Friday, July 29, 2016

If you're happy and you know it.....

...clap your hands!! I'm in my study listening to Carter, Charlee, and Mammy sing Bible school songs in the den. Several years ago Debbie made a song bag. In the bag were small toys which represented all the songs her Bible class sang. For example, a plastic alligator to sing "Big Fat Alligator", a big happy face for "If You're Happy"....and on and on. She loves this bag and the little "students" love to grab into the bag to see which song they will sing. Her grandchildren love it too and haul it out of the play room real often so they can sing songs with their Mammy.

Debbie is so talented and creative. She is a perfect Bible school teacher for little kids. She also plans crafts, shopping trips, and nature "studies" when she knows the grandkids are coming. I think the Lord kept Debbie healthy after 51 years as a diabetic just so her grandkids could be with her and learn from her.

Of course I know the other half of Debbie since I've been around her for 50 years and married to her for 45 of those years. She does get worn out. She gets frustrated. I've even heard her say "CRAP" on more than one occasion....but never around her grandkids. One of her frustrations is her backyard flower beds. They are beautiful but there are way too many of them for her to give them the care they need. I guess I could help her but I did repeat over and over when I was turning the ground for all of them, "I will not work in these things!" My job is mowing. I never ask her to help me mow so it just isn't right for her to ask me to help with the flowerbeds. Don't you agree? Of course you do. After all, it takes me 30 minutes to mow that backyard. Then I have to trim which takes another 10 minutes. Then I have to put the mower away....we're talking about nearly an hour of work in the Texas heat. And all during this time what is Debbie doing? She's sitting in one of her flowerbeds pulling weeds, trimming off dried flowers, taming the Texas Lilacs. You know, simple stuff. I think she sits out there for hours on end just so she won't have to help me with the mowing. I do make sure she comes up on the patio with me every hour or so to cool off and drink some water. I worry about her while I'm sitting there watching her. She's a sweetheart!

One day Cody and I were sitting on the patio talking over the world's problems. Debbie was out in one of her flowerbeds. She had been out there for a couple of hours and I had kind of forgotten about her. She came walking up with mud all over her jeans, sweat sticking to her shirt, dirt across her forehead, and a red face resembling someone in heat stroke. She likes to scare me that way. As she walked up Cody said, "Mom, you look terrible!" I corrected him and told him she was the example of a perfect woman. They just don't come any better than that. She wasn't impressed. She thumped me on top of the head as she continued on her way to the shower.

I have suggested we let the flowerbeds go natural. It is too hot in Texas to have that many flowerbeds...without a professional staff to tend them anyway. She feels she has worked too hard to let them go. She responds, "You wouldn't let the lawn go would you?" I say "no". But I would. If we weren't interested in holding on to the property value I would let that yard dry up and blow away. We are too old to have a nice yard. We should be living in a retirement community where everything is done for know what I mean?! A nice place to sit and watch the world go by while our arteries clog and our waistlines grow. That would probably get boring and we would start looking for another that needs a yard....and flowerbeds. "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands..."


  1. Russell, I love your stories!! Keep them coming!

  2. I love you!! What sweet things you said about me!

    This is going to say commented by Papa, but it was Deb (Mammy). I couldn't figure out how to change it! Duh!!

  3. Love this story. Impossible to read about Debbie and the grandkids without a smile on my face. 😀

  4. That last statement reminds me of your parents when they sold the house on Elm and were miserable in the apartment because there was no yard. Keep on writing.