Photos Not Taken

We were driving back from Alabama last evening and it was close to sunset.  We passed a field being mowed by an older gentleman on his riding lawn mower, and he securely had his left big tan arm around the middle of his sweet baby girl.  She was probably about 18 mo. with blonde hair, sitting on his left leg with her back against his chest and her thick legs dangling weightless over his leg like a rag doll as they slowly, yet methodically mowed the field.  She looked so relaxed sitting with him and almost ready to dose off.  They probably just finished dinner and mamma was cleaning up while daddy decided to take her mowing to calm her down for a good nights sleep.  This was a photo that didn’t get taken.  If I was to take a picture, that is what it would be.  To me, that was beauty and worthy of a photograph!

We were sitting outside Starbucks in Chattanooga last Friday night and the sun had just gone down.  People were walking by this way and that to get to this place and that.  Cars drove by with graduation congrats painted on the windows.  As we watched all the comings and goings, there was the brief moments in between where things slowed down just a bit.  During one of these slower moments I watched an older Black gentleman crossing the street and coming in our direction.  He instantly made me smile – he was all dressed up with a black suit that had white pin stripes on the sports coat, shiny white patten leather shoes, and a matching white brimmed dress hat to boot!  He was using a cane, but only for fashion purposes, he briefly glanced over our way and saw my big smile and returned a big toothy smile to me as we caught each others eye and I said, “you sure look mighty handsome!”  with that he grinned even bigger and said, “why thank ya!” and he kept on walking proudly!  This was a photo that didn’t get taken.  But if I was to take a picture, that is what it would be.

An older couple, that my husband is working for in Alabama, was sharing a hilarious story while we stood under their breezeway staring across at their 300 acres of beautiful land.  The land used to house their 32 cows that were multiplied quite rapidly by one casanova bull of their neighbors!  What made the story so funny was the slow Alabama accent she used in telling it along with the look on her sweet husband’s face – he was grinning, literally, from ear to ear at her and it was a look of complete love and devotion towards her!  Because he is not quite as agile as her, he stood leaning at the top of the porch stairs, looking down at the back of her as she told the story.  This was a photo that didn’t get taken.  But if I was to take a picture, that is what it would be!

Man of Many Hats

When we first met it was a baseball cap turned backwards for the catchers’ mask to fit.  Then there came several different hats with various vendors vying for his sales.  Then very clean golf hats to wear while taking customers out for a game of golf.

Then he became a builder and the hats he wore were any of the above mentioned, but they were now repurposed to block the sun, catch paint drips, and absorb all the sweat!

But none of these hats were supporting his true passion.  Some of these hats he never wanted to wear in the first place – but had to in order to put food on the table for his family.  As his wife,  it’s important to pay very close attention to what it is that makes him  tick.  What relaxes, interests, calms, or simply makes him get excited, and then encourage the daylights out of him!!

It’s not always easy to make the transition from one hat to the next, but I’ve done it anyway and learned to do it cheerfully!  By doing so, I’ve reaped the benefits of a happy husband!

He’s back to wearing a baseball cap turned backwards in order to catch that perfect shot, and I don’t mean a baseball – now it’s a photo!  And I think he still looks pretty sexy doing so!

One Saturday at the Whiskey Hotel

He loads the last bit of gear into the gheenoe (canoe with the back end cut off) which has already been strapped down onto the trailer.  His daughter, whom he awakened promptly at 4:15 am is waiting excitedly for her boyfriend to show up so they can begin their bass fishing trip into one of his favorite phosphate pits, The Whiskey Hotel, to be exact!  As he is known for naming his fishing spots.

Once all are present and accounted for, he drives to the local 7-11 to fill up the gas tanks and pick up 2 bags of ice, one carton of peanut butter “Nabs”, a six pack of cokes, 12 pack of beer and a large pack of oreos,  After slapping the bags of ice on the ground, the first bag is poured over the bottom of the cooler, the drinks are all placed in next and then the second bag of ice is poured on top.  Next stop, the Clock Restaurant for a big breakfast.  His order:  scrambled eggs, bacon, black coffee, toast with any flavor jelly – but absolutely NO grape jelly!

After the hour drive to The Whiskey Hotel, it’s time to back down the trailer, unhook the boat and get all three passengers properly seated into the very small three-person gheenoe.  His daughter is given the middle seat to help with the balancing of the boat.  He is at the back so as to control his 9.9 HP motor, especially since he is the avid fisherman and knows this spot well.

All was going according to plan until…. WHACK!  His daughter calmly tells her boyfriend, “You hooked me!”.  He immediately stops yanking at his rod, realizing he has in fact hooked his girlfriend in the back of the head with none other than a treble hook lure!  The boyfriend is naturally beside himself of the pain she must be enduring as he tries several times to unhook her!  Meanwhile, the fishing continues for her father and he occasionally blurts out different ways to try to get her unhooked.

The boyfriend, after exhausting all attempts, announces that they should get to a doctor to remove the hook.  NOW   WAIT   JUST   A   MINUTE!

She’s not bleeding is she?  No.

Your not in pain are you?  No, I’m fine.

See?  Besides, we just got here for pete’s sake!

Fishing continues.

Finally, the boyfriend can’t take it any longer, “we need to get that hook out of her head”.   A long pause………OK, I GUESS WE’RE GOING BACK!  Even though the scalp is some of the toughest skin, and she’s fine!!

The father is quite bent out of shape, and uses every form of body language and throaty grunts to show just how upset he is at this preposterous situation.  They make the long ride back to shore and hastily get the boat strapped back up.

It was a quiet ride to his dentist office.  Once there, he puts a shot of Novocain in her scalp, then began to tug and pull, tug and pull, until the lure was finally out!

I, the girlfriend, remember this day quite well and look back on it, laughing at the crazy site of fishing and riding in a car with a big lure sticking out of my head!  My father’s reaction, quite normal when you are OCD and your routine gets interrupted.  My husband, his hooking me was just the visual sign of what he had already done to my heart years before!