Don#039;t walk under any low-hanging branches

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

Grandparents don't always get the ovations they deserve.

Overall, we as a society don't appreciate the golden generation around us. We should take advantage of, and appreciate more, the combined years of life experience, education and wisdom they have to offer us.

Anyone who has living grandparents is very fortunate. I was very blessed to have had William Hollie and Exa Lucille Sexton and James Thomas, who would have turned 104 this week, and Nettie Vee Grayson in my childhood and on into my adulthood. I miss them all very much.

With this respect and gratitude that should be shown to our elders also comes an unmistakable realization about them. There are special rights and privileges that can only come with having lived longer than those around you.

In other words, they can say whatever they please and get away with it.

Now, once again, before you stone me for being a disrespectful granddaughter and/or daughter, just hear me out.

How many of us have heard these bone-chilling words from our mother?

&#8220Are you going out like THAT?” To which, I, having obtained two college degrees and having lived on my own for several years, will do what any mature, dignified and responsible adult would do.

I go change my clothes.

Of course, there are the, &#8220Oh, my, haven't you put on weight?” or &#8220Um, honey, is that your natural hair color?”

And, of course, there is my all-time favorite: &#8220Are you expecting?” I think that most of you already know the scoreboard on that one: Cats 4, Kids 0.

At a family reunion, a cousin of mine made a special dish just for her grandmother, who was a diabetic. With one taste, her grandmother chewed slowly, put the spoon down and then said, &#8220I think I've had enough of that.”

Humorous anecdotes from golden-agers can be found anywhere at anytime. Dinner on the ground is a tradition at sacred harp singings, but one particular day stands out to me. I'm standing behind an elderly gentleman who is known for his comical ways and who has just been called upon to ask the blessing. This is what I heard:

&#8220Dear Lord, we thank You for this day and for this singing. We ask You now to bless this food and the hands that prepared it, etcetera and etcetera, amen.”

If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'.

Now, Mrs. Clyde Watkins was a sacred harp singer all of her life, and when I met her, she was close to 80 and full of spitfire. I could sit by her and be sure of some good entertainment.

Well, everyone knew that Mrs. Myrtle wore an extra hairpiece on the top of her head, but, of course, one did not dare make mention of it. Lunch had been served outside that day, as usual, and there were some low-hanging branches that hung over the long tables outside. That's right. You guessed it. Mrs. Myrtle just happened to walk right under one of the lowest.

As the people began to file back into the church for the afternoon singing session, Mrs. Clyde hollers out, &#8220Myrtle, your hair is hanging in the tree!” All you could see the rest of the afternoon were shoulders shaking from people trying to maintain some kind of composure, but it didn't do any good.

After discussing the earned rights and privileges of our elders with Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, he asked me to stop by the store and get him some of that new hair product &#8220Just For Cats.” He said that he's been noticing a little too much gray in his whiskers lately.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email,: