Daddy Was A Dowser

Yes, in case you were wondering, my Daddy was a dowser (divener, water witch). It was not his occupation but his hobby. He dowsed for water for over thirty years.

When my father was a boy he used to listen to his father and other adults carry on conversations about dowsing and was curious. He decided to try his hand at it and dabbled with it for many years.

He did this as a free service to a rural community. It cost a lot of money to have a well dug. If the driller did not hit water, the land owner was still charged and charged each time until water was hit, and thus the well was drilled.

I have seen him use two rods, coat hangers, and forked branches. All of which brought him equal results…a vein of water. However, his tool of choice was a forked wild cherry branch.

When one walks over the stream of underground water, the two rods cross over or the forked rod bends downward. It is a force that is unexplainable.

My father doesn’t know how it works, but just knows that it does. At least it does for him.

I’ve tired it a few times. It worked for me as well. I was intrigued as well as frightened by it. It was not a tradition I cultivated because it left me feeling unsettled. I don’t like to mess with things that are not easily explained by science, math, etc…

While attempting to dowse, I experienced no responses, slight tugs, and full spun branch pulls. I even tried by sheer strength to hold the branch tight to prevent it from pulling down. It was to no avail as it tore the flesh from my hands as it jerked toward the ground. It is a force for which I have no personal explanation or understanding. I only know that my father can do this. And so can I – or at least, I used to be able to do it. I have not tried it in many years.

I have been told that many dowsers can actually estimate the depth a driller must go to reach water. My father never did that. He learned through practice that the stronger pulls proved to be areas where the water was closer to the surface.

Many people are interested in the process and respect the concept of dowsing. Of course, many also ridicule it because it can’t be explained and therefore claim it to be evil.

I see it as my father having provided a free service to many people. He did not use it for malevolent or criminal means nor did he profit from it.

When my father reached about seventy years of age, he found a new comfort in religion. This religion shuns the practice of dowsing as it is considered arcane. My father has not dowsed since, but he is at peace with his life. His present and his past. I don’t think one could ask for more than that.

This is a poem I wrote in my own effort to understand/explain this process.

 

The Water Witch’s Daughter

The Man flows
With the pull of gravity
His daughter gravitates
From the pull of the flow

Vein of life
Piercing like a dart
Through the palm of her hand

Vein of life
Pounding his soul
As he walks the land

He divines for streams
Beneath grass, stone, trees, hardened clay

She divines for dreams
Lost in the night and carried into day

Earth – flesh
Rock – bone
Water – blood
Where did she begin?
Where was she to end?

The river runs through her family blood
The river runs through her
The river runs

Obviously Obsessed With Food!

My friend, Patti, informed me that almost every one of my posts mentions food. I denied it. She reiterated that I really manage to get a mention of food in there somewhere almost every post… Well, I went back and looked. Just to prove her wrong. Well, turns out Patti was right. As much as I hate to do it, I admit when I am wrong.

It appears that I am obsessed with food. With looking at it. Buying it. Cooking it. Smelling it. And of course, eating it. I guess I wouldn’t be a true southern girl or my mother’s daughter if I wasn’t.

Food is a relationship. It is a comfort. It is both life and love. It soothes your soul and brings people together. Yeah, I realize alcohol can do that, too. But there’s nothing like looking at a pyrex dish of hot bubbling homemade macaroni and cheese. Then, to smell the aroma as the cheese strings off your fork on it’s way to your mouth. And the satisfying feeling as it hits your stomach. And chocolate – we won’t even go there! It’s close to what I imagine heaven must be like. It has to be an all you can eat (of anything and everything) buffet there.

I am a nurturer. Food is my source. I cook and bake. I feed others. I hope my food gives them warm fuzzies. I take delight in others enjoying the work of my hands. My house has always been the house where our kids friends gather to eat homemade goodies. I am a deliverer of goodies outside my home as well. It’s just what I do.

When Dirt Man and I were first married, I really didn’t know much about cooking. My mother was a fabulous cook. I didn’t pay much attention to how she prepared things ( I just stuffed my face!), but I took much comfort and pleasure in the food she provided for me. Dirt Man was still in college and I worked, so he did most of the cooking. First I was spoiled by my Mom and then by him. When he finished school and started working, the cooking responsibilities shifted to me. I never measured anything. Being an engineer, it drove Dirt Man crazy. He’d often shoo me out of the kitchen and take over the task. It was a very long time before he finally caught on to my game!

