George Smith: Don’t mess with the banjo strings
Dec 16, 2012 | 2497 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A couple of things you might like to know:

1. There are now just nine shopping days left until Christmas.

2. My lady the blonde is strung out tighter than a banjo string.

She’s out there somewhere (take your pick: Dillard’s, T. J. Max, Couch’s) amongst all of you, which means I am in the midst of hanging on and saving our marriage. An old bit of advice on how you do that fits like a wet glove this time of the year:

“The key to a successful marriage is keep your mouth shut and your pocketbook open.”

'Course it’s not always that easy, especially when (after being gone all day) she pulls her truck (mini-van) into the carport, honks the horn, calls me on her cell phone (just to be sure), and says:

“I need some help out here!”

She always arrives in the middle of Wheel of Fortune and I never know who won the big pot at the end or how much.

Anyway, I “rock” my way out of my Archie Bunker recliner, and head for the carport. Her truck (mini-van) is sitting low on the rear axle. It’s remindful of a bootlegger heading down the mountain to town with a few gallons of the white (recipe).

(In the spirit of the season, please don’t ask me how I know about THAT!)

Anyway, you can bake a small pone of cornbread while you’re unloading the blonde’s truck (mini-van). Well, you’re right. That’s stretching it a bit ... but not by much. Mostly what I’m doing here is being very up front about “the season to be jolly.”

I’m not doing all that badly there, either.

We are now into the 21st day of the nation’s Number One Shopping Season and there hasn’t been (as of yet) one single shouting match between me and the blonde (“keep your mouth shut”). In addition to still being head-over-heels in love with her, divorce is expensive and murder gets you a seat in the electric chair. All that helps keep the mouth zipped.

All kidding aside, a truth is she is most amazing at this time of the year. Among other things:

1. She’s out there shopping for no less than eight people ... one son, one daughter-in-law, three grandsons, two granddaughters-in-law, and for me, too. There is also a scattering of nieces and nephews she bestows a bit on.

2. If at home, she’s up in her “barn” wrapping all that stuff. The place looks like a minefield at the moment, but she’s recording who and what on index cards (that’s to be sure she doesn’t slight anybody). Ribbons, boxes, bags, and Scotch tape abound.

3. She also goes about “picking up the house,” cooking a bit, and talking on the phone for hours with Susie (the daughter-in-law) about a menu for our Christmas Eve dinner. I thought that was booked solid when Riley, number one grandson, called from McCalla saying “Poppa, I want your cornbread and field peas with slaw for supper.” That, at the moment, is about the only bone of contention at the house. The blonde has loftier plans.

Oh, did I mention the tree is up and decorated? She and a young lady by the name of Courtney Noah did that over the span of three days.

She’s a wonder.

And, for some reason, my memory harkens back to my grandmother, Hattie Cook Smith.

She bore nine kids (eight boys and a girl), kept a big old house in order, kept clothes washed and ironed, milked cows, had a big garden and, in her spare time, went to the fields with a cotton sack over her shoulder.

All that without electricity or running water. Light was a kerosene lamp, water came from a hole in the ground.

When I look around at all the blonde has wrought since Thanksgiving, it comes to me she would match up very well with my grandmother if she had lived in those days and hard times.

She’s a wonder ... and come next Thanksgiving I’m going to tell her exactly that and give thanks for her being in my world.

One more thing ...

Columns do not always go in the direction intended. Sometimes you start out a bit on the cutesy side, but then wander into a message that really is important ... at least for yourself if not for others.


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:

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