When You Gotta Go…



This is was not their picnic, but you get the idea.  No bathroom in sight.

Mother has always been pretty ditzy.  We will only suspect her mind is going if she ever becomes organized.  In the early days of their marriage, she and Daddy went on  a picnic with Aunt Mary and Uncle Willie, long before the days of nice parks with conveniences like pavilions, picnic tables and rest facilities.  They just drove down a country road till they found a quiet spot under a big shade tree and spread their quilt on the ground for a nice picnic.  Not surprisingly, after lunch, the men decided to stroll to a small grove of trees to “look around.”

Apparently, there was a lot to see, because they took their time.  Meanwhile, back at the picnic site under the lone shade tree, all that coffee and lemonade was starting to percolate through Aunt Mary.  In desperation, she realized she couldn’t wait for her chance to stroll to the trees and “look around.”  There was nothing to hide behind, so she had to rough it.

“I’m gonna have to go,” she told Mother.  “We haven’t seen a car the whole time we’ve been out here.  I’ll squat on this side of the car where the men can’t see me. You keep a watch out for traffic so I can stand up real quick if I need to.”

Anxious to be helpful, Mother assured Aunt Mary she would.  After all, by now, she had to go, too.

Aunt Mary reminded Mother, “Now watch for a car.”  She set about her business, hidden from the view of the men.

It must have been a great relief, because once she maneuvered herself into the awkward squatting position, she stayed there a while, in no hurry to get up.  Aunt Mary was a woman of generous proportions.  Meanwhile, Mother stared off to the West, forgetting traffic went both ways.

As Aunt Mary sighed with relief, a car buzzed by from the East, honking and waving. “There goes one!”  Mother offered helpfully.

Picasso’s Sneakers

imageMy son got me again. He slipped his new school shoes out, getting them mud-caked the afternoon before the first day of fifth-grade classes.  I didn’t’the notice it until late in the afternoon. As we were indulging ourselves in poverty at the time, they were the only decent pair he had To wear to school.  Hurriedly, I threw them in the washer, then got Continue reading

Not a Small Matter!

Grandma young adult0007dentures by mail 1gum diseasefamily6Grandma was born in 1896. Very progressive, she employed higher standards of hygiene I do today, possibly because she’d barely survived typhoid in her mid-forties. Like me, washed her hands frequently as she cooked, but she scalded instead of merely rinsing her dishes, and boiled her whites, linens, and towels when doing her laundry with home-made lye soap in a huge cast-iron washpot outdoors until she got a washing machine. Continue reading