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... A Word that Means the World ...
"M" is for the many things she gave me.
"O" is that she's only growing old.
"T" is for the tears she said to save me.
"H" is for her heart of purest gold.
"E" is for her eyes with love-light shining.
"R" is right, and right she'll always be!
Put them all together, they spell "Mother"-
A word that means the world to me.
The above was written by a songwriter named Howard Johnson. Bill said that his sister-in-law, Esther, used to sing it to irritate her daughters and let them know what was what. I can't imagine my grandsons warbling that little ditty that we learned when we were kids. I suspect that they'd make retching noises at the thought of it. Theirs is a much less sentimental generation.
Mother's Day is one of those holidays that brings back both poignant and funny memories: While she was here for a visit, Vicki and we fell to reminiscing about the irritating and/or funny things that parents put up with. As Art Linkletter says, "Kids do the darnedest things!" They get into their diapers while supposed to be napping and smear dung over everything that they can reach. ... They give each other horrible haircuts. ... Their lock themselves in bathrooms and can't get out. ...
Bill's older brother, Lex, asked him if he'd like to know what it felt like to be hanged. "Well, I guess so," replied Bill. Using a coat hanger, Lex proceeded to hang him from a closet hook. One Saturday, Mother and I were on the Central Swallow bus. A little boy who had a paper sack on his head was sticking his arm out the window. Concerned, Mother said, "Ma'am, your little boy has his arm out the window."
"I don't care! This has been the worst day of my life! First he poured a whole box of laundry soap in the washing machine, and suds went all over the kitchen. Then he got into the pie I'd baked for the church dinner. Next he cut off the cat's whiskers. You'll never guess what's on his head. He jammed his potty on it, and I can't get it off. I've already been to two towns, trying to find someone to cut it off. I'm on my way to Greenfield."
I was not pleased when Vicki took her little fishing pole and put a hook through the lip of her Christmas puppy, "Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-Dog," an obstreperous, stupid mutt. Traffic stopped, and people laughed while he frolicked along behind me at the end of a fishing line until we arrived at the home of a neighbor who had wire cutters.
Vicki cackled about the time that her boys decided to make cookies. Hearing their shrieks of delight, she discovered that they'd broken a dozen eggs on the floor and were sliding around in them. "I thought about spanking them, but they were too funny."
One of my cousins picked the buds off my uncle's prize peonies. Next she got a butcher knife and stabbed the upholstery of her parents' new car. "Did you spank her?" my mother asked my aunt. "No. If I'd touched her, I might have killed her."
Jean told about the huge fight that her mother and she had when Jean was about 11 years old. Her mother bought an ugly straw sailor hat with streamers for her and insisted that she wear it to church. Jean refused to wear it, and they got into a huge screaming match that was so bad that Jean's quiet father finally sided with Jean and put an end to it. "We laugh about it now, but we certainly didn't laugh then!"
Sometimes the best of motherly intentions go awry! Our friend Jana, a guidance counselor and a person who always tries to do her absolute best, decided that she needed to interact more with her children. She had cozy visions of the happy family making Christmas cookies together. They didn't want to make cookies. They fought and whined, and the kitchen was a mess. Exasperated, she decided that she was not going to be Mother of the Year.
She established a Christmas tradition of having the children gather round while the Nativity Scene was being set up and carefully explained its meaning. When their son, Adam, was four years old John and she discovered that he had put Baby Jesus in a matchbox car and was racing him around the Christmas tree. She said, "You know, I really felt as if I had failed, somehow." Personally, I suspect that He would have enjoyed it!
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