This week, I have been baking and freezing goodies for the upcoming holiday. And of course, we are eating quite a bit of it as well. I have thus far, made two pies, two pumpkin rolls, eight loaves of biscotti, and about thirty dozen cookies. My house has smelled heavenly. One of my pies (chocolate chess) sorta flopped. It sunk in a bit in the middle, but I took care of it. I smushed down the sides. So now it’s even, just a little crackly. I can always blame it on the traveling! I thought of throwing it out, but if my Mom ever found out she’d have a conniption. Especially, since she wanted me to make a chocolate pie. I might have to take a bit of ribbing about it’s appearance. I am not a perfectionist, so I don’t care if it looks a little funny as long as it tastes wonderful.

I imagine that it will come as no surprise to you that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. We pretty much have the same out of town family get together and dinner as we do at Christmas. But Thanksgiving just feels different for some reason. I love all the smells. And the noise. And the hugs. Thanksgiving is all that is familiar and comfortable. And the food absolutely rocks!

Since it is Thanksgiving, I must mention for what I am thankful. I am thankful for freedom, family and friends, and the furry ones, too. I am also thankful for life, love, and laughter. And so much more. I am truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cinco – The Idiot Who Didn’t Know Spanish

Before I start this story I must say that I called my sister yesterday to confirm that my memory of this incident was on target. After all, we laughed about this only last year. Well, it seems Peggy is suffering from CRS and now has no recollection at all. (Maybe this will jog her memory!) Anyway, I thought hmmmm…this is the chance that I can make it up anyway I want. But I know my sister and she probably remembers and is testing my character, you know seeing how bad I make her sound. So, instead of really pepping up the tale, I am going to tell is exactly as I remember.

Growing up, I more or less drove my sister crazy. And vice versa. While we loved one another, we also lived to torment each other. She openly and relentlessly teased me. I was a bit sneakier. I hid and got the goods on her and her best friend. And I was a horrible tattletale.

We often got off the school bus at a local store which was about a mile from our house. We’d then walk home the back way which consisted of a dirt/rock road and a stretch straight up a hill and through the woods.

My sister is five years older than me. At this time, she was probably fifteen which put me at ten.

This particular day, my sister’s best friend came home with her. They proceeded a few feet ahead of me. They turned around and yelled “cinco” at me and commenced to laugh their heads off.

I immediately flushed because I had no idea what the word they were calling me meant. But I knew it had to be horrible. They continued chanting, “Cinco! Cinco! Cinco!”

“You guys better shut up or I’m gonna tell Mama on you!”

“Go right ahead you big crybaby! My sister yelled and then added “cinco” with a laugh. Just for good measure. By then I was crying my eyeballs out.

They continued their calling me cinco when we got home. We fought back and forth for the full hour before Mama got home.

I ran out to the driveway to meet her when she got there. I wanted to tell my side of the story first. And I wanted my sister to get what she deserved. How dare she call me such a nasty name!

Me: Peggy’s calling me bad names! Make her stop!

Mama storms in the house.

Mama: Damn it! How many times do I have to tell you to stop picking on your sister?

Peggy: Did she tell you what I called her?

Mama: I don’t care what you called her. Just stop it!

I gave Peggy the smug – ha ha-I got you I in trouble-look. I was sweetly satisfied.

Peggy: Mama I called her cinco.

Peggy laughed. I cried.

Me: See, there she goes. She’s still doing it!

Mama: I told you to stop calling her bad names.

Peggy: Ha, you don’t even know what it means. It’s not bad. It’s the number five in Spanish. Cinco!

Mama: Damn it! I told you to stop calling her names.

Peggy: Cinco. It means five.

Mama: The hell it does!

Peggy: Cinco! Cinco!

Mama: I told you I didn’t want to hear that word in this house again.

Peggy: Well, it’s going to be a little hard to do my Spanish homework if I can’t count in Spanish!

Mama: Enough already. I know you’re just trying to get away with something, so just stop lying!

Peggy: Uno. Dos. Tres. Cuatro. Cinco. (shoves Spanish book in front of Mama) See, it’s numbers in Spanish.

Mama: (Pushing the book away) You heard me. I don’t want to hear that word again. I told you to leave your sister alone. And I mean it.

Peggy: Well, if you don’t believe me, you can call my teacher.

Mama: Just don’t call your sister that or any other name again.

After Mama was out of hearing, Peggy told her friend that we were just a bunch of idiots. We didn’t even know Spanish. Then she added that I was a brat. And I was.

She showed me the numbers and words in her book. So, I believed she wasn’t calling me anything nasty. She was just being mean. But not as mean as when she and her friend rolled me in a quilt and stuck me in a closet. I’m sure I deserved that, too. I truly was a brat!

The rest of the night and for a long time afterwards, Peggy would mouth under her breath “cinco”. I ignored her.

After all, I was an idiot. I didn’t even know Spanish.

And how fitting is it that I grew up to have a child born on Cinco de Mayo?

Skinny Dipping…NOT!

Simply Naked.

Nothing but Sea Salt.

Stacy’s Pita Chips that is…they are awesome! I am addicted.

Have you gotten your mind out of the gutter yet? You thought I was talking about skinny dipping in the ocean. Come on admit it. You did, didn’t you?

Trust me, no way that would be happening!

It’s way too cold!

And we all know I am not the skinny dipping type. I don’t know that there is exactly a type that skinny dips. I just know that I am not one who skinny dips.

We all know that I am fairly chicken. And somewhat pragmatic. I will try most things once… That is as long as it is not totally immoral. Or illegal. Or doesn’t involve heights. Or snakes. Or spiders either for that matter. And I could probably think of many of exemptions which in reality probably limits what I will actually do to quite a minimum.

Ok. So, actually, I’m kind of boring. But I like life that way. I don’t like surprises. And I by all means like to be prepared. For what? I don’t know…but I’m ready.

And well, skinny dipping? I’d be afraid someone would see me. Or a water snake would have it’s way with me. Or someone from a plane would be taking pictures to black mail me later. Or I’d get cold.

Don’t get me wrong I love the water. Ocean, river doesn’t matter. But I don’t do water sports. Except water bikes. Those are cool.

I tried water skiing (once and only once!) for the very first time at age 40.You must admit that it was quite brave of me. I received a full body enema and never attempted it again.

Let me tell you I never even made it on my feet. I immediately went bump, bump, bump skidding across the lake. Swoooooosh the water shot through every orifice (including the piercings in my ears!) in my entire body. I felt like I was on fire. Except with water. It felt like a slow trip to hell. I thought it would never end.

I’m fairly certain there’s a video floating around to prove my daring attempt!

I think I’ll drop my waterlogged thoughts and have another pita chip. If you haven’t tried them, you must. It’s much less daring than skinny dipping and much safer than water skiing.

Did You Get Your Heenee Shot?

Gotta love Mama. She’s the gift (of laughter) that just keeps giving. She has a great sense of humor and provides us with much entertainment.

This is the phone conversation between my sister and our mother just a few days ago.

Mom: I just wanted to let you know that your Dad and I got our heenee shots.

Sister: You got your what?

Mom: Our heenee shots?

Sister: Ummm…what exactly is a heenee shot?

Mom: You know the newspapers, TV, and the government are recommending everyone get it.

Sister: What?

Mom: Well, they say it’s too dangerous to risk not getting it.

Sister: Would you spell that for me because I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.

Mom: H I N I. You know that swine flu thing all those people are dying from.

My sister then went on to tell me how she and my mom were riding around once looking at flood damage and my mom popped up with, “You better be careful of all that “derbis” everywhere.”

“What the heck is derbis?”

Mom replied, “I don’t know but the sign says you better watch out for it”.

Now my friends, You know why I never wanted to ride with her when she wasn’t wearing her glasses!

I did not get a heenee shot. Out of the last ten years, I got a flu shot only once. And you guessed it. That was the only year I got the flu. So, I’m taking my chances.

Did you get your heenee shot?

My Mama says it’s dangerous if you don’t!

Links To The Past

We never used it. We weren’t allowed. It belonged to my grandmother. She died when my mother was eighteen months old. It was the only thing she had that belonged to her. I understood it’s sacredness. I longed to touch it. I dreamed that some day it would become mine.

