Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thoughts That Made Me Smile This Morning

One of the advantages of being retired is that I can say, “I’ll do that tomorrow” and really mean it. Of course whether it gets done or not is an entirely different matter.

A disadvantage of being retired is that nothing much happens unless one makes it happen, thus depriving the blogger of filler material in the nature of “What I did yesterday.” One can make only so many stories from sleeping, eating, grocery shopping, cats, and wandering in computer games. But I can see that when one is old enough to have been retired for a few years, nothing new is preferable to a lot of the alternatives.

A couple of my favorite really rustic Southernisms:

“I knewn I know’d you!” (On confirming that someone is an old acquaintance.)

“I ain’t done tucken none off yet.” (Way up in the North Carolina mountains we saw a sign on a cabin, “HONEY FOR SALE”. Having been warned not just to walk up to one of those rickety wooden homes, whose residents owned rifles and were perpetually suspicious of strangers, my father called from a distance below, “We’d like to buy some honey.” The mountaineer who was lounging in a rocking chair on the front porch called back, “I ain’t done tucken none off yet. Come back tomorry.” My father returned every day for the rest of our 5-day vacation and got the same answer from the rocking chair every time, “I ain’t done tucken none off yet.”

I may have told the following story, but here it is:

My father grew up on a ranch/farm on the Florida frontier at the beginning of the 20th Century. The noon meal, “dinner”, was the big feast of the day. The men would come in from the fields after working since dawn and join the women and other family members at a long table groaning with roast beef, ham, fried chicken, perhaps leg of lamb or pork chops, bowls of vegetables, corn bread, gravy, and pies.


Old Man Folks, with his white beard, was too old to plow or herd cows, but his famous skill as a trencherman was undiminished by age. He ate amazing quantities, and at the end of every dinner he would say the same thing as he pushed back his chair and raised his napkin to his lips for a final wipe,

“I enjoyed them few mouthfuls as much as if I’d et a hearty meal.”

Which makes me smile, but may have worn a little thin on my grandmother.

After a special repast he wanted to compliment the hostess and said, “That was a delicious dinner . . . what there was of it.” Realizing his faux pas he added, “And there was plenty of it, such as it was.”

Old Man Folks lives on because rarely a day goes by that I don’t say jokingly about something, “what there was of it . . . such as it was.” Amazingly useful and versatile phrases.


  1. Hi Fleming, it has been a while, how have you been?

    I believe that retirement is a new set of journey, a new beginning of different phase of life.

    Retirement is a luxury as not everyone can affort to retire even though they reached certain age.

    Retirement is an achievement of freedom, You can still work, but it is because you want to, not because you need to.

  2. You speak very true words, Pink Ginger.

    I do feel fortunate that retirement is possible for me. I retired later than most people do, but I've never felt any of that "I miss my office, what shall I do now?" nonsense that I hear drives many retirees to an early grave.

    What I feel about not having to go to a job is freedom and happiness. Every day I'm thankful that I don't have to go to work somewhere.

  3. Glad to hear that, Fleming. You enjoyed the true meaning at your retirement stage.

    God Bless.

  4. Mmm... Scarlett O'Hara always said "I'll think about it tomorrow"...
    welcome back flights of fleming...

  5. I wish I could fast forward the time and be retired now!

    Have a great weekend my enchanting friend :)

  6. Dear Naj, I suggest that you try retiring while you're young and working later.

    Because I was a university teacher I had summers off when I was in my 20's and 30's, and that's when I did most of my traveling abroad. I felt sorry for most of the American tourists I saw in Europe because they looked too old to enjoy themselves. They had put off traveling until their gray days after they retired. I still congratulate myself for traveling when I could enjoy it most, even if I didn't have much money and didn't save the money everybody told me I should be saving.