My Dog “Bugs”

Today I would like to share a story about my little cocker spaniel named Bugs.  We had pets all through our childhood, but I guess he was our favorite.  We got him from one of our neighbors when we lived in the little block house and named him Bugs after seeing him eating bugs.

Cocker spaniels have long hair and when it snowed, Bugs would have huge snowballs attached to his feet.  In the summer, we would get him sheared so he would stay cool.  Eventually, I was the one who took him to be sheared; and when I would bring him home, Doc (Dad’s bird dog) would growl at him because he didn’t recognize Bugs with his hair all gone.  Bugs would be so embarrassed; he wouldn’t want to get out of the car.

When we moved to our new house, Dad was afraid that Bugs would chase the neighbor’s chickens so he gave Bugs to one of movers.  It totally broke my heart as I stood there in the yard crying as they started to leave with my little dog; but Dad’s heart got the best of him and he took him back from the movers.  Incidentally, he never chased any of the neighborhood chickens.

Bugs was a natural retriever.  You could throw a rock anywhere in the yard or gravel driveway and he would bring back the exact rock that you threw. Now, I have to tell you what Cheryl and I would do to him every once in a while.  We had this little one-room house in the yard where the cats would keep their kittens.  In the summer, the kittens would sit in the door to enjoy the fresh air.  We would throw a rock in the little house, and in there Bugs would go to get his rock.  Let me add here that the kittens were in no danger from the rocks or Bugs.  But, they would jump around growling and hissing at him; they were so cute.  He paid no attention to them; he just wanted get his rock and bring it back so we would throw it again.  And, we would – right back into the little house.

Another cute thing he would do was howl when the car horn was blown; I guess it hurt his ears.  But, sometimes we would pretend to howl and he would throw that little head back and just howl.

I remember one time we all walked back in the fields to see an old gentleman who lived a little shack back there.  Bugs went with us; but when we got back to the house, Bugs wasn’t with us.  We called and called, but he still didn’t come to the house.  Dad decided that he had fallen into a dry well in the field.  So, he and Mom walked back to the well and sure enough, Bugs was in the well.  Dad held Mom’s legs and lowered her into the well to get a hold of him and lift him out.  She wasn’t too keen on the idea; she was afraid Bugs would bite her when she lifted him out.  Of course he didn’t and Dad once again saved my little dog.

We moved to Memphis so my dad could attend Getwell School of Preaching and we left Bugs with Mawdie.  She loved him as much as we did and took good care of him. He grew old and one day, some kids were shooting firecrackers behind her house; and since he was gun-shy, the noise scared him and he ran to a field behind her house, had a heart attack and died.  My dad couldn’t save my Bugs this time.  I loved him very much.

See ya next Wednesday.



Another Christmas Memory

As I said last week, I have more Christmas stories to tell you, especially the Christmases we spent at Grandma and Grandpa Thomasson’s house.

I remember one Christmas in particular when Jimmie Thomasson brought his new bride to Grandma’s for Christmas Eve dinner.  Jimmie was Uncle Rip’s son but; unlike Uncle Rip, he lived in Marshall County like most of the Thomassons.   Now, Jimmie and Robbie had gotten married a couple of weeks before Christmas so of course she didn’t know any of the family. She had met some of us at the wedding but that was it and I’m sure she didn’t remember any of us.  She especially had no idea what spending Christmas with the Thomasson’s was gonna be like.  So, they came to Grandma’s and we had the huge meal we always had.  After all the gifts had been opened, Gene, Gary, Dennis and Larry asked Jimmie to take a short ride with them.   And, unsuspecting Jimmie agreed to do so and told Robbie that he wouldn’t be gone very long. Well, off they went and she was left there with all these strangers. The clock showed 9 pm, then 10 pm, and still no sign of Jimmie. Since it was getting so late, everybody got ready to leave because we had to get home and into bed so Santa Claus would come and leave us all those glorious toys.  Grandma made Robbie a bed on the living room couch and she and Grandpa went to bed. Sometime around 3 am the next morning, they brought Jimmie back to Grandma’s house.  I wasn’t there, but I can tell you right now, Jimmie’s new bride was not a happy camper; and yep you guessed it, they never came back to Grandma’s for Christmas Eve.

Now, Christmas at Rose’s house was like a day in the twighlight zone.  She would always have a bad headache so she couldn’t cook or help do anything.  Mawdie would do most of the cooking; my Mom would bring a couple of dishes and Rose would lie on the couch and grunt all day.  If you think I’m kidding, just ask anyone who was there.  Sometimes she would ask me to rub her neck.  I would always do it until my fingers started getting numb.  My sister would go to Greg’s room and they would talk science and space travel.  Toni and Gina were just running around playing and all excited about opening gifts.  Then, of course, Rose couldn’t help clean the kitchen after the meal either because she still had a headache.  But, I tell ya, she was the life of the party and I always had a great time when I was around her.  One of her last Christmases was spent at my house; and even though she was ill, she still was the life of the party.  I miss her a lot.