It was housed in the top kitchen cupboard. It nestled between other large mixing bowls. I was too short to reach it standing. So, when there was no one around to witness my actions, I’d pull over a kitchen chair and use that to climb on top of the stove to get to it. I’d pull it out and finger along the top edge. I’d cup my hand around the smooth round wall and make my other hand into a fist and swirl it inside the bowl. I’d pretend I was her stirring cookie dough.

I had a clear vision of my mother’s grandmother using her deceased daughter-in-law’s bowl when teaching my mother how to make biscuits. How sad yet honored she must have felt. To use her bowl. To be able make meals with her granddaughters.

When I grew tall enough to reach it with only the help of a chair, I continued to take it out and lovingly run my fingers over it’s slick surface. And I continued to daydream about where it had been and where it would go with me. As I got older, I took it down less often. Then, I moved away. I never ran my fingers over it again or even laid my eyes upon it. But I still thought about sometimes, and even asked my mother about it a few times.

Several years after I got married, I asked my mother for the bowl. She told me that I could have it one day. A few years later my parents built a home and moved into it. The first thing I did when admiring her new kitchen was look for the bowl. It wasn’t on any of the high shelves, so I started looking low. I even searched the bottom of the china press. Then, I questioned my mother to it’s whereabouts, thinking she’d put it in an ultra safe place. Oh, I threw it away, she replied. My heart sank. I couldn’t believe it. It was my only link to the grandmother I never knew. I couldn’t understand how she could have let it go. She explained that it had a crack or a chip, or some flaw that deemed it unusable. We never used it, but that was not the point. Mom often through the years pitched out antiques and things I’d treasured because they were just old junk to her and she needed to make room for new things.

Mom grew up poor and she had such desires for things. Shiny things. New things. I understand where she came from. But me? Well, I have always been an old soul and a dreamer. I have always been attracted to old things. So, I like junk. Ok, I admit it. Somebody’s got to, right? Anyway, I like to imagine stories behind the objects. Like how many journeys the old metal trunk must have taken. And did some young woman once use it as a hope chest?

I didn’t mean for my mother to feel badly about throwing the bowl out, but apparently she sensed my disappointment. Shortly after that, she presented me with the cedar jewelry chest my father had given her when they were dating. I hadn’t asked for it, but was delighted to have received it.

I remember that the bowl was tan and had a splatter design. It was not stoneware but some type of a hard plastic. My grandmother died in 1935, so I’m guessing it was a 1930’s mixing bowl product. I googled it and found a few collectors had the very same bowl up for bid on ebay. It was a vintage Texasware melmac bowl. Some were called splatter ware and some were referred to as confetti. But, it was the bowl. The one I always dreamed of having. The one I wanted to use to make cookies with my own children. The one I’d planned to hand down to a grandchild. The one she threw away. And Dirt Man being the best husband in the world bid and bid on the bowls until he scored one. Hooray for my hero, the man who tries to salvage the threads of my silly childhood dreams.

I think I sometimes put too much stock in objects. Things are tangible and they do help me connect. However ,they are not necessary. Perceptions can be made through stories, photographs, and the sharing of memories. And I don’t need bowls or boxes (but it is such a delight to have them!) to keep them in, I hold them in my heart.

A Peachy Day For Pizza!

My mother is a fabulous cook. I’m sure she get’s a bit tired of cooking at times. I mean, we all like to go out to eat. But my mother LOVES to go out to eat. She practically LIVES to go out to eat.

My father can say he’s going to get gas at a local station and she rides along just to get a hotdog. She says they have the absolute best ones in the world. I think she’s just happy she’s not cooking it!

About a year or so ago, my sister called my mother and told her they were going to pick peaches and would she like to go along for the ride. She said my mother was ever so exuberant with her yes and she found that a little weird.

Anyway, they picked their peaches and they started home. When they got to the intersection , they turned toward home.

Mom: Where are you going?!

Sister: Home.

Mom: Home?

Sister: Yeah. Where else would I be going?

Mom: What about the pizza?

Sister: What pizza?

Mom: The pizza you promised me.

Sister: I never promised you any pizza.

Mom: Yes, you did! You asked me if I wanted to go get pizza!

Sister: I did not. I asked you if you wanted to go pick peaches!

Mom: Well, I wouldn’t have gone if I heard you say peaches. I thought you said pizza. I’m not going home without pizza.

Sister did a U-turn and took Mom for pizza. Sister said Mom smiled all the way home.

My Dad, however; does not like to go out to eat as often. Once my brother called and asked the folks to meet him for brunch. Of course, Mom was dying to go, but Dad flat out refused. Mom needled him until she found out why. “You know I hate that damn German goulash”, he replied. He relented when he discovered the meaning of “brunch”. Happy endings for both of them. She got to go out to eat. He didn’t have to eat any damn German goulash!

I am going to have dinner at Mom and Dad’s next Saturday while I’m in town for a few days. As usual, Mom insists that I do not need to bring anything. I insist on maybe making a pie. Is Dad’s favorite coconut or pecan, I ask her. Chocolate, she replies. No, that’s your favorite, I say. She laughs and adds, he’ll eat it though. Guess I’ll make both coconut and chocolate.

You just don’t mess with my Mama and her food. She and my BIL have a battle going. Actually, she has the battle with him. He is the most fabulous baker (and cook) ever. He makes deserts that are to die for. If there is ever the slightest flaw, He throws out the entire item. It annoys the hell out of Mom. I’ve seen her (with a spoon) eat the chocolate from a pie that refused to set. Of course, BIL had intended to throw it out. She especially loves his cream puffs. The pastries of one particular batch did not turn out to his liking so he placed them in a bag to throw out and left for the grocery store for some items to make another batch. When he returned he caught Mom spooning instant pudding from those little snack pack lunch cups into the pastry shells. He tried to take them away, convincing her he was going to make some more. He gave up…I think he feared for his life!

Mom often accuses Dad of selective hearing. She says he only hears what he wants to hear. After reading about the peaches and pizza, who do you think has selective hearing?

Ice Cream Anyone?

I married Dirt Man while he was still a college student. Like many college students, we spent most of our weekends partying. Ah, the wonderful days of super fabulous metabolisms when we could drink all night and eat tons of junk and never gain an ounce.

We partied in our college town at the campus frat parties. If we went back home for a visit, we’d meet up with old friends and party wherever the wind blew us. On one such weekend visit to Dirt Man’s folks, we went to a usual party and when we got back he was starving.

He searched the cupboards to no avail. Opened the freezer. Bingo. He pulled out one of those little ice cream cups. You know the kind that comes with the little wooden flat spoon to eat it with? Anyway, it didn’t have a spoon so he grabbed one from the kitchen drawer. Apparently, it was really frozen hard and he couldn’t get the spoon in it. I watched him nuke it for a few seconds in the microwave. I went about my business, not paying a lot of attention, but I did see him take a couple of bites and then put it back in the freezer.

I commented that I thought he was really hungry and asked why he didn’t finish it. He started laughing and wouldn’t answer me. I knew something was fishy. His face was all flushed and he clearly had the look of being “caught“. I tried to open the freezer and he blocked me. He were both laughing hysterically by then.

I finally pushed him out of the way and pulled the ice cream cup out of the freezer. Guess what flavor it was. Liver. It was Frosty Paws.

Freezer                   

$300

Frosty Paws

$6

Look on hubby’s face after accidentally eating Frosty Paws

Priceless

I had a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream last night. I offered Dirt Man a Frosty Paws, but we were out. He would have had to fight the dog for it anyway.

Just a note: I am the master of stupidity and humiliation. I sure hope Dirt Man doesn’t start a blog. Oh, that’s right he’s not the vengeful one…that’s me!

Blurry Days

I can’t see jack crap. I am blind as a bat. Am I not being politically correct? Is that off limits? Is someone going to call the media on me? Or worse yet, PETA? Seriously, without my contacts or glasses, I really can NOT see.

It all started right about the time I hit thirty. (It’s all downhill from there.) I noticed that when I was driving to work, road signs were a bit blurry. Which caused me to squint. Which caused my eyes to hurt . Which caused me to rub them. Which caused me to get make-up in them. Do you get the progression here? I didn’t get any of that except I couldn’t see and my make-up was running in my eyes, or so I thought. My solution therefore was to buy new make-up. Dang cheap stuff! Then the good stuff kept getting in my eyes, too. I was having a terrible make-up/blurry vision problem. The road signs were becoming a minor problem. I was having difficulty balancing my spread sheets because I couldn’t read the tiny itty bitty little numbers(damn small print!). Still I didn’t get it. Or was I just in denial? I kept complaining for months. And I kept trying more brands of make-up.

