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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)

TITLE: Papa's Toothbrush, Grand Pappys Dinner Date
By Glenda Lagerstedt


Papa’s Toothbrush, Grand Pappy’s Dinner Date

I been resting here in the rusty porch swing pondering how, now n’again, just living can be a tricky bit of business. I thank the good Lord that some days are a-bursting with sunshine and flowers. We need them times because other times it seems the very devil himself dogs our days with darkness.

I heard of a wife in these parts who never ever argued with her man though he was clear out and out unkind to her time to time. Her patience seemed to have no end. One day when he was of a mind to know, he inquired as to why she’d never get angry with him.

“Well now…when sometimes you makes me feel cross, I just thinks about a-cleaning the toilet.”

“And how, pray tell, would a-thinking about that help?” he asked.

“Well now…I uses your toothbrush.”

Whether that fixed it or made it worse I never did hear tell. But we struggled with a sort of like condition our selfs. Time was we had a short little maid lived about our home, blue eyes and the blondest hair, she had. We didn’t trust her too much, this short little maid…her ways so beyond understanding.

She was but two years old and two foot tall when I heard her slam the bathroom door. Child labor laws notwithstanding, I knowed this did not bode well so I hurried up down the hallway and opened the door. Lo and behold, if she wasn’t scrubbing the toilet with her poor old Papa’s toothbrush. (And though I never did mention it to him, I have secretly been a worrying these many years if that was the first time she ever done that.) I moved all them toothbrushes from the purty jelly jar on the shelf to a nail high on the wall. And yes, o’course I got her poor old Papa a new toothbrush; we do got class.

These days another short maid roams about our home, niece to the early one. The other day she was a-brushing her teeth when I heard her say, “Wet brush,” and lo and behold if she didn’t plunge that toothbrush smack into the toilet before this poor old granny could stop her. Then she was mad with me rest of the day just ‘cause I throwed her purty little toothbrush away.

I thinks on these things and smiles my troubles away.

Many years ago our family was a facing a dark spell. Dear old Grand Pappy was of advancing age and starting to lose his faculties summat. Thanks to a new-fangled thingy called Life-Alert he was able to live alone. Very late one Christmas Eve me and my husband had “just settled down for a long winter’s nap” when the telephone gave a loud jingle. The nice folks at Life Alert said Grand Pappy had pushed the button.

Fear hung heavy on us as we dashed up the road and into his house. There he set, as healthy as a horse, all dressed up with his hat, his scarf, boots and coat. He was a bit disgruntled. “Ain’t you gonna pick me up for dinner?” he demanded. “I been ready a whole hour now and nobody come.”

I let my husband keep his own face straight while he patiently explained the facts of the business to him. I was on the couch a-laughing into a pillow until I thought that my stummick would bust.

Grand Pappy’s final years brought deep sorrow and hurting to our family. ‘Times it was hard to find the funniness ‘cause of the tears. But we did. Thanks to the good Lord, we many times found the light side even in the middle of the dark.

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This article has been read 418 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/29/09
Wonderful job with the dialect! I grinned all the way through this one.
Lollie Hofer05/29/09
The voice of your MC was fun and full of life. This was a great story to read, laughed out loud several times.
Charla Diehl 06/03/09
Loved the back-woodsy way this was written--sounded authentic. Your words and story were fun, imaginative and a delight to read.