Mis’ Lou’s stories still bring laughter

Published 2:12 am Saturday, September 15, 2018

I needed a prescription—a Mis’ Lou prescription—to get me started on this column today. The late Lou Brown, known affectionately as Mis’ Lou by locals, wrote a long-running newspaper column titled, “My Country Roads.” In it, she dished out plenty of down home wit and wisdom that often touched my heart and sparked my imagination.

Her daughter Janie compiled some of her favorite columns in a book. I consider it a treasure trove to brighten my day. Some times when I open it, I linger for a minute on the page with her autograph and a scripture reference in her familiar handwriting.

I must admit I was not impressed the first time I saw that handwriting. I was setting type at the Andalusia Star-News when a sheet of lined paper filled with hand-written sentences landed in my copy box. It was a challenge to read. That first time, I pondered the word “sistern,” meaning the plural of sister. “Who is this person?” I asked a co-worker. It seemed everybody in town knew her but me. That day I was introduced to her writing style and the unique way she painted word pictures. She wrote about a dream where she was suddenly standing before the newspaper’s subscribers who expected her to serve them and the newspaper editor who demanded she do just that. She asked them: “Would you like a dish of October’s blue skies, seasoned with goldenrod and blue daisies?” and was surprised when they accepted.

Every week when her column appeared in my basket, “deciphering” it got easier. As time passed, I recognized and appreciated the depth of her colorful descriptions. Once I laughed out loud when she said after a few days of rainy weather, she got fed up with the coziness of rainy days and longed to see the sunshine with all of its glory sweep the fields clean with light. She concluded with: “I often wonder how Mrs. Noah put up with old man Noah and all that bunch of animals during that rainy spell.”

In a section of the book called “Pat , (My Precious Darlin’)” Mis’ Lou relates what happened one early morning. “Long before day my true love and I hopped out of bed to hear and feel and smell the sounds of the new day. With a cup of coffee in our hands, we prowled around in the dim moonlight…The sparrows were the first to stir. They are a noisy bunch. A woodpecker flew in from the wood singing a man’s song, throaty and clear. With confidence and courage he hammered on a pecan tree.” She added that her little hen was such a busy lady.” She would fight her shadow…Even pup stayed out of her path.”

Mis’ Lou’s writing makes me laugh and inspires me, I am thankful for her reminders of simple things that bring joy in our lives. Now and then a Mis’ Lou prescription is just what I need to turn my day around.