Tag Archives: kids

64 fl. oz. Miracle Bubbles

The weather in Michigan this weekend was spectacular, warm but not too hot, cool but not too cold. I spent as much time outside as I could, doing manly things that involved an array of outdoor tools; shovels and rakes and brooms and axes, all the while sporting several days of unshaven stubble, old dirty jeans and a t-shirt, broken down leather work boots and gloves. A heavy flannel shirt was added in the evenings when the newly found Spring temperatures gave way to pleasant cool air that felt more like Fall. The peepers and other critters in the swamp behind our property sang spiritedly the whole weekend.

Part of Saturday’s workload, was cleaning out one of my barns, the one filled mostly with lawn equipment and outdoor tools and a diverse assortment of everything else you could imagine that needs a place to be stored. It was dirty work and over the recent long, cold Michigan winter, it had become a disorganized mess of shit piled everywhere that I could barely walk through without risking a certain trip to the emergency room.

It felt good to clean it out, to make space, to put tools back where they belonged, to throw stuff away. That’s probably the closest place I have to a man-cave, although there’s no television, no couch, no sports memorabilia, no cooler full of beer. But it is a place where I can go and tinker around and have a little solitude. The extent of the decorations dressing up the few rustic timbers that aren’t covered with tools hanging from rusty, bent nails; a dirty, old, yet still proud American flag that once flew from our house, a wall of our old Michigan and Massachusetts license plates, a stop sign that I picked up some time ago, and a KIMBERLY TERRACE street sign that my wife was given back when she was a teenager… acquired, I’m sure legally, of course!

I worked through the clutter, throwing away old spark plug packages, empty oil containers, cans of dried paint, pieces and parts of stuff that I didn’t recognize and figured if I have no idea what it is or where it came from, it must not be that important. Tools were sorted into tool boxes, screws and nails and bolts and nuts and washers were relegated to a recycled coffee can to be reused at another time. I learned long ago to never toss away a perfectly good fastener. The floor was swept of dirt and grime and oil and hay. I pulled a couple of old mowers out, stripped of their parts like abandoned cars on an urban freeway, and dragged them to the road along with a FREE FOR PARTS OR SCRAP sign, handwritten in black marker on a scrap piece of board.

Then I came across this:

bubblesIt was dirty and covered in spider webs and had been sitting in this same spot for who knows how many years. I picked the jug up secretly hoping it was empty so I could quickly toss it into the ever-growing trash bag. It felt full and I unscrewed the cap and looked inside to see about 2/3 of the container was still filled with the soapy bubble mixture that has given kids endless delight for decades. Without giving it a second thought, I started carrying the jug to the far back part of our property where I could dump out its contents, then dispose of the packaging in the trash.

But as I walked, I felt this profound pang of a loss of innocence… and frankly, more than a little sadness. Shovels and axes and several days of unshaven stubble and old dirty jeans and a t-shirt and broken down leather work boots and gloves… had been instantly trumped by a container of dish soap disguised as MIRACLE BUBBLES!

I thought of my two kids, surely who we had purchased this giant 64 fl. oz. jug of MIRACLE BUBBLES for many years ago. Neither of whom, I surmised, now grown up, knew or cared that it existed anymore. My daughter will be a senior in high school next year, and my son a freshman, the first time since elementary school that they’ll be in the same school again. I stopped for a minute, unscrewed the cap again, pulled out the MIRACLE WAND and watched as the warm spring breeze sent oily, rainbow tinted bubbles flying through the air. I dipped the wand three of four more times and watched as more bubbles soared through the air only to disappear in the blink of an eye the moment they landed on the grass or a log pile or the branch of a tree.

I questioned my decision to dump out the container.

Then it occurred to me that experts often recommend using dish soap if you are trying to get a new tire to seal to a rim while filling it with air. I dropped the wand back into the container, screwed the cap back on and turned around and headed back towards the barn where I set the jug back down where I had found it, still covered in dirt and grime and spider webs.

Because I learned long ago to always be prepared and who knows the next time I’ll need to seal a new tire to the rim of my mower or lawn tractor.

That’s why I kept the bubbles…

Really…

Okay, maybe not…

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Psssst… George, you’re killing us over here.

Clooney

George, c’mon, seriously?!? You just said all that gushy, romantic shit on TV? At an awards ceremony no less? Dude, what the fuck, did you not read the handbook they gave you when you got married? C’mon, it’s the handbook… THE HANDBOOK… and you were supposed to read it! But obviously you didn’t. Or maybe you just skimmed through it like some kind of savant and thought “whatevs, I got this, I’m George Fucking Clooney.” But you should have read it… especially the part about not showing up all your fellow men in front of other women… especially millions of other women!

The morning after the Golden Globes my family and I were sitting around with the TV on and all the stations were recapping the highlights of the previous evening’s festivities. I didn’t watch the awards, it doesn’t really interest me. Maybe the rest of the family watched some of it, I don’t really know. But the highlight among highlights was apparently when George Clooney got up on stage to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award and after thanking a bunch of people he (more or less) said this:

“So congratulations to all of you for having a very good year. I’ve had a pretty good year myself. Listen, it’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Even better if you’ve been waiting your whole life and when your whole life is 53 years. Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”

Upon seeing a short recap of this part of the speech that morning, my 14 year old son turned to me and jokingly asked “Dad, how come you never do that for Mom?”

I smiled and listened closely for the inevitable chortle from my wife.

“Do what?” I answered.

“Give a romantic speech like that” he said, egging me on.

I thought for a minute and then replied with the best I could come up with. “Well, I guess because no one has ever thought I deserved to receive a really prestigious award like that.”

“That’s because you don’t” chimed in my 17 year old daughter with a smart-ass smirk on her face.

Wow, tough crowd!

Look, I can dress up nice and “product” up my hair and stand around and look handsome with the best of them. But I’ll admit, I’ve never been that great in the “romance department”. Apparently a lot of guys aren’t if you take a long stroll through the ROMANCE section at the local Barnes and Noble.

But what really is romance? Is it what you see on the screen at a movie theatre? Is it what you read in a $6.99 paperback you found in the book section of a Wal-Mart? Is it pouring your heart out at a gala event of overpriced celebrities while our materialistic, gossip driven world watches in awe?

Perhaps on rare occasion it’s those things.

Or is it climbing onto the whirling carnival ride of life with someone you love and frantically pulling down the security bar… a ride that starts slow but before you know it is moving and spinning and you’re hanging on for dear life through weeks and months and years of changing shitty diapers, not sleeping, driving to a million of your kid’s sporting events, lifting them up when they’re down and guiding them to places you’d always felt you should have gone, celebrating victories and mourning losses, working endless hours to pay endless bills, watching family and friends battle illness and tragedies and everything else the world wants to fast-pitch, 90 miles per hour at you on a daily basis… only to be the happiest two people on earth when you’re given ten minutes at the end of the day to share a glass of wine and talk about anything other than the carnival ride that’s just stopped for a short moment to let a few people off and welcome a few new people on.

“Three tickets please.”

No author or screen-writer is making a living off of that story. Maybe no one is even writing that story. But maybe that’s what romance really is.

Had I actually been watching the Golden Globes, when those words poured out of Clooney’s mouth like an oversize serving of mushy cream-of-wheat being scooped from a cast iron cauldron into a cereal bowl, I imagine I would have heard the collective swooning sighs of millions of breathless women and the sounds of flapping pages as all of the Nicholas Sparks books sitting on shelves lifted off in unison and began flying around houses like doves at a royal wedding.

That’s a tough act to follow.

But it’s fiction. He’s a celebrity. He’s not real life.

I have nothing against George Clooney. I like him as an actor. He’s probably a great guy and he gave a speech that evening that was honest and moving and inspirational. He’s certainly one of the most handsome celebrities around right now. MAN is he fucking handsome! He seems compassionate and whether you agree with his politics or not, he actively uses his fame and wealth in many philanthropic ways and I respect that.

He and his new wife have probably just climbed onto their own version of the whirling carnival ride.

The toothless “carnie” is standing in the control booth with a pocket full of tickets, ready to push the start button.

George, you need to read the damn handbook…

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The Tree of Life

Two years ago, just about this time in early October, I wrote a post called the Tree of Life and dedicated it to my son. It was on a day similar to today, the onset of autumn and days filled with deep, healing breaths of cool, crisp air and the beginning of falling leaves. I stood this morning in my kitchen, staring out the window, with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand and watched a leaf fall from the large Maple tree that sits outside our house. That same scenario, an autumn leaf falling from a tree was the spark that got me to my keyboard two years ago to produce what is one of my favorite posts on this site.

My kids both have milestone birthdays coming up in November. My son will turn thirteen and finally be a teenager and my daughter will turn “sweet sixteen”. I’m so proud of these kids and what they’ve become. Of course, what responsible, loving parent isn’t proud of every step forward their children make in life? But also, like many of you reading, years of guiding our kids in so many directions can take a deep toll on our levels of patience, understanding and compassion.

I’m not always at my most compassionate these days. My wife Kim used to say I had “the patience of Job”, whoever Job is… and she was right. I did and many days I still do. But I’m also a “You’re injured? Wrap a bandage around it and quit moaning”, kind of parent. Last evening my son was an absolute train wreck after weeks of seventh grade classes, daily football practices, Boy Scout events, and on top of that not feeling well. I wasn’t mean or angry with his “call for help”, but I certainly didn’t offer up what would have been most helpful; a strong hug from Dad and some therapeutic compassion. We got home about 8:30 pm and he laid down directly on the mattress of his unmade bed and was asleep in minutes.

Children are resilient little beasts and this morning, all was well again and he was mostly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as much as a twelve-year-old can be at 7:00 a.m. in the morning. Shortly after the kids left for school, I stood by that kitchen window, with my steaming cup of coffee and watched that leaf fall. It reminded me of my Tree of Life post and reinforced to me that although my kids may be rapidly approaching adult hood, they are still just kids who are trying to find their way in the world, trying to please their parents and teachers and friends and looking for guidance from the adults in their lives.

They are kids climbing the Tree of Life in search of that perfect autumn leaf that they can ride to bigger and better things. As adults and parents, we are that tree and though we often have to fight through the storms that life throws at us, it’s those storms that remind us, always in a most timely fashion, when to dig our roots in just a little bit deeper.

If you weren’t a follower back in 2011, here’s my story: The Tree of Life. I hope you enjoy it.

The Tree of Life

Once upon a time there was a tree.
And it grew in a beautiful place in the country.
The tree was tall and had deep roots and solid branches and green leaves.
And it was a proud tree.

One day a boy began climbing the tree.
And he knew that he wanted to climb until he reached the very top.
So the tree carefully guided him from branch to branch, higher and higher.
And the boy felt safe and loved.

The boy continued climbing the tree, a little higher every day.
And as the boy climbed the tree, the tree provided comfort and protection.
Its leaves gave the boy shelter, its branches gave the boy structure.
And its roots gave the boy a solid foundation to build on.

Then one day the boy finally reached the top of the tree.
He was excited and the tree was very proud of how far he had climbed.
But the tree knew that the time had come.
To let the boy go.

So the tree said to the boy.
“My leaves are changing colors and the wind is starting to blow.”
“Find the biggest leaf you see and climb on it and close your eyes.”
“And the wind will take you wherever you’re supposed to go.”

The boy looked to his right and to his left and up above and down below.
And finally, at the very, very top of the tree on the very highest branch.
The boy saw the most perfect leaf he had ever seen.
And he climbed onto the leaf and closed his eyes just as the tree had told him.

Soon the wind picked up and the boy could feel his leaf trembling.
He grabbed on with all his strength to be sure he wouldn’t fall.
And then he watched as the stem of his leaf began to break free.
From the tree that had nurtured him for so many years.

The boy was excited to be free and on his own.
And as the strong wind carried the leaf high up into the air like a magic carpet,
The boy turned around and waved goodbye to the tree.
And it was a proud tree.

Soon the boy was far enough away that he could no longer see the tree.
So he turned back around to watch where the wind might be taking him.
All around, the boy saw the amazing opportunities the world had to offer.
And he settled in for the ride of his life.

The wind carried the boy to mystical places and magical lands.
On exotic adventures and extraordinary challenges.
Through happiness and sadness and love and hate.
And wins and losses and successes and failures.

As the wind carried the boy he felt exhilaration and freedom.
He began to learn to control the leaf and take it where he wanted it to go.
And he grew and gained knowledge and insight and experience and wisdom.
And felt as if he could fly forever.

But eventually the boy grew weary and wished that his leaf would finally land.
And he remembered what the tree had said when he was first set free.
So he closed his eyes just as the tree had told him.
And the wind began to slow down and change directions.

When the boy opened his eyes, the wind had carried him back to the country.
There was the tree with its deep roots and solid branches and green leaves.
As the boy smiled at the tree, the wind blew one last burst.
And he landed safely right at the base of the trunk.

The boy was happy to finally be on the ground.
He knew that his leaf had fallen right where it was supposed to have fallen.
And when the tree looked down and noticed that the boy had grown into a man.
It was a proud tree.

For my son, who is climbing his own tree and will someday have to be let go.

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How I Met Your Mother

Mom and Dad, how did you guys meet?

Ummm…. well…. uhhh…. we met at church.

But you guys don’t go to church.

Umm… uhhh… well we weren’t actually at church, we were near a church.

You were NEAR a church? I thought you met at college?

You’re right, we did meet in college. We met in a… uhhh… a poetry reading class… yeah… it was a poetry reading class…. poems about love and stuff like that…

C’mon, seriously… you did not! Besides, I thought you both studied completely different subjects, neither of which involved poetry.

Ummm… uhhh… yeah, well we did, you’re right, we only had a couple classes together in all the years we were there.  But I used to….ummmm… I used to write poems about Biology for your Mom and she….

Shut up… you’re so lying… so, how did you really meet?

Okay, look… I know we’ve portrayed this image that we are both very wholesome and righteous… but the truth is… let’s see, how do I say this… the truth is… maybe you should sit down.

Why should I sit down?

Just sit down… see… your parents met in college at a… at a…. at a…..

Okay, look, we met at a Toga Party… there I said it… it was a Toga Party… a drunken, hedonistic Toga Party.

Kim and I met at a Toga Party at Colby College in early Fall 1986.

The details are vague these days, but yes, this is a true story. I don’t remember if this was the first night we actually spoke to each other but it was one of our first experiences together while “courting” and it’s the story we tell when people ask “how did you meet?”

Please don’t think any less of us.

Some friends in the dorm I lived in were throwing a party and the theme was bed sheet togas and kegs of cheap, shitty beer, because that’s a surefire way to have a good time. I found myself, mid-way through the evening, sitting next to one of my close friends, both of us on chairs that were perched precariously high atop a small table so that we were way above the mob-scene below. Between us sat a keg of Budweiser and we were repeatedly filling up soggy, beer soaked paper cubs that the crowd of guests held up to us like we were rock stars signing autographs. That’s when I saw her, this beautiful girl, wrapped up in a twin bed sheet that was decorated with a kind of floral pattern that looked like wallpaper you’d see in your great-grandmother’s house. I instantly wanted nothing more than to peel off that wallpaper!

