Lifestyle & Retirement / Simply Southern Cappy

Run For The Hills!

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Man Plans and God Laughs.

~ Yiddish Proverb

Before we bought our summer home in a small town in Western North Carolina, Babe and I spent the month of August there in a rented cottage. At the time, there was one General Store, two cafés and a small post office, perfect for our second honeymoon.

Cozy little Saluda is set a few miles away from any road going anywhere else. We got lost three times before Babe grudgingly asked directions from a toothless man walking down the road with a sad-looking dog. The fellow’s tight lips barely moved when he spoke but his beady eyes glared with unconcealed suspicion.

Later that day when we arrived at the cottage, we hi-fived ourselves for having chosen a remote spot that the Grandkids from Hell wouldn’t be able to find with a NASA tracking system. After unpacking, we drove downtown to one of the two restaurants. The red neon sign out front read simply: EAT.

After a bit, a tired looking server, cook and cleaner upper appeared. She was yawning.

We’ve got mesquite broiled trout caught fresh this morning, fresh asparagus from my garden, sliced local tomatoes and real mashed potatoes I peeled myself. $5.95.

My eyes bulged, my mouth dropped open. Did she say $5.95? When did we hop on a Fifties Time Machine?

I looked into Babe’s big brown eyes. Is this perfect or what? No traffic, no snooty waiters, and no over-priced meals, either. This town speaks to me, Babe.

The next morning, he dropped me off at the General Store while he went in search of a golf course.

Sawdust covered the store floor but I dumped it out of my sandals and giggled. I glimpsed items on the shelves that only my grandmother would have recognized and it had been forty years since she went to that Southern Baptist Revival in the Sky. Sour Gum Molasses, dusty bottles of black stove polish, Black Drought Laxatives. I squeezed a red, robust tomato and thoughts of a BLT made me swoon.

I was lost in the Fifties when an old gentleman introduced himself as Billy Boyd. For the next half-hour he told me more than I wanted to know about his spastic colon and erratic prostate. With each mention of his bodily fluids, I blushed like a new bride.

He then told me about his cousin. She’s ninety-three, declared Billy. Gets mad as a wet hen when Doc tells her she’s gotta quit blackberry picking up on the mountain.

My first thought was she ought to spend her remaining days watching Driving Miss Daisy on HBO.

She’s got allergies, he said. Sneezes up a storm up on the mountain. Doc says one of these days she’ll sneeze herself into blackberry oblivion.

Billy, the town’s only butcher and sausage maker, provided fresh meat, fish and produce to the EAT place located in the same building. A common door between them remained open so that when someone ordered a hamburger, Billy would grind off a pound.

When Babe returned, I told him all about this tiny community we had found. By that time, I knew everyone’s names and ailments.

Smiling contentedly, we drove back to the cottage, ours for twenty-nine more days.

As we rounded the bend, I stopped smiling. OMG! The Grandkids from Hell found us!

Babe trembled. I was about to tell him to amscray but the grin on my son’s face squelched that plan of retreat. He looked like a basset hound caught in quicksand.

I’m starving, Mammy! Number 2 GFH sidled up for a cursory hug. Whatcha got to eat?

Number 1 GFH, shoved him. You inhaled two hamburgers and a milk shake. Pig

Number 2 fixed him with a look. Shut up, to which Number 1 told him to shut up and that launched the shut up yourself contest that is still going on to this day.

Number 3 GFH crawled up the side of the car like a tree frog.

Please God tell me how to get back on that Fifties Time Machine.

Hey Mammy, Number 3 hugged me with sticky chocolate fingers while the rest of his forty pounds dangled and thumped on the side of the car. Can I sleep in your bed tonight?

Babe’s tears were freefalling down his face.

Our second honeymoon was history.

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Author’s note:
Since that time, both Billy and his cousin have died. She is now picking blackberries in that big berry patch in the sky, while he grinds off pound after pound of hamburger in the biggest General Store in the universe.

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Editor’s Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com.

“PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ”

Cappy Hall Rearick was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was an English major at the University of South Carolina and later became a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. Some years later, she moved to Los Angeles and then to Pennsylvania. In 1994, she returned to her beloved South to settle in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia with her husband Bill.

Cappy, an award winning short story writer and syndicated columnist, is the author ofseveral successful columns, including:ALIVE AND WELL IN HOLLYWOOD, TIDINGS, SIMPLY SOUTHERN and PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ monthly in the Lowcountry Sun Newspaper in Charleston, SC. She also writes an e-column called SIMPLY SOMETHING.

Cappy is past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. Her recently published novel, THE ROAD TO HELL IS SELDOM SEEN, a 2012 nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year, is available at www.amazon.comin print and can be downloaded and enjoyed at Kindle, Nook and all the electronic readers. Get ready to read and do nothing else because it’s a page-turner!

She is writing her next book, BRIDGING THE GAP, a psychological novel of deception and suspense. The SIMPLY books (SIMPLY SOUTHERN; SIMPLY SOUTHERN EASE; SIMPLY CHRISTMAS) are bound to make you laugh and maybe even tear up a little bit, especially if you enjoy remembering the good old days. With every page you turn, however, Cappy Hall Rearick will bring the South alive for you.

Rearick holds membership in the Georgia Writers, South Carolina Writers, Atlanta Writers Club, Florida Writers, North Carolina Writers and she is a sitting Board member of the Southeastern Writers Association.

In addition to writing, Cappy is a popular public speaker and can breathe new life into those good old days for your conference attendees. She is a dynamic creative writing instructor and is available to teach classes in column writing, Southern fiction, humor, memoir and short story writing. She brings forth fresh ideas to match her imaginative ways of turning a phrase. Book her now … and breathe new life into your next writer’s conference. Attendees will learn a lot, laugh a lot and go away itching to write better than ever.

If you would like to receive a monthly column of SIMPLY SOMETHING via email, send your request along with your email address to Cappy at: cappyhall@comcast.net She will be delighted to add your name to the preferred column list.

Read Cappy’s BLOG at: simplycappy.blogspot.com

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