Then came the time for my drivers license renewal. This was back in the day when you had to actually go to DMV, no online stuff. Well, I didn’t pass the eye examination! What the hell! I could see just fine if I didn’t have the dang make-up in my eyes! And the sweet little DMV girl said that it was a miracle I was able to safely drive myself there. What?! Needless to say, I ended up with a restricted (vision) license.

I remember my mother fussing about having a restricted license and how she worried about being caught driving without her glasses. That was the least of my worries then. I was worried about having to ride with her not wearing her glasses. I never knew if we’d get back home. Damn, I was going to become my mother!

That was the start of all the years of eyeglasses and contacts. I hated glasses. They have always hurt my nose and my ears no matter how many adjustments I get or what types of frames I choose. I think my ears are lopsided. Go figure, just like a few other things on me! Well, now I always wear contacts except for the rare occasion that my eyes really need a break. I hate spending $300 a pop for glasses I almost never wear. This is where my friends, I am pleased to introduce you to Zenni Optical. My husband heard about it on talk radio. He was the guinea pig so to speak. His glasses turned out just fine for a fraction of the cost. I took the plunge last year and bought two really hip cutesy pairs (that I only wear when I absolutely have to!) for less than a total of $35. I am not kidding you. I am much pickier about my contacts.

And I must mention here that a few years ago my doctor turned me onto mono vision. I hadn’t heard of it but was willing to give it a try. Gosh, it was such a wise choice. I was having to either wear glasses so I could see distantly and take them off to read. Or wear contacts and put on magnifying reading glasses to read. I was getting a bit tired of putting glasses on and off, and honestly, I hate the way I look with glasses. However, I felt that bifocals were going to be my only option. Then my wonderful doctor (have I mentioned I think this man is a genius?) introduced me to mono vision. One contact is for far vision and the other is for close up. He said that a lot of people have problems adjusting to it. Would I be willing to try it? Heck yeah! Remember, I hate wearing glasses. Mono vision contacts has made my life soooooo much simpler.

Not too long ago, I got out of bed and decided to put in a new pair of contacts. I wear disposables that I replace about every two weeks. This particular set I put in were just giving me fits. I couldn’t see worth a crap. Everything was blurry. How could my already horrid vision possibly get worse unless I was really going blind. As the morning wore on, the blurriness was worse and I started getting a headache. Panic set in. Then I started getting dizzy and losing my balance. My minor headache turned into a migraine and I could hardly see at all. Finally, even though I had just put in fresh contacts, I decided to take them out and try another pair.

I pulled out the first one. I couldn’t see it but it didn’t feel right. I stuck it right up to my eyeball to get a closer look. Dang, it was awfully thick. I put it in some better light so I could get a better view with what little remaining vision I had. It was two contacts fused together. How could the stupid contact machine makers be so stupid? Damn manufacturer screwing with my contacts and giving me a headache!

I pulled out the second contact. Same thing! Double damn! What are the odds of both contacts being two fused together. It must be a conspiracy! Well, heck I hoped that I didn’t have a completely bad batch. I couldn’t see, had a headache, and my contacts were messed up. I was starting to get just a little bit pissy. After my faculties(what little of that I had in the first place!) returned, I figured it out. Ends up, I forgot to take my contacts out before going to bed. So, contacts were fine, but I indeed, was a dimwit..

In my defense, in the fifteen years I’ve worn contacts, I’ve only once accidentally slept in them.

Through the years I have had dry eyes, eye infections, contacts rip in my eyes, and have even gotten contacts lost in my eye and stuck behind the eyeball beneath the lid, but never have I done that. I felt like a total dunce.

After having complained all morning to Dirt Man, I had to admit the error of my ways. He was quite amused. I, on the other hand, was not.

And my sister always loves a good laugh, so I texted her with my silly antic. Yeah, I was able to see the letters on my phone.