I’d seen Kim around our dorm before, she was a freshman and I was a sophomore but we had never made any serious connection. But this night was different, maybe it was the sexy bed sheets we were wearing, maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the rockin’ 80’s tunes shaking the walls, maybe it was the beer, maybe it was just karma… or maybe it was the beer.

I don’t know, but this would be the night that changed our lives.

I was wrapped in a dark blue sheet. In college, if you had dark colored sheets, you didn’t have to wash them that often which was good because washing stuff meant hauling a giant bag of laundry down to the washing machines in the depths of your dorm basement and hustling pockets full of quarters from everyone you knew.

Around my waist was a three inch wide black, spiked and studded belt that belonged to my brother, I think maybe picked up on a semester abroad in England. It looked like something straight out of a Clash band photo… or a really bad gay porno movie. Wrapped around my head, like a headband, was a thin gold mesh scarf and that was topped off with a pair of dark black sunglasses. I looked like a circa-1980’s Jim McMahon, except I was wearing a dark blue toga… and a gay porn belt.

You can see why she thought that was hot, right?

I don’t remember if we “hooked-up” that night. Maybe we passed out somewhere, it’s not really important. What’s important is that this is how Kim and I finally connected, on a fine evening of Greek culture and sophistication.

Our relationship is still going strong, 27 years later, with 20 of those years married and fifteen of those raising kids. We’ve got a good thing and we try not to take it for granted. It’s not always easy, but we make it work and when things are challenging, when the kids are driving us up a wall, it’s good to look back on those early days when life was more carefree.

The best thing about this story… there are no photographs… at least none that we are aware of!

How did you meet your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, pet? Please share your stories!

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A Pop Quiz for My Teenagers

I was ready to divorce my teenage kids this past Memorial Day weekend. I had called the Divorce attorneys on the back of the phone book and had the papers all drafted. Thankfully, my wife talked me off the cliff and I was able to save the attorney fees. She’s good that way, at talking me off the cliff. Sometimes I have to talk her off the cliff. Sometimes we both want to jump off the cliff… and maybe have sex as we plunge to our deaths because it’s the only time we’d have any privacy. Plus the guy who spoke at the Memorial Day parade said lot’s of stuff about finding peace and happiness with the people who you care about and that settled me down a bit.

My kids hadn’t really done anything wrong. I was just tired of them. I was tired of driving them places, tired of cooking them meals, tired of picking up their stuff, tired of trying to keep their lives organized. Is it okay to say you’re tired of your kids sometimes? Well, whether it’s okay or not, I’ll man up and say it… I WAS FUCKING TIRED OF THEM!

They’re actually really good kids. Well behaved most of the time, well respected by their peers and teachers, “A” students. They participate and are successful in a lot of school activities.  But sometimes… well, most of the time…. okay look… all of the time, they just don’t get it. They’re messy, they’re lazy, they roll their eyes a lot, sometimes they’re even a little… GASP… disrespectful. They’re TEENAGERS!

So I decided to take a cue from all of my teacher friends. You see, the way that teacher’s know if their students are “getting it” is they give them regular quizzes.  So, I am going to start assigning monthly quizzes to my kids.

Here is the first one… it’s multiple choice:

1. A reasonable amount of time necessary to straighten up our home before guests come over would be:

A. 1/2 hour.
B. 1-2 hours.
C. 2-4 hours.
D. 17 days.

2. The proper place to put dirty dishes when you are done using them:

A. Washed and dried and placed back into the appropriate cabinet.
B. Washed and set in the dish strainer to dry.
C. Rinsed well and set on the counter next to the sink.
D. Under the couch.

3. The appropriate time to tell your parents about something you need completed for school is:

A. As soon as you learn about the assignment deadline.
B. The day after you learn about the assignment deadline.
C. One week before the date of the assignment deadline.
D. “Dad, you need to sign this paper from my teacher so you know I missed an assignment deadline.”

