Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quotes (and family tales)

As you know, I love quotes and post them on my blog often. What you don’t know—and might think a little odd—is that I collect quotes and funny stories from the lips of my family. I wish I had my little notebook of family quotes but since my dad’s death and my mom going into a nursing home, I’ve been a little lax with organized recording. Now I jot things down on slips of paper that float around my purse and eventually get lost.

But I have some favorite tales I want to share:
Once my entire family went to the cemetery to put Christmas flowers on my grandparent’s graves. My mother was always very dedicated about doing that and she’d shop for hours to find just the right ornament. On this occasion, she’d selected white crosses. Because the earth was so hard, she’d brought a hammer to pound each cross into the ground. Now, you’d have to know my mom: she’s a perfectionist—a fine-tuner. Once she gets something ‘finished’ she inspects everything around it—regardless of what it is—then fine-tunes her own project one last time. This time when she finished arranging flowers and cleaning up other gravesites, she came back to the white cross, hit it with the hammer and broke it.

“You just had to hit it one more time, didn’t you?” said my dad.

All of us broke into uncontrollable laughter because he’d nailed it with his comment. She was and always had been the hit it one more time mama. She used to go over my homework papers—crossing my Ts and closing the circles of my Os, Bs, Ps and making my periods a little darker. Hitting my paper one more time.
Yes, it drove me crazy.

The quote, “Just had to hit it one more time,” is a favorite and we use it often when one of us tries to over-do.
Of course, my mom has several quotes she uses consistently: She’s fond of saying, Ignorance gone to seed, Nuts gone to seed, There’s nothing crazier than people, and Can’t get away from those genes.

She loved telling everyone that if my brother said, “Let’s hang Mama,” my dad would go get a rope.

My young nephews were always fun to listen to. Once, a young Russell (the one in the red cap)climbed into the car after a grocery shopping trip. He was so glad to be going home after spending an hour in the food store that he was jumping up and down, and running across the back seat while the young sacker helped my mother with groceries. The sacker asked Russell, “Do you need to go to the bathroom?” to which my nephew responded, “No, why, do you smell something?”
A hilarious exchange and I think of it often, especially when someone asks if we need a bathroom. I suspect the young sacker called himself reprimanding Russell, but I love Russell’s quick, naïve reply.

One summer day, while the cable TV man was adjusting my dad’s television, my nephew Kyle (white cap) charged through the front door yelling, “We found a dead skunk back in the woods. You want to go smell him?” Needless to say, the cable guy declined.

My daughter (purple sweatshirt) was sitting in the back seat while I drove one day. Daughter was always a chatty little girl—asking questions and often supplying her own answers. On this day, I was telling her how her dad and I had prayed for a healthy little girl and that God had blessed us with her.
She replied, “Good. I always wondered who my family would be.” Yikes!


I’m sure you have favorite quotes and quirky sayings and stories from your family too. Want to share some of them?


Robin said...

I like gathering stories and quotes as well. Sometimes I carry a tiny notebook for that purpose. Great story about your mom and the white cross. I can imagine being driven a bit crazy if my mom went over my homework in that manner.

Thanks for the post!

Bethie said...

I'm trying to think of funny things but all I can't think of is my mom alwasy turns words into adverbs. wal-Marty is my favorite she's doen.

Stelios Perdios said...

When I was kid, my grandpa, whenever we'd eat together, would point at the food on my plate and say:

"You can't eat all that!"

And I'd prove him wrong.

Which, looking back, was the point. He wanted me to eat all of the food so it wouldn't go to waste.

Man O' Clay said...

My grandfather died in 2006, but I can still see his impish face as he says "Pull my finger!"

Thanks Jess!

Connie Gruning said...

I love your quotes!! What treasures!
A to Z-ing to the end
Peanut Butter and Whine