When the Unthinkable Happens

Have you heard that expression before?  The unthinkable…what would you do if the unthinkable happened…I’ve heard the expression and I’ve always considered it absurd.  If something is ‘unthinkable’ would we even be able to identify it, should it happen?  And wouldn’t we react differently with each ‘unthinkable’ happening?  Makes me kind of dizzy…consider the unthinkable – how can I possibly consider the unthinkable?  It’s 2015.  What could happen that we cannot think of or that we haven’t thought of?

After the dust settled from this peculiar conversation I’d tortured myself with, it occurred to me that, in retrospect, I am able to identify the unthinkable.

You see, in 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan, on the afternoon of May 18, 45 people left their homes that Bath Elementary School, 1927morning not knowing they wouldn’t return.  It would have been unthinkable to them.  Of the 45, 38 were children at the Bath Elementary School, where their janitor, Andrew Kehoe, had planted hundreds of pounds of dynamite.  Mr. Kehoe was on the school board, served as the town clerk and was a local farmer.  He was angry over property taxes being used to fund the school.  He was facing the possibility of losing his farm.  So, of course, he used dynamite and blew the school up.  With people inside.  He killed his wife and burned down his farm.  And blew up his truck.  He was inside.  Five other people either in or near his truck were killed also.  One of them, Kehoe’s target, was the school superintendent.  So, you see, if one of these children had been yours, a tragedy of this magnitude would have been unthinkable.  Especially in 1927. Continue reading “When the Unthinkable Happens”


I Cut My Teeth On These Southern Idioms

  1. High cotton – Such as ‘well he’s livin’ in high cotton’. You see, a field hand wouldn’t have to bend over to pick ‘high cotton’. Typically, cotton grows lower to the ground, so workers must stoop to pick the crop. Not comfortable after about 5 minutes.
  2. That dog won’t hunt – This is a useless object, be it animal or man or thing. Ought to get rid of it.
  3. He could eat corn through a picket fence.  A trip to the dentist is required, stat!  Braces!
  4. He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.  Unfortunately, this expression indicates someone laboring under false illusions….conceited…
  5. Bless your heart.  This is code in southern speak, especially for women.  A rough translation is good grief, you’re dumb as a box of rocks.  The deeper the southern inflection/drawl, the worse the insult.
  6. Ain’t that a bird dog!  A good bird dog is a thing to be cherished as a rarity.  This is usually said as a term of huge surprise or admiration.
  7. Lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.  Said to warn another, usually children, to abstain from keeping unsavory company, unless they wish to travel the same road, pick up the same bad habits.
  8. More anxious than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Self-explanatory, especially to cats!
  9. Cain’t never could.  You have to try first to know whether you can or not
  10. Fixin’ to.  Getting to it, as in I’m fixin’ to cook dinner.
  11. Directly.  Could mean anything from I’ll come by/I’ll do it in an hour or a week.  Depends.
  12. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.  Wishing won’t make it so.  Get to work.
  13. She’d just toss the baby out with the dishwater.  Doesn’t pay attention.  Thoughtless or forgetful.
  14. You’d better hush that crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.  Needs no explanation
  15. When you cut your leg off (due to carelessness in some form), don’t come running to me.  Said by someone with an acute grasp of the obvious.
  16. You want me to give you something to cry about?  I have trouble with this one.  It means hush crying or I’ll spank your butt and you’ll have a reason to cry.
  17. That child is so homely, we had to hang a pork chop around to get the dog to play with him.  This is a very plain child
  18. She’s so ugly, she has to sneak up on a glass of water.  Cruel  Just cruel.
  19. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.  Leave if the conversation doesn’t suit you.
  20. Were you born in a barn?  Said to children/men who continuously leave an outside door open to the delight of all flying insects.
  21. I don’t care if she’s the queen of England, she can eat what’s in front of her or go to bed.
  22. Go cut me a switch.  Yikes!  I hated hearing that!
  23. Ya’ll come back now, y’hear?  Come visit again soon.
  24. You’d complain if we hung ya with a gold rope.  Nothing’s good enough.
  25. Are you sassin’ me?   Are you being a smart mouthed child?
  26. Don’t that beat all?  That takes the cake.
  27. Over yonder.  Just a little ways off.  My daughter actually asked me to point out yonder on a map when she was small.
  28. I like three more.  The word ‘like’ should be ‘lack’.  No idea why.
  29. She’s as cute as a speckled pup.  This is considered high praise.
  30. He’s just plumb ornery. He’s very contrary.

That’s the tip of the iceberg…oh, that reminds me of  ‘slower than molasses in January’…

Hunger in a Sea of Plenty

Do you have any idea how much food is wasted in your household weekly?  The answer will probably surprise you.  My husband and I moved into a smaller home and I hadn’t considered how downsizing would impact my kitchen, my pantry, my closet space.  Darling Daughter suggested I create a menu every Thursday, then make a list of items required on my grocery list.  This was something she had wanted me to try for years, but I can be stubborn at times, and on this occasion I was both stubborn and wrong.

I had my reasons for refusal.  I like being prepared to cook and bake when the mood hits me so I kept a well stocked pantry.  With only my spouse and me at home, this resulted in goods expiring or spoiling before I used them.  I bought fruits and vegetables without considering my husband’s work schedule only to have them spoil in the refrigerator because there was no one home. The bottom line was I threw out a lot of food.

Well, I decided creating a menu weekly might help with my space issues so I sat down each Thursday, created a menu, then a grocery list.  Each Friday I wrote the menu in grease pencil on my board.  It hangs in the kitchen and I enjoy knowing in advance what I’ll prepare each night.  I know the ingredients are there, the produce is fresh, and the cupboards remain neat and orderly! Turn the page!

The Make-Believe Revolution

My generation ate breakfast with Captain Kangaroo and afternoon snack with Mister Rogers but Fred Rogers ruled in our household.  (Sorry, Captain)  He was soft-spoken, gentle and polite.  He treated all people with respect and I don’t think he had a rude bone in his body.

Fred’s goals as a young man didn’t include life in Make-Believe.   His degree was in music composition and he had plans to attend seminary when he saw his first television in his parents’ home.  He immediately realized its potential to nurture and enlighten children.   An idea formed, a plan, a plot, a strategy to inform and educate via TV.  An activist was born!  He would fight the fight ” for the broadcasting of grace through the land”. Turn the page!