See ya next Wednesday.

I want to wish all of you a very very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

One of My Early Christmases

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.

I don’t remember too many Christmases in our little house, but I do remember that Dad always went to the field and cut a fresh cedar tree to be decorated.  Oh how I loved, and still do, the smell of a cedar tree – it just smells like Christmas. Dad would string the lights and Mom would decorate the tree; it was always beautiful to me.   One year, Santa brought Cheryl and me Connie Lynn dolls. These dolls had human hair and were made of hard plastic. My grandmother made clothes for them.   When I was about three years old, Santa brought me a Marlins electric train.  The engine light would come on and smoke would rise from the smoke stack as the train moved along the tracks.  I spent many hours playing with that train.  After Mom’s death, my sister found the engine to my train and gave it to me for Christmas once again.

Also, at Christmastime, my favorite song was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” My mom often told me that when the song asked, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight,” that I always answered, “eayah.”  I tell ya, I really miss those Christmases.

When we were small, the entire family would meet Grandma and Grandpa Thomasson’s house on Christmas Eve, except for Uncle Ernest (he and his family lived in Massachusetts).  My older cousins (Gary, Gene, Dennis, Larry and Jimmie) would bring fireworks which consisted mainly of firecrackers and they shoot them off in front of the house while we little ones watched.  Each family brought food and all the Moms would help finish getting the meal ready and serve it.  The kids and men would eat first and then the Moms would eat.  Once we kids were finished eating, we would start whining because we wanted to open presents.  But, the Moms would finish their meal, then wash the dishes and clean the kitchen before they would let us do that. I think they delayed letting us open presents just for meanness. They always threatened to not let us open presents at all if we didn’t stop pestering them.  Yeh, like that was gonna happen, but their point was made and we left them alone.

Finally, we would get to open presents and Uncle Chapel would film the whole process of everyone opening their gifts.  This was back in the 1950s so the camera had the big lights on it and everyone was blinded by them.  Grandpa gave all us kids a 50 cent piece for Christmas and we all would give him a great big hug because that made us rich!  Grandpa’s birthday was on December 24th and I always felt like he was cheated out of his birthday/Christmas gifts that way.  Speaking of Uncle Chapel, he was always clowning around and making everyone laugh, as you can see in the picture.

Once we left their house, we would go to Mawdie’s and open presents there.  She gave me soft flannel pajamas every year which I looked forward to getting.  On Christmas Day, we would go to Aunt Rose’s house and have Christmas dinner.  Now, Christmas at Rose’s house is a whole nother story!!

See ya next Wednesday.


Joel and Amanda’s Wedding

I want to share with you the marriage of my son Joel and his beautiful fiance Amanda. They were married last Friday in a civil ceremony in uptown Charlotte; her dad and I served as their witnesses.   And, of course, her mom was there too.  Their formal wedding is planned for May 21, 2012 which is gonna be so pretty.

We first had lunch at Ri Ra; it was delicious and there was so much food – I mean, I can eat on the fish I got for a couple of days.  So, we headed over to the courthouse and had to go through security.  Let me add here that we never do anything that there isn’t a “moment” and Friday was no exception.  I went through the scanner okay but I had taken my camera with me only to find out you can’t take cameras into the courthouse. So, Joel and I had to take Sherri’s and my camera back to the car which was about four blocks away from the courthouse.

We made it through security this time and went to wait in line which seemed very long, but in fact, moved pretty fast.  While we were waiting, another lady and I talked about the high heels that some of the girls were wearing.  I tell ya, if I had to wear some of those puppies, I would definitely break a leg, not to mention what wearing them would do to my poor old feet.  One couple waiting in line was all dressed up in wedding apparel and they looked really nice.

So, our turn finally came and we went into the courtroom where the Magistrate told us where to sit.  Joel and Amanda stood facing one another and holding hands in front the Magistrate.  Joel said his vows first; and when it was Amanda’s turn, Joel kept winking and grinning at her and she had a little trouble saying hers without getting tickled.  The Magistrate made Joel look at her and then they both struggled not to laugh out loud.  It was a very sweet ceremony and we did take a few pictures with our cell phones.

It was a wonderful day and I just want to say congratulations to Joel and Amanda and wish them a long and happy life together.  I love you.

See ya next week.