.) and social issues.(Bertha Willis had another black eye and “No wonder Phil Parker ran around with everything in a skirt.  Lucy kept a filthy house and her cooking wasn’t fit for the hogs.”)

Even though Mother had repeatedly refused to purchase funeral policies,  Mother  occasionally bought Watkins Vanilla or Anti Pain Oil for her headaches, so Myrtle kept optimistically coming by every time she was in the neighborhood.  She inspected each new baby hopefully to see if it might look puny enough to tempt Mother into buying a new policy.  When Connie and Marilyn were toddlers, they sat playing in the shade of a huge oak tree as Mother and Myrtle drank tea and Myrtle planned her latest insurance campaign.  “Just look at those two little girls playing there.  If you bought a policy for them right now, I could get them both a four hundred policy for just a dollar a month.  If you wait till they’re thirteen, it would cost you at least a thousand dollars to bury them.”

Mother studied her babies thoughtfully.  “Well, I guess we’d better bury them now.  I wouldn’t want to miss out on a good deal.” Myrtle never even knew she was being strung along.

Raising the Dead

Poor Uncle Joe was dying.  No doubt about it.  He’d been in bed for days, getting weaker and weaker.  Family “sat” with him around the clock.  Cousin Frank who’d been sitting for hours, finally just had to slip out to the bathroom.  Uncle Joe opened his eyes for the first time in days.  He smelled apple pie.  He was hungry!!  He just had to have some pie.

“Sally.  Sally”  No answer.  That pie was calling him.  With his last strength, he slid out of bed, so weak he melted to the floor.  Creeping on hands and knees, he finally made it down the long hall to the kitchen.  As he pulled up to the table and reached for the pie, Aunt Sally turned and smacked his hand, “Leave that alone, you old goat!  That’s for the funeral!”

Sorry, Your Highness, My Mother’s a Snob

My mother is always taking digs at the Queen. It’s not like she’s ever met her, nor even been slighted by her in any way.  They’ve never moved in the same social circles since Mother has always lived in the United States. Nor has Her Highness ever had the opportunity to snub her, except when Mother made a twenty-one day tour of Great Britain. The Queen failed to invite Mother to tea, even though she was in residence at Windsor Palace at the time.  Mother said if the Queen didn’t have the courtesy to invite her, she wasn’t about to beg for an invitation.  I reminded Mother the Queen may not have even known she was in the country, but the damage was done.  The only positive thing Her Majesty has ever done is be a year older than Mother.  Mother is vain about being younger, prettier, and having a better sense of fashion than the Queen.  She also accuses her of being a snooty, nosy mother-in-law.  Despite the fact that Mother has issues with the Queen, any time the Royal Family is featured in the media, Mother is right there. She is pointing out all the Queen’s flaws, insisting she’s gained weight since the last time.  There.  The truth is out…I hope the Queen doesn’t take it too hard.


Addendum:  I am ashamed to report how joyously my mother received the recent news that the DNA of King Richard III, Queen Elizabeth’s forbear, revealed there was some Royal hanky-panky going on, indicating he was not legitimate!