Cookie Thief

I can not believe the audacity of some people. I was at the grocery store, and I witnessed this woman pull a package of bakery cookies off of the display table, rip it open, take one for herself and give one to her daughter and put it back.

Hello there. You just stole those cookies. Not only that but you just taught your daughter that it’s alright. What the hell is wrong with you, you stupid jerk? And the person who picks up that package and purchases it will go home to find that it’s two cookies short. Dang, I’ll never buy bakery cookies again.

If she was really that hungry(she looked like she had had a few cookies before she got to the store!) and couldn‘t afford to buy one, she could’ve gotten the free cookie offered by the bakery for her child and split it. Heck, I’d have bought her child a cookie. Just don’t go stealing crap and acting like nothing is wrong with it.

I wanted to go pop her over the head. And I am not a violent person. She was like four times bigger than me, so I’m sure she’d have kicked my butt. However, I would’ve gone down screaming. Screaming for honesty. Screaming about wondering what the hell has happened to this world that people think they can just take whatever they want, whenever they want it, and without any consequences. They act like they think the world owes them everything!

When Oldest Son was about five or six, we were grocery shopping and he wanted some candy. It was the Brachs that are in open bins and you scoop what you want into a bag. Anyway, I told him that he couldn’t have any that day.

When we got home, he gave me a smirk and pulled two pieces of candy out of his pocket. I was livid. I told him that he was not going to eat it and that we were taking it back to the store and paying for it. I know you’re thinking it was just two little pieces of candy. Well, too bad. Two pieces…fifty pieces, stealing is stealing. I was not going to encourage the budding of a little thief.

First, I called the store manager and explained the situation. The manager said he appreciated my call, but really it was just a couple of pieces of candy, forget about it. I told him that it was the principle of the matter and that I was returning my child to the store and would like him to give him a talk about stealing that would scare him. You know the kind of talk that would make him think long and hard about EVER doing it again.

I escorted Oldest Son, piggy bank in tow, back to the store. We went to the manager’s office. The man was probably not over thirty and not experienced with kids. Oldest Son was shaking he was so nervous. I was feeling a bit guilty, but not nearly as guilty as I’d feel if I raised my child to think it was acceptable to steal. Manager Man explained about stealing and that people go to jail for stealing. Good job, what I was looking for. Then he said boys like you are bad and they go to jail if they keep it up when they get big. Boys like you. Not exactly what I was looking for but I asked for the lecture. I figured I’d remedy the fine points when I got home.

Manager Man was willing to let it go there. No, I told him he must also pay for the candy. He was like I don’t even know what to charge for two measly pieces of candy. Well put a price on it, I told him. He took Oldest Son to the register and charged ten cents. With trembling fingers, Oldest Son shoved the entire contents of his piggy bank, crumbled dollars and coins at Manager Man. He picked out a dime and handed the rest back to him. Oldest Son then handed the candy to him. Manager Man said you can have it, you just paid for it. Oldest Son said, no I don’t want it. He left it on the counter.

When we got home, I told Oldest Son that he was not a bad boy that he had just made a bad choice and we made it right. I continued the usual talk about never taking what does not belong to you and never taking things without paying for them.

Were my actions right or wrong? Was I too harsh? I don’t know. I had two very close friends at the time with children the same age. One said that I was ridiculous that she would never have put her kid through what I did to teach him right from wrong. She thought taking the candy away with a simple reprimand would have been sufficient. The second friend thought it was the right thing to do but admitted she never would have been able to go through with it. Oldest Son , now 23, remembers the incident and doesn’t appear to carry any horrible mental scars from it. I guess only time will tell.

Should I have drug Cookie-Stealing-Woman to the managers office and demand that she cough up the cookie or the dough? Actually, I didn’t say a word to her. And she was oblivious to my eyes-popping-out-of-my-head stare and my gaping mouth. (No, I was not drooling for her cookie!) It was a I-can’t-believe-you-just-did-that gaping mouth. So, in a loud voice I pointed her out and said what she’d just done to a lady standing beside me. The lady had seen it also and thought it was disgusting not only to do that but to hand down such despicable morals to your children. Cookie-Stealing-Woman was not fazed by us. However, I fumed the entire time I shopped and went home grumbling to anyone who would listen to me. And when there was nobody else to fret about it to, I told the dog. She completely understood my dismay.