Monday, August 19, 2013

This is a correction, Kathy was the person who uttered the gardenia phrase.
Can’t You Read?

My brother Ken was always outspoken and adventurous, even as a child. He had frizzy red hair and a fiery attitude to match. One incident that comes to mind happened during “income tax season.”  Mom had a small office and helped people prepare their taxes. It was something that she had learned from my Granddad Beck. Mom’s office was a room set aside at the side of our house. It could only be reached from the driveway by walking past the front door of our house along a covered walkway.
Too many times Mom’s customers had come to the front door and knock to come inside, thinking that it was her office door. Mom finally made a sign to post on the front door directing them to her office area. The sign read, “Use other door” and had drawn an arrow that pointed down the walkway toward her office door.
Ken was at home when two older women came to have their taxes done. They came to the front door and knocked. Ken was inside watching television and ignored them.
They knocked a second time and Ken ignored them again, thinking they would soon read the posted sign and move on to Mom’s office.
When they knocked the third time, it upset my brother and set of his temper. He went to answer the knock and open the door. The ladies smiled and started to come inside, but Ken stood his ground and they couldn’t get by him to come inside.
Ken had only opened the door part way and the ladies couldn’t come inside. He said, “Can’t you read?”
They smiled again and tried to come inside after saying “Of course we can.”
Ken said, “Then read” and slammed the door in their faces.
They stood there, stunned for a few minutes and finally noticed the sign and walked down the walk to Mom’s office to keep their appointment time.

At my grandfather’s large farm house we would usually fight to sit on a tall step stool. It was usually placed between Grandma Becky and Granddad Ray when it was time to eat and the grandchildren were there.
One day Granddad had come inside for lunch after working in the barn most of the morning. He took off his barn boots and put on his slippers. He always wore his slippers in the house. After he had washed up, he came to the table for lunch, but the strong smells of the barn were still heavily clinging to his clothing.
Kathy dragged the stool away from Grandpa and closer to Grandma instead of sitting midway between them both. Grandma asked, “Don’t you want to sit by your Grandpa.”
Kathy looked at Granddad and then he looked back at Grandma and said, “Well. He don’t smell like no gardenia.” which caused Granddad to chuckle.

A quick and amusing sidebar, my grandmother always bought Grandpa a new pair of slippers for Christmas. She had my mom to always shop for the same type of brown leather slippers. The reason that Grandma had my mom do the shopping for Granddad’s slippers was that Mom had the same shoe size and her father.

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