4. The reason we have a strict “bed time” on Sunday nights, between 10:00 – 11:00 pm is:

A. Children who get enough sleep do better in school.
B. Monday morning is the most difficult day to wake up on time.
C. Weekends are busy and we need to give our bodies adequate rest.
D. Your parent’s haven’t had sex in three months and that’s the only night we might be able to stay awake.

5. If a pair of your dirty underwear somehow ends up lying on the kitchen floor you should:

A. Pick them up and carry them to the laundry hamper.
B. Pick them up and while you are bending down, with a damp paper towel, wipe up the entire animal full of fur that has accumulated under the cabinets.
C. Question why your dirty underwear is on the kitchen floor.
D. All of the above.

6. The proper use of lights and light switches in the house is:

A. To turn on when you are doing your homework and to turn off when you are completed.
B. To provide temporary light while you are using the bathroom and to turn off when you are completed.
C. To provide low level lighting in the evenings when it gets dark outside and to turn off before bedtime.
D. To light up our home like the sun in case there are Aliens looking for life on another planet.

7. The number of allowable pairs of shoes that each family member should have in the shoe pile by the entryway door is:

A. 1-2 pairs of shoes representing the appropriate season.
B. 3-4 pairs of shoes representing the appropriate season.
C. 26 pairs of shoes representing all four seasons, plus every sports season.
D. What’s the shoe pile by the entryway door?

8. The day after spending an entire week of vacation fun and having to re-mortgage the house to pay for it, the proper response is:

A. “Thanks Mom and Dad, that was awesome.”
B. “I love you guys, would it be okay if I cleaned the bathroom to show my appreciation!”
C. “That was so great, maybe we could do that again in a couple of years.”
D. “I’m so bored, what are we doing today?”

9. The normal and usual scent in a regularly used home bathroom should be:

A. Azaleas and other flower arrangements.
B. Bleach with a touch of lemon.
C. Fresh mountain air.
D. Boy Scout camp.

10. When Dad says things like “I can’t wait for you guys to go to college”, what I really mean is:

A. You know, there’s a nice military school down in Indiana.
B. When I was your age, I had to do my own damn laundry!
C. Seriously, I can’t wait for you guys to go to college.
D. I really do LOVE YOU, I just need a “time out!”

Do you ever get tired of your kids? Yeah, I know, stupid question…

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One Less Moose

A Counting Story…

I was driving down a Busy Road.
And ONE big Moose got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s ONE less Moose alive today!

I was driving down the Interstate.
And TWO large Deer got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s TWO less Deer alive today!

I was driving down a Thoroughfare.
And THREE fat Geese got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s THREE less Geese alive today!

I was driving down a Boulevard.
And FOUR Opossum got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s FOUR less Opossum alive today!

I was driving down an Avenue.
And FIVE small Frogs got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s FIVE less Frogs alive today!

I was driving down a City Street.
And SIX Pigeons got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s SIX less Pigeons alive today!

I was driving down a Two-Track Trail.
And SEVEN Turtles got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s SEVEN less Turtles alive today!

I was driving down a Quiet Lane.
And EIGHT Raccoons got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s EIGHT less Raccoons alive today!

I was driving down a Country Road.
And NINE Turkeys got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s NINE less Turkeys alive today!

I was driving down a Rural Route.
And TEN Coyotes got in my way.
Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s TEN less Coyotes alive today!

I was driving to the Body Shop…

And ONE Moose… and TWO Deer… and THREE Geese… and FOUR Opossum… and FIVE Frogs… and SIX Pigeons… and SEVEN Turtles… and EIGHT Raccoons… and NINE Turkeys… and TEN Coyotes… got in my way!

Although I tried to brake and swerve.
There’s ONE less Truck alive today!

***Not a true story!***

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Roadkill Stew

This is the tale of Billy O’Hill.
Who lived all his life in the town of Saville.
In a lil ‘ol cabin, he’d made his abode.
At the end of the dirtiest, dirty, dirt road.

Now Billy O’Hill had been married a time.
To a girl named Pearl, a lady sublime.
But Pearl’d got sick, dun gone up to heaven.
Ten long years ago, or maybe eleven.

So he kept to hisself, stayed mostly alone.
‘Cept for his pooch who he called Al Capone.
And a few of his friends that he’d see now’n then.
Down at the coffee shop now’n again.

The Hill Top Cafe is what it been named.
Cornbread and Johnny Cakes what they was famed.
They’d sit there fer hours not talkin’ ‘bout much.
‘Cept for some gossip and weather and such.

And on his way yonder he’d pass by the house.
Of the purtiest lady, as cute as a mouse.
She’d sit on her porch, a-sippin’ her tea.
In the shade of a giant magnolia tree.

See Billy O’Hill had a crush on this lady.
A purty ol’ girl named Myrtle O’Grady.
She lived in a house in the center of town.
Where them wealthy folks lived, the rich and renown.

But he never could git up the nerve to suggest,
“Wouldya meet me for coffee, I’d surely be blessed?”
‘Cuz what would a girl so swanky and chic,
See in a guy “from the hills”, so to speak?

So Billy would wave as he briskly walked by.
He wouldn’t say nuthin’, cuz he was right shy.
When Myrtle would smile her purtiest smile.
Billy’d be floatin’ on air for awhile.

Then one day he asked for some friendly advice.
From his closest of friends, named Earl Versluice.
‘Cuz everyone privy knew Earl could charm.
Like a rooster that woos all them hens on a farm.

Now Earl had fetchin’ advice to impart.
“The stomach’s the way to a good woman’s heart!”
“Let’s throw a party like we used to do.”
“Invite all our friends, we’ll serve roadkill stew.”

“Every-un brings somethin’ fresh that they’ve found.”
“From the side of the road, just plain dead on the ground.”
“Squirrel or coon or rabbit or beaver.”
“We’ll slice ‘em all up with a very large cleaver!”

“We’ll mix in some collards and veggies and rice.”
“Add in some ‘shine to give it some spice.”
“We’ll invite Ms. O’Grady to join us that day.”
“Then you can dun meet her, whatdaya say?”

So Billy went home, started makin’ a list.
Of who’d be invited and who could be missed.
At the end of the list he penned really neat.
“Myrtle O’Grady”, the list was complete.

He wrote out the invites, said R.S.V.P.
We’re throwin’ a party on Sunday ‘bout three.
We’ll serve roadkill stew and plenty-a ‘shine.
I’ll break outta jug of my dandelion wine.

Then he mailed ‘em all out and dun prayed for the best.
Would Myrtle O’Grady show up for this fest?
When the day dun arrived, his friends all came through.
They’d all brung some roadkill to add to the stew.

Ms. Blossom brung possum…

June brung raccoon…

Mr. Monk brung a skunk…

Mr. Babbitt brung rabbit…

Jake brung some snake…

Mr. Weaver brung Beaver…

And his best friend Earl? Well, Earl, he dun brung lots of Squirrel…

Then Myrtle arrived and the place got real quiet.
What had she brung, would anyone try it?
Every’un watched as she walked through the door.
She carried a bag from a fancy clothes store!

She handed that bag to Billy O’Hill.
Who opened ‘er up with the most gracious skill.
And Billy looked in and dun said with a grin.
I reckon Ms. Myrtle O’Grady fits in!

‘Cuz Myrtle…

Well… Myrtle… she brung Turtle.

In fact… she dun brung the freshest, most purtiest turtle, bigger’n any of ’em had ever seen!

So they cooked up the stew ‘n that party was grand!
And Billy’n Myrtle hit it off just as planned.
And the rest be dun history, them guests they all knew.
That Billy and Myrtle fell in love over stew!

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