Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Mom died two years ago, but her figures of speech live on.

People have drowned in horse tracks!

When my brother and I would ask to go swimming without an adult escort, we would promise that we would go to a shallow swimming hole, such as Little Buttermilk (Big Buttermilk was, of course, bigger, as was the Gator Hole). One of us would say, "Nobody can drown in Little Buttermilk," since it was, at most, chest high. Mom would reply with her frustrated admonition, "People have drowned in horse tracks!" She never could name one casualty, though.

Where are we ever going to get another little tiller like that?

This applies to about anything that breaks. That is, "Where are we ever going to get another little truck like that? Where are we ever going to get another little clothes pin like that? Where are we ever going to get another little bag of potato chips like that?"

Here is how it started. The city had run sewer lines--the first ones run through out little town--a couple of years before. Now, they had mandated that everyone hook to the new system. They had not marked the line well and we were trying to find it. The line might be four feet down and it is a LOT of work to dig that far. We took a few shots at it and missed. We tried softening up the ground with water. We eventually got dad's Troy Bilt tiller to further soften the ground. At one point the tines were spinning furiously and one of us leaned hard on the handles, digging them into the ground. The tiller leapt forward into the pecan tree, knocking the muffler off. Mom exclaimed, "Where are we ever going to get another little tiller like that?"

It was obvious to dad and us boys that the damage was minuscule so we died laughing. She was not amused.

I guess Mom got the next expression from the previous generation, but I do not remember hearing anyone but her say it. If someone moves from inaction to sudden action. Like when someone is sitting talking, then remembers something important and bolts up and rushes out, they acted as if they were shot in the butt with a hot cracklin'.

For those of you not of the southern U. S.. A crackling is the fried skin of a pig. Pork rinds are like mass marketed cracklings. A crackling, just out of the grease is hot.

We still use these figures of speech in the family. They bring Mom to mind. She loved us and worked very hard to make the family work and to properly socialize us.